Curious about the black color meaning?
Black is a color that gets a lot of bad press.
In fact, some people don’t think it is a color at all, but the absence of color!
But black is distinctive, and a personal preference for many people – especially in fashion.
So how can you use black effectively?
The answer is to better understand its many meanings!
Meaning of the Color Black
Black is a color that doesn’t create mixed feelings.
It is stark, authoritative, and bold.
While it may have quite a few negative connotations, it is still a color that lots of people like for different reasons.
Let’s see why.
How the Color Black Affects You
Black color meanings are very diverse.
Sleek and sophisticated
Black is often seen as a very sophisticated color.
This is why people often wear black clothing when attending a formal event. Black suits and the little black dress are timeless classics.
This neutral color is seen as classy, but also easy to pair with different colors to personalize a look.
We’ll dive into black color combinations and their meanings further down this page.
A Mysterious Color
Black is the color of mystery, hiding much inside of it.
Some people find black standoffish due to this.
It is the color of the depth of space, of black holes, and other deep and dark places.
Black is always a powerful color that isn’t easily ignored.
For some people, this can be a negative thing as it connects with dominance.
But for others, it’s a way to show they are strong and in a position of power.
Negative Connotations of the Color Black
Black does have a few strong negative qualities people associate with it. The obvious one is the connection with death, sadness, and distress.
It is also associated with evil spirits in some parts of the world.
For others, black is edgy – and that can be both positive and negative.
While popular with many teenagers, it can also bring negative energy to others.
The black color meaning in Valentine’s Day context means either you are alone or rejected.
Or sometimes that you are single and open to the chance of love!
Black Meanings Around the World
Unlike many colors, the meanings of black in different cultures are fairly consistent.
In Western cultures, it is the color of mourning and sadness, associated with death.
It was similar all the way back to Ancient Egyptian times. Black symbolized death, darkness, and the underworld, as it often does now.
But because it was the color of the life-giving silt left by the Nile River’s yearly flooding, it was also seen as the color of fertility, new life, and rebirth.
In Chinese culture it is the color of immortality and stability, as well as of power.
Black Color Meaning for Personality
People whose favorite color is black are often artistic and intuitive.
They don’t always work well with others because they seek to have control in their lives.
They are often private people, with only closest friends and family knowing their thoughts and feelings.
But they can be articulate, sometimes to the point of being dramatic!
Color Black Meaning in the Bible
In the Bible, black is the color of the Devil, of darkness and suffering.
It is connected with mourning, famine, and death.
It’s also associated with the judgment of sin, and is used to convey messages and emotions.
Other Spiritual Meanings and Symbolism of Black
Black doesn’t feature in many spiritual color palettes because of the negative associations it has.
Black is often connected with infinite space and the mediation of the Universe.
The connection with death and evil spirits also means it is sometimes seen as part of the negative side of many spiritual beliefs.
However, a black evil eye color meaning is all about power and protection. It is used in amulets to ward off the effects of the evil eye and bring good luck.
Many of the black color dream meanings feature similar themes to the basic color meaning. This includes mystery or death, as well as the end of a period of your life.
It can also be connected with a bad situation, or dealing with something in your subconscious.
Black Meaning in Art & Design
Black appears heavy from a visual standpoint. That’s why it’s used sparingly in art.
Artists looking to evoke a “darker” feeling rely on generous amounts of black.
As with life, black in art and design is most often connected with death, darkness, and mourning. But it can also be used to symbolize elegance, wealth, and power.
Pedro Nuñez del Valle used black to portray dominance and authority in his painting Jael and Sisera, shown below.
While some artists don’t class black as a color, many famous ones did. These include Jackson Pollock, Henri Matisse, Pierre Soulages, and Richard Serra.
Rembrandt used much black in his renderings of light and shade. In order to create convincing light effects, he left large areas shrouded in shadow.
This created a feeling of mystery and solemnity, as in The Night Watch below.
Infographic courtesy of Invaluable.
The black color heart meaning in design is all about emptiness and a lack of emotion.
The black heart emoji shows this and is used sometimes to symbolize cruel and heartless people.
Or it can be connected with a traumatic event.
Black Color Combinations and Their Meanings
Black is often paired with other colors for specific meanings.
White and black color meaning
Black and white is a classic combination.
Many people associate this pairing with life and death, dark and light, good and evil. Black represents the dark side!
The yin-yang symbol (pictured under Black Around the World above) describes opposite forces which are interconnected. Each swirl contains a spot of the other.
Yin, Chinese for female or moon, represents darkness, femininity, passivity, and the earth. Yang, sun or male, represents light, masculinity, activity, and the heavens. source
Red and black color meaning
Black and red is another powerful combination.
This can convey sophistication and passion. But some people see the combination as negative and sinister.
Check out the color meaning of red to understand this combo better.
Yellow and black color meaning
Black and yellow is often used as a combination to indicate danger.
It is common to see yellow signs with black writing for poisons or other dangerous substances.
But yellow is a joyful color, so if you use a lot in proportion to the black, you can create a totally different feeling. Think of a smiley! 🙂
Gold and black color meaning
Black and gold can mean power, formality, and the unknown, but also abundance and prosperity.
Orange and black color meaning
Black and orange together are a popular pairing for Halloween.
They combine the orange associated with fall with the black associated with death.
Tints and Shades of Black Meanings
Black has no shades because you can’t get any darker than black!
|Pure Black Color Swatch
However there are some tints that don’t tend to be classed as gray but as tints of black.
Charcoal is one of these. It is connected with strength and mystery.
It’s a popular shade for minimalist designs.
The hex code for charcoal is #36454F and the RGB value is 54, 69, 79.
|Charcoal Color Swatch
Jet Black isn’t easy to separate from black itself.
But it does have a different hex code of #0A0A0A, versus black itself which is #000000. The RGB value for Jet Black is 10, 10, 10.
The color comes from the high-pressure decomposition of wood. Jet is popular in furniture design as well as jewelry.
|Jet Black Color Swatch
This color thesaurus has even more color names for black. See if you can tell them apart!
And if you’re contemplating a softer color than black, check out 22 shades of gray.
Phrases with Black
Black features in lots of popular phrases and idioms, often referring to common meanings of the color.
A few of the most popular include:
To black out – to pass out or fall into unconsciousness.
Black humor – comedy that jokes about serious or depressing topics.
In the black – a positive financial position, the opposite to in the red.
Black Friday – the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, supposedly named because businesses go “in the black.”
Black hole – somewhere that lost things go never to return (as well as the astronomical term).
Black mark – a negative comment or mark against someone.
Black mood – depressed or being unhappy.
Black gold – a term for oil, with gold signifying its value.
Black sheep of the family – someone who is a disgrace, an outcast, and not commonly involved with family affairs.
How to Use Black in Marketing
Despite negative associations, black is popular in marketing and for branding.
Many fashion retailers use black, connecting with the elegance and sophistication of the color.
Sometimes, using black in your branding is a very practical move. This absolute color is easy to see and clear to read.
Other times, brands will use color in the logos and branding, but use black elsewhere in their business colors.
Black text and black and white photos are popular examples.
Black Color Meaning
Black is a stark color that does tend to get some negative associations.
But it is still a very popular color for everything from cars to clothes.
It can work well in branding for a business as well.
Pin the graphic below, then learn more about all the color meanings.