With so many festivals and occasions upon us, India (and the rest of the world) is going to break into a riot of colors. Yellow, gold, red, orange, green … so many rich and beautiful colors that just work their magic on us and put us in a festive spirit.
It is, then, appropriate for us to pause for a minute and think about the role that colors play in our lives. Nothing around us is free of colors. From the traffic signal that inspires discipline to our national flag that inspires patriotism, everything is touched by colors. Even language has found a use for them, and we have expressions like ‘black and white’, ‘gray area’, ‘tickled pink’, and ‘green thumb’ that make everyday conversations so much more … ’colorful’!
Marketing strategists, too, employ colors to their advantage. With proper use, they can boost brand recall (think McDonald’s and KFC red, Barbie pink, and Starbuck’s green). Colors can also trigger an emotional response in consumers, which can influence their buying decisions as well.
Here are some more interesting things you may or may not have known about your favorite colors.
Blue is universally recognized for invoking feelings of tranquillity, harmony, trust, friendship, loyalty, and empathy. It is also the least hated color across different cultures and has been chosen as the safest color in the world. Lighter shades are associated with a feeling of freedom, while the darker shades are all about royalty, authority, integrity.
In ancient Egypt, Pharaohs wore blue to ward off evil
In China, blue denotes immortality, but in Iraq, it stands for mourning
The term for ‘Prince Charming’ in Italy and Spain is ‘The Blue Prince’.
In Christianity, blue is a holy color, standing for Jesus Christ’s body
Yellow is probably the happiest color in the spectrum – just something about it has you smiling and thinking cheerful thoughts. From dandelions and sunflowers to cheese and mangoes to sun-kissed beaches, the best things in the world are speckled with yellow! It stands for warmth, optimism, imagination, joy, and hope. The warmer shades of yellow, on the other hand, are associated with spirituality and wisdom.
Yellow was Vincent Van Gogh’s favorite color
In China, yellow was the color of royalty during the Ming Dynasty
The Aztec civilization considered yellow as the symbol of food
Just the mention of pink brings up images of romance, affection, tenderness, and charm. Combining the best traits of white and red, pink is universally known to be a feminine color. It signifies grace, joy, happiness, generosity, and, of course, beauty! Even if you’re not a hardcore lover of all things pink and perfect, there will be at least one shade of pink that you’ll love. Blush, anyone? Rose gold?
Pink has been used in prisons to calm aggression displayed by inmates
In Korea, pink stands for trust and integrity
While traditionally, pink is associated with girls, in Japan, it’s used for both sexes.
We all know that purple stands for royalty and luxury. But this color has yet another aspect to it. It evokes feelings of mystery, magic, and creativity. It’s often recommended for those practicing meditation and it’s known to promote calmness and deep sleep. The lighter shades of purple like lavender and violet are associated with romance, sensuality, and sensitivity. For some reason, the darker hues are preferred by men, whereas women tend to be attracted by lighter shades of purple.
Cleopatra – Queen of the Nile – loved the color purple!
In ancient Rome, purple colored robes were only worn by royalty, because they were really expensive to make
The Chinese consider purple to be a sign of harmony
In Japan, purple stands for wealth, power, and social status
Isn’t all this absolutely fascinating? Who could imagine that colors had so many associations? From being used for marketing to boosting productivity in office spaces, they’ve been at work in society for ages, sometimes overtly and sometimes subliminally. So, the next time you reach instinctively for that orange dress for yourself or gray drapes for your home, you might want to wonder what subconscious association or innate emotion has driven you to make that choice. This just might be a revealing exercise, not to mention a fun one!