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What is True Colors?

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True Colors® is a model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament.

The colors of Orange, Gold, Green and Blue are used to differentiate the four central True Colors® personality styles. Each of us has a combination of the four True Colors that make up our personality spectrum, usually with one of the styles being the most dominant. By identifying your personality (and the personalities of others), True Colors provides insights into different motivations, actions, and communication approaches. The core of the system identifies intrinsic values, motivations, self-esteem, sources of dignity and worthiness, causes of stress, communication styles, listening styles, non-verbal responses, language patterns, social skills, learning styles, environmental motivators, cultural appeal, negative mental states, relationship orientation, and ethical behaviors.

Hence, by understanding each individual’s personality type, teams can improve communication through the recognition of a person’s true character, transforming True Colors into an uncomplicated language for every individual to convey complex ideas very simply.

True Colors works because it is based on true principles and easy to remember and use – in all kinds of circumstances – from personal relationships to professional success.

True Colors International has been delivering services in business, education, government, military, non-profits, family, and community settings. Designed to be simply infused through a large variety of methods, the True Colors approach has been experienced by millions of people worldwide in the US, Canada, Latin American, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Clients include many Fortune 500 companies, school districts, higher education institutions, non-profits, government agencies, and the military. All of which testify to the benefits of True Colors.

A Brief History of True Colors

The theory behind True Colors can be traced back to when Hippocrates (460BC) identified four different temperaments of humans: Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and the Melancholic… and in Plato’s (428BC) ideas about character and personality.

Many great thinkers around the world have expounded upon this theory throughout the ages from the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations to modern psychologists with relative consistency of these various interpretations (Adickes, Jung, Spranger, Kreschmar, Fromm, Keirsey). 

In 1978 founder Don Lowry, further developed the personality concepts he had studied and was the first to apply the color metaphors of Orange, Gold, Green, and Blue to the four temperaments, coining this methodology: True Colors. 

Join us as True Colors celebrates over 30 years of success in sharing all the benefits of the True Colors methodology being a simple, easy-to-use personality assessment and communication system. We have been licensing people to facilitate our workshops, courses, and programs. These can be used for organizations, consultants, and independent business people to use as a tool for communicating, resolving conflict, increasing teamwork, improving wellness, and many other uses. The element of greatest importance is to always craft a solution that is just right for each organization

About True Colors®

What is True Colors


The Four Colors Personalities

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The True Colors Character Cards: What They Are & Why We Use Them

Recognizing the potential of the True Colors concepts to improve people’s lives, careers, and relationships, Lowry set about developing a fundamental and universal way to package the information so it could be understood and easily applied by both children and adults alike.

Don Lowry originally selected theater as an entertaining way to acquaint people with the powerful insights of temperament. In order to involve the audience in the process, he developed the True Colors character cards. The cards offered a gratifying, hands-on experience in discovering their True Colors personality traits.

Little did he know at the time, the simplicity of these cards would be key to the ease of use and lasting impact of True Colors.


Flip a switch – the light comes on. Simple as that, right? Most of us don’t take the time to step back and consider the vast technology of electricity that lies behind this simple act, and yet we enjoy the benefits of the light bulb numerous times throughout the day.

The same could be said of the True Colors Character Card Sort – on the surface it seems like a simple act, yet behind this simple process is decades of personality research and observation. Once you sort the cards into your unique personality spectrum your personality will take on a new light. Frequently from this one activity individuals have remarked, “Oh, so THAT’S why I do things that way”, or “Now I understand my spouse/mate better”. The card sort is a deceptively simple, yet profoundly effective way to discover your unique personality and begin your exploration with True Colors.


The Meaning Behind the Colors of True Colors

Color has been used to shape and describe our lives, our habits, our values, and our feelings throughout the ages. Research into the physiological effects of color has shown that it truly has an impact on our lives, often in unconscious and mysterious ways. The colors for the True Colors model were chosen to correspond with the various metaphors associated with each Color.

Orange is a color often used to promote action, motivation, excitement. Orange urges you to PAY ATTENTION – wake up and seize the moment, make quick decisions…take advantage of the immediate opportunity available right now! Orange encourages a playful atmosphere of activity and movement. Think of the flash of fire, shimmer of sparklers on the fourth of July, or the flame of a match – hot, dazzling, Orange energy.



Gold is a color with numerous metaphors associated with it. Think of the common phrase, “Good as Gold”. It represents value, stability, and strength. The expression “Solid Goldwork ethic” conjures up an image of someone who is very responsible… on time, organized, fulfills their obligations with stellar dependability, efficiency, and thoroughness. The classic expression “sets the Gold standard” is also a suitable fit.



Green is an expression of logic – the system of existence and the abundance of this color in nature. Greens are concerned with the world’s challenges, such as preserving the wisdom of mother earth for the future. Psychological research has shown the color Green to have a calming effect and many Greens demonstrate a composed demeanor using mind over emotion to orchestrate and solve the mysteries of life.



Blue is a color that has been shown to soothe the central nervous system. It fosters psychological contentment and physical tranquility. It can be said that when a person is feeling BLUE, they are experiencing emotional intensity and sensitivity to the dramas of life. The figure of speech referring to “True Blues” takes on the meaning of friendship, helpers, “there when you need them” individuals that will go the extra mile for others.