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What is the meaning of the color kumquat?

The color kumquat refers to a vibrant reddish-orange hue reminiscent of the fruit of the same name. While not a widely used color term, understanding the meaning and symbolism behind kumquat can provide useful insight for design, branding, and color psychology.

Defining the Color Kumquat

So what exactly is the color kumquat? As a reddish-orange hue, it falls somewhere between the primary colors red and yellow on the color wheel. More specifically, kumquat contains strong orange undertones with subtle hints of red and yellow mixed in.

The name “kumquat” comes from the oval-shaped citrus fruit of the same name. Kumquats grow on small shrublike trees originating in Southeast Asia. When ripe, kumquats turn a bright reddish-orange color mimicking the pigments beta-carotene and lycopene. This vibrant coloration gives the kumquat fruit its nameake shade.

In technical terms, the hex code that most closely matches the color kumquat is #F28500. This code signifies a hue of 242 degrees, a saturation of 90% and a lightness of 53% on the HSL color model. The equivalent RGB breakdown is 242, 133, 0.

Kumquat Color Meaning and Symbolism

Now that we’ve defined the technical specifications of the color kumquat, what does this shade represent in terms of meaning and symbolism?

Here are some of the commonly associated qualities of the color kumquat:

  • Vibrance
  • Energy
  • Warmth
  • Creativity
  • Adventure
  • Excitement
  • Youthfulness
  • Friendliness

As a dynamic reddish-orange, kumquat encapsulates the lively spirit of its fruit namesake. It energizes and uplifts, representing creativity, excitement and adventure. The vibrant glow of kumquat evokes warmth, passion and youthful enthusiasm.

At the same time, kumquat maintains an accessible, friendly vibe. While attention-grabbing, it isn’t overbearing or abrasive. This makes kumquat a lively yet approachable shade suitable for brands wanting to convey vibrance, fun and accessibility.

Use of the Color Kumquat

When used strategically, the color kumquat can be an impactful design asset. Here are some effective ways to utilize kumquat coloring:

  • Branding – Kumquat is an ideal accent color to make brands pop while maintaining a friendly, inviting vibe.
  • Advertising – The eye-catching glow of kumquat captures consumer attention in advertisements.
  • Packaging – Kumquat packaging stands out on store shelves while conveying energy and approachability.
  • Digital design – Web and app interfaces benefit from kumquat buttons, icons and visuals that engage users.
  • Print design – The luminosity of kumquat makes for dynamic print designs that leap off the page.
  • Apparel – Kumquat perks up clothing and accessories, radiating positivity and vibrance.
  • Interior design – Kumquat furniture, wall colors and decor infuse warmth and energy into living spaces.

Additionally, kumquat combines seamlessly with contrasting colors to make them pop. Black, white, blues, greens and neutrals all stand out beautifully against kumquat backdrops.

Kumquat vs. Similar Color Terms

Several other fruit-inspired color names bear resemblance to kumquat. Here’s how kumquat compares to similar reddish-orange hues:

Color Hex Code Distinguishing Characteristics
Kumquat #F28500 – Vibrant, reddish-orange
– Warm, energetic
– Hint of yellow
Persimmon #EC5800 – Darker, more red
– Deeper, richer
– Higher contrast
Tangerine #F28500 – Lighter, more yellow
– Zestier, tangier
– Lower saturation
Peach #FAB685 – More pinkish
– Softer, muted
– Added beige tones
Apricot #FDD5B1 – Much lighter
– More washed out
– Higher lightness

As shown, kumquat sits in the middle as a nicely balanced reddish-orange, not too dark nor too light. It maintains both warm red and bright yellow-orange facets.

Kumquat Color Palettes

Balancing kumquat with other colors allows for the creation of versatile, eye-catching color palettes. Here are some examples of effective kumquat color schemes:

Vibrant Kumquat

Kumquat Picton Blue Paradise Pink

The lively glow of kumquat pops against both the cool Picton blue and hot pink paradise. The high color contrast creates visual vibrance.

Retro Kumquat

Kumquat Mikado Yellow Persian Blue

Kumquat, yellow and blue evoke a retro ’70s aesthetic. Persian blue also makes kumquat appear warmer and more red by contrast.

Earthy Kumquat

Kumquat Cocoa Brown Dark Olive Green

Paired with rich brown and olive green, kumquat takes on an earthy, natural vibe. The shades complement each other seamlessly.

Subdued Kumquat

Kumquat Alabaster Moss Green

Toning down kumquat with soft alabaster and subtle moss green creates an elegant, relaxing palette. The kumquat retains a pop of color against the neutral backdrop.

Examples of Kumquat in Design

When used effectively, kumquat can be a bold, captivating design choice. Here are some examples of kumquat color in practice:

  • Branding – The Wise Owl Bookstore uses kumquat orange throughout its branding to connote energy and approachability.
  • Packaging – A kumquat fruit jam company labels its jars with matching kumquat hues that capture the fresh, lively essence of the jam inside.
  • Advertising – A theme park creates a summer ad campaign with kumquat spot colors that evoke the excitement of summer at the park.
  • Apparel – A casual clothing brand uses kumquat orange stitching on jackets and pants to inject vibrance into otherwise neutral pieces.
  • Web design – An outdoor recreation company uses kumquat call-to-action buttons that encourage people to book adventures while conveying friendliness.

In each of these examples, kumquat grabs attention in a positive way while aligning with broader messaging and branding goals.


In summary, kumquat is a dynamic reddish-orange color that encapsulates energy, creativity and warmth. It activates designs and evokes positivity when used strategically. Kumquat occupies a balanced space between red and orange tones. While not as widely recognized as primary or secondary colors, kumquat represents a lively, friendly shade that can bring vibrance and character when applied effectively.

So next time you see a vibrant pop of reddish orange, it may just be a dash of kumquat! Understanding the meaning and symbolism behind this color term can provide guidance for incorporating it into engaging, impactful designs.