A Writers Guide to Orange

orange

Orange is warm and happy. It exudes energy. The color orange increases oxygen flow to the brain and stimulates mental activity. It also stimulates one’s appetite. Orange encourages socializing and interacting with others. In chromotherapy, orange is used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.

People either love orange or hate orange. There seems to be no in-between.

Orange is the color between red and yellow. In color theory, orange is a secondary color. It’s complementary color is blue.

Chromophobia*

  • Fear of orange: chrysophobia
  • Fear of peach: persicophobia

Symbolism

  • Orange symbolizes enthusiasm, attraction, strength, happiness, and creativity.
  • Orange is symbolic of strength, bravery, and endurance.
  • Orange is often associated with healing and good health.
  • Orange is the color of autumn and the harvest.
  • Orange foreshadows or adds emphasis to a scene: warmth, naivety, romance, exoticness, and/or toxicness.
Buddhist monk in saffron-orange robe.

Buddhist monk in saffron-orange robe.

Superstitions and Beliefs

  • In China and Japan, orange is the color of happiness.
  • In Christianity, orange represents the sin of gluttony.
  • In Confucianism, orange is the color of transformation.
  • In Hinduism, the color orange, specifically deep saffron, represents fire that burns away the darkness. and brings light. This is symbolic of knowledge over ignorance.
  • In Hinduism and Buddhism, orange is saffron.
  • A Buddhist monk’s orange robe represents humility.
  • In Thailand, orange is the color of Thursday. It is good luck to wear orange on Thursday. It is unlucky to wear orange-red on Wednesday nights.
  • Placing an orange gemstone on your desk will keep you mentally alert.
  • An orange rose means, “I desire you”.
  • Peach roses mean gratitude, appreciation, or sympathy.
  • American Indians associate orange face paint with intellect and determination, and orange war paint with the willingness to fight to the death.
  • Orange the second (sacral) chakra.

Orange History

  • Before the late 15th century, the color orange was called yellow-red.
  • The word for the color orange came from the fruit.
  • Swamis (Hindu) wear orange (deep saffron) robes.
  • Paintings traditionally showed Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, ritual, and ecstasy, (Dionysus in Greek myth), dressed in orange.
  • In the 18th century, Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance was often depicted wearing orange clothing.
  • In heraldry, orange (tenne / tawny) signifies ambition.
  • Orange was an important color to impressionist and post-impressionist painters.
  • Agent Orange is a [toxic] herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. It got its name from the color of the steel drums it was stored in.
  • The middle traffic light is orange in most European countries (it’s yellow in the US).
  • Orange was the rally color of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004–2005).
The Ochre Trail, Roussillon (Vaucluse, France)

The Ochre Trail, Roussillon (Vaucluse, France)

Pigments & Dyes

  • In ancient Egypt, artists used an orange mineral pigment called realgar. It produced a pure orange.
  • The ancient Egyptians also used orpiment (a deep orange-yellow mineral) to create a gold tone.
  • In the ancient world, minium and massicot, bright yellow and orange pigments, were made by heating lead oxide and its variants.
  • Less pure tones of orange came from the ochre and cadmium families.
  • Turmeric and saffrons were used to make dyes.

safetyconeSafety Orange

Bright orange is officially known as “safety orange”. It is used for high-visibility to alert people of hazards.

Meanings of Shades and Tints of Orange

  • Peach: secret desires
  • Dark orange: deceit and distrust
  • Red-orange: pleasure, sexual passion, domination, and aggression
  • Yellow-orange: prestige, wisdom, illumination, wealth, and quality

Words for Orange

Light Oranges
cantaloupe
melon
~
Pale Oranges
apricot
peach
~
Bright Oranges
Day-Glo orange
saffron
scarlet
tangelo
~
Yellow-Oranges
amber
apricot
gamboge
mango
saffron
~
Pink-Oranges
cayenne
coral
salmon
Medium Oranges
amber
carrot
bittersweet
gamboge
jacinthe
mandarin
nacarat
papaya
pumpkin
scarlet
tangerine
tomato
~
Dark Oranges
auburn
burnt orange
cayenne
madder
mahogany
tawny
terracotta
Red-Oranges
auburn
burnt orange
bittersweet
cinnabar
ginger
madder
mahogany
cantaloupe
nacarat
papaya
persimmon
pumpkin
rust
scarlet
tangelo
tawny
terracotta
tomato
vermilion

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Orange and You

Are you wearing orange right now?
You’re action-oriented today. You feel very independent and self-motivated.
Are you wearing peach?
You are in a caring mood.

Look in your closet. Is orange a predominate color in your wardrobe?
You are practical but creative. You are self-motivated and impatient. You have lots of energy and may be restless.

Do you just dislike the color orange?
You suffer from mental or physical exhaustion.

Do you drive an orange car?
You are artistic, individual, and complex.

*Chromophobia, also known as chromatophobia or chrematophobia, is a persistent, irrational fear of, or aversion to, colors and is usually a conditioned response. Color phobis are often caused by a traumatic experience from the past, usually childhood. The color becomes associated with the trauma but the individual may not remember the event or realize the connection. It could also be culturally related with meanings attached to the color. Conditioning or brain chemistry may also be the cause. While actual clinical phobias to color are rare, colors can elicit hormonal responses and psychological reactions. Reactions include heart palpations, panic, sweating, breathlessness, nausea, shaking, dizziness, and dry mouth. Treatments include behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, exposure therapy, and psychotherapy.

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Use orange wisely in writing, painting,
decorating, and in your wardrobe!
 
Where does orange fall on your love-hate scale?colorindex

 

Sources:
The wardrobe portion of this post was created using The Complete Book of Color by Suzy Chizzari.
The car information from Today.
If It’s Purple, Someone’s Gonna Die by Patti Bellantoni
monk: Wikipedia.org
The Ochre Trail: Wikipedia.org
awesome orange sphere and series logo by me!
safety cone by clipart.com
Share! It will make you happy, trust me.

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19 Comments

  1. I've never really thought of orange as a color I like, but I do love fall colors, so I guess maybe I do.

  2. I don't like orange. It means orange barrel storage (road construction to most) where I live!

  3. Never gave orange much thought. But thinking about fall colors, orange does represent happiness. I definitely need to find an orange gemstone for my desk.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

  4. I like these color posts. 🙂

    Orange is a very happy color. Can't wear it though.

  5. I have an orange crush. While red is probably my favorite color, orange is a close second, followed right away by yellow. I can wear orange, and I do. I like learning about color.

  6. I like orange for some things. I don't wear it a lot, although I do own some peach. But I like the cheerfulness of it 🙂

  7. I didn't know orange could be so much fun. Muchbetter than brown I think.

    Stephen Tremp

  8. I never liked orange much. I should reconsider!

  9. oooh i love orange! awesome post!

  10. LOL! How interesting that people who don't like orange or red suffer from exhaustion. They are kind of intense and tiring.

    It isn't a predominant color in my closet, but my orange shirt and my orange striped skirt are two of my favorites.

  11. Wow, thanks for all the little facts about orange!

    Orange always reminds me of Autumn, right before winter, when the weather is still nice, but not cold 🙂

  12. I LOVE orange – love it! You should read the Orange section in Hailstones & Halibut Bones. Her description of orange is my favorite in the whole book! 🙂

  13. I love orange. It's so juicy and happy. It's my hubs favorite color!

  14. My skin color doesn't like orange, but I love pumpkins and autumn leaves and a touch of orange is great. Glad I found you through Alex. I'm going to be checking in to read all your color post.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  15. my fave color!

    prefer either the australian race car orange… or red-orange, depending on my mood 😉 lol

  16. Orange is my favorite color! I have orange in my wardrobe, and my home is decorated with orange accents. 🙂

  17. Mason I started looking for an orange stone as soon as I discovered that tidbit!

    For me pumpkin and peach are my favorite orange tones.

  18. Shannon, I went and looked up Hailstones & Halibut Bones. What a great book. Yes, yes, yes, orange is tiger lilies!

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