The Olympic swimming pool in Rio turned green last week. In spite of assurances that it was safe, athletes were appalled and observers describe it as swampy and sewerish.
Even though it’s back to its pristine azure blue, it makes you wonder about a color that is embraced as the symbol of nature and eco-awareness. Oh no, how can green turn lurid?*
This is a lesson for all color enthusiasts: The context matters as much as the symbolism of a color. Green means go in a traffic signal and good luck on a shamrock, but green racing cars can be unlucky, and a green swimming pool might just make you think that Kermit the Frog peed in the pool.
* Lurid = vivid in color, especially so as to create an unpleasantly harsh or unnatural effect.
The Psychology of Color Symbolism
Learn the language of color symbolism in this e-course from Color Matters author Jill Morton