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The meaning behind sage

Use sage like a graphic design expert and amplify your brand image.

About the color

Sage has a long and impressive history, both as a color and a plant. This particular color name comes from the well-known herb, but the word itself is from Old French and means “wise, learned, and skillful.” The hex code for sage is #BCB88A.

Some classify sage as a medium-light shade of yellow, but it’s best described as a combination of green and grey with some yellow undertones. Sage is a pale color that also closely resembles beige or tan, plus different shades of light green-yellow such as moss or olive. Depending on the viewer, it can also look a little like brass or dark gold.

In Western cultures, sage has a unique color meaning. It often elicits calming images that remind people of home: flavorful holiday dishes, herbs drying in the attic, and the welcoming aroma of potpourri.  Naturally, people associate it with intelligence, wisdom, and sound judgment. Various Indigenous American cultures burn sage for religious and ceremonial purposes, so the color can also have spiritual significance.

Sage is a muted shade that suggests harmony, patience, and balance. It can also remind people to slow down and take their time, whether it’s learning a new skill or enjoying a home-cooked meal. Because of its proximity to gold, some may associate it with wealth and prosperity. With its gray tones, it can also connote neutrality and practicality.

Type Value
HEX #bcb88a
RGB 188, 184, 138
CMYK 0, 0.02, 0.27, 0.26

Application in design

Sage is a light and gentle shade that evokes tranquility and trust. Other common characteristics ascribed to this color include stability, growth, and prudence. This makes it ideal in graphic designs for health, wellness, and beauty products. Sage is also very close to the color of United States paper currency, which can be helpful for marketing businesses in the banking and finance industry.

The color sage is versatile, blending well with both pale and bright hues. It pairs naturally with analogous, complementary, and contrasting shades on the color wheel. Depending on your brand’s aesthetic and target audience, its color palette could include sage plus blue-gray, mint green, lavender, and rose. Since it’s easy on the eyes, it’s ideal for use in a wide range of branding and marketing materials.

Sage has different compositions in the RGB and CMYK color models. The RGB system uses various strengths and combinations of red, green, and blue light to form graphic images for electronic use. On the other hand, the CMYK is designed for print and blends cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks. Sage’s RBG value brings together nearly equal amounts of red and green with just a little less blue. When working with print media, remember that sage’s CMYK value incorporates the same levels of yellow and black with a minuscule amount of magenta.

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