It?s a Vibrant Globe: The Meaning of Coloration Across Borders

As children, we're often asked ?what?s your favorite color?? We considered that our color choice says a good deal about who we have been, which the questioner will immediately understand its meaning.

But colors, like words, do not carry universal meaning. We all have different reactions to several tones and shades depending on how and where we had arrived raised, our past experiences by it, and our group of preferences ? which, like children, can alter inexplicably.

The simple truth is colors carry a good deal of meaning ? but that meaning varies drastically across languages, cultures, and national borders. If you are mindful of some of these differences, you will be able to avoid embarrassing cultural mistakes when discussing and utilizing colors among colleagues, friends, and clients ? and this will assist you to advertise your product effectively in global markets.

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


In Western cultures, black is owned by death, evil, and eternity. In some Eastern cultures, however, many times, it carries the alternative meaning; in China, black is the signature color for young children, and is also employed in celebrations and joyous events.

White, on the other hand, symbolizes age, death, and misfortune in China as well as in many Hindu cultures. Across both East and West, however, white typically represents purity, holiness, and peace.


Red is among the strongest colors, as well as meanings for 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 any heroic figure.

Russia - Representative from the Communist era. For this reason, experts recommend being extremely careful when utilizing this in Eastern European countries.

India - Purity, so wedding costumes are often red. Also the colour for married women.

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

Central Africa - Red is often a hue of life and health. But in other regions of Africa, red can be a colour of mourning and death. To honor this, the Red Cross changed its colors to green and white in South Africa as well as other aspects of the continent.


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

However, be mindful when working with blue to cope with highly pious audiences: the colour has significance in almost every major world religion. For Hindus, it will 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 being a holy color, whilst the Islamic Qur'an is the term for evildoers whose eyes are glazed with fear as زرق zurq, which may 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 considered a more positive color. American retailers are leveraging the environmental movement to sell eco-friendly goods, often using green-themed packaging or ad campaigns to suggest a product's compliance with "green" standards. Not so in China and France, where reports have indicated that green is not a good option for packaging.


If the Dutch have everything to say over it, the more info World Cup will probably be flooded with many different orange come july 1st. (Orange is the national hue of the Netherlands as well as the uniform colour of the country's famous football team.)

On lack of with the world, however, orange has a slightly more sober meaning: within Hinduism, orange carries religious significance as the colour 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 might want to discover more about that color and its particular cultural significance. Also, be conscious of color choices because they connect with your small business?s campaign copy and graphics ? whether printed collateral, a website, or marketing strategy. Know your target market as well as their respective color conventions so that you don?t inadvertently send a bad message. We recommend this useful visual representation by Information is Beautiful.

Oh and by the way, the most popular colors at Acclaro are blue and orange.

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