Global color associations of the color orange

Help me, I'm in love with orange!

Global color associations of the color orange

I'm the head of the publications department of a Dutch company, in Rotterdam. The main colour of our logo is orange, understandably a colour that is not unpopular in Holland. Our housestyle is mainly based on this colour. On our correspondence and also on our quay cranes and parts of our buildings, the colour orange is very prominently displayed. We are presently considering to expand our activities to a more international level. In the short term, this means establishing container terminals in Germany and Italy. On the longer term, we might consider to start up new business in other countries as well, both in and outside of Europe. This brings me to the question I'd like to put to all of you. Are there any countries in the world where the colour orange has a negative connotation, in such a way that it would be unadvisable for us to use the colour orange? If you are not able to give me an answer to this question, would you be so kind to give me the name or e-mail address of an institution or person that might be able to help me on this subject? I'd be very thankful if you could help me and I hope to hear from you soon!

. . . I just unearthed some interesting marketing info about the color Orange and thought I'd pass it along . . . When the powdered clothes detergent Tide was created in the 1950s, consumer psychologist Louis Cheskin's decided to make the product white and the packaging a bold orange. . . .Evidently orange was chosen to convey the message of powerfully clean . . . . "This is a great example of how high contrast between product and packaging can convey a more effective emotional message," reports Nan Powell, research director for Cheskin & Masten/Image Net, the research firm founded by Cheskin. . . ."The white powder alone suggests cleanliness," she explains further, "but the addition of the bright orange Tide package conveys power and strength." . . . -- RO (http://www.msro.com/ro)

In the event that you are still searching for information about the color Orange and how it is perceived in other cultures, I'd like to direct you to author Norine Dresser, whose books include MULTICULTURAL MANNERS: NEW RULES OF ETIQUETTE FOR A CHANGING SOCIETY published by John Wiley & Sons in 1996. . . A longtime columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and a unviersity educator, Norine has acquired a wealth of information about the do's and don'ts of successful business and social interaction upon in her book noted above . . . On a personal note, I interviewed Noreen about a year ago for an internet "Chat" on folklore, and those who participated were mightily . . Good luck with your business' expansion plans . . . please let us know what transpires regarding that Orange logo! -- RO LOGRIPPO http://www.msro.com/ro

Roy G BIv
Another excellent resource is Global Color Clues and Taboos by the author of the Color Matters web site.

Rob, It is very observant to consider how your company's color orange translates into other countries and multi-environments. However I caution you on considering other color alternatives all and all. Orange has obviously become a trademark color for your company and further built "brand integrity". The same branding that many of my company's clients have been fortunate to gain. Color can be stronger than your icon or logo. Prime examples Kodak (yellow), Coca Cola (red/ white),and BP (green). Also, we've taught our clients to retain memorable silhouettes/ icons. For example the red batwing design of Levi's, the kinetic flag of Microsoft/Window's. Move cautiously in how you make considerations to color, altering your brand color (even the slightest value or intensity change) may lose some of the integrity that your company has put many years in building. Best of luck, David.

David, Thanks very much for your remarks. I quite agree with your vision on the use of colour. Our main colour is orange, our secundary coulours are dark grey, light grey and white. By using these colours very consequently, we try to avoid having to stick logos on all sorts of things, like container handling equipment and buildings. And it works: the combination of colours (and, of course, the consequent use of typefaces) creates a very recognizable identity, that we like to refer to as 'the ECT-feel'. Besides: suggesting to change the colours at our site in Rotterdam would most certainly main the end of my carreer: as Europe's largest container terminal, we're using hundreds of gigantic (over 100 metres high) quay cranes, straddle carriers, terminal tractors and other kinds of equipment - and they're all painted in these 'housestyle' colours. So, at least for our Rotterdam operation, the question whether or not orange is the right colour' is simply not important anymore. But for the new, international activities, where we start from scratch, it might be important to reconsider that question... Bye, Rob

Global Color


I don't really understand it. For the past 3 years, I have been in LOVE with the color purple, and all of a sudden, I threw out all of my purple clothes, and invested in a whole wardrobe of ORANGE clothes. I am in LOVE with orange now. How can my color taste change so fast, and why can't I stay away from the color I hated most three years ago? Emily Traeger (16yrs)

monica ortega
Humans tend to equilibrium, maybe too many years with a purple ambiance just saturated your senses, and in a unconcious manner your inner beign is in search of balance. On the other hand, I agree with the rest, orange is more cheerful, purple invites melancholy. Stick to life!!!

purple is a color associated with adolescence. orange is a color associated with happiness. this color preference might signify a change in your life perspectives. a loss of a previous pressure and hightened energy.

Brent Roden
I think Roy is on the right track in all but one extreme. That one extreme would be a toxin healing of a polluted environment at your young age(as if 16 is young!!). It is always possible that a highly sensitive person of your age could be physically healing from a pollutive culture or a healing of the psyche, such as from a break up with a friend of long duration. What is also important to note is that you have moved from a color mixture of red/blue to one of red/yellow. Have you been looking toward the future more, recently? Are you choosing to be more alluring in your femininity? Do you find the color orange attractive on men?

Roy G Biv
There could be several reasons for this. First, of all orange and yellow based greens are very "in " colors in the US right now. You could be very influenced by contemporary fashion fads. Secondly, it could be that you look fantastics in orange. It's a very cheerful color that looks great on people with dark hair, dark eyes....also auburn redheads. Finally, there could be a physiological basis. Although it's not part of mainstream Western medicine, there are theories that suggest that you may become "hungry" for colors that may heal any imbalances that you might have. Orange is known to stimulate the elimination of toxins from the body. This is probably not the case since you are young, but it's part of the answer to any color craving question.

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