It?s a Colorful World: The Indicating of Coloration Across Borders

As children, we are often asked ?what?s your preferred color?? We believed that our color choice says a good deal about who we have been, understanding that the questioner will immediately understand its meaning.

But colors, like words, do not carry universal meaning. We all have different reactions to various tones and shades depending on how and where i was raised, our past experiences by using it, and our group of preferences ? which, like children, can change inexplicably.

The fact is colors carry a good deal of meaning ? but that meaning varies drastically across languages, cultures, and national borders. If you are conscious of a few of these differences, you will be able in order to avoid embarrassing cultural mistakes when referring to and ultizing colors among colleagues, friends, and clients ? and it will enable you to market your product effectively in global markets.

Below, a simple guide to 5 colors around the globe.


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

White, conversely, 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 one of the strongest colors, and its particular meanings generally in most cultures run deep:

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

Japan - The traditional color for the heroic figure.

Russia - Representative in the Communist era. For this reason, it is suggested being extremely careful when you use this in Eastern European countries.

India - Purity, so wedding costumes in many cases are red. Also large for married women.

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

Central Africa - Red is a colour of life and health. But in other regions of Africa, red get more info is really a colour of mourning and death. To honor this, the Red Cross changed its colors to green and white in South Africa and other areas of the continent.


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

However, be cautious when you use blue to cope with highly pious audiences: the color has significance in nearly all major world religion. For Hindus, it may be the hue of Krishna, and a lot of in the gods are depicted with blue-colored skin. For Christians, blue invokes images of Catholicism, especially the Virgin Mary. Jewish religious texts and rabbinic sages have noted blue to be a holy color, as the Islamic Qur'an refers to 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 regarded as 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 point out 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 over it, the World Cup will likely be flooded with many different orange come early july. (Orange may be the national color of the Netherlands and also the uniform color of the country's famous football team.)

On the other side with the world, however, orange includes a better sober meaning: within Hinduism, orange carries religious significance as the color 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 about that color and its cultural significance. Also, be conscious of color choices while they relate with your small business?s campaign copy and graphics ? whether it be printed collateral, a website, or marketing strategy. Know your target market in addition to their respective color conventions so you don?t inadvertently send a bad message. We recommend this useful visual representation by Information is Beautiful.

Oh and by the way, our favorite colors at Acclaro are blue and orange.

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