Colortool: an information tool for cross cultural design

Surya Pratap Vanka, David Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Color meanings vary dramatically across cultures. Sometimes globally marketed products fail, either commercially or in use, because designers were unaware of culture specific meanings associated with the colors they selected. Designers generally tend to base color decisions on aesthetic reasons, and on anecdotal knowledge of cultures. This is primarily because of the lack of truly useful information tools that can assist them in making informed cross cultural color choices. ColorTool is a computer based tool that designers can use to learn about culture-specific color dialects, to search for colors associated with specified meanings, or to check the cultural appropriateness of aesthetic color choices. This paper describes the development, use, and evaluation of ColorTool. Further, it discusses the potential for network tools that could involve cultural experts and even users in the color selection process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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