Thursday, 1 May 2014


The third feature within my exhibition was the connotation of the word black, I decided to look into the negative and positive connotations of black to create a set of contrasting posters. I called the section of this part of my book the black myth to show that there are a large amount of opinions on the colour black.

Primary Research Exercise

I began my research by asking 10 people what was the first thing that came into their heads when they thought of the word black. Asking for things that symbolise the word or what they associate it with in their mind. I gave the a time limit of 10 seconds to write down as many words they could think of and later typed them up, which are shown below. 
  • Noir
  • Dark
  • Night
  • People
  • Race
  • Colour
  • Winter
  • Sky
  • Ink
  • Crime
  • Prison
  • Gun
  • Police Brutality
  • Car
  • Man
  • Woman
  • Death
  • Evil
  • Underworld
  • Power
  • Sophistication
  • Sexuality
  • Formality
  • Wealth
  • Mystery
  • Grief

From this exercise 1 in 4 people associated the word with negative connotations which was really interesting. From this exercise I decided to look further online to see what other connotations that were included and the psychology behind the colour.

Positive: Classic, formal, powerful, mysterious, sexy.

In colour psychology this colour gives protection from external emotional stress. It creates a barrier between itself and the outside world, providing comfort while protecting its emotions and feelings, and hiding its vulnerabilities, insecurities and lack of self confidence.

Negative: Mournful, unimaginative, rebellious.

In colour psychology, black means power and control, hanging on to information and things rather than giving out to others. 

Black is intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable because of the power it exudes. It can prevent two-way communication because of its intimidation. The salesman wearing all black will make a lot of sales, but no friends! It radiates authority, but creates fear in the process. - source


I then looked into sayings that are attached to the word black
  • Black Plague: a disease
  • Black Sheep: the out cast in the family or an outsider
  • Black Cat: seen as a form of  bad luck, don't let it cross your path
  • Blackballing: is a rejection in a traditional form of secret ballot
  • Black Mail: to extort money from by exciting fears of injury other
  • Black Dahlia: a gruesome and much-publicised murder

From this research it was interesting to find what the connotations of the word black was and other peoples interpretations. This research will enable me to gather some concepts into what I can create for my poster designs.

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