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Color Matters

Get the most out of your color choices by Mark Courtney

The Many Meanings of Color The following is a basic description focusing on colors and their relationship to ministry, spirituality, and life. RED: Red evokes passion, danger, anger, power, and courage. Spiritual associations include the imagery of blood, sacrifice, and the intensity surrounding the crucifixion. Red is often a color of defiance and aggression. In media, red is difficult to film and reproduce. This color should be used with intention and a clear purpose. PINK: Pink evokes a feminine and youthful quality. It is often associated with fashion and trends. Other descriptors include romance, youth, joy, energy, health, vigor, and sweetness. Pink has been known to threaten masculinity and maturity. LAVENDER: Lavender is a smooth and soothing color. It is often used in lighting for its sensual and toning effects. From a spiritual perspective, lavender is associated with healing and recovery. Other associations include floral and pleasant scents. PURPLE: Purple is the color of royalty and victory. Christian tradition points to Christ's resurrection, the Easter season, and the regal qualities of Christ. Purple is also associated with penitence, sophistication, sentimentality, creativity, wealth, and uniqueness. Purple is a useful color in lighting and is often paired with shades of blue. BLUE-VIOLET: Blue-violet is a more intense presentation of purple. It provides a sense of drama, intelligence, royalty, authority, strength, confidence, privilege, and class. Blue-violet is dark in quality and is often used to create a sense of night or evening. BLUE: Blue is the most useful color in lighting and film. It has the ability to create coolness or warmth. A staple of the stage, blue is always a wise choice for creating moods and evoking emotion. Blue is the color of wisdom and truth. It promotes calmness and serenity. The spiritual symbolism of blue is found in water, baptism, and the concept of cleanliness. TURQUOISE: Turquoise evokes a sense of healing, refreshing, truth, and happiness. It is commonly used to express uniqueness, riches, coolness, and relaxation. It is both tropical and fluid. GREEN: Green is the color of growth, renewal and balance. It is associated with nature, foliage, springtime, and youth. Negative associations include envy and money. Positive associations include luck and harmony. Green is a useful color for lighting but can cause people to look sickly when projected on them directly. Green relates to God's creation and the wonder of nature.

YELLOW-GREEN: Yellow-green is a sharp, acidic color. It is both bold and gaudy. Other associations include technology, sickness, tackiness, and tartness. Yellowgreen can feel technical and chemical. It can create a vivid sensation when associated with hot pink. YELLOW: Yellow is often related to the sun and evokes a sense of warmth, friendliness, and enlightenment. It is associated with citrus, chemicals, and cowardice. Yellow looks very intense as a light form on stage and can be difficult to project properly. YELLOW-ORANGE: Yellow-orange is a warm, rich color associated with harvest, farming, and agriculture. Other associations include flowers, wealth, and warm climates. ORANGE: Orange is a provocative color that carries with it meanings of energy, humor, and joy. This vital color is associated with fall, harvest time, sunsets, and citrus. Other word association include loud, tangy, juicy, hot, and celebration. Orange is especially useful when paired with blue. RED-ORANGE: Red-orange evokes a sense of desert life and earthiness. This color symbolizes friendship, warmth, and a welcoming hand. Pair with turquoise for a strong contrast and southwestern feel. BROWN: Brown evokes a sense of masculinity. It is rustic, basic, warm, earthy, and stable. Brown projects a sense of support and comfort. Brown is associated with many comfort foods, including chocolate and coffee. GRAY: Gray is often considered neutral. It also has associations with maturity, futurism, technology, and professionalism. Gray is a practical color and enjoys a home in the industrial and business worlds. BLACK: Black is a power broker. It is associated with death, sin, mystery, and glamour. Black is associated with deviant behavior, night life, oppression, darkness, wickedness, and the villain. On the positive side, black is strong, prestigious, classic, solvent, absolute, and clear-cut. Black is the color of words and the color of people groups. WHITE: White is a strong color in the spiritual realm. It symbolizes forgiveness, purity, perfection, innocence, chastity, and holiness. White is also associated with sterility, cleanliness, silence, brightness, and commitment. White is the color of winter, cold and coolness.