Blog Post #7: “Buddy the Elf. What’s Your Favorite Color?”


In her essay, Technological Styles: Transforming a Natural Material into a Cultural Object, Rita P. Wright characterizes the relationship between conceptual and physical contexts in correlation to creation and possession of an object. She argues that objects transforms from an association with other objects to “a social world of individuals who possess the object.”

A conceptual context refers to the creator’s mind [and] the physical refers to the association of the object out of its original, conceptual context as it moves from producer to consumer, out of the workshop and into its context…. The focus is not on the thing, the artifact, but on its makers and users as a window in to social relations. It is as ‘things-in-motion’ within the context of the social place of the artisans and users that the analysis derives its meaning. Thus the artifact is less a text to be read than a story to be told or unfolded about the social impact of the actions of people and their manipulations of objects through space and time.

During my research about the relationship between awareness ribbons, colors, and culture, I have learned the relevance of color in branding. According to Gregory Ciotti in his essay, The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding, color is important tool for persuasion yet controversial. Colors arouse various emotions depending on “elements such as personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, context, etc.” as well as “broadly align with specific traits.”

"It’s not just about seeing it, it’s about the response we have to visual stimulus."
“It’s not just about seeing it, it’s about the response we have to visual stimulus.”


In Nick Carson’s blog post, “21 Outstanding Uses of Colour Branding,” he states that companies focus more on color usage than design and color ownership is vital to projecting an appropriate emotion. Thus, deriving off this color persuasion, marketers have targeted consumers through the color symbolism in awareness ribbons. We use these awareness ribbons, as a way to show support yet it has also become a fashion accessory from which marketers exploit our emotions as a profit.

Considering color is a symbol, Jacques Maquet suggests in his essay, “Objects as Instruments, Objects as Signs,” that we do not choose these objects as a sign/symbol at random. Rather we choose a “symbol [to correspond] the strong sense of…identity with what it symbolizes.” It was posed in our class discussion about Walter Benjamin’s “The Collector,” if could we be considered a collector in regards to our thoughts…

So, in knowing the attention manufacturers put into choosing colors when making a brand or object, I ponder whether color itself could be considered an object? What do you think? Also, Why did we choose to use a simple piece of fabric to fold, loop, and then pin above our heart as a way to show support for a particular cause? Are the colors that are used to portray a specific cause subjugated from branding?



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One thought on “Blog Post #7: “Buddy the Elf. What’s Your Favorite Color?””

  1. Since I’m looking at some of the in-roads between psychology, marketing, and philosophy, your post was really interesting. I think that understanding the relationship between colors, brands, psychology and the underlying mythology of color theory is really interesting. Good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *