Page 1




kings 25

& jesters


great expectations 5


lights off 27


ambitions 6


the void 29


need to wear 9


what next 31


the theory 11


prints 32


parameters 12


styles 34

& medium


live or exist 15


sketches 36

& doodles


trust me 17


final deliverables 38


the big bright 19


thank you 44




organic shiz 21

GOING GREEN citric factor



epilogue 46




& posters



The reason why I chose to work on this project is because I wish to get a deeper understanding of Colour, something which has always intrigued every visual communicator. I believe that once I can feel the intangible and psychological aspects of colour I will be at a better position comprehend and control the use of colour around me. I hope to understand how people, spaces and objects or even invisible aspects that get affected by colour. Colour also gives out certain feelings. Are those feelings similar to the attributes of a particular subculture that propagates the use of that color? Different regions in the world have the prominence of different colours, Why? How the meaning of colour differs in different place? I hope to also be able to draw out a lot of analysis on various aspects of colour. For example, the political world map, find out why the countries are given a particular Colour. Find out if it is because of the geographic or cultural reasons. By the end of the project I want to be in a better position as a graphic designer to use and control colour. I also hope to share with everyone the greatness of something around us that we take for granted, Colour.


colour symbolism

| latika . n


Understanding colour symbolism. Studying the different styles of clothing (colour and fabric) and its role in identifying subcultures around us.


THE PROPOSAL Understanding colour and finding a similarity between the symbolism of colour and the attributes of certain subcultures that use that colour.

We are the only species which consciously and deliberately alter our appearance. This fact is evident through out human history and will remain so because bodily expressions and communicate things words never can. Our need to express is consciously evident in what wear daily and in what we call fashion today. Most subcultures are identified by of course what they believe in but also mainly how they look and what they wear.

popular fabrics and discover the intangible aspects of it. Try to discover subcultures by looking at them by the way they dress. Study how some fabric/colour are in sync with the ideologies of a subculture. Find ways to break cliche or the stereotypical image in dressing. Research and study via books, films, Internet, interviewing, surveys, and field visits.


Week 1-2: Research and Study Data collection. Field study and surveys. Week 3-4: Narrowing down on the collected data. Making connections and finding existing examples. Week 5-6: Working towards a tangible outcome and documentation.


The members of a subculture often signal their membership through a distinctive and symbolic use of style, which includes fashions, mannerisms, and argots. Subcultures can be perceived as negative due to their nature of criticism to the dominant societal standard. Subcultures bring together like-minded individuals who feel neglected by societal standards and allow them to develop a sense of dignity and identity.

In my research I want to try to find the links between clothing and expression. I feel that clothes and fabric material, with its texture and colour can generate feelings and this is what most subcultures use to there advantage. Most stereotypical images and first impressions of a subculture are famously based on what they wear.


& methodology

Study the psychology of colour and the its role in expression. Research on

Essentially, I wanted the process to be guided by the research from a detailed study on colour an clothing to the final outcomes for this project. I was prepared to go out of the context and get lost in content.


Like-minded people, hobbyists or people with a certain ideology or beliefs which makes them differ from the larger culture. Views of a dominant subculture help identify these subcultures. The study of subcultures often consists of the study of symbolism attached to clothing, music and other visible affectations by members of subcultures, and also the ways in which these same symbols are interpreted by members of the dominant culture or the mass popular societies that they live in.





I started with reading books from the KMC, college library and gathering information from the Internet.

At this point in my research, I had begun sharing my thoughts on my blog on tumblr “Projectkolor.�

theorizing colours history of clothes





colour symbolism

| latika . n

Understanding the need to clothe, and the evolution of different types of clothing, fabrics, fashion and trends.

2 weeks

So basically, I started with reading about the evolution of clothes and different types of fabrics.

researching subcultures

Reading on the theory behind subcultures, evolution, reasons and types.

Wikipedia-ing/researching the basics in terms of the science, geography, sociology and history behind every primary and secondary colour.

colour t

Conversatio friends and bating on th

1.5 - 2 weeks

After studying Subcultures and how Colours help identify them, I went on to find similarities between the symbolism of a colour and the ideologies of subcultures that use that colour.



I had found a way to note down my research in a particular way. I followed this structure throughout research.

Sketches, doodles and posters that were vividly coming in my mind were also being delivered by ink on paper.


in the depth

wait , you are lost !

drawing my thoughts

ons with people around me d seniors discussing & dehe origins of every colour.

Dealing with every colour separately, researching on many aspects of what makes the meanings for all colours.

Pausing the research trying to understand What was I trying to get to exactly? What did I expect to discover?

Deciding upon my final outcomes and how to covert the theoretical research into something contextual & tangible.

3 weeks

Then I did thorough study on the primary and secondary colours. Red, green, blue, yellow. purple, orange, white and black.

3 months

Finally I drew my thoughts out, converted my theoretical research into exploitative artworks.



colour symbolism

| latika . n

Its only when man began to settle down instead of being constantly on the move they learned to make and build shelter. A shelter that was durable and lasted long. It is now that fabrics were invented, humans learned to use plant fiber, interlace leaves and branches, twisting grass to make strong cords and ropes.


EVOLUTION OF CLOTHING Clothes have a time line, a History. The wearing of clothes is exclusively a feature of most human societies. They depend on their clothing for protection and for identification. The main reason behind why humans started to wear clothes depends upon climatic, geographical and even religious conditions. But first, it all started as a need.

The Egyptian civilization started spinning and weaving. Garments were made out of cotton, wool and linen. They also developed the idea of Hierarchy through clothing. The Sumerian, Persian, Babylonians and Assyrian wore woven fabrics and had unique styles of draping & decorating their garments around their bodies.

As man evolved and started to walk his bodily hair reduced and the most sensitive areas started to get exposed. The need to protect exposed genitals was the first and foremost reason why the Tarzan underwear came into existence. Neanderthals were the first ones to wear animal skin, Homo sapiens developed clothing.

Ancient Greece invented clothing to suit the need of different kinds of people. The Dorian (Spartans) left most of their bodies bare to harden and toughen up their people. Whereas the Ionian (Athenians) people were fully covered and considered weak as well.

It all started out as a need to keep warm, covered and for a feeling of safety. Decoration was the next big reason. Tribes are very good example. Clothes then started to be used for identification. They link us up with people we live with. Oneness in societies. Clothes are crucial they can define us. Who we are. Where we come from. What we do. What is our position and status in the society. What we have done in our past.

Chinese invented Silk around 2500 BC. Centuries later it reached the west. Only afforded by the rich therefore became a sign of wealth. The trade and exchanges fabric across countries and continents changed the

way indigenous people clothed. Trade of fabric and clothes also changed the way indigenous people clothed themselves. The dressing styles of people changed because of exchange of cultures through trade. From then and now the need of clothes has changes. Clothes have lost their soul purpose which was to protect and provide safety. Clothes today are not made by the person wearing them, they are bought on the basis of trends, fashion, and other personal choices. development

During my research I found that the ideologies and attributes of a certain subculture are expressed by the means of their dressing. For example, Hippies, Goth, Punk rock, or even religious subcultures in India like the Bhramkumaris, all of these have a certain style of dressing that helps them express their beliefs. Now the main idea was to find similarities between the symbolism of colour and the attributes and ideologies of a particular subcultures that propagates the use of that colour.





colour symbolism

| latika . n

Color is a sensory event; a physiological response to a stimulus of light. Color is also unstable. Every change in light or material has the potential to change the way a color is perceived and, in addition, every individual interprets the experience of color in many different and personal ways.


UNDERSTANDING COLOUR Color is stimulating, calming, expressive, disturbing, impressional, cultural, exuberant, symbolic. It pervades every all our lives, embellishes the ordinary, and gives beauty and drama to everyday objects. If black-andwhite images bring us the news of the day, color writes the poetry. The romance of color exists for everyone, but color has an additional aspect for design professionals. Forms, colors, and their arrangement are the foundation elements of design, and of these elements, color is arguably the most powerful weapon in the designer’s arsenal. A skilled colorist understands what color is, how it is seen, why it changes, its suggestive power, and how to apply that knowledge to enhance the marketability of a product. Whether the product is a graphic design, an item of apparel, an interior, automobile, toaster, garden, or anything else, good coloring can determine its success or failure in the consumer marketplace. Designers concern is with effects, not with words, ideas, or causes. Understanding what is seen, and how and why it is seen how colors work is background knowledge that supports the art of color.

Colors are understood at different levels of awareness. Environmental color, whether natural or man-made, is all-encompassing. The separateness of an object allows the viewer to focus on a single entity of colours. Color can be used as pure function, to increase or reduce available light. It can modify the perception of space, creating illusions of size, nearness, separation, or distance. Color can be used to express mood or emotion. Color is a living language and like words its meaning changes constantly. Impressionable or associative colors evoke imagery without symbolic meaning. Grayed blue-greens may call to mind the icy cold of a winter sea, yellows remind you of the day or a riot of brilliant greens a tropical forest. Awareness of cultural differences in the semantics of color is critical to the successfully understanding color.

People’s perception of color depends upon various factors that also shape its meanings it holds over time. Personal relationship. Influence of fashions, styles & trends. Cultural influences and mannerisms. Conscious symbolism-association. Collective unconscious. Biological reactions to a stimulus. process

I had decided to take up the primary and secondary colours and understand and trace their symbolism till the roots. For researching on something so vast as colour I decided to create a set of parameters that not only would restrict my research but also give it structure. During my research I found out that I most of my queries about color symbolism and identifying subculture were all being answered. I found that, there were major similarities between the symbolism of a colour and the ideologies of a subculture propagated the use of that colour.




Symbolism & Psychology

Auras & Energies

Natural Associat

The perception of a color causes evaluation automatically by the person perceiving.

The perception of a color that it usually exerts its influence automatically.

The perception of color meaning due to its occu

Color symbolism in art and anthropology refers to the use of color as a symbol in various cultures. There is great diversity in the use of colors and their associations between cultures and even within the same culture in different time periods. In fact, the same color may have very different associations within the same culture at any time.

Colour found in the visible light spectrum has its own wavelength and its own frequency, which produces a specific energy and has a nutritive effect. We know some rays can be dangerous if we are exposed to them. But the visible light, the rainbow, has a soothing harmonious effect on us.

The truth of the matter comfortable when colo of similar things found source of the meanings quite conspicuous, suc in nature, red is the co fire and blood, blue the waters and the sky, gre balance.

Color psychology is the study of color as a determinant of human behavior. Despite cross-cultural differences regarding what different colors meant there are certain cross-cultural similarities regarding what emotional states people associated with different colors in one study comes under colour psychology.

STRUCTURING There are way to many aspects, sides, subjects, views, theories to understanding colour. To refine and constrain my research I divided my study of colour under certain parameters. By doing this I not only saved myself from getting lost in the vast theories but also structured my research.


colour symbolism

| latika . n

In the study of the anatomy of the aura it is important to understand the significance of the chakra system and the language of colors expressed in the aura. To help balance a chakra–we need to bring in the chakra (color) vibration, which resonates at the same frequency. Many people around the world have now mastered this art & made it a profession.

Occurrences of colors universal and timeless fact that green is the c and that blue is the col water has been a realit of humanity. These colo common to all people. nature is both timeless


Science & Systems

Media & Culture

History & Mythologies

r can carry specific urrence in nature.

The perception of color meaning is either based in learned meaning or biologically innate meaning.

The perception of color meaning and effect has to do with context and cultural differences.

The perception of a color that it usually exerts its influence automatically.

r is that people are ors remind them d in the nature. The gs of colour can be ch as those found olor of blazing e color of cooling een for nature and

Only light generates color. Light is visible energy that is emitted by a light source. Light sources emit this energy in waves at different distances apart, or frequencies. Each wave is perceived as a separate color. Colors on a monitor screen are seen as direct light. The colors of the physical world are seen as reflected light. The human eye is a sense organ that receives wavelengths of light within a narrow range, the visible spectrum.

The meaning of colour changes with respect to context and cultures. Many cultural differences exist on perceived color personality, meaning, and preference. When deciding on brand and product logos, companies should take into account their target consumer, since cultural differences exist. Colour is a very influential source of information when people are making a purchasing decision. Customers generally make an initial judgment on a product based on colour.

Colour has been investigated and used for more than 2000 years. Many different civilizations have experimented, have learned and have used colour. Many factors of the past have given meanings to colour we use today. In times gone by, the pigments used to dye fabrics violet/ purple were very expensive and available to the wealthy. Therefore today its considered as the colour that connotes royalty, power and the ethereal .

The science of colour deals with colour systems. Color study focuses first on learning to discriminate objective attributes and technicalities of color: hue, value, and saturation (chroma).

Colour is used as a means to attract consumer attention to a product that then influences buying behavior. Colour can be useful in marketing, its extent of culturally diverse audience it is used on.

The symbolism of colour that stands today is mainly because of meanings it held in the past. Blue is considered holy by the Hindus because blue is the colour for gods in their mythologies.


in nature are s. For example, the color of vegetation lor of the sky and ty since the dawn or associations are Symbolism with s and universal.



colour symbolism

| latika . n

The colour of blood is Red, and the same is for fire, there by the primary connotations of red are of life, energy, passion, desire, action and power. Its found in many foods and flowers too. symbolism


REASONING RED Red is the color of extremes. It’s the color of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. Our prehistoric ancestors saw red as the color of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces – and most of red’s symbolism today arises from its powerful associations in the past. In Sanskrit, the word rudhira means red or blood. Red is a primary color, with the longest wavelength. On the color wheel long used by painters, and in traditional color theory, red is one of the three primary colors, along with blue and yellow and also in the RGB colour model. First found in natures in iron oxides, cochineal, cinnabar and madder root. Paradoxically, today’s intense red dyes come from crushed insects (the lac beetle and the cochineal). It is the most intense color and is also for the very reason very stimulating. Red is commonly associated with danger, sacrifice, passion, fire, beauty, blood, anger, socialism and communism, and in China and many cultures, with happiness. Relates to the physical body, heart or circulation. The densest color, it creates the most friction. Friction attracts or repels; money worries or obsessions; anger or unforgiveness; anxiety or nervousness. Although,it is said that everything or anything in life that is to be commenced needs the life vitality of the colour red.

Surveys show that red is the color most associated with courage. Red is the color most commonly associated with love, happiness, celebration and ceremony, seduction, sexuality and sin. The other extreme symbolism is of hatred, anger, aggression, passion, heat, war and danger. around the world

Red is the color of good luck in Asia, purity and celebration in India and china. In many Asian countries, red is the traditional color for a wedding dress today, symbolizing joy and good fortune. Colour for mourning in South Africa and for prostitution in Europe. Communism in Russia and considered evil in the west and middle east. It symbolized super-human heroism to the Greeks and is the color of the Christian crucifixion. popular culture

Red captures attention. It is one of the most visible colors, which explains why it is used on fire engines and stop

signs to trigger alertness. Red is the most popular color used on flags in the world. Red is the international color for stop. Red districts sell sex and pornography in every European culture. It is also widely used in many companies dealing with or providing services to women. root chakrah

Survival–The right to exist. Deals with tasks related to the material and physical world. Ability to stand up for oneself and security issue. red aura

The colour red tends to show up in the aura more often in younger people. It is a colour of energy, dynamism, action and passion. People with a red aura have a strong will power, they are the action takers. These people enjoy their own independence and have an optimistic outlook on life. Their negative traits our their inability to control their temper, can be impulsive, often violent and aggressive. myths

Its is the colour that is regarded as the key to all knowledge, hence the red philosopher’s stone. It is also the colour of evil, Satan and hell.





colour symbolism

| latika . n

The meanings blue holds today have all come from these vast creations of nature. When I think of blue, I think of the blue skies, blue deep seas, oceans, and all that provide you with a sense of calm and trust. symbolism


FEELING BLUE Blue is the most visually available color on planet Earth. The calm blue skies during the day are the most pleasing and harmonious in nature. The color has the property to be calming, productive and yet not invasive. Blue has more complex meanings than any other color. Blue is the one of the three additive primary colours and is used today to create colours on televisions and computer screens. Blue pigments were originally made from minerals such as lapis lazuli, cobalt and azurite, and blue dyes were made from plants; usually woad in Europe, and Indigofera tinctoria, or True indigo, in Asia and Africa. Blue is sharply refracted by the eyes. This causes the lens to flatten and to push the blue image back. We perceive that blue areas are receding and smaller. Blue has very few connections to taste or smell. Therefore it may act as an appetite suppressant. Blue is the most widely used color in uniforms, especially in the corporate world. It is almost like a cult to have office, military or school uniforms in blue. Even sports team prefer this colur over any other colour that is out there for their uniforms. This understanding for the color has come from the fact that it is the color of calm, trust and responsibility.

Most blues convey a sense of trust, loyalty, cleanliness, and understanding. Loyal, tactful, affectionate, inspiring, inventive, caring, and cautious. Knowledge, Decisiveness. around the world

Dark blue is the color of mourning in Korea. Colour of certain gods in the hindu culture in India. On the other hand, blue evolved as symbol of depression in American culture. “Singing the blues” and feeling blue” are good examples of the complexity of color symbolism and how it has been evolved in different cultures. popular culture

Most uniforms and corporate clothings are in dark shades of blue. Blue-movies refers to pornography. The colour has also come to signify technology and science. Blue pottery is also very famous around the world. The blues is a popular musical form created in the United States in the

19th century by African-American. Blue is associated with cold water taps which are traditionally marked with blue. Blue is often associated with melancholy- having the “blues”. throat chakrah

The right to speak. Learning to express oneself and one’s beliefs (truthful expression). Ability to trust. Loyalty. Organization and planning. blue aura

This is a mentally-relaxing colour. Blue has a pacifying effect on the nervous system and brings great relaxation. Ideal for sleep problems, and hyper-active children. Connects us to holistic thought, and gives us wisdom and clarity enhancing communication, thought and speech. myths

Extracted from a Lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone, it was considered the colour of divinity in Egypt. The term Blue blooded applies for royalty. It is still the colour for hierarchy in many ways. The Greeks believe that the colour wards of evil, thats why the famous evil eye jewelry.





colour symbolism

| latika . n

The sun, daytime, brightness, warmth are a few things that come in ones mind when they think of yellow. It is the color for the enthusiasm for life and spring, getting its connotations from the rising sun.

distance, so it is often used for objects that need to be seen, such as fire engines, road maintenance equipment, school buses and taxicabs. It is also often used for warning signs, since yellow traditionally signals caution, rather than danger.


solar plexus chakrah

It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. Yellow stands for communication, knowledge and intellect. Lurking in the background is the dark side of yellow: cowardice, betrayal, egoism, and madness. Furthermore, yellow is the color of caution and physical illness (jaundice, malaria, and pestilence).

The right to think. Balance of intellect, self-confidence and ego power. Ability to have self-control and humor. Related to the stomach, bile and other such enzymes. The notion of being ‘yellow bellied’, is to show cowardice.


YELLING YELLOW Yellow is a primary colour in the CMYK colour model. It is the color of gold, butter, or ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is located between green and orange. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color. It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. It has the same Indo-European base, -ghel, as the word yell; -ghel means both bright and gleaming, and to cry out. Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. Yellow is a color which cries out for attention. It is physically the most visible and brightest colour that is out there. It is found in organic pigments called carotenoids and minerals like sulphur and gold. The sources of yellow pigments are toxic metals - cadmium, lead, and chrome - and urine. It is the colour of daylight, the sun and all things of hope and energy. It is mainly the colour of communication, intellect and anxiety. The color is also known to increase metabolism and induce appetite, hence used widely in the color pallets of restaurants and food packaging

around the world

In Japan, yellow often represents courage. Yellow has strong historical and cultural associations in China, where it is the color of happiness, glory, and wisdom. Colour of spring and prosperity in India, sadness in Greece. In Islam, the yellow color of gold symbolizes wisdom. In medieval European symbolism, red symbolized passion, blue symbolized the spiritual, and yellow symbolized reason. popular culture

Yellow is the most visible color from a

yellow aura

In aura, the colour shows great intellect of mind, knowledge, enlightenment, optimistic, intellectual. and a happy go lucky nature. Gives us clarity of thought, increases awareness, and stimulates interest and curiosity. Yellow energy is related to the ability to perceive and understand. The yellow energy connects us to our mental self, once felt in the mind. myths

The gods in many cultures have a yellow halo around them, a sign for the enlightened mind.





colour symbolism

| latika . n


heart chakrah

Goes without saying that green gets its true meaning from all the green that surrounds us. But naturally, all the connotation linked with green like growth, balance and harmony give their origin to abundance of green that grows around us. It is the colour of life, and literately means ‘to grow.’

Located in the center of the chest, This chakrah deals with relationships–The right to love. Love, forgiveness, compassion. Ability to have self-control. Acceptance of oneself.


GOING GREEN Green is the combination of yellow and blue in the RYB colour model. It contains the clarity of yellow and calmness of blue. Green is the color most commonly associated with nature and the environmental movement, Islam, spring, hope and envy. Since the beginning of time, green has signified growth, rebirth, and fertility. Green is the color you see when you look at light with a wavelength of roughly 520–570 nanometers. It is one of the three additive colors, along with red and blue, which are combined on computer screens and color televisions to make all other colors. Found in chlorophyll in plants, chromium and vanadium in minerals. It is the colour of fertility,vegetation and life. Animals typically use the color green as camouflage, blending in with the chlorophyll green of the surrounding environment. Today, Green is no longer just a color. It’s now the symbol of ecology and a verb. The industry thrives on this colour to promote environmentalism and sustainability to come across as eco-friendly corporations. Ironically, nature and money have come to be the most important aspects for survival and both of them are in green.

Green is universally the colour of fertility, growth, balance and harmony. The other symbolisms of the colour are envy, jealousy, capitalism, greed, sickness, death and decay. Green also gives a sense of Tranquility, calmness serenity and rejuvenation.

In aura, the green aura relates to heart and lungs. It is a very comfortable, healthy color of nature. When seen in the aura this usually represents growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change. Love of people, animals, nature; teacher; social. The negative attribute of this aura is jealousy. myths

around the world

In China, Green may symbolize infidelity. A green hat symbolizes that a man’s wife is cheating on him. Green symbolizes hope in Japan. In Israel, green may symbolize bad news. In India, Brazil, Italy it is the colour of prosperity and fertility. For Islamic nations it the colour of their paradise. popular culture

Today it is the color of environmentalism and is being used widely across companies and brands to promote a eco friendly subculture. The color represents an eco friendly persona.

Its negative connotations of jealousy, greed and envy have come to existence because of an age old Greek myth of the green eyed monster and because of the fact that money is almost green in colour. In pagan times, there was the “Green Man” - a symbol of fertility. In Muslim countries, it is a holy color and the colour of heaven. In Ireland, a lucky color. It was the color of the heavens in the Ming Dynasty.



green aura



colour symbolism

| latika . n


In nature it’s the color of vivid sunsets, fire, vegetables, flowers, fish, and many citrus fruits. Sun set, inner transformation for those who believe in the ending of day to be the time to recollect thoughts and actions. symbolism

ORANGES ARE ORANGE Red+Yellow. Orange has the positivity of yellow and the energy from red. Known to be the colour of adventure and social communication. Orange is vibrant. It’s hot, healthy, fruity and engaging, but it can be abrasive and crass. It’s a polarizing color. People either love it or detest it. Orange is a tertiary colour numerically halfway between gamma-compressed red and yellow, as can be seen in the RGB colour wheel. The colour orange is named after the appearance of the ripe orange fruit. Orange pigments are largely in the ocher or cadmium families. It is friendly and warm colour, very uplifting and optimistic. Also a metaphor for inner transformation, getting its connotations from the setting of the sun. Orange is associated with the chakra located in the abdomen. The gut feeling and adrenalin rushes are linked to this colour. In Europe and America, orange is commonly associated with amusement, the unconventional, extroverts, fire, activity, danger, taste and aroma, the autumn season, and Protestantism. In Asia, it is an important symbolic color of Buddhism and Hinduism. Orange is a very common colour of fruits, vegetables, spices, and other foods in many different cultures, provided by spices such as paprika, saffron and curry powder.

Adventure, social communication, friendship, liberal, energetic, trendy, autumn, optimism and flamboyancy are a few symbolism for orange.

spleen chakrah

This chakrah governs our Feelings— The right to feel. Connected to our sensing abilities and issues related to feelings. Ability to be social and intimacy issues. A person with this aura can have stress related to appetites and other sort of addictions.

around the world

Orange is both the name and emblematic color of the royal family. Orange is the color of prison uniforms in the U.S. Orange (saffron) is a sacred and auspicious color in Hinduism. The middle traffic light is orange in France. In the U.K. Orange stands for the Northern Irish Protestants and has very strong religious and political significance around the world.

orange aura

Brings joy to our workday and strengthens our appetite for life. Orange is the best emotional stimulant. The color of vitality, vigor, good health and excitement. Lots of energy and stamina, creative, productive, adventurous, courageous, outgoing social nature. myths

popular culture

In Europe and America, orange and yellow are the colours most associated with amusement, frivolity and entertainment. In our contemporary world, orange is the color of marmalade, traffic cones, life rafts, cheetos, and Halloween. Orange is associated with vitamin C and good health. It is

Represent the sin of gluttony and a metaphor for inner transformation.



currently a very trendy colour. “Safety orange” is used to set objects apart from their surroundings, particularly in complementary contrast to the azure color of the sky.



colour symbolism

| latika . n


Ironically, Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating the color and has given purple a supernatural aura for centuries. Although, Purple is found in many flowers and vegetables such as lavender, onions and brinjals.

overly embellished writing. Born to the purple means someone who is born into a life of wealth and privilege. Today it is also associated with the LGBT subcultures. Many luxury brands around the world use the colour purple in their branding.


PROPELLING PURPLE Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating the color and has given purple a supernatural aura for centuries. Purple is also the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow – and it’s a color with a powerful history that has evolved over time. In fact, the origins of the symbolism of purple are more significant and interesting than those of any other color. Over the course of history, purple pigments and dyes became less costly and complex, but one thing has remained the same: Purple symbolizes nobility and luxury to most people in the world and is used as the colour for magician and royalties. RED+BLUE. Contains the stimulation of red and the clam of blue. Purple is an extra spectral colour, occurs in combination. Found in sea snails (tyrian purple) and in minerals like amethyst and sugilite. Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy. The colour is found in minerals such as amethyst and sugilite and han purples is an artificial pigment found in china. The colour purple is linked with the chakra located at the brain/mind. Purple food is considered therapeutic. Like other colors made by combining two primary colors, it is seen as uncertain and equivocal.

Taking all aspects of purple’s past and present into consideration, purple symbolizes magic, mystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, royalty – and it evokes all of these meanings more so than any other color. The negative meanings of purple are decadence, conceit, and pomposity. Purple is also a color of mourning in some places in the world.

spleen chakrah

around the world

purple aura

Among Mediterranean people, purple was reserved for emperors and popes. The Japanese christened it “Imperial Purple”. Purple is the color of mourning or death in many cultures (U.K., Italy, Brazil). In the west, purple or violet is the color most associated with piety and faith.

Relates to crown, pineal gland and nervous system.The most sensitive and wisest of colors. This is the intuitive color in the aura, and reveals psychic power of atonement with self. Intuitive, visionary, futuristic, idealistic, artistic, magical.

This chakrah governs our sense of Knowingness–The right to aspire. Dedication to the divine consciousness and trusting the universe. Learning about one’s spirituality. Our connection to the concept of “God” or a higher intelligence. Integrating one’s consciousness and subconsciousness into the super-consciousness.

myths popular culture

The “Purple Heart” is the American award for bravery. It is associated with the ethereal and the magical. Purple prose refers to pretentious or

Among the seven major sins, it represents vanity. In parapsychology, people with a purple auras are said to have a love of ritual and ceremony.





colour symbolism

| latika . n

The abundance of black found in nature is the nights sky. The night which is universally considered dark, evil & mysterious give meanings to black. symbolism


THE BLACK HOLE Black is the color of coal, ebony, and of outer space. It is the darkest color, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light. In the visible spectrum, white reflects light and is a presence of all colors, but black absorbs light and is an absence of color. Black can be defined as the visual impression experienced when no visible light reaches the eye. Black inks, dyes, paints and pigments absorb all light. Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was associated with death, evil, witches, mourning, the end, secrets, magic, power, violence, evil, and elegance. Black is authoritative and powerful; because black can evoke strong emotions, too much can be overwhelming. Black represents a lack of color, the primordial void, emptiness. It is a classic color for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and sophisticated. Black is the color of the hidden, the secretive and the unknown, creating an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power.

Black is frequently used as a color of power, law and authority. Black is the color most commonly associated with elegance. Other major connotations of the colour black are Mystery, fear, power, evil, submission and formality. around the world

Black was the color of Italian and German fascism. The symbol of anarchy was usually either a black flag or a black letter. The pirates in also use a black colour flag. Another use of the black flag was as a symbol used in Islamism and Jihadism. In Europe and America, black is the color most commonly associated with mourning and bereavement. n Japan, black is associated with mystery, the night, the unknown, the supernatural, the invisible and death. popular culture

Unlike the medieval ages, where black was not worn, it is now considered fashionable. In western popular culture, black has long been associated with evil and darkness. It is the tradi-

tional color of witchcraft and black magic. In many countries judges and magistrates wear black robes. Black evening dress are worn at many solemn occasions or ceremonies. Machines and devices, large and small, were painted black, to stress their functionality. Black market denotes the trade of illegal goods. orange aura

Draws or pulls energy to it and in so doing, transforms it. It captures light and consumes it. Usually indicates long-term unforgiveness (toward others or another) collected in a specific area of the body, which can lead to health problems; also, entities within a person’s aura, chakras, or body; past life hurts; unreleased grief from abortions if it appears in the ovaries. myths

In many religious cultures, from Mesoamerica to Oceania to India and Japan, the world was created out of a primordial darkness i.e. Black. A black cat crossing one’s path is considered bad luck in many cultures. Voodoo and black magic take root in this colour.





colour symbolism

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white aura

White is the color of fresh milk and snow. White is totally reflective, awakening openness, growth and creativity.

Reflects other energy. A pure state of light. Often represents a new, not yet designated energy in the aura. Spiritual, etheric and non-physical qualities, transcendent, higher dimensions. Purity and truth; angelic qualities. Too much white can cause feelings of isolation and emptiness. It can be too pristine, perfect and immaculate.


WHY WHITE Technically, pure white is the absence of color. In other words, you can’t mix colors to create white. Therefore, white is the absence of color in the strictest sense of the definition. Although, you could say that white is a color in the context of pigment chemistry. In terms of vision and reflection, white is the reflection of all colours. It contains all the wavelengths of visible light without absorption, has maximum brightness, and does not have any hue. White light is generated by the sun, by stars, or by earthbound sources such as incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps and white LEDs. Chalk is a kind of limestone, zinc oxides, titanium dioxide and lead white are some white minerals. White is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness, cleanliness, neutrality and completion. In color psychology white is the color of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn’t stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.


White sparkles or flashes of white light: angels are nearby;can indicate that the person is pregnant or will be soon. Angel, fairies and other heavenly beings are represented in white.

around the world

White is the traditional color worn by brides in the western world, as well as in Japan. White is a color of mourning in India and parts of Africa. In the Bible, white represents the color of light and is an emblem of the divine. In India, the color white was traditionally reserved for the Brahmin caste. popular culture

Doctors don white coats, brides traditionally wear white gowns, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home. A white flag is universally recognized as a symbol of truce. Bleaching is a process for whitening fabrics.



White is a color of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope. Innocence and Sacrifice, the beginning and the new. White is the color most associated with cleanliness. White is often associated with Monarchism. White is associated with Jesus Christ, innocence and sacrifice



colour symbolism

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pinned to the idea

A book about the psychology of colour, A small travel handy booklet that explains briefly and sweetly about every colour in a non-scientific way. The reason to do this was to propagate better understanding of colour. These could also be sold along with colour boxes and stationeries.

A series of prints, poster and illustrations. The reason for doing this was because even thought my research was theoretical, it was not lengthy. My research was done in defining keyword for the colour.

story book


EXTRACTION Well, after a strenuous research period, I was thoroughly enriched. There was no letting go of this research, it had become a part of me as an important learning. I had started observing changes in my colour choices. I also felt that I was in a position to advice people around me as to how they could make their use of colour better and most natural.

A story book for people suffering from blindness. These would be a set of classic tales that would just replace the fictional character with a colour. The trick part would be to find that perfect personality that matched one of the colours. Even replacing certain adjectives with a colour would be a part of this enriching experiment.

These keywords got my mind racing with a lot of visuals. Every colour with its defining attributes gave me a visual in my head which i was very excited to make tangible. This would give me a chance to experiment with different mediums and styles. I did a few trial before my first jury, and stopped at that. It was only after exactly one year that I got back to the project, did some religious research on illustrative style before restarting the work.

I had my mind fixed on illustrations, because I felt that they were the most natural and honest outcomes I could come out with. The research filled my head up with way too many visuals that i was very excited about. I am also an ardent fan of the art of illustration and to a certain level street art. All sorts of art work that are personal, but yet very intriguing to the viewer. Also as a graphic designer I wanted to grab this opportunity to better my understanding about this part of my work. I wanted to better my skill, explore different mediums and styles. Therefore, my final out comes were definitely going to be something artsy.

Initial trials: Experimenting with classic fairy tales or Packaging for a box of paints.


My research had put me in a great dilemma as to what I wanted to do with it next. Their were way too may ideas in my head, as to how to take the project further ranging from a publication to a series of posters. Few of my option were very versatile and different from each other.


left to right: 1. Posters for different colours, this one describes the vastness and immortality of blue. 2. Another poster for the colour blue, the denim made mammoth for the immortality of blue. 3. For the colour red, the rose is textured and layered with different meanings of Red, love, lust, passion & energy.


colour symbolism

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1. Rough sketch of the illustration i made for purple: a royal magician with tyrian purple. 2. First water colour was, giving the basic shades and hues of the varieties of purple. 3. Digitalized later with the help of photoshop, the sketch is detailed with other elements, colours and typography.


left to right:



REFERENCES One the most important things that I did this time before I started working on my artworks was, researching on different styles and mediums used by various illustrators around the world. From Richey Bekket’s dreamy style, Herakut’s bold strokes, Gabriel’s authenticity, Authur Rackham’s originality or Ashley Mackenzie’s concepts. I took in a lot of different styles, concepts and medium. The important part was understanding what a different styles and mediums represent. Bold strokes, Splashing colours, sketches, scribbles, patterns, textures all of these are different way by which you can layer meaning in your artworks. It is only after seeing the great works of great illustrator, i took out some references that would best suit my way of illustrating. Essentially, I was going in for realistic, yet grotesque kind of a concept art. I wanted the visual to be bold and come out strong, even though the colours used did not have to bright or gaudy. These references helped me place look of my final artwork in my head even before starting the real work. I believe by doing this it can help you as a guidline, so you don’t get astray and lose focus of what you want the artwork to contain. on the left: reference art works from various illustrators and artists.


colour symbolism

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PROCESS OF ILLUSTRATING I have tried to illustrate colour personalities. To explain the meanings of a colour, I have depicted them as persons, moreover because it the perception of colour by our species that has given different colour different symbolism. Through my drawings I have tried to show how the symbolism of a colour we hold true for today has come about because of the associations made with it in the past. Meaning making and symbolism of a colour all have come about with associations made with that colour first found in nature. Essentially I want to point out that we associate certain feelings for a certain colour-form found in nature. The same feelings are then generated for that colour found anywhere else. Greenery and nature fill you up with a sense of calm, harmony and tranquility. The colour green found anywhere else now tends to generate those same feeling. That’s why most spas & organic boutiques will use green interiors. The beautiful aroma of the rich red rose fills you up with a sensual feeling, hence red colour has become an ideal symbolism for love. It is my effort to show this truth through my illustrations. I hope to be able to do justice to my vision. top: guidelines for the artwork. on the left: artworks & watercolours.


colour symbolism

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About the artwork : The yellow top hat depicts the almighty sun that brings joys, warmth, life, happiness, liveliness into our lives. The yellow flowers that grow around the world are earth in its laughing. Yellow sings, and lights up your days.


colour symbolism

| latika . n

passion, energy, life. Almost like its consciousness lies in its heart The most intense and powerful of them all, full of energy and easily angered.


About the artwork : Red thinks and lives by the feelings generated in the heart, love,


About the artwork : Green lives in the harmony and tranquility it generates by giving life to all forms found in nature. It has a balanced and fertile mind.


colour symbolism

| latika . n

space we cannot see. Formed by the absorption of all light, Black represent the fear of the night and the mysteries that it shall never reveal.


About the artwork : Black gets is nature from the night sky and the mysterious


About the artwork : The trust and the protectiveness of the clear blue sky and the vastness of the oceans make the colour blue. The non invasive yet authoritative feeling is also generated by the features and stance of the woman.


colour symbolism

| latika . n

to be a colour, it is not a colour. The illustration depicts the phyicis behind this colour, white light when passed through a prism creates colour.


About the artwork : White is a void, an emptiness. Even though today its considered


THANK YOU I would like to thank Tridha Gajjar, my project guide for being the ideal support, by giving me the space I needed to work on a project like this. She has been so understanding and the least bit of invasive in the work flow of this project. With her suggestions and feedback she has guided me through the entire project. Kautuk Trivedi, for being so effortlessly awesome at giving me feedback on my work. Asmina sheikh, for gifting me a box of Tempra watercolors on Christmas. Arnab Sikder, for introducing me to the hidden brilliance in the street art world. Cinderella Samuel for her clam and peaceful aura which is always required. Immanuel Suresh for snapping me out of my dream world, telling me to hurry up and constrain the number of illustrations due to time constraints.


colour symbolism

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ONLINE REFERENCES Jill Morton’s website COLOUR for understanding COLOUR AURAS. How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors by Kendra Cherry, Anthropology of art by Robert Layton


OFF THE SHELF UNDERSTANDING COLOR, an introduction for designers - Linda Holtzschue COLOUR AND MEANING : Art, Science, and Symbolism - John Gage THEORY OF COLOURS - Johann Wolfgang Goethe


This project is very special to me, it has leaded and mislead me in many way. Colour is so vast and omnipresent, there are just way to many aspects about it that i still have not understood. My hope was to try and understand the birth of its meanings and their evolution, which I have tried to show through my final works. I have a great passion to express my thoughts through visuals, these visuals drive me crazy until I don’t pen them down. I also worry a lot when I am unable to do justice to my thoughts through these visuals. I wanted a grilling project that would make understand my potentials, my skills as an aspiring illustrator. Therefore when this project came along, the research stage was so theoretical that the next stage of illustrations came about very naturally. The project, right from the research to the final outcomes has been so very enriching for me. The best part is that the project will keep on growing and evolving till that one day when Colour becomes transparent to me.


colour symbolism

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Colour Symbolism  
Colour Symbolism  

Understanding colour and finding a similarity between the symbolism of colour and the attributes of certain subcultures that use that colour...