These days, web designs created in one country can be viewed by people from countries all over the world, which has created a problem in the way that different colours are viewed by different cultures. To avoid offending your international audiences, it is important that you understand the different messages that these colours send to each culture. As an example, how is orange viewed by other cultures?
- Western (Australia, North America and Europe)
Orange is seen as being representative of the harvest and the autumn months. It is also often associated with warmth (fire) and with citrus fruits (oranges). Some cultures associate the colour with Halloween, whereas others (especially the Netherlands) see it as the colour of royalty.
- Eastern and Asian
Orange is seen as being a sacred colour in many Indian cultures (especially the darker hue of saffron), whereas Japanese cultures see the colour as being symbolic of love and courage.
- South America
Many people in these cultures see orange as being a ‘sunny’ colour. It is also commonly associated with the earth, as many of these countries have similar coloured soil.
- Middle East
In these countries, the colour orange is often associated with ideas of mourning and loss, so can be considered disrespectful in web designs that are promoting happiness.
With all of these different meanings for a single colour, it is easy to see how some cultures may be offended by its use (especially Middle Eastern ones, whose view of orange is very different to other cultures). Think about these meanings when creating an orange and web design, and you will avoid offending people whom you did not even know would see your website.