What Do Colors Mean in Different Cultures?

It’s fascinating to discover how color conjures different traits and perceptions. Especially when you notice the differences among color perceptions across cultures. Studying color perceptions and how people subconsciously respond to color is an imperative activity for designers. Being knowledgeable on color theory helps designers wisely select the appropriate colors for their design projects that communicate to their audience.

Take for example the cultural associations of color in the United States. Warm colors, such as red, orange and yellow, increase anxiety, arousal and appetite. That is why fast food chains often choose the color combination of red and yellow because those colors increase appetite. Conversely, cool colors produce a calming effect and stimulate thinking.

I recently completed the Color Theory for Designers course on HOWU. The course nicely sums up the basics of color theory before diving into more complicated subjects, such as cultural color associations and color considerations for branding. During my color theory studies, I became engrossed in cultural color associations. I am particularly enthused by looking at common color associations among the Chinese and the Middle Eastern cultures. If you want to test your knowledge on color meanings for China and the Middle East, then take these quizzes. Please share in the comment section below if you know interesting facts on different cultures’ colors meanings.

(Want to learn more about color? Enroll in the Color Theory for Designers course.)

3 Quizzes: What Do Colors Mean in Different Cultures?

Play these quizzes to discover common color association for these regions: the United States, Asia, and the Middle East.

Common Color Associations Quiz – U.S


Common Color Associations Quiz – China


Common Color Associations Quiz – Middle East

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