Colours: they’re everywhere, and everyone has their favourite. But a colour can mean different things depending on where in the world you are. In part one of a two-part article, we are going to explore what colours mean around the world.
A feeling of calm or sadness? Blue is a colour that is linked to a multitude of emotions which is why it is used all over the world to portray different types of feelings. Within Europe and North America, the colour blue is used to represent trust, security and can be thought of as a soothing colour, although some cooler shades of blue can portray loneliness and depression. In the cultures of Egypt, Turkey, Greece and West Asia, the colour blue is often used in talismans as protection against the evil eye.
The colour green has various meanings. In Ireland, green stands for good luck and wealth – think of four leaf clovers and leprechauns. In China, green hats for men are taboo as the colour symbolises adultery within marriage. On the other hand, in the middle east and other eastern cultures, green can symbolise fertility, youth and new life.
According to Feng Shui, the colour purple attracts prosperity. Around the world, this rich colour is traditionally known for being associated with royalty and wealth. However, in Brazil and Thailand it is the colour of mourning. In the USA, purple symbolises honour and courage, as represented by the Purple Heart, which is the highest military decoration that can be awarded to soldiers, marines and other military servicemen, who have been wounded or killed in active service.
Across Europe, the colour white symbolises purity, with white wedding dresses being popular for this reason. However, in some Asian countries such as China and Korea, white is the colour of death and mourning, with most people wearing white to funerals. In the UK during World War 1, a white feather would be given to young men of fighting age, to shame them into enlisting as soldiers. In contrast, in the United States, a white feather symbolises courage and bravery amongst combatants.
This is the most symbolic colour across the world, as it has an array of various meanings. This can range from love and passion, to death and aggression. Within Asian cultures red symbolises good luck, celebration and happiness. Red envelopes containing money are often given throughout China on Chinese New Year, and brides in India often wear red on their wedding day. However, in some African countries, people associate red with death, and in Nigeria it is associated with aggression.
Whatever your favourite colour, depending on where you are in the world will depend on how it is perceived by others. Our skilled design team believe that to create a great brand image, there needs to be extensive research into colours to reflect your business in the best possible way, wherever in the world you are.
Look out for part two coming soon, where you will learn which colour symbolises remembrance as well as deceit.