Meaning in Color
Deciphering the ways people respond to color is not an exact science. In fact, finding meaning in colors is very much a continuation of the cross-cultural process, where the culture you grew up in will undoubtedly effect the associations you instinctively make when viewing a particular color. Based on what I have found from various places on the Internet, here are some examples of how culture influences the way we respond to color. They should be considered when creating an advertising campaign to a specific region of the world.
In the West, we often associate the color red with; danger, love, passion, excitement, sacrifice, stopping, Christmas and power. In parts of Europe, the color red can also conjure up associations of masculinity. In places like Russia, red is the color of communism. In celtic regions, red generally symbolizes dealth and the afterlife.
In Eastern Asia, Red is the color of Joy, and is also a bridal color. In China, red is the color of celebration, good luck, happiness and a long life. In India, the red is the color for purity.
If we look at Africa, many countries associate the color red with death. In Nigeria, red can speak of wealth, vitality or aggression. In other areas of Africa, red can mean good luck. In South Africa, red is the color of mourning. So if using color to communicate in Africa, it is important that you be very specific about who you are targeting.
In places like Egypt, red can stand for luck, and in Iran the color red means good fortune.
If we turn to the native tribes that exist within Australia and New Zealand, the color red represents the land and earth to the aboriginals, and nobility and divinity to the Maori people.
From the notes of Christian leader John Paul Jackson, the color red is prophetically a “Spirit Color” , and has both positive and negative connotations prophetically speaking. In the positive, the color red represents wisdom, anointing, power, Spirit of the Lord, prayer, blood atonement, passion, emotion, strength, energy, love, enthusiasm, heat. In a negative sense, the color red represents anger, war, sin, death, rage, lust, hatred, bloodshed.
In Western nations such as the United States and Ireland, the color orange conjures up feeling of autumn, the harvest, and in America specifically, it represents Halloween. In the Netherlands orange is the national color, and symbolises royalty. In the Ukrain, orange stands for strength.
In Eastern Asia, places like India, orange is considered to be a sacred color, such as in the spice, Saffron. In Japan and China people associate orange with courage, happiness and love. In countries like Egypt, orange is the color of mourning.
From the notes of Christian leader John Paul Jackson, the color orange has both positive and negative connotations prophetically speaking. In the positive, the color orange represents perseverance, Spirit of Wisdom, energy, heat, persecution, playfulness. In a negative sense, the color orange represents stubbornness, strong willed, rebellion, witchcraft, Buddhism, danger, harm, jeopardy, warning; (if the fruit: Love Psalm 2:12)
In the West, yellow is a color of hope, happiness and warmth. It can also symbolize cowardice, weakness, hazards and taxis … especially if you life in New York City! In Germany, yellow is the color of envy, while in Italy, yellow is the color of summer! The Ukraine associates hospitality and benevolence with the color yellow.
In Eastern Asia, yellow is considered sacred and imperial. In China, yellow is the color of royalty and is associated with nourishment. In India, yellow is the color for commerce, and in Japan yellow represents courage.
In Latin American nations such as Mexico, yellow is the color associated with mourning. The same is true in African nations such as Ethiopia and Egypt. South Africa, on the other hand, attributes the color yellow to wealth, and Saudi Arabia sees yellow as being a color of strength and reliability.
From the notes of Christian leader John Paul Jackson, the color yellow is prophetically a “Soul Color” , and has both positive and negative connotations prophetically speaking. In the positive, the color yellow represents mind, hope, gift of God, Spirit of Understanding, soul, hope, marriage, teacher, family, joy, renewed mind,, summer, courage, welcome home, honor. In a negative sense, the color yellow can represent fear, coward, intellectual pride (mind/logic rules when u pray) (anti-color of blue), illness, dishonesty, deceitful, timidity, weakness.
In Western nations, green is the color of environmental awareness, spring, new birth, going, Christmas, St. Patricks Day. In Ireland specifically, green is the national color, and is also the color of Catholicism. In The United states, green is also the color of money!
In Eastern Asian counties like China, green is used in association with exorcism and infidelity. In India, and much of the Middle East, green is the color for Islam. Japan on the other hand, sees green as symbolizing life and to being a high-tech color.
In North Africa, green is the color of corruption, whereas in South Africa, it is the color of nature. In the Middle East, greens association with Islam also makes it a color of holiness and fertility. Interestingly, even though Indonesia is a muslim country, green is seen as being the forbidden color, and in some other areas such as Malasia, green is associated with danger.
Globally speaking, everyone seems to agree that green is a military color. Also, studies have shown that green is not a good color to use with packaging design, as psychologically it detracts people from wanting to buy it.
From the notes of Christian leader John Paul Jackson, the color green is prophetically a “Spirit Color” , and has both positive and negative connotations prophetically speaking. In the positive, the color green represents conscience (what God is telling you), growth, prosperity, Spirit of Counsel, wealth, health, money, provision, generosity, new life, go, nature, eternal life, spring, fertility, youth, environment. On the negative side, the color green can also represent envy, jealousy, pride, aggression, inexperienced, immature, misfortune.
In the West, especially the United States… blue is for boys!!! Many banks also use it, as it is a symbol of trust. In Scandinavia, blue is a soothing color, and it also has associations of cleanliness. In the Ukrain, the color blue represents good health.
In Eastern Asia, such as China, the color blue represents immortality. In India, blue represents Krishna. In Columbia, blue is the color for soap. In Nigeria, blue is a very positive color, and in South Africa, blue speaks of happiness. In Middle Eastern counties, blue is a protective color, used in the evil eye to ward of evil spirits. In Iran, it is the color of heaven and spirituality. In Isreal, blue is the color for holiness.
Globally speaking, the color blue is considered to be the safest and most positive of all the colors.
From the notes of Christian leader John Paul Jackson, the color blue is prophetically a “Spirit Color”, and has both positive and negative connotations prophetically speaking. In the positive, the color blue represents communion, revelation, Spirit of Might, God’s Glory, purity, faith, heaven, healing, peace, unity, calmness, confidence, grace, tranquillity, water, dependability. In a negative sense, the color blue can mean depression, sorrow, anxiety, divination (occult knowledge), isolation, hopelessness.
In the West, purple is the color of royalty. That is one of the only major assosiations we make with the color purple in the West. In China, the color purple is understood as representing nobility, and in India purple is the color for reincarnation. In Thailand, purple is the color of mourning, as it is also in Brazil. In Egypt, the color purple is the color of virtue.
From the notes of Christian leader John Paul Jackson, the color purple has both positive and negative connotations prophetically speaking. In the positive, the color purple represents authority, royalty, intercession, apostle, kingship and creativity. In a negative sense, it can represent false authority, licentiousness, arrogance, gaudiness, exaggeration, dishonesty, Jezebel.
As we can see, every culture has a very unique way of approaching color. It is also interesting to note that much of the prophetic meanings associated with color fall somewhere into how different people around the world make instinctive associations. If you have any thoughts on color, or have further input that you think would benefit being included in this collection, please let me know.