By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Design
Different colors mean very different things across the world's many cultures. A new infographic plots out 62 different meanings for 13 colors across 10 cultures.
But did you know that green is the color of death in South America?
Or that blue is the color of love in Africa?
Most multinational corporations have come to know that colors mean very different things across the world.
In a new Information is Beautiful infographic by London-based designer David McCandless and Portland, Ore.-based design collective Always With Honor, the world's cultures -- 10 of them, from Western to Japanese to Hindu to African -- are mapped out along a ring of 62 meanings.
Each concentric ring corresponds to a culture; each slice corresponds to a meaning.
Study the image long enough and you'll realize that operating a business across continents brings all sorts of cultural challenges: different colors convey distinct meanings for cultural cues such as intelligence, danger, wisdom and authority.
Apr 26, 2010
Totally wrong for South America... Where are they researching this? In Indigenous cultures? City folks? Or Color blinded people? Im from South America and I agree with the post above, Black is for mourning and Red only will mean success in Venezuela if you are a supporter of Chavez socialism. I wish that designers as superficialist as these didnt publish innacurate data like that, that just embarrasing to the community. Probably never have visited the countries either... And adding to insult.. most of the meanings are better represented in the "western-american" as if in the rest of the world there weren't any meaning for those colors... I propose a re-evaluation on the matter, interview actual designers and citizens of those countries, please!!! Jucel Meneses @hauteprint firstname.lastname@example.org
Interesting, but... I wonder where they get their data... I grew up in Brazil (a substantial piece of South America), and the color of mourning is black... As for blue meaning "trouble", I only heard of such use in a hospital setting. In fact, the expression "tudo azul" (lit. "all is blue") means "all is well".