It?s a Colorful Planet: The Meaning of Shade Across Borders

As children, we are often asked ?what?s your chosen color?? We belief that our color choice says a great deal about who we have been, and that the questioner will immediately understand its meaning.

But colors, like words, don't carry universal meaning. We all have different reactions to varied tones and shades depending on how and where we had arrived raised, our past experiences with it, and our group of preferences ? which, like children, can transform inexplicably.

The facts are colors carry a lot of meaning ? but that meaning varies drastically across languages, cultures, and national borders. If you are conscious of many of these differences, it will be possible to avoid embarrassing cultural mistakes when talking about and utilizing colors among colleagues, friends, and clients ? and this will help you to market your product effectively in global markets.

Below, a simple guide to 5 colors all over the world.


In Western cultures, black is a member of death, evil, and eternity. In some Eastern cultures, however, would seem impossible to carries the opposite meaning; in China, black is the signature color for young boys, and it is utilized in celebrations and joyous events.

White, alternatively, symbolizes age, death, and misfortune in China plus many Hindu cultures. Across both East and West, however, white typically represents purity, holiness, and peace.


Red is amongst the best colors, and its meanings in most cultures run deep:

China - Celebration, courage, loyalty, success, and luck, among others. Used often in ceremonies, and when combined with white, signifies joy.

Japan - The traditional color for a heroic figure.

Russia - Representative of the Communist era. For this reason, it is suggested to become extremely careful when utilizing this in Eastern European countries.

India - Purity, so wedding costumes tend to be red. Also along with for married women.

United States - Danger (think "red light!") and found in in conjunction with other colors for holidays, including Christmas (green) and Valentine's Day (pink).

Central Africa - Red is really a color of life and health. But in other areas of Africa, red is often a color of mourning and death. To honor this, the Red Cross changed its colors to green and white in South Africa along with other aspects of the continent.


Blue can often be considered to become the "safest" global color, as it can represent anything from immortality and freedom (heaven) to cleanliness (in Colombia, blue is equated with soap). In Western countries, blue can often be viewed as the conservative, "corporate" color.

However, be cautious when using blue to address highly pious audiences: the color has significance in almost every major world religion. For Hindus, it could be the hue of Krishna, and lots of with the gods are depicted with blue-colored skin. For Christians, blue invokes images of Catholicism, specially the Virgin Mary. Jewish religious texts and rabbinic sages have noted blue to become a holy color, while the Islamic Qur'an refers to evildoers whose eyes are glazed with fear as زرق zurq, which could be the plural of azraq, or blue.


Until natural foods companies started marketing green beverages as healthy and good-tasting, many Western people thought green food was poisonous. Today, green is regarded as an even more positive color. American retailers are leveraging the environmental movement to market eco-friendly goods, often using green-themed packaging or ad campaigns to point a product's compliance with "green" standards. Not so in China and France, where studies have indicated that green is not a option for packaging.


If the Dutch have everything to say about this, the World Cup is going to be flooded with lots of orange august. (Orange could be the national colour of the Netherlands and the uniform hue of the country's website famous football team.)

On sleep issues from the world, however, orange has a better sober meaning: within Hinduism, orange carries religious significance as along with for Hindu swamis. Throughout Southeast Asia, Theravada Buddhist monks also wear orange robes.

So before your inner child enthusiastically discusses your color preference to foreign friends or colleagues, you may want to find out more on that color and its particular cultural significance. Also, be conscious of color choices since they relate with your organization?s campaign copy and graphics ? whether it be printed collateral, a web site, or marketing campaign. Know your target market in addition to their respective color conventions which means you don?t inadvertently send an unacceptable message. We recommend this useful visual representation by Information is Beautiful.

Oh one more thing, the most popular colors at Acclaro are blue and orange.

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