Color color everywhere..

Color color everywhere..

I am feeling blue!!
She looks red hot!!
It’s easy being green!!

In 1666, English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors. Newton also found that each color is made up of a single wavelength and cannot be separated any further into other colors.

Further experiments demonstrated that light could be combined to form other colors. For example, red light mixed with yellow light creates an orange color. Some colors, such as yellow and purple, cancel each other out when mixed and result in a white light.

That is indeed the scientific explanation of color. Thanks to Wikipedia that helped me extract this. But today we see color, speak color, hear color and use it in many more ways apart from painting. Just as music conveys emotion and intent through sound, color communicates messages in visual language, setting the tone for the purpose of the space, influencing our feelings and touching our inner selves.

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. That’s a given.

But little do we know that the colors associations are differentiated on a Chinese concept called YIN and YANG. The principle of Yin and Yang is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture in general dating from the third century BCE or even earlier. This principle is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example female-male, dark-light and old-young.

Yin in feminine and Yang is masculine and hence all the softer colors like pink are associated with yin and all receding colors like blue are associated with yang. Does this mean girls only wear pink and boys only wear blue?  Absolutely not!!! The principle helps you choose your colors based on the situation and not necessarily on feminism or masculinity.

If you want to be more authoritative you choose to wear more yang colors and if you want to be more approachable you can choose the yin colors.

If it is a social occasion and you need to dress up casually you can choose yin colors irrespective of whether you are a man or a woman.

If it is a business meeting for a serious discussion it makes sense to choose Yang colors even if you are a woman.

Every individual has yin and yang in him/her, the idea is to balance it well depending on your situation.

We all know, colors play a major part in the branding industry but how does it help an individual use them wisely for them to be globally effective. Different colors mean different things in different places.

Time for some Gyaan……

Purple for example is a color of mourning in Thailand. In western culture however, it is associated with royalty, luxury, wealth and sometimes magic. The brand color for Thai Airways is purple. On first glance this seems like a huge error on their part because as mentioned above, purple is a color of mourning in Thailand. It is most likely however, that the Thai Airways website isn’t aimed at locals but at tourists, therefore if westerners view the site and see purple it will associate Thai Airways with values such as luxury and comfort. So, when in Thailand we might want to avoid the color purple in happy occasions.  In western cultures black is a color of mourning. In Japan however it is a color of honor, with white the color of mourning just like us. Red in the west represents danger, love, passion. In India it is a colour of purity(our Kumkuma), in China it is a colour of good luck and in South Africa it is a color of mourning. Yellow represents courage in Japan, mourning in Egypt and hope in the West.

So in case you thought color as just a color then think twice!!

Bhanu khathuria
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