Visual Literacy
How do I make meaning


Colour

Colours can make us feel cheerful or gloomy, peaceful or excited. Film uses colour to evoke a particular mood or feeling. Some examples of where colour can be used effectively in film making is through costumes, props, lighting, sets and film titles and credits. Sometimes colour can be used as a motif or continuing theme throughout the movie.

In most cultures, many colours are associated with a symbolic meaning. This meaning is often different across cultures. For example a wedding in a Western culture is usually white while an Indian wedding utilises the colours of red and orange. A funeral in an Asian culture uses white while a Western culture funeral is traditionally black. Some common colours and their meanings for a Western culture are:

Yellow
Cheerful, happy, warm, hopeful
Orange
Warmth, enthusiasm, ambition, fun
Red
Passion, heat, blood, danger, excitement, energy
Black
Evil, death, rebellion, power
Blue
Peace, coolness, tranquillity, harmony, protection
White
Purity, chastity
Green
Growth, success, vegetation, health, life, generosity
Brown
Stability, comfort, friendship, reliability
Purple
Wealth, royalty, passion, wisdom, respect, mystery
Grey
Neutral, classic, quiet, drab