I wanted to write about how colors are used to symbolize certain ideas, but I did not want to presume that what I know is the same as what others think, so I made a survey instead.
Colors have been an inherent part of human beings, but what meanings are attached to them? I made a semi-scientific approach to finding the answer. Using Google Docs, I devised a short online survey asking people about the first thing that comes to their mind when a certain color is mentioned. In a matter of 4 days, I had a return rate of 85 responses. The respondents were Filipinos who were part of my Facebook network. The sampling method was convenience sampling. So what do Filipinos associate with certain colors?
Common responses: apple, fire, heart, revolution, love, rose
Top response: blood
Unique weird response: hungry
There is no surprise here. The responses were both with reference to the concrete as well as the abstract ideas that are usually represented by the color red.
Common responses: juice, sun, sunset summer
Top response: orange fruit
Unique perceptive response: prison
It seems that orange is not strongly associated with certain abstract ideas.
Common responses: banana, Cory Aquino, happiness
Top response: Sun
Unique repelling response: tartar
Again, there is no strong association with anything abstract. From the responses, it is quite obvious that the respondents were Filipinos, as many gave “Cory Aquino” as an answer. Cory is the former president of the Republic of the Philippines, and is recognized as having restored democracy in the country. Yellow was her trademark color. Such is carried on by her son, and current President, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III.
Common responses: environment, grass, De La Salle, nature, trees
Top response: leaves
Unique disgusting response: vomit
No surprises again; green has always been strongly associated with nature in general. For those who are wondering what De La Salle is, it’s an educational institution here in the Philippines, which has green and white as university colors.
Common response: Ateneo, ocean, sea, water, sadness
Top response: sky
Unique personal response: boyfriend
It seems that it is not only green that is associated with nature, but blue as well. On the abstract side, blue sometimes refers to sadness. As for Ateneo; it refers to another top school here.
Common response: eggplant, taro, grapes, sorrow, royal
Top response: none
Unique celebrity response: Bieber
There seems to be less agreement on the color violet, as no one response was overwhelming. Many simply referred to edibles that are violet is color, while others made reference to abstracts such as being royal, and sorrow. I think sorrow or mourning was common since the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, and that violet is used as a color to represent mournfulness during advent and lent. As for the “Bieber” answer, beats me!
So there! That concludes my mini research. ’Til next!