‘Accuracy’ and colour in Germany

Accuracy: white 23%, blue 20%, black 17%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Businesslike’ and colour in Germany

Businesslike: white 27%, grey 22%, blue 20%, black 15%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Concentration’ and colour in Germany

Concentration: blue 19%, white 19%, black 13%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Critical situation’ and colour in Germany

Critical situation: black 35%, grey 18%, brown 14%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Depth’ and colour in Germany

Depth: blue 54%, grey 13%, white 10%, …
Heller E. (1989)

‘Reliability’ and colour in Germany

Reliability: blue 27%, green 13%, brown 10%, … (Heller, 1989)

‘Trust’ and colour in Germany

Trust: blue 35%, green 18%, white 18%, …
Heller E. (1989)

A cheerful circle and a serious square

When roundness is connected to symmetry as seen in a circle, it has a meaning in the depth dimension and perceived as cheerful and pleasant. While straight corners are perceived as more serious (Poffenberger en Barrows, 1924). Lakoff and Johnson (1999) saw that there are many proverbs and sayings that have to do with form characteristics and emotions. Round: regulated, completed, ready. (Michiels, I. editorial)

Black-on-blue and the meaning of words with A-A-O vowels

The meaning of 600 Dutch words that contain the vowels A, A and O, such as in ‘vagabond’ or ‘catacombs’, were compared in several languages. AAO-translations of Dutch AAO-words were examined in Hungarian (HG), Italian (IT) and Spanish (SP). In a lesser degree were used: English (EN), French (FR), Old and Modern Greek (OG and MG), Latin (LT), Romanian (RH), Polish (PL), Serbo-Croatian (SK) and Turkish (TS). This research of F. Alpaerts (1984) shows a connection between the triplet vowels AAO, and the colour combination black-on-blue. Because some keywords are related, Alpaerts classified them into themed clusters.

  1. Attack: The direct physical violence. The threat to property (robbery, looting, mugging). The physical and psychological attack on the body (disease, infection by impurity). Psychic attacks (abrasive, rancor). Attacks on the social body: violating social purity rules (inappropriate behavior, swearing, sexual offenses). Attack on the culture (immigration, marginality, and poverty).
  2. Death (religious): The boundary of life (death). The dying (illness, diseased, weary). The abode of the dead (tombs, catacombs, cemeteries). The cult of the dead (Pharaohs, ancestor worship, funeral rites).
  3. Haggler (costly, money, wasteful). Fear of loss of property is agony.
  4. Border (maggoty, wasteland, abandoned, vagabond). Crossing borders, whether national, social, cultural, or regarding the body or property are associated with contamination and death.
  5. Braggart (make an impression)
  6. Rest and unrest (lying down, anchor, stampede, mass movement, large-scale events). Rest in the sense of lying down, doing nothing, either through illness, death, vacation, or unemployment. Doing nothing is caused by external factors that are considered a constraint. Unrest shows itself in major events that bring masses of people together: social commemorations, music events, war.
  7. Conceal (locksmith). That which lies behind the border or which one hides from attackers.
  8. Embrace. Not a loving embrace, but clamping down on property to protect it from robbers (see also Haggler and Conceal). Stuffed bag, or suitcase, money handle, safe.
  9. Contamination (dirt, rag, feet, contact with the ground). Contamination by touching contaminated objects, such as the ground, a sick person or a corpse. Contamination of the earth, of our bodies resulting in disease, of the social and cultural body.

Keywords classified in the DSD under the black-on-blue code are:

  1. assault, attack, biting, abandoned, curse, rancor, theft, thief
  2. ancestor, forefather, body, coffin, final resting, death, the end, grave, urn, graveyard, underground, undertaker, serious, secret, mystery, depressed, old age, disease, sick
  3. bill, costly
  4. border, boundary, bounded, beggar, wasteland
  5. tightwad
  6. mass movement
  7. concealing, digging, haze
  8. embrace, filled
  9. contamination, dirt, footprint (dirty), rag, waste, shoes

I. Michiels (red.)

Effect of horizontality and verticality

Simonds (1983) connects horizontality in landscapes with a positive feeling that has a calming effect. Horizontality as a sign of the ‘good life’. While verticality of composition, goes mentally deeper and shows more suited for serious subjects.

Serious dark grey in the funeral business

Dark gray shades in black&white photography reflect the seriousness of the undertaker’s profession.

Interview Ronald Ockhuysen in Het Parool magazine 25 december 2020. “Begrafenisondernemer Clemens Bouwens: ‘Bij ons kreeg corona een gezicht’”
Square versus rounded

Square/rounded has an important influence on the function of the size of an angle. Rounded corners are experienced more cheerfully, while straight angles are perceived as more serious (Poffenberger en Barrows, 1924). Round and square are also related to activation. Roundness in parts of utensils or interfaces can indicate a button, where activation is needed. Sharp roundness can therefore trigger alertness and induce action.