The Colour Orange

Orange is the colour of optimism, vitality and a lust for life. The colour also increases our appetite, that’s why it is recommended in the kitchen or the dining room. It is inspiring as well and stimulates sexuality.

If we mix it with some light brown, we get terracotta, which is associated with the Mediterranean and that very special attitude towards life. Oregano for example may look green, but it smells orange. (Nope, I am not on peyote, that´s my natural condition.)

Saigon Sunrise
Colourful sunrise in Saigon, Vietnam

Orange in other cultures

Buddhism considers orange as the colour of enlightenment, that´s why their monks dress in it. That special dress is called Ti-chivara.

Orange is the colour of enlightenment in Buddhism

Pretty cool I think, for our western holy icons are usually dressed in white, brown or black and look either suffering, submissive or dead stoned. Maria may be different, her coat usually is blue.

Orange is also the colour of the Protestants.


That is woven into a quite long story about the fact that it is the colour of freedom in the Netherlands, the colour of the House of Orange-Nassau, the fact that there is a town called Orange in France, and the fact that the city used to be a trading town, also for oranges, which are again southern fruit that got their name from the Persian “nārang” and the French “or” (gold). The name of the colour is derived from the fruit, first appearing in this sense in 1542.

Taking the sun
Taking the sun

Overview: Orange

  • Orange is the frolic colour of happiness
  • It´s named after the fruit
  • It is composed of yellow and red
  • In southern France, there is a town called Orange
  • Buddhists consider it as the hue of enlightenment
  • Protestants use it as their colour
  • In the Netherlands, orange is the colour of freedom
  • In China, the hue was the colour of high officials
  • Orange is a signal colour that for example indicated the transport of hazardous goods
  • The hue is body focused, free and stimulating
  • The colour increases our appetite
  • If we could taste the colour, it perhaps would taste like Creole food (yummy delicious)

Oh, and by the way: it is also the colour of Chaos, symbolised by eight arrows, pointing in different directions.

The Symbol of Chaos

This “Chaos Star” first appeared to Michael Moorcock when he was working on his book Elric of Melniboné in the 60s and was since then adapted as symbol of chaos into modern pop culture.

More Colour Theory
Red | Blue | Green | Yellow
 Pink | Brown | Purple
Black | Grey | White