Informal research indicates that color holds different meanings in many countries and cultures throughout our world. Particular color meanings and associations can be traced to historic or religious affiliations within that country. Not every country associates the same meaning for each hue. For example, in the United States, white is typically used for a time of celebration or weddings. Yet in China, white is a color typically associated with mourning or death.
Many designers in the United States will have an opportunity to practice international design. Understanding and acknowledging the diverse meanings certain countries associate with color may assist in achieving a successful design solution for a specific client.
Developed by Stephanie Clemons, Ph.D., Colorado State University, and Peggy Harrison, Ret. Teacher, Cherry Creek High School, Denver, Colorado, as a result of a partnership between the Interior Design Educators Council, and State of Colorado – Colorado Technical Education + Family and Consumer Science (CTE + FCS) Division.