Using Color Effectively: Lemonade Stands

Chapter 7 of the Non-Designer’s Design Book outlines the rules for using color in design. The laws governing the use of color are fairly simple and easy to understand, but simply messing up the tint, contrast, or tone of the colors in a project can easily lead to disaster.

While reading the chapter, I was reminded of all the poorly-designed signs I’ve seen for lemonade stands. Children often decide on a hot summer day to set up a lemonade stand outside their house to test their budding entrepreneurial skills. When creating a sign to advertise their product, they often choose a large white poster and use yellow (the color of lemons) for the text. To a passing car, bright yellow text on a bright white background is anything but readable. The tone of the two colors is far too similar and there just isn’t enough contrast.

To illustrate the posters I was thinking of, I’ve included some pictures below of bad lemonade stand posters and one photo of a well-designed poster that will really grab attention.


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