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International Color Guide

Colors mean different things in different cultures. Black, for example, signifies death and is worn during times of mourning in Western countries; black in Egypt, however, represents rebirth.

As companies continue to become more global, and products and messages cross national borders, it is important to familiarize yourself with the symbolism of color.

To help you use color accurately and effectively for different cultural audiences, we've developed the following International Color Tips, based on the research of Surya Vanka, associate professor of art and design at the University of Illinois. Vanka is an expert on the international attributes of color and is author of the multimedia software "ColorTool: Cross-Cultural Meanings of Color." The software allows designers around the world to inquire, specify, and evaluate color choices for products that will be marketed internationally.

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