Color Meaning, Affects, Significance, and Symbolism for Art, Literature, and Emotions
- Excitement, intensity, power, danger, aggressive, violent, war, military, intense, love, passion, energy, stop, hot, warm, fire, blood, fortitude, magnanimity ( Western)
- Brides (Eastern)
- Good luck, celebration, summoning (China)
- Purity (India)
- Communism (Russia)
- Mourning (South Africa)
- Success, triumph (Cherokee)
- Creativity, autumn, vibrant, happy, joy, warm, social, enthusiastic, caution, attention, (Western)
- Protestants (Ireland)
- Sunshine, hope, confidence, optimistic, generosity, happiness, joy, curiosity, interest, warmth, energy, hazards, coward, deceit (Western)
- Nourishing (China)
- Mourning (Egypt)
- Merchants (India)
- Courage (Japan)
- Spring, new, hope, happiness, joy, birth, fertile, abundant, generous, life, eternal, loyal, balance, harmony, peace,nature, jealousy, envy, sick, ill, inexperience, youthful, novice, humble, go, environmentally friendly (Western)
- Green hat indicates a man's wife is cheating on him, exorcism (China)
- Islam (India)
- Peace, calm, relaxing, cool, cold, strong, steadfast, loyalty, truthfulness, wise, inspiring, friendly, caring, trustworthy, depression, sadness, conservative, corporate (IBM-big blue), "something blue": - bride, ice, sky, water, (Western)
- Heaven, spirituality (Iran)
- Defeat, trouble (Cherokee)
- Strength, intuition, justice, truthful, idealistic, wise, mysterious, spiritual
Purple - Violet
- Royalty, noble, majestic, inspirational, sovereignty, justice, wise, just, kind, caring, mysterious, sacrifice, spiritual, visionary, creative (Western)
- Mourning (Thailand)
- Brides, angels, "good guys", hospitals, clinical, sterile, doctors, peace - white dove, sincerity, pure, innocent, stability, power, trustworthy, snow, winter, cold, all colors (#FFF) (Western)
- Funerals (Eastern)
- White carnation - death (Japan)
- Funerals, death, mourning, grief, evil, "bad-guys" rebellion, power, formal, sophisticated, constancy, mysterious, serious, sexy, absence of color (#000) (Western)
- Color for boys (China)
- Natural, nature, earthy, woody, stony, warm, strong, long lasting, constancy, mature, simple (Western)
- Neutral, cloudy, moody, conservative (Western)
- Female, love, romance, charm, calm, caring, female activism, mischievous, playful, be yourself, breast cancer awareness (Western) See color study: pink.
- Money, success, high quality, wealth, generosity, 50 anniversary
- Peace , sincerity, 25 anniversary (Western)
Color study or Investigation of color in culture:
Etymology, literature, fashion, historical symbolism … sample for color pink
- Ask students to brainstorm how color is used.
- Share their ideas and list different categories for color use.
- Emotional meaning
- In literature
- Etymology use of word
- Fashion, textiles, dyes, and paint
- History of different cultural use and meaning.
Color pink fact sheet
1650 Pink is first used to describe the color pink. Origin from the common name of the dianthus flower: commonly called pinks.
Earlier pinked is used for serrated or scalloped edge, as a cut made with pinking shears.
Used with other words
pink elephant, pink eye, pink panther, Pink Floyd, Pink singer,
Fashion, textiles, and dyes
Cochineal was used in South and Central America since 450 CE as a scarlet, pink, and red fabric dye. Cochineal, is a dye made from the Dactylopius coccus, a scale insect that lives on prickly pear cactus.
Spain took cochineal to Europe and used in clothing for both sexes. They kept it secret for years. It was expensive and became the go to color for aristocrats and people of means (1700’s).
Pinkie a portrait of Sarah Moulton, by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1794). Here pink represents youth, innocence and tenderness.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Amy uses color to distinguish twin babies.
"Most remarkable children I ever saw. Which is which?" and Laurie bent like a well-sweep to examine the prodigies."
"Amy put a blue ribbon on the boy and a pink on the girl, French fashion, so you can always tell. Besides, one has blue eyes and one brown.”
Eloise by Kay Thompson (actress, composer, and singer) and illustrated by Hilary Knight who uses black and white illustrations with pink highlights.
Movie Legally Blonde 2001 movie where main character is fond of pink and submits her resume on pink paper.
Movie Mean Girls (pink Wednesdays)
- 1650 Pink color for pink flowers
- 1794 Pinkie portrait of Sarah Moulton by Thomas Lawrence represents youth, innocence, and tenderness.
- 1867 Pink used in reference to young girls. Little Women
- 1955 Eloise by Kay Thompson (actress, composer, and singer) and illustrated by Hilary Knight who uses black and white illustrations with pink highlights.
- 1959 Market pink for girls. Barbie doll, docile women, unrealistic female body shape and size.
- 1970 Associated with backlash of women’s equal rights (ERA).
- 1990 Breast cancer awareness
- 2001 Legally Blonde movie where main character is fond of pink and submits her resume on pink paper. Empower women, pink power, …
- 2017 Pussy hats and The Women's March as a worldwide protest for human rights