How Colour Is Interpreted Differently Around the World

Kelsey Clark
PHOTO:

Alyssa Rosenheck for DominoDESIGN: Elsie Larson

Colour is a truly powerful thing—in can inspire creativity, induce anger, or even influence your chances of landing a job. Those studying to become an artist or interior designer will even take an entire course dedicated to colour psychology, deciphering the unique ways in which each shade influences mood and connotes meaning.

While it may be second nature for Americans to see red and think anger, blue and think serenity, or yellow and think happiness, colours actually hold different meanings around the world. Simply put, colour is not a universally understood concept, like how waving hello means the same thing all over the world, for example. London-based SEO and content marketing agency Kaizen Search recently looked into the various cultural implications of colour all over the world, creating an intriguing infographic on the subject. Here are a few interesting takeaways:

  • In Belgium, the colour pink was traditionally associated with baby boys but has in recent years changed allegiance, to baby girls.
  • Yellow is a masculine colour in China, associated with imperial history and loyalty.
  • In Mexico, the colour green represents independence and is the national colour worn by Mexican sports teams. In China, a green hat is the symbol of adultery.
  • Orange represents female sexual fertility in Colombia.
  • In Brazil and Thailand, the colour purple represents mourning and is often worn to funerals.

Check out the infographic for more, and share your unique interpretations of colour in the comments below.

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