The black color is something that seems to be impossible! It is the symbol of totally opposite concepts. It reflects luxuries and at the same time poverty, humility and power, or evil and penance.
If you are someone like one of my friends, you see the conflicts of black color in your own life. He said: ”when I see black it makes me depressed and disappointed but all my shirts and pants have a shade of black!” really why? If black is really a depressing color why do we have a great desire for it?
If you are interested in finding this answer and solving many other puzzles about black, Let’s jump into this text!
- Black color structure
- Black color in history
- Black color in psychology
- Black in culture
- Some interesting points about the flags that have black color on
- Black color in food
- Black color in photography
- Black color in fashion
- Black color in makeup
- Black color in cinema
- Black color in marketing
- Black color in the car industry
- black color in idioms and quotes
- Extra points
- Black color palettes
Black color structure
It is a common question ”is the black a color or not?” the answer depends on who you ask from. If you ask a scientist he replies “no, black is not a color.” but if you ask an artist he says ”yes, it is a color”.
Why isn’t it a color? Because black is just the absence or complete absorption of all visible color. When there is no light, everything is black.
Why is it a color? There is a simple way to show it. When you combine all three primary colors ( red, yellow, and blue) using liquid paint, black is made. A tube of black paint is the best evidence of this claim.
Black color in history
Black was one of the earliest colors in history. 18000 years ago cave artists drew bulls and other animals with this color. They made black with charcoal, iron metals, and also by burning the bones or grinding a powder of manganese oxide.
Black color in psychology
Color psychologists believe color-related emotion relies on personal preferences and past experiences. And the color black is not an exception.
For someone, black evokes positive associations such as attractiveness, power, and elegance.
The negative associations with black are very clear in our language: black Monday. Blackball. Black hole. black mood. Black sheep. And the list could go on. So black is the symbol of death, evil, and also feelings of anger, fear, and sadness too!
Which group do you belong to? The lover? Or the hater?
Now, let’s talk about your characteristics if you are a black lover.
If you love black the most, you may be a serious and independent person who tries to do things alone and rarely asks for help. You are not aware of your emotions because your mind suppresses them naturally. Privacy is important to you and you don’t easily get close to people. And you do your best to be capable and powerful.
Despite all the research labels the person according their favorite colors, or the shapes of their signatures and so on, I think they are just entertainment and nothing more. Don’t take them seriously even here in my article. 🙂
Black in culture
As I told before, colors have different meanings in different cultures, and black is a good example of this.
In traditional Chinese culture black, yellow, white, red, and qing( the combination of green and blue) are five standard colors. Each one is associated with one of the five fundamental elements that black is used as a sign of water.
The Chinese word for black is ‘hei’ that itself reflects bad luck, irregularity, etc. And black is associated with evil, disaster, sadness, and suffering in this culture.
There is a black tortoise in Chinese culture that is the symbol of the direction north.
In Japan, black is associated with mystery, the night, the unknown, and the invisible. It is also the color of being experienced opposite the white that shows being a novice.
The Black and white combination symbolizes intuition.
Traditionally, Japanese men wear a black kimono with some white decoration on their wedding day.
In Indonesia, black reflects the concept of depth, subterranean world, disaster, and the left hand, however; When it is combined with white it shows harmony and equilibrium.
Some interesting points about the flags that have black color on
On the flags, black usually stands for determination, ethnic heritage, and the defeat of enemies.
On this flag the blue color represents water, ”let there be rain”. The black and white lines symbolize racial harmony and the stripes show the country’s national animal, the zebra.
South Korea’s flag:
The white color, on this flag, symbolizes peace and purity. The circle in the middle is taken from the philosophy of Yin and Yang. It represents the balance in the universe. The four black trigrams stand for movement and harmony. Each one represents one of the classical elements: heaven, sun, moon, and earth.
South Africa’s flag:
The “Y” shape shows the merging of diversity within African society. Red, blue and white were derived from the color of the Boer Republic. Yellow, black, and green were derived from the African National Congress. Black is the symbol of people, green for fertility and gold for the mineral wealth of their soil.
Now it is your turn! What does black mean in your country? Does its flag have black color on? If yes, do you know the philosophy behind it? Share me your information.
Black color in food
Here we have a small list of black food that helps you skip greens!
- Black garlic
- Black sesame seeds
- Black rice
- Black mushrooms
- Black mission figs
Black garlic looks frightening but this version of garlic has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic and helps lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Black mushrooms stimulate the immune system and help prevent premature aging and cancer.
The black figs are a delicious summer fruit that have very high fiber, potassium, and manganese.
Black color in photography
Before a permanent photographic image was invented, people depended on traditional media for capturing images such as: paintings, sketches and drawing. A Personwho made the first photo was Joseph Nicephore. The first photo was in black and white.
Black color in fashion
In this real story you realize the power of black. When the group Time’s Up took a stand against the culture of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry at the Golden Globes, the color it asked them to wear was black. There is nothing about black that inherently indicates protest, but no other color could have sent this clear message as black could.
According to new research, 38.5%of dresses retailing online were some shades of black, and it is the most common color available. And also the black’s popularity among people appears to increase.
Because black suits every skin tone, every body type, and it never goes out of style factories produce this color more and people buy it more.
Here is some inspiration that helps you create trendy and stylish looks with this popular color you definitely have in your Wardrobe.
Black color in makeup
Black makeup usually comes with Halloween, dark makeup and seductive long nails. It is hard to be both scary and beautiful in this annual ceremony! Here there is some tips that may help you:
- Use colors: if you want to wear a black nail poish, stick to a brightly colored outfit.
- Wear one or the other: black nails and black lipstick together don’t make a nice look.
- Don’t wear them everyday: it seems black lips at your work are kind of weird.
Black color in cinema
Before starting this part, it is necessary to be considered : we have just one race: human race, and nothing more. All I write here is not about black or white race.
If you are a movie freak or even sometimes watch movies, you know that black symbolizes the evil character.
In the history of cinema, even since movies were black and white, the villains dressed in black. In those days because there is no color except the shades of black and white the evil character shows in darker shades of black.
No matter which culture you belong to, black is the symbol of the unknown and mystery. This is the information we all are born with. All the newborn instinctively afraid of the dark. But why? Why do our species automatically become scared of the dark?
- The human species really depend on the vision ability for being alive. And dark makes us blind and vulnerable.
- What happened in the dark is hidden and we are not aware of that.
- It is an evolutionary feature, our ancestor knew when the sun set it was time to find shelter. Because it was the time the dangerous predators were most active.
Black also represents magic power, depression and fear and death and mourning in the films.
Black color in marketing
The psychology of colors can powerfully impact audiences ’s behaviors and decision making. People make subconscious judgement about a person or a product within a few minutes. so nobody can deny the initial role of colors in business.
The brands and advertisers care about this issue. They are aware that certain colors move people to action and evoke emotions. So they choose suitable colors in their logos, packing, advertising and brands to attract more audience.
Research indicated that 93% of buyers focus on visual appearance and about 85% of buyers assert color is a primary reason to buy a purchase!
Now let’s take a look at black color, its meaning, and its usage in marketing.
Black is a popular color in business.It psychologically stands for power, elegance and authority. In contrast it also can be unfriendly, intimidating and oppressive color.
Black color uses in different parts in business:
- It is popular in the banner for images or the text, it is an easy color to read, and the white background is the best choice.
- It is also an appropriate option for selling luxury and elegant products. just Imagine a black expensive car or a black music instrument!
But, do not rush to buy a black car. In the following, I wrote things that may discourage you from buying this stylish creature! ( of course, maybe not)
- Black as a packing color makes the item seem more expensive and of higher value. It creates a fashionable impression.
- Black is the third most used color in logos, and 18 of top 100 companies choose this color in their logos.
Here, you can see five of them:
Adidas is the biggest manufacturer of sportswear. Its brand consists of three parallel strips that show a mountain and indicate the goals.
Parada is an Italian fashion house that makes products such as shoes, handbags, etc. and in its logo the letters talk about the dynamic quality of the brand.
Nike is also a sports equipment manufacturer. This logo depicts the wing of the Greek Goddess of Victory ,who called Nike, inspires countless brave warriors.
Gucci is a prestigious italian company that produces leather products. “Double G” in its logo is inspired by the company’s founder’s first letters of his name.
Sony is a leading global japanese company that produces electronics products. Its logo meant to convey simplicity and strength.
Black color in the car industry
As we can see around us, black is one of the most popular colors in the car industry world. It comes after white and silver. This popularity of black is justified by the features associated with this color: power, ambition and wealth. And car manufacturers use this by bringing out special black and night editions of models.
Despite the fact that black is a bestseller, it has a number of drawbacks that people pay less attention to:
- The Black car is the hardest color to keep clean, even tears leave a mark on it.
- Every nuance of paint flows clear on a black car.
- Black is literally the hottest color, it retains heat, gets you hot and bothered.
Just choose a black car if you have an excess of time and money. Otherwise, it will not be long before your love turns into hatred.
black color in idioms and quotes
- The phrase ”to black out” is used when a person temporarily loses consciousness or memory temporarily.
- When a person looked at someone angrily we said he gave ”a black look”.
- The phrase “black as a skillet” used to describe something that is very dirty.
- The phrase “to be in the black” shows successful and profitable situations. ( it is the opposite of: to be in red)
- A person who is disgrace or embarrassment to his group, or who is an odd one out of his group called “black sheep”.
- The term “not so black as somebody is painted” means not as bad as people believe.
- When you reject someone to exclude them socially, you “blackball them”.
- The term “pot the pot calling the kettle black” means the accuser having the same fault as the person he is accusing.
- “pitch black “ is another word for somewhere that is very dark, and you can’t see anything.
- The meaning of the phrase “ black and white” is to judge everything as eight good or bad nothing in between.
- The meaning of the phrase “ black and blue” used to describe something that is bruised.
- The term “Put something down in black and white” To write something on paper for confirmation or evidence.
- The term “ blackmail someone” is used in a situation where somebody takes money from some other one by threatening them to reveal their secrets to others.
“It’s always darkest before it becomes totally black.”Mao Zedong
“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion — against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”Johnny Cash
“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is perfect harmony.”Coco Chanel
“Black is not sad. Bright colors are what depresses me. They’re so… empty. Black is poetic. How do you imagine a poet? In a bright yellow jacket? Probably not.”Ann Demeulemeester
It isn’t a matter of black is beautiful as much as it is white is not all that’s beautiful. ”Bill Cosby
“It’s always darkest before it turns absolutely pitch black.”Paul Newman
“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”Robert Frank
“Without black, no color has any depth. But if you mix black with everything, suddenly there’s shadow – no, not a shadow, but fullness. You’ve got to be willing to mix black into your palette if you want to create something real.”Anonymous
“A life is black, whiten it as you will.”Edwin Hubbel Chapin
- Black has some physical effects. It is a low energy color because it absorbs all the night. It is a depressing color on its own, though using it with white or white creates energy.
- Puting white and black together can be considered as a symbol of the eternal struggle between day and night, good and bad and right and wrong.
- We all use black to hide something from the external world. Sometimes hide our weight, sometimes our feelings, fears or insecurities.
- When black is associated with sexiness and seduction. It creates an air of mystery and intrigue. And also imply submission to another ( similar to the priest wearing black robes submit to God).
- Teenagers psychologically need to wear black because it allows them to hide from the world while discovering their own identity.
- The story of black cat differs in different countries. In most parts of the world a black cat implicates bad luck. However, in England it implicates good luck. In english Midlands, black cats were traditionally given as wedding gifts.
- The world’s darkest material is vantablack, which absorbs 99.9% of light.
- “Back to black” is one of the most famous songs of Amy Winehouse, which is about a past lover.
- Black humor: is a kind of humor that is very different kind of humor and jokes than usual.
- Black comedy: is a comedy that is created out of a tragic event.
- Black market: is the illegal trade of goods.
Black color palettes
Black has the super ability to command attention. It can be considered a warm or cool color depending on it’s undertones. And is versatile and complementary with pretty much colors in the wheel.
- The best colors paired with BLACK are:
Navy, Light beige, Stone gray, Emerald green, Yellow, Red-orange, Purple
- The best colors that contrast with BLACK is:
All light colors especially white
- A variety of BLACK colors is:
Black, Ebony, Crow, Charcoal, Midnight, Ink, Raven, Oil, Grease, Onyx, Pitch, Soot, Sable, Jet black, Coal, Metal, Obsidian, Jade, Spider, leather
Here are some color palettes to inspire you:
In this article I have tried to collect a lot of information about color black in the field of psychology, painting, photography, etc. and explain about it in different cultures and the history of this. You can read them and use some of the points in your life. These will help you to enjoy the benefits of colors and be safe from its possible negative effects.
we would love to be in touch with you; told us which part of our article you like the most? And what you know more about black that I don’t mention here? I add them to this article or write about it separetely.