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The Importance of Colour

Updated on February 6, 2013
KeemaWolf profile image

Fiona is based in SE Qld and is an enthusiast of all things art & crafty. She is currently studying her Diploma of Library/Info Services

Do you know what colour you are?

You may be surprised!

I, for one, would hate to be colour blind! Colours are important, significant, and meaningful in so many ways in our society, that I don't believe we fully appreciate the impact they can have on us, our families, friends, and lives.

Colour in Music

Here are just a few songs a 30 second search brought up that involve colour.

skin colour
skin colour

Colour in World History

Bet you know what 'colour' you are on THIS count!

Colour has played an important part in world history; the segregation because of skin-colour has led to some of the biggest conflicts and changes in modern history. The American Civil War; the apartheid in South Africa; even Hitler’s idea of the perfect specimen.

There are many more historically documented conflicts that were at the most base of reasons, about colour, and sadly it is something some people today still struggle with.

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Colour in Sport

What colour/s are you now?

But sometimes, when it’s sport season, we let colour segregate us again and become passionate supporters for our teams! Green and Gold Aussies! The All Blacks. The Blues and the Maroons!!! For your information, I’m a Blue born and Maroon bred, so I WIN EITHER WAY!!! Haha!

Even down to the colours of the ribbons and medals for placing in any competition: blue for first, red second, and green third. Gold, silver, bronze.

There are so many other colours for other sporting teams and events it wouldn’t be feasible to list them all here. Shall we say this is perhaps the only occasion when colour-based segregation is a positive thing.

Nemo, the 'office fish'
Nemo, the 'office fish'

Colour in Clothing

For the One of a Kind, Mr Mischief!

I had a good friend from work whom you could reliably tell what day of the week it was by the colour of his shirt!

Pink or purple on a Monday;

Checkered Tuesday (which was generally a blue check on white);

White Wednesday;

Blue Thursday;

Black Friday.

And the ties..!! So many beautiful colours!

I guess he was a bit of a rainbow.... ;-P

People wear specific colours at specific occasions because they have significance to them. In western tradition, we tend to wear black to funerals, whereas in many Asian cultures white is the colour of mourning. People wear red if they want to feel confident, blue is said to be calming, green refreshing. Purple was worn by the rich, powerful, and royal...perhaps the sexually deprived...?

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Colour as a Language

Mustard? Eggplant? Sage?

Down the years, colours have been attributed many different meanings:

Red: confidence, passion, anger, love, lust, stop, good luck

Green: new life, nature, safety, go, luck, wealth

Orange: energy, happiness, balance

The list is endless and varied, depending on which you culture you choose to take your information from. I don’t believe you could argue that colour isn’t something significant to many, many people.

The Apex Australia Colours

Red, Blue, Yellow.

Our Apex branding: blue, yellow and red. There's meaning, right there. We also use the different coloured font and rings on our dinner badges to denote meaning. They must have known something when they made the National Board ring purple…hehehe!

Autism Awareness
Autism Awareness

Colour as a Tool

Cause and Awareness ribbons

The most recent incarnation of colour symbology would be the cause and awareness campaign ribbons. Things like pink for breast cancer, blue for Beyond Blue and depression, a multicoloured puzzle for autism, yellow for suicide awareness and prevention, purple for religious tolerance, orange for Harmony Day, red for AIDS, silver for ovarian cancer, a white wreath for victims of suicide.

Now, we all have some colours that are particularly special to us, be they because they are a favourite, or carry with them memories and connotations known only to ourselves. I have 3 colours that are particularly dear to me, and they are blue, yellow, and white. Blue for depression awareness; yellow for suicide awareness and prevention, and white for the wreaths used to mark the victims of suicide each year on May 29th.

The colour of depression
The colour of depression

The Blue People

Did you know that approximately 160,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 suffer from depression? I found that figure staggering, and very, very sad, and disturbing. Depression and suicide awareness are causes very near and dear to my heart, and I doubt there are many people now days who can say that neither one has touched their lives in some way or another. I, for one, am sick of wearing black because of it.

What colour ARE you?
What colour ARE you?

Colour IS Important!

Colour is an important part of life. It surrounds us and binds us together; it separates us and labels us. I think most importantly it promotes awareness.

If I can ask you one thing, it is this: please look out for the blue people, and think of that little yellow ribbon, because I do not want to see any more white wreaths on May 29th this year.

So, what colour are you, anyway?

Don't Forget! - Three. Very. Important. Colours!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beyond Blue The National Depression InitiativeWhite Wreath AssociationSuicide Awareness and Prevention
Beyond Blue The National Depression Initiative
Beyond Blue The National Depression Initiative
White Wreath Association
White Wreath Association
Suicide Awareness and Prevention
Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Don't be apathetic! - Share your thoughts.

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    • KeemaWolf profile image
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      Fiona Findlay 4 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      @kathysart: I think artists see to the heart of colour better than some non-artists. You're welcome :)

    • KeemaWolf profile image
      Author

      Fiona Findlay 4 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      @kristymckeown: Thanks Kirsty!

    • KeemaWolf profile image
      Author

      Fiona Findlay 4 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      @SusannaDuffy: HAHA I think there's PLENTY of hope for you, Susanna! Black and white go with everything, don't they? ;-P

    • KeemaWolf profile image
      Author

      Fiona Findlay 4 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      @JoshK47: Thanks Josh! There's undoubtedly a whole heap I've left out, but this is the public speaking piece as delivered.

    • KeemaWolf profile image
      Author

      Fiona Findlay 4 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      @anonymous: Annie, it breaks my heart to hear of so many people touched by suicide and depression.

      Quite contrary to some religious teachings, I think those who commit suicide are definitely in Heaven, because none more than they need the peace, acceptance and love to be found there. I know my uncle and cousin and your friend are all there together, watching over us. Big hugs to you!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lost my BMF in the world (aside from my husband) who obviously felt (as I did 4 years ago) that he was stuck in a very small, dark room to which he could not find the door. Luckily for me, I kept searching for a better answer than just anti-depressants prescribed by my local GP (who had told me "I always thought you were such a big strong girl !" and never searched further than making a diagnosis on the basis of the symptoms of my anethetising myself from the problems I had had in my life/head. I was extremely lucky to find an exceptional practitioner (specialist GP) who corrrectly diagnosed me with bi-polar disorder, along with more than enough associated co-morbidities, and to get me on track with the right medication and pshycological support. Unfortunately, my friend, even though I actually got an appointment for with my specialist, which he did not keep, and continued with the regime of appointments (and I suppose anti-depressants) with no outside help other than that. I (we) love him and miss him, and he has left a huge hole in so many lives.

      It is time that people start to understand mental health issues, and stop ignoring "the elephant in the room" RIP my very dear friend............................

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      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I always love a good analysis of what various colours represent - thanks for sharing this wonderful lens! :)

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Black and white are my colours (Go Pies!) but my kitchen is full of red appliances and my house is painted pale blue with pinkish interiors. Is there any hope for me?

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      kristymckeown 6 years ago

      Great research and depth!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      As an artist color is hugely important to me.. thanks for the info.. THUMBS UP!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      You have touched on a great subject here and as we can see in colour the use of it in things we create must be a priority and it is a great tool to draw attention to something. Well structured lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thank you so much for posting this! I have been looking for good facts about colors for my assignment. You really help me here. XD