Wednesday, April 30, 2008

White Around The World

Having just come back from a wedding - in another part of the world - it felt appropriate to share with you White color inspiration from around the world. It comes courtesy of Ann Hurley, Woman of Wear-Dated and Ultron carpet fiber color expert, who lives and breathes color and product trends.

Ann says...

White is the combination of all colors of light, and in our own culture it usually has an association with purity and innocence.

In many westerns cultures white is the bridal color.

Angels are garbed in white, and white hats always belong to the “good guys.” The dove of peace is always white.

hana tsunami originally uploaded by ponkan.
In Japan white cherry blossoms (Sakura in Japanese) are an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral [momentary] nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in Japanese art.

Life was considered brief and beautiful, much like a cherry blossom. Sakura, a well-known and ubiquitous symbol of Japan, is represented on all manner of consumer goods, including kimono, stationery, and dishware.

Because of its purity, white is the color of mourning, funerals and death in many areas of Asia and in some African countries.

In Japan a white carnation symbolizes death.

In the Middle Ages mourning clothes were sewn from undyed cloth as a sign of humility.

White alabaster was used to create Egyptian ritual objects such as vases, statues, and sacrificial offering sites, due to it’s lack of color.

White was associated with cleanliness, ritual purity and the sacred and so it was the color of the clothes worn by the religious leaders in many cultures.

Blue Door - White Wall originally uploaded by Klearchos Kapoutsis.

In Mediterranean countries, walls and often doorways are painted with white wash.

The white color not only reflects the heat of the sun and visually guides a visitor to the entrance, but in Greece, too, white symbolizes purity.

In the seventeenth century Europe, white was the symbol of truce or surrender – thus we know the white flag as the symbol of surrender today.

The Eskimos of the Arctic have more than 100 words to describe snow – imagine the multitude of gradations in the color white in this land of ice and snow! [Check out Snow Names and Words from Neal Ross at ProSource.]

Question: What color paper is used in Japan today to wrap gifts, and why?

Answer: White – it symbolizes cleanliness.

Thank you, Ann!

Check out the Wikipedia definitions of white. They are fascinating!'s Jacci Howard Bear - granted, in the desktop publishing section - describes how to use white [alone and with other colors], with links to Feng Shui Use of the Color White and White Plus 1 Color Home Decor Color Schemes.

For previous posts in this series, see: Green Around The World and Red Around The World.

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Klearchos said...

You have a very nice blog here!!

CB Whittemore said...

Klearchos, thanks very much! Your photos are magnificent. Thank you for sharing your eye on Flickr and in your blog.

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