"The color black is associated with power and sophistication." ~ Kate Smith
Color Psychology: Black
Understanding how color affects our world.
- by Kate Smith
Black is considered an authoritative and powerful color. It can evoke strong emotions, and too much can be overwhelming. Black represents a lack of color or emptiness. It’s a classic color for clothing and may make the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated.
The color black affects us physically by:
- Making one feel inconspicuous
- Promoting relaxation
- Evoking a sense of potential and possibility
Black in the Garden
Black flowers provide a versatile addition to any garden or landscape design. They provide a good conversation piece and help cool down red or orange flowers. Black is not necessarily gloomy; it is modern, vibrant and sexy. It mixes easily with other colors of the spectrum, particularly green, chartreuse, gold and silver.
Unique Facts About Black
- A black cat crossing one’s path is considered bad luck in many cultures, except in England, where it’s considered good luck.
- Black seems to imply weight. Many people believe a black box weighs more than a white box.
- The color black is associated with power and sophistication, particularly in the fashion world where the term, “the new black,” is often used to give merit to a color trend.
- There is an old wives’ tale that claims if a woman is buried wearing the color black, she will come back to haunt the family.
- Musicians in an orchestra pit typically wear all black during live concerts so as not to draw attention away from the stage performers.
- Black tea accounts for over 90 percent of the tea consumption in the western world.
Black is the signature color of a number of products, companies and organizations:
- Country music legend Johnny Cash
- American rock band KISS
- Baseball teams including the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates
- Football teams including the Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers
Popular phrases that include black are:
- Black comedy: creating comedy out of a tragic event or situation
- Black coffee: coffee without milk
- Black belt: the highest awarded belt in martial arts
- Blackball: voting against someone in a secret manner to prevent them from becoming a member of a club
- Blackmail: to demand payment or action by means of a threat
- Black sheep: a bad character in an otherwise respectable group
- Black day: a bad day; often used before the proper name of a particular day to symbolize a tragic event, such as black Friday
Songs with black in the title:
- “Baby’s in Black” by The Beatles
- “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones
- “Back in Black” by AC/DC
- “Back to Black” by Lucinda Williams
- “Black and Blue” by Van Halen
- “Black and White” by Three Dog Night
- “Black Betty” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- “Black Country Woman” by Led Zeppelin
- “Black Crow Blues” by Bob Dylan
- “Black Magic Woman” by Carlos Santana
- “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles
Black Around the World
Throughout history, cultures around the world have associated black with mourning, sophistication, and power.
- In the west, it is customary to wear unadorned black clothing as a symbol of mourning.
- In rural areas of Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, widows often wear black for the rest of their lives.
- In China, black is the traditional clothing color for boys.
- In England, taxi cabs are traditionally black.