Website designers may know this?

Subject: Website designers may know this?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 15:48:58 -0500

Peggy Lucero wondered about: <<The meaning of colors? I'm recalling that there exists some kinda resource that defines colors and their meaning. Meaning, each color is known to bring about a certain (predictable) typical reaction from a human exposed to it. Is anyone aware of a respected source for this kind of info?>>

This is one of those areas where it pays to be very careful indeed. The interpretation of color is highly variable both within a culture and between cultures. Worse yet, color interpretation varies substantially between individuals and between contexts, and changes over time even for a given individual and context. From what I've read in the literature and what I've seen "in the field", this variation is sufficiently complex that I'd be very, very hesitant to recommend that you follow any rigid color guidelines that purport to reveal generic human reactions. A few examples:

Though red is an auspicious color in China*, it's an inappropriate color for handwritten letters--editors take note! Similarly, though white is considered an inauspicious color in China (symbolic of death and mourning), I've seen photos of Chinese marriages in which the bride wore the traditional Western white dress, and the Chinese certainly don't shun white paper in user manuals. As for variation over time, I read about a psychological study several years ago that claimed pink to be a very soothing color, and thus optimally suited to calming North American prison inmates; unfortunately, this assertion was based on short-term studies, and jailors quickly discovered that longer-term exposure to the color actually increased aggression.

* Please not that I'm using "China" and "Chinese" here as shorthand and purely for the sake of example. I'm clearly oversimplifying the characteristics of these audiences to illustrate my point, not to provide guidelines for localizing documents for China.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


ROBOHELP X5 - ALL NEW VERSION. Now with Word 2003 support, Content Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!
Now is the best time to buy - special end of month promos, including:
$100 mail-in rebate; Free online orientation on content management
functionality; Huge savings on support and future product releases;
PLUS Great discounts on RoboHelp training. OFFER EXPIRES March 31! Call 1-800-358-9370 or visit:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

website designers may know this: From: Lucero, Peggy A. NMIMC Contractor

Previous by Author: VoIP?
Next by Author: CHM keep on top?
Previous by Thread: Re: website designers may know this
Next by Thread: Re: website designers may know this

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads