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Cultural Color

Cultural Color – The Psychology of Color

Cultural Color – having an understanding of cultural factors in colors can make a big difference in you color selection process for interior decorating.

Picture below. A common scene in the West, a traditional bride and groom, the bride dressed in white, symbolizing purity.

A common scene in the West, a traditional bride and groom, the bride dressed in white, symbolizing purity.

Generally, our history and family background give us our initial associations with color creating our own cultural color definitions.

Cultural Color

In the West – white is the traditional color worn by brides for a wedding ceremony, but in China and India it is the color of mourning as it has the association with peace and coolness and provides the humbleness of wearing an undyed cloth. White is more highly regarded in the East than in the West.

In North American tribes white is the color of winter, purification and renewal.

Black in the West is the color for mourning, shown by the clothing that is worn and the car that carries the coffin.

Black in Ancient Egypt was associated with the preparation for the rebirth rather than the ending of a life on earth.

In the West Indies, to commemorate death, they use bright colors to celebrate the souls departure for a happier existence.

Blue has great symbolism in Catholic religious art. The Virgin Mary’s robe is usually blue symbolizing her power of serenity. The clear blue sky often depicted in paintings is used to symbolize heaven.

In the West, we have many colors that are strong emotional symbols.

Green – envy, Yellow – coward, White – purity, Blue – depression, Black – despair, Red – rage.

For more color meanings and definitions

Picture Below. White, the color of winter, purity and serenity.
White, the color of winter, purity and serenity.

A natural richness of color and a great hue to use as a monochromatic color scheme, as everyday we see numerous shades and tints of green combine in the outdoors with great effect.

The walkers here are enjoying the great outdoors. In dry barren countries green is a very strong color, probably to do with its connection with growth and living.

Yellow has very religious associations in Thailand and other Buddhist countries, as the Buddhist monks wear yellow. It is associated with chastity, the shunning of vanity and personal possessions and is more highly regarded in Thailand there than anywhere else in the world.

Our overall perception and our responses to color between the cultures are very similar. We tend to have more uniformity than diversity in our color meanings. Grey, yellow and white are regarded as weak colors, blue is a good color and red is potent and active.

Picture below – Green, the color of growth and nature at its best.

Green, the color of growth and nature at its best. A natural richness of color and a great hue to use as a monochromatic color scheme, as everyday we see numerous shades and tints of green combine in the outdoors with great effect. The walkers here are enjoying the great outdoors.

Picture Below. The traditional West Christmas – Santa Claus is dressed in his jolly red suit. It contrasts well with the snow of the North Pole, it is a happy color and we associate Christmas with the color red.
Red, Yellow, Green and Blue are regarded as the focal colors of mankind. They are colors that we all first learn to associate with when we are young.

The traditional West Christmas – Santa Claus is dressed in his jolly red suit. It contrasts well with the snow of the North Pole, it is a happy color and we associate Christmas with the color red.

For more color meanings and definitions

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About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse
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