The Right Business Card?
Colors and Symbols Improve Your Message

by Diane Ronngren

The symbolism of having a business card to give out states your purpose: wanting their business, wanting to make a good impression. Never give your card to someone you wouldn't consider working for, or someone you don't want to re-connect with!

We express our invitation for interaction in a variety of ways. Some of these are obvious, like handing out a business card. Others are less so, like the warm open smile that reaches to our eyes to let someone know we are happy to see them. Or, the stretched out hand, thumb straight up in the air, indicating our willingness to touch and be touched by the other person. Or, we stretch our shoulders back, a hand placed loosely in a pocket or on our waist, relaxed and not protecting our upper bodies and heart area. We signal uncertainty or unwillingness when we slouch to hide our vulnerable neck an chin, lower our eyes to study our shoes, or look at everyone else as if we are begging to be rescued from our current companion.

Right now, let's take a look at the subliminal messages you send out with your business stationary. Take a copy of your letterhead, flyer or business card, and place it on the desk or a table in front of you while you read the rest of this article, and watch your subconscious in action

The symbolism of the objects and lines on your stationary or business card (or, for that matter, your website or blog) are extremely important. Some of them appeal more to women than men, and visa versa.

A. Heavy, dark lines and sharp angles are usually symbolic of strength     (yang energy) and masculinity.
B. Smooth, softly shaded, think lines symbolize the feminine qualities (yin energy).
C. Straight lines convey formality; jagged lines express informality, wavy lines suggest distraction or a relaxed approach
D. Vertical lines symbolize growth, striving, spiritual energy, balance, honesty and dignity.
E. Horizontal lines represent calm, restfulness, stability.
F. Diagonal lines suggest instability, therefore motion, excitement, progress and change.
G. Angles are useful for directing attention. Convergent lines direct the eye inward or outward, providing depth and dimension.
H. The square implies unity and harmony.
I. A circle is continuous, flowing, and is perceived to be soft and feminine--inviting.
J. The triangle appears to be in motion, and symbolizes liveliness.
K. The Oval is pleasant to the eye, and is gentle and feminine.
L. Messages centered around the middle say, "I am very focused on this particular service."
M. If printing appears in all four corners, this suggests: "I have covered all the angles."
N. Personal pictures say: "Here I am. Now let me help you discover what you need!"
O. Logos say, "I Belong!"
P. Pictures or sketches of tools and equipment express a practical approach.
Q. Flowers or living things indicate joy in the process of life.
R. Rainbows, luminaries (Sun. Moon, Stars, etc.), lights or candles announce a spiritual approach; a variety of factors will bring an experience of spiritual growth.

The color you choose for the background of your website, blog, stationary or business card reveals a lot about you and your business. Color has a tremendous impact on how things are perceived and incorporated by the viewer. In general colors appeal to the emotions of the person seeing them and help develop an image about you. based on their response to the specific color(s).

Let's pretend that colors can talk, and let's listen to what they have to say:

White: "Let's be really clear about our goals." Whit symbolizes cleanliness, fear and purity.

Green: "Let's focus on making this worthwhile." Shades of green symbolize safety, fidelity, nature, youth and growth.

Red: "Look out! I may be dangerous, angry or frustrated; or I may be exciting, sexy and tempting. Just let's make sure I'm in a good mood!" Red has the maximum attention value. It is often used to suggest warmth, passion, virility, life force, power, and bravery. This is a color often preferred by men.

Blue: "I want to enlighten you." Blue is a color often preferred by women. It can symbolize achievement, intellect, a sense of cool, calm reflection, cleanliness, truth, depth, and restraint. It may also suggest melancholy (feeling "the blues").

Yellow: "I'm optimistic and hopeful, proud and direct." This color brings a feeling of sunlight and roses, makes an object look larger, exciting and cheerful. Yellow has a high attention value and encourages a youthful, optimistic, and sunny outlook on whatever the subject matter may be.

Orange: "Imagine peeling a juicy, ripe member of my family, and then biting into its flesh, experiencing sunlight and nature filling your senses!" Orange has a high attention value and represents abundance, prosperity, and a bountiful harvest.

Black: "You can't see anything here in the dark; you are in my power. I will make the decisions!"

Gray: "It's best to be practical about this."

Pink: "I'm sorry you're feeling stressed. Please let me help you."

Ivory, pastel blue, pale green, pink and yellow seem to sell well all over the country. Women tend to be more sensitive or responsive to these colors.

Now, how do you feel about the colors you have chosen to represent you, your business, your persona out there in the world? What kind of an impression do you think others may have about you and your endeavors? Now you have tools to understand what is being communicated on a subliminal level by the colors people choose; and you can understand what they are feeling on a subconscious level about their world, their experiences.

Take these tools, and create the picture you want for your world, for your business, for your "face" out there in the ethers. You will find more information about color and its impact on people and environments in several of our books: COLOR: A Secret Language Revealed and Simple Feng Shui by Diane Ronngren;  and Feng Shui Form by Donna Stellhorn

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