The meaning of the color Chocolate and color combinations to inspire your next design.
Chocolate is a dark shade of brown. On the hex chart used by web designers and developers, the color code for chocolate is #7B3F00.
There are many ways to make chocolate brown. The simplest is to mix blue, yellow and red paint together before using a small amount of black or white paint to adjust the depth of the shade as required. Red, black and yellow combined also make brown, as does black and orange. In the RGB color model used to project color onto television and computer screens, brown is made by combining red and green.
Shades of brown close in appearance to chocolate brown include chestnut and walnut brown.
The color chocolate is an accurate representation of the shade of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is a much deeper color, while white chocolate is a pale creamy hue.
However, the color of the unprocessed cocoa beans used to make chocolate is actually a deep shade of red. The method used to make cocoa into chocolate as we know it turns the product a rich brown. Before cocoa was commercially processed, chocolate cakes were reddish in appearance—which is why they were sometimes called “devil’s food cakes”.
“Chocolate” was first used as a color name in English in 1734, though the word had existed to describe the cocoa product since around 1600.
Browns like chocolate brown have been used in art since prehistoric times, when it was used in cave paintings dating back to 40,000 BC. Over history, brown has often signified poverty—in ancient Rome, brown clothing was associated with the lower classes while in the Middle Ages, brown robes were worn by some Catholic monks as a symbol of their humility.
As a color name, chocolate has been used to describe a number of brown-hued natural wonders including the Chocolate Hills in the Philippines and Chocolate Mountains in California.
Naturally, the color chocolate is most often associated with the food of the same name. Hair and eyes in a rich shade of brown are also often described favorably as “chocolate”.
However, brown isn’t typically a popular color. Public opinion surveys in Europe and the United States have found that brown is the public’s least favorite color and is often associated with poverty and plainness.
That being said, as brown is widely seen in nature (for instance in soil and trees) it can also be an earthy hue associated with reliability, resilience, healing and strength. Brown is also associated with health—brown bread and brown sugar are both viewed as more nutritious than their white counterparts.
Because of its earthy connotations, chocolate works well in any setting where you wish to convey warmth, comfort and security.
Its likeness to both coffee and the cocoa makes it a popular choice in logos and brandings for cafés. But use it in small doses—too much of the color chocolate has the potential to look drab or boring.
Chocolate looks warm and inviting alongside autumnal shades like burnt oranges, deep reds and forest greens. It also pairs nicely with cream. You should avoid using chocolate alongside black, where it might create too much doom and gloom. The colors that pair well with chocolate include:
Looking for a different hue? The following colors are related to chocolate.
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