Color and Meaning<br />
Red<br />Red is the color of fire and blood. Hebrew words for blood and red have the same origin: "dm" means red and "dom"...
Orange<br />The color we know as orange was referred to in Old English as “geoluhread,” which means yellow-red. The word “...
Yellow<br />The word yellow comes from the Old English geolu. Yellow is associated with sunshine, knowledge, and the flour...
Green<br />The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, “to grow.” Green is the color of life. It is ...
Blue<br />Blue is the color of sky and water. From the time of the ancient Egyptians, the blue depths of water personified...
Purple<br />The word “purple” comes from the Old English word “purpul,” which is from the Latin “purpura” and from the anc...
Black<br />The color black represents opposing ideas: authority and humility, rebellion and conformity, and wealth and pov...
White<br />White objects such as clouds, snow, and flowers often appear in nature, creating many references within our hum...
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
Color and Meaning
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Color and Meaning

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Color and Meaning

  1. 1. Color and Meaning<br />
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Red<br />Red is the color of fire and blood. Hebrew words for blood and red have the same origin: "dm" means red and "dom" means blood. Blood and fire have both positive and negative connotations: bloodshed, aggression, war, and hate are on one side, and love, warmth and compassion on the other side. <br />In ancient Egypt, red was the color of life and of victory. During celebrations, Egyptians would paint their bodies with red ochre. The normal skin tone of Egyptian men was depicted as red, without any negative connotation.<br />Ancient Greeks associated the bright, luminous red with the male principle. Red was also the color of the Greek gods of war, Phoebus and Ares. In prehistoric cultures, however, red was associated with the female principle. Mother Earth provided the Neolithic peoples with red ochre, which was credited with life-giving powers. The association of the red color with the female principle in Japan survives to the present day.<br />
  4. 4. Orange<br />The color we know as orange was referred to in Old English as “geoluhread,” which means yellow-red. The word “orange” was adopted after the eponymous fruit was introduced to English via the Spanish word naranja, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga. Orange conveys energy, enthusiasm, and balance. It has less intensity or violence than red, and is calmed by the happiness of yellow. The color orange often relates to autumn, when the leaves turn shades of orange and brown. Orange is also tied to Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, the color orange represents fire, a metaphor for the inner transformation that is experienced by swamis donning orange robes.<br />Orange is also used for safety purposes as a warning color. Orange can be found on dangerous machinery, high visibility clothing, and traffic cones.<br />
  5. 5. Yellow<br />The word yellow comes from the Old English geolu. Yellow is associated with sunshine, knowledge, and the flourishing of living creatures, but also with autumn and maturity. The yellow sun was one of humanity’s most important symbols and was worshiped as God in many cultures. According to Greek mythology, the sun-god Helios wore a yellow robe and rode in a golden chariot drawn by four fiery horses across the heavenly firmament. The radiant yellow light of the sun personified divine wisdom.<br />In China, yellow is assigned to the active and creative male Yang principle, while ancient Egyptians ascribed yellow to the female principle.<br />In the English language, yellow has traditionally been associated with jaundice and cowardice. In Italy, "yellow" ("giallo") refers to crime stories, both fictional and real. This association began around 1930, when the first published series of crime novels had yellow covers.<br />Yellow is also the color of caution. Yellow lights signal drivers to slow down in anticipation of stopping. Construction scenes and other dangerous area are often enclosed by a bright yellow barricade tape repeating the word "caution."<br />
  6. 6. Green<br />The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, “to grow.” Green is the color of life. It is the color of seasonal renewal. Since verdant spring triumphs over barren winter, green symbolizes hope and immortality. The Chinese associate green (and black) with the female Yin - the passive and receiving principle. Islam venerates the color green, expecting paradise to be full of lush vegetation. Green is also associated with regeneration, fertility, and rebirth due to its connections with nature.<br />In Alchemy, solvents for gold were named "Green Lion" or "Green Dragon" by the alchemists. Such liquids were instrumental in the beginning of the alchemistic Opus Magnum. Transparent green crystal symbolized the "secret fire," which represented the living spirit of substances.<br />In some cultures, green symbolizes hope and growth, while in others, it is associated with death, sickness, or the devil. It can also describe someone who is inexperienced, jealous, or sick.<br />
  7. 7. Blue<br />Blue is the color of sky and water. From the time of the ancient Egyptians, the blue depths of water personified the female principle, while sky blue was associated with the male principle. Blue is the color of all heavenly gods and stands for distance, for the divine, and for the spiritual.<br />Blue is also the symbol of fidelity. Blue flowers, such as forget-me-nots and violets, symbolize faithfulness. According to an old English custom, a bride wears blue ribbons on her wedding gown and a blue sapphire in her wedding ring. Tiny flowers of blue speedwell are part of the wedding bouquet.<br />In the English language, blue sometimes refers to sadness. The phrase "feeling blue" is linked to a custom amongst old sailing ships. If a ship loses her captain, she would fly blue flags when returning to home port.<br />In German, to be "blue" (blausein) is to be drunk. This derives from the ancient use of urine (which is produced copiously by the human body after drinking alcohol) in dyeing cloth blue with woad or indigo. However, the color blue also had other associations in Germany. The Blue Flower was the symbol of German 19th century Romanticism, thanks to the novel fragment Heinrich von Ofterdingen, by the German poet Novalis.<br />
  8. 8. Purple<br />The word “purple” comes from the Old English word “purpul,” which is from the Latin “purpura” and from the ancient Greek “porphyra.” This was the name of the Tyrian purple dye manufactured in classical antiquity. In human color psychology, purple is associated with royalty and nobility because Tyrian purple was only affordable to the elite. Byzantine empresses gave birth in the Purple Chamber. Therefore, Porphyrogenitus ("born to the purple") was the name of an emperor which gained his throne by dinasty and not by force.<br />Purples are the shades of color occurring between red and blue. On a chromaticity diagram, the line connecting the extreme spectral colors red and violet is known as the “line of purples.”<br />Some confusion exists concerning the color names "purple" and "violet.” Purple is typically defined as a mixture of red and blue light, whereas violet is a specific spectral color (approximately 380-420 nm).<br />
  9. 9. Black<br />The color black represents opposing ideas: authority and humility, rebellion and conformity, and wealth and poverty. Black also signifies absence, modernity, power, elegance, professionalism, mystery, evil, traditionalism, and sorrow.<br />Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God.<br />In Western countries, black is the color of mourning, while in many African countries white is the color worn during funerals.<br />In Japanese culture, black means experience, as opposed to white, which symbolizes naiveté. Thus the black belt is a mark of achievement and seniority in many martial arts, whereas a white belt is worn by beginners.<br />
  10. 10. White<br />White objects such as clouds, snow, and flowers often appear in nature, creating many references within our human culture to the color white. In some cultures, like China’s, the color white represents death and illness. In many cultures, however, white represents freedom, purity, and innocence. This is why, for example, white is worn by brides in Western countries.<br />In ancient Egypt, white suggested omnipotence and purity. The name of the holy city of Memphis meant "White Walls." White sandals were worn at holy ceremonies. Ritual objects, such as small ceremonial bowls, were often white.<br />The high contrast between white and black is often used to represent opposite concepts, such as day and night, and good and evil. In Taoism, which has great influence in Eastern culture, yin and yang are usually depicted in black and white.<br />Toxic lead white was used by artists for hundreds of years before it was widely banned in the late 20th century. Lead white was commonly used not only as a canvas primer, but also for creating tints of various colors as well as highlights. Lead white was also regularly used in cosmetics, often with fatal consequences.<br />

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