I love lookups! They are the fabbiest excel things ever (how sad). Yes, you can do that though the part about the right/colour is all about how you format. You can use conditional formatting depending on the results but this is separate from the vlookup formula and is only applied to the cells with the results in it.
If you've got a list going down the way you would use vlookup - across is hlookup.
If you're using numbers like 1, 2, 3, etc. you would use vlookup(A1, c1:d4, 2, false), otherwise vlookup(A1, c1:d4, 2, true) if it was the closest match you needed.
There's loads of online help to get you started as well.