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Effect of Color on Culture - Essay Example

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Effect of Color on Culture

Colors may be used to symbolize a rite of passage, differentiate between fun and seriousness, male and female, young and old, among other things. Various cultures associate different colors with a different meaning or implication. As such, understanding and appreciating different cultures and there relation to different colors are important for the better and productive interaction of the human race. This study analyses different colors and their effect on different cultures in the world. Color and its Associations across Cultures In the middle ages, color played a very significant role in the western culture especially during weddings. The color chosen by brides had a close relation with their display of wealth. Deeper colors indicated deeper pockets. Red or purple was a good color, but black was considered the best of all colors since it was very expensive to get (Bortoli & Marot 2001). However, there is a change in culture in the west since very few brides go for different colors other than cream or white. This change came in 1840 during the marriage between Queen Victoria and Albert where white color was used. In a survey conducted with students from twenty different countries across the world, students were asked to rate seven colors in twelve semantic differential items. Thereafter, results were recorded for the evaluation of activity and potency. From the findings, blue color was highly evaluated followed by green and white (Bortoli & Marot, 2001). Colors, which were most potent, were red and black while grey and black were the most passive colors. In another survey, people from different cultures, South Korea, USA, Japan and China were requested to state one color among eight that which was closely associated with consumer products. Analysis of results indicated that there are similarities and dissimilarities across cultures. The four culture under study associate blue color with high quality while red with love. Those from Japan, China, and South Korea associate purple with expensive products. On the other hand, those from USA associated the same color with cheap (Bortoli & Marot, 2001). All cultures associate black with power and expensive products. This indicates that color is culturally bound with certain traditions and ideologies. As such, the combination of different colors selected say, for communication and use on product logos especially for multi cultured consumers may convey varied meaning as a result of the color used. The following is an analysis of some colors and their effect in different cultures. In eastern cultures the color, which is mostly preferred by brides, is red. However, there are many cultural dissimilarities and traditions. For example, Arab Muslim brides wear white color just like their western counterpart while Asian Muslim brides put on brightly colored clothes and much jewelry (Bortoli & Marot, 2001). Further, western cultures consider the color black as the color representing death or mourning while in Eastern cultures, including India, China and Japan white color represent death or mourning. In South Africa, red is a color which depicts death or mourning while yellow and purple represent death in Egypt and Thailand respectively. On the other hand, blue in Iranian culture is associated with death. The color blue is considered by many cultures as a very safe color. In most cases, it is associated with healing, tranquility, and health. Specifically, in the United Kingdom, blue is considered a health color (Bortoli & Marot 2001). For example, the National Health Service logo is designed with a blue color while medical practitioner’ ...Show more


A given color can carry diverse meanings in different cultures. For example, orange color is a positive, life affirming and spiritual enlightening color in some cultures. However, in the United States, the same color is associated with road hazards, fast food restaurants and delay of traffics…
Author : bergearmando
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