Originally written by myself on September 16, 2010...
I have always been fascinated by colours.
More importantly, I've always been fascinated by the meanings of colours. Why colours are used. What makes people decide to use the colours they do, or wear the colours they wear.
I thought I would look at it through a variety of different meanings and old wives tales by using my three favourite colours...but don't worry. I'll post all the colours of the rainbow up here, just so all of you can look up your favourite colours and see exactly what they mean to you!
Why don't we start by looking at a grid of nine random colours and what they mean?
Okay...so you can basically see what the meanings of the colours are in this grid. But, here's the ones for my three favourite colours.
PURPLE: royalty, luxury, dignity, wisdom, spirituality, passion, vision, magic
BLUE: peace, stability, calmness, confidence, tranquility, sincerity, affection, integrity
GREEN: life, growth, environment, healing, money, safety, relaxation, freshness
Now, looking at this list...I'm not definitively any one of these colours solely. Take purple for example. I see myself as a person who could be considered wise, and possible have some sort of vision. But, my idea of luxury is buying the more expensive kind of ice cream.
With blue...I am very affectionate and filled with integrity...but I don't see myself as being the calmest of people, and let's face it...I have confidence issues.
And, with green...I have done a lot of growing this past year, and do practice safety and take care of the environment...but money...I don't have a lot of...LOL.
But, I suppose if you blended these three colours together, that would be me.
Here's some other meanings...
Purple can also represent creativity, enlightenment, and on the flip side, arrogance and mourning. Once a colour that only the rich nobles could afford, it's now seen as a colour worn by creative types.
Blue is known to be the safest global colour, and its meaning usually has to do with spirituality, calmness, and security...but can also be a colour that represents depression and technology.
Green usually represents life, vigor, growth, and good luck...but in some countries, it can be a bad colour. In China and France, green is a colour that you don't normally see on packaging. In fact, in China, it is said that a green hat is a sign that a woman is cheating on her husband!!!
Red is a bold colour that can be considered bi-polar. On one hand, it represents love, strength, and speed. On the other hand, it can represent danger, violence, and warning. Unlike the colour green, red is a colour of good luck, with people getting red envelopes filled with cash for the Chinese New Year. It's also the colour of purity in India.
Orange, while not as bold as red is a warm colour. Meanings include balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrance, flamboyance, and attention-seeking.
Yellow represents joy, happiness, sunshine, and optimism. On the flip side, it can also symbolise dishonesty, illness, cowardice, and betrayal.
So, as you can see...different colours have different meanings.
And, we can tell a lot about certain pieces of artwork based on the colours that artists choose to illustrate artwork, magazine covers, and comic books.
Speaking of comic books, let's analyze a cover.
Let's take a look at a cover from 2009...Archie's Double Digest #202.
Well, we can make out some things...the title of the opening story is Archie: Goodbye Forever. So, we already know that the story is likely not going to be a happy one. In fact, Archie and Betty are on the cover crying in the middle of a thunderstorm (where they appear to be struck by lightning).
Notice that the dominant colours on this cover are black and blue. We know that black means mystery and death...and we know blue can symbolize depression and peace. Given these colours are dominant, the colour choices work because it looks like Archie and Betty are breaking up because he has to move. The death of a relationship, so to speak. And, to the reader, unless you read the first two parts, there is a bit of mystery, as you don't know why Archie is leaving. And, take a look at what Archie is wearing. He's decked out in blue and white. Now, the blue could represent Archie's depression...but blue could also represent sincerity, and peace. Like maybe Archie has made peace with the situation despite his being unhappy about it. The white in Archie's shirt could show goodness, light, and hope. Archie's always been squeaky-clean, so the goodness and light is simple enough...but maybe there's hope that maybe he doesn't have to leave. And, take a look at Betty's blouse. It's pink. Pink represents love, sensitivity, romance, compassion...all qualities that if you read Archie comics, you would know that they best describe Betty Cooper.
In this cover, I'd say whoever coloured this cover made all the right choices. It wouldn't look right if the cover was predominantly yellow (a happy colour). And, the contrasting colours only serves to add a more detailed explanation to understanding the colour.
Yeah, you can tell that I've been studying this a bit too long.
But, this excites me. I'm fascinated by colour.