Cultural Colour

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Cultural Color
Cultural Meanings of Color and Color Symbolism

An understanding of cultural color and symbolism is essential to anyone doing business with other countries and other societies. These associations with color have been a part of many societies for centuries and you must be aware of both the positive and the negative implications of using particular colors when marketing to these societies.

With the advent of the World Wide Web, there is a narrowing of the differences in meanings of colors between different cultures and countries; however, if you are marketing to a particular ethnic group it is wise to take into account their color associations to maximise your impact. By mixing appropriate amounts of different colours however you can often neutralize inherent negative cultural connotations. This is a basic list of some cultural color meanings throughout the world. It is by no means a comprehensive list. I suggest you do your own research about the country or culture you are working with, to establish what colors are currently acceptable. Times change and old associations may be slowly altered over the years. Cultural Color Meanings of Red:

Western:
• energy, excitement, action
• danger
• love, passion
• a warning to stop
• anger
• Christmas combined with green
• Valentine's Day

Eastern:

• prosperity
• good fortune
• worn by brides
• symbol of joy when combined with white

China:

• the color of good luck and celebration
• vitality, happiness, long life
• used as a wedding color
• used in many ceremonies from funerals to weddings
• used for festive occasions
• traditionally worn on Chinese New Year to bring luck and prosperity

India:
• color of purity, fertility, love, beauty
• wealth, opulence and power
• used in wedding ceremonies
• a sign of a married woman
• also color of fear and fire

Thailand:
• color for Sunday

Japan:
• life
• anger and danger...
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