PERCEPTION OF COLOR AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: AN APPLICATION TO POSTGRADUATE TEACHING IN THE FIELD OF DESIGN

Several investigations have shown that the ideas we associate with a certain color may vary from one country or culture to another. These variations are especially important in those professions that have to do with communication or design since color is a fundamental element in all graphic creations: advertising, packaging, branding... In addition, the current trend towards communication and/or international marketing for many products, makes this diversity of cultural associations even more relevant.

This work delves into how to transmit, to postgraduate students in the field of design, the importance of measuring cultural differences in the perception of color and introduce them to the tools they can apply to measure them. To this end, an investigation is carried out in which students from two countries are included: Spain and Portugal; in order to determine if, despite their geographical proximity, there are differences in the concepts associated with color.

A questionnaire is written to collect the associations between different concepts and the colors red and blue. This survey is answered by students who are studying a postgraduate course in the field of design in Spain and Portugal.

After the field work, the results are tabulated and the conclusions are presented in a session where the coincidences and divergences found in the perception of color are discussed, as well as the deficiencies or limitations of the measurement instrument used. The main objective of this debate session is to make students aware of the need to carry out a preliminary design test on people belonging to the different cultures to which communication should be directed.

By participating in the investigation both in the questionnaire answer and in the results discussion, students tend to remember better and be more aware of the implications of cultural differences in the field of design. In turn, they learn a tool that they can apply when developing their own jobs.