Dark green can symbolize transition, ambition, wealth, calmness, freshness, jealousy, and materialism. It’s a complicated color with a wide spectrum of meanings.
One central symbol of dark green is that of transition into calmness. Transitional spaces often have walls of green foliage to signify a transition from the chaos of an outside space to the calm of an inside space.
As it is a color of the jungle, dark green is also often used in advertising to psychologically create a connection between the brand and nature.
1. Transitional Space
Dark green has the capacity to help us transition into a new space.
Cool colors like dark green enable our minds to relax and focus. Thus, we’ll often find greens in entryways and lobbies. As Makori argues:
“The green color is thought to aid people to adjust faster to new environments”
Similarly, landscaped front yards and nature strips in front of high-end establishments attempt to create an overwhelming green jungle-like feel to aid in the sense that you’re transitioning from the busy outside world to the cool, calm, space within.
A very positive symbol of dark green is that of calmness. Being surrounded by dark green can calm your mind.
This may have to do with the fact that dark green is an extremely common color in nature. It’s a sign of thick, dense, healthy vegetation, such as in jungles.
Thus, we will often find dark greens in meditation rooms and at relaxing retreats. In these situations, interior designers will often try to find plants with large dark green leaves to give a relaxing interior atmosphere.
Another very positive symbolism of dark green is that it is associated with freshness.
This is likely because greens tend to pop out in landscapes after a shower. The rains have washed away the past and welcome a fresh start. The water from the rain seeps into the grass and trees and helps them to develop the rich dark greens of healthy vegetation.
4. A Balance between Spiritual World and Physical World
Dark green is a symbol of the right balance between the spiritual and the physical world.
Thus, we will often see dark green colors in spaces like meditation retreats where spiritualism is embraced. The message in the dark green plants in these spaces is not just of tranquillity, but also an invitation to return to spirituality and nature.
Dark green is associated with positive energy. Being surrounded by dark green means that you have a lot of positive energy around you.
This may be because we often consider nature as being a space where we can retreat and soak up more positivity. Thus, when we go on a hike through the tall green trees, we might start feeling more positive.
Negative Symbolism of Dark Green
Culturally, dark green is associated with the darker side of human nature, and in particular, greed.
One possible explanation for this is that green is a symbol of money, particularly in the United States. People who are greedy are also people who might seek out money.
This may give some brands such as those associated with the banking or investment industry to avoid green in advertising. Instead, they might choose to use dark blues which symbolize authority and trust.
Dark green also symbolizes ambition. This, clearly, is closely associated with the previous symbol of greed.
It appears that in culture, the type of ambition that dark green symbolizes is not a positive ambition but rather a deceptive, devious one. The Joker in Batman films, for example, wears green over his body, which is a reference to the Joker’s evil ambitions.
Like greed, self-serving ambition is often a thought that brands don’t want to associate themselves with, which is why you rarely see high-end brands using dark green as their brand’s primary color.
Wealth is associated with dark green for a similar reason as greed: dark green is the color of money.
Again, here, we see that while wealth could be a positive thing (most of us would like it!), dark green tends to indicate a certain type of wealth – one that might be gotten through greed, devious tactics, and a winner-takes-all approach to capitalism.
Dark green also symbolizes jealousy and envy. Thus, we have the idiom “green with envy”.
Most brands don’t want to be seen as jealous. This may be another compounding reason as to why we don’t see dark green as a brand color nearly as often as we see colors like blue and red representing brands.
Dark green is associated with materialism and it can be both a positive and a negative symbol depending on how you view it.
If you look around, you will find a lot of people happy on the materialistic path and you will also see a lot of sad people on the same side. Ultimately it comes down to the type of person you are and how would you want to live your life.
11. Camouflage and Combat
One of the most common ways in which green has been employed by humans is in the symbology of the military.
At first, green was employed in military outfits to help soldiers blend into natural environments. It aided them in hiding in the dirt and trees from enemies.
Today, people who enjoy the symbology of military might will wear camouflage green clothing as a fashion item.
The dark green color is very common in nature and that is why it has so many meanings and symbolism in our culture. Its main use purpose is to signify transition to calm, although culturally, we have now come to associate it with many negative ideas around wealth and greed.
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.