Neon Sign Color Psychology: How to Choose the Right Color

Neon Sign Color Psychology: How to Choose the Right Color

The right neon sign colors can add life to any outdoor or indoor setting. They can illuminate your storefront and capture the attention of your prospective customers. Colors can evoke emotions in people’s minds, influencing their perceptions and buying decisions. 

The colors you select for your sign boards should help you create memorable impressions in buyers' minds. They should be visible, readable, and appropriate for your brand image. This article explains the psychology of colors and guides you in selecting the best color for your signage. 

Neon Signs and the Psychology of Color 

Something profound happens in the brain when we view different colors for neon signs. Colors can influence people’s moods, perceptions, and choices. Seeing some colors may evoke specific feelings. 

For example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can trigger feelings of passion, love, excitement, energy, hope, anger, kindness, warmth, etc. Cool colors like blue, green, and purple often make people feel calm, glamorous, peaceful, sad, indifferent, contented, or relieved. 

Neutral colors like white and black may cause people to feel cold, indifferent, sad, or reassured. Here is a summary of the psychological reactions that various neon sign colors symbolize: 

Red - Red shows boldness, passion, love, excitement, and energy. Most businesses create red neon signs when they urgently need to grab attention and increase sales.

Yellow – Yellow is a warm color that depicts cheerfulness, hopefulness, optimism, and joy. Most people in retail and hospitality businesses love yellow neon signs because they are impossible to dismiss.

Orange – Another warm color that several young people love is orange. It symbolizes creativity, zeal, joy, kindness, fun, and excitement. Orange can give you relief from fatigue or sadness.

Blue – Blue is calm and peaceful. It symbolizes stability, trust, professionalism, relief, comfort, serenity, and freshness. It is an ideal neon sign color for most corporate environments like hospitals and residential rooms like bedrooms.

Green - Green is a cool color like blue, representing health, growth, and nature. No wonder those in the environmental conservation and sustainability sector choose green for their sign boards. Green calms down the nervous system, causing feelings of peace and serenity. Green symbolizes life and nature and works best with a warm color like yellow. 

Neon Signs and the Psychology of Color

Purple – Another popular choice for most graphic and interior designers is purple. It represents sophistication and creativity. That is why most up-scale shops choose purple as one of their best neon sign colors. Purple arouses feelings of tranquility in the mind, which relaxes the body.

Pink – Pink is the leading neon color choice for businesses like beauty salons, spas, and baby shops. It signifies tenderness, love, femininity, softness, and simplicity. Many businesses targeting females buy pink neon signs.

Black – Black is a neutral color symbolizing elegance, power, honor, and sophistication. Select black for your signage to show off your business as luxurious and exclusive.

White – White is the color of purity and minimalism. Choose it if you need a contemporary design that looks clean and modest, choose white.

    A neon sign does not have to be of one color. You can also make a multicolor signage using the neon light color palette. Your signage designer may use similar, contrasting, or complementing neon sign colors.

    How to Choose the Right Color for Your Neon Signage?

    When determining the correct neon sign colors, consider the following factors: 

    Neon Sign Size – The size of your neon sign matters when selecting the best colors to add to it. If the signage is huge, choose a core color to lower the cost of designing and re-designing.

    Installation Area – The right neon color depends on where you want to install the sign. If you will put it outdoors, choose brighter neon signs colors. These warm colors will make it more conspicuous and attention-grabbing. On the other hand, choose a dull color for interior neon signage. Indoor lighting is enough to make dull signage more noticeable. 

    Height – How high you plan to mount your signage will affect the degree of attention it will get. Will it stay on the floor, at eye level, or above your head? No matter where you want to place your neon sign, it should be visible. That depends on your ability to select the most suitable neon sign colors. If an eye-level signage is bright, it might disturb and upset people. A dull one will do fine. 

    How to Choose the Right Color for Your Neon Signage?

    Background Lighting – When choosing the best color for your neon signage, check the background lighting. A darker background and a bright color would create a perfect neon sign. On the other hand, a bright background and a warm color would produce an extremely bright neon sign. People would struggle to read it. 

    Brand identity – What are your brand colors? If you want to increase brand awareness with neon signage, you can use your company colors exclusively. When prospective customers view the neon sign, they will identify these neon sign colors and associate your company with them from that moment on.

    Readability and Visibility – In any bustling street, people have several neon signs to look at. They can come closer if they can view your neon sign colors and letterings from a distance. Readability is a chief consideration since people should read the text to know the purpose of your signage. Bright and contrasting neon colors are perfect for most signage locations, including bustling streets with similar businesses. For instance, a neon sign with a blue background and yellow text is highly noticeable. 

    Target Demographics – You must choose suitable neon sign colors for the demographics you want to reach. Young and older people may not have the same color preferences. If you plan to target the public, choose signage colors wisely to meet the needs of everyone.

    Personalization – Most people will be happy with regular neon colors, while others will prefer something more unique. If you feel that a more customized neon sign board will capture your target audiences better, go for it. You can create the most desirable visual effects for your prospects with a neon light color palette. 

      Neon Sign Colors: How Neon Sign Materials Help Create Colors 

      There is a correlation between neon sign materials and the colors they create. Manufacturers reflect on neon sign colors and materials when producing each product. They mostly use neon gas, which has a reddish-orange glow, to make neon signs. When they want to create a multi-colored neon sign, they pump other types of inert gases into glass tubing. 

      Neon Sign Colors: How Neon Sign Materials Help Create Colors

      When you switch on multi-colored neon signage, the electric current excites the atoms of different gases within the glass tubes. Then, this phenomenon results in the intended neon sign colors, grabs viewers’ interests, and influences their decision-making processes. 

      Neon Color Palettes for Creation – What is the Neon Light Color Palette?

      A neon light color palette for creation is a tool for design professionals. It is a curated assortment of vibrant and bold colors. The palette is more suitable when you wish to avoid the typical primary, secondary, and tertiary colors in favor of the more contemporary dazzling colors. 

      Ranging from electric blues to radiant yellows, a neon light color palette simplifies signage color customization. Every color in this palette has its unique level of liveliness, energy, and glow. The palette offers intense color brightness and saturation, allowing you to make the most bold and dramatic signage. 

      How to Make Different Color Groupings?

      It is necessary to achieve color harmony when combining various neon light palette colors. Color harmony means arranging neon sign colors in a way that creates a sense of aesthetics and balance in your designs. 

      Since neon light color palette colors are vibrant and intense, it is more challenging to achieve color harmony with them. However, as a designer, you can simplify the process of grouping colors by applying these color scheme principles: 

      Complementary Color Scheme – Complementing colors face each other on a color wheel. If you choose two complementary colors, they will create an enthusiastic contrast. Examples are red and green, blue, and orange, or purple and yellow.

      Analogous Color Scheme – You should group two or more neighboring colors on the color wheel to create an analogous color scheme. These can create a minimal contrast and a pleasant look. Examples of analogous colors on the color wheel are blue-green, green, and yellow green.

      How to Make Different Color Groupings?

      Triadic Color Scheme – If using a triadic color scheme, select three equidistant colors on the color wheel. Examples of triadic neon sign colors are purple, green, and orange, or red, yellow, and orange. When you combine these three colors, you create a triangle shape on the color wheel.

      Split-complementary Color Scheme – You must choose a base color and two more colors that rest on either side of its complementary color. For instance, if your base color is purple, its complementary color is yellow. So, its split-complementary colors are yellow-orange and yellow green. 


        1.  What determines the color of a neon sign’s light? 

        A neon signage light has the color of the gas within the glass tubing. If it has neon gas only, it will produce a red-orange glow when switched on. A neon sign using helium gas produces yellow or pink light. Argon gas produces a light-blue light, while hydrogen emits a purple-red glow. 

        2.  What color neon signs should you choose? 

        Choosing new sign color is not hard if you know the emotions you want to trigger. If you want your target audiences to feel warm and comfortable, choose red, orange, and yellow colors. To evoke calm emotions, choose purple, blue, and green. 

        3.  What three highly contrasting colors can I choose for my neon sign?

        You can focus on triadic color schemes on your color wheel. These neon sign colors include purple, green, and orange or blue, yellow, and orange. 

        4.  How can I choose the best custom colors for my neon signage?

        Focus on your brand identity or personal interests when it comes to neon colors. The most appropriate custom colors for neon lights should contrast with each other well. Match your background colors wisely to ensure you attract rather than distract your target audience.  


        Neon sign colors are easy to choose if you understand the psychological aspect of colors. Any color you choose for your neon sign will induce certain moods and emotions in the minds of your target audiences. Once you learn what diverse colors symbolize, choose the most appropriate combinations for your neon signs.

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