Burgundy is the color of intensity, sophistication, and individuality
In today’s blog post, we cover the symbolism and the meaning of the color burgundy as part of the Color Meaning Series.
For more colors, check out our guide on color meanings.
Where can we find the meaning of the color burgundy?
Is it on the medium-bodied French wine or a sumptuously decorated room? Maybe it is in the lipstick of a charming lady or in the outfit of a movie’s main antagonist.
Burgundy is a powerful color that exudes sophistication and intensity. While this red with brown and purple undertones obviously embodies power, the color burgundy is also very reserved and takes pleasure in its introspection.
We’ll discuss the symbolism and meaning of burgundy, its physical effects, and much more in this article!
Burgundy Symbolism in Different Cultures
- The color burgundy’s meaning hails from an east-central French region; the color is named for the red wine sourced from Burgundy vineyards. It’s no wonder the color burgundy is associated with upscale sophistication – a bold yet refined color.
- In Western cultures, the color of wine is often associated with the higher classes, wealth, and opulence. Because it’s closely related to red (a classic show-stopper) and purple (traditionally the color of royalty), it’s no wonder burgundy is a wonderful blend of both those colors’ traits. Burgundy is less flashy than red and purple, creating a milder combination of the two.
- In Christianity, burgundy is often associated with certain spiritual rituals and holidays. That’s because burgundy’s dark shade is the color of red wine, which is used in Catholic Mass as a symbol of drinking the blood of Jesus Christ.
- In some parts of the world, including Western Europe, the color burgundy is called “Bordeaux.” This references another wine region that produces wine of a similar deep red, almost purplish, color.
- In the United States, burgundy is a staple of gothic fashion and culture, especially as a color for lipstick color. It’s earned this reputation due to its dramatic, dark, and striking look.
Psychological Meaning of Burgundy
Burgundy shares a lot of the meanings behind the colors red and purple. But burgundy is a more restrained version of the two.
Burgundy Color Meaning
Here’s some insight into burgundy meaning according to color psychology.
Power and Intensity
Burgundy, like red, is a take-charge, ambitious color. Rich with strength and force, burgundy can sometimes even be intimidating.
Imagine a room sumptuously decorated with burgundy upholstery and décor. Does it inspire feelings of awe, intense desire, and a sense of deference to power? You’re not alone.
Burgundy is certainly not for the faint of heart or for wallflowers. And keep in mind, it doesn’t give off a lighthearted energy. Burgundy tends to evoke powerful energy, unlike lighter shades of red. Some people can even see it as uptight – the flip-side of its intensity.
Burgundy instantly grabs the attention of anyone in the room. Imagine a movie star emerging onto the red carpet in a burgundy suit – she draws all eyes to her.
In this regard, burgundy is similar to bright red–it’s an attention-getter.
Sophistication and Refinement
Many times, burgundy is connected with the wealthy and renowned because of its sumptuous nature.
However, burgundy isn’t overly showy or ostentatious. Picture an executive’s home study upholstered with touches of burgundy.
Burgundy is a perfect way to evoke feelings of power, ambition, and wealth, but still feeling sophisticated and refined, rather than showy.
Burgundy isn’t a standard color in nature, so when it shows up anywhere, it draws the eye. Try to picture burgundy in the natural world. Can you think of very many examples? Probably not!
That rarity works to burgundy’s advantage. Choosing burgundy in an outfit, décor, artwork, or any other application indicates you take pride in whatever you’re creating.
Since it’s an uncommon color, it tends to feel more special than other hues. It also means you’re unlikely to find yourself in that embarrassing situation where you’re wearing the same color as someone else.
Introverted, Sometimes Even Isolating
Burgundy feels luxurious, upscale, and powerful, yet reserved and refined. It’s never too in-your-face.
That’s why it can be such an excellent color for an office or a study where a lot of the work is done solo.
Burgundy can sometimes come off as unfriendly because it evokes such strong feelings of intense focus and powerful introspection.
Malice, Lust, and Pride
Since burgundy is in the red color family, it has many similar downsides as red. Overuse of the color burgundy can look menacing in some uses.
Picture the villain in a cartoon. You can probably easily imagine them in head-to-toe burgundy, like Lady Tremaine from Disney’s film Cinderella. That’s why the color tends to be best reserved for pops of color or special occasions.
Still, burgundy is directly related to lust and desire but also ambition.
Physical Effects of Burgundy
- Similar to red, burgundy can actually make you hungry. That’s why it’s such a popular color choice for restaurants and eateries, especially upscale ones. This rich color revs your appetite and gets you ready to enjoy a meal.
- Much like many other warm colors, burgundy has a physical impact on people as it can increase heart rate. This can create feelings of excitement, stimulate the senses, and lead to cravings – to food or other things.
Some Shades of Burgundy
Here are a couple of burgundy shades with respective hex codes. Burgundy is, in truth, a shade of red with a hint of purple and brown.
Vivid Burgundy #9F1D35
Old Burgundy #43302E
Most Common Uses of the Color Burgundy
In business, burgundy is frequently used by the following industries:
- Beauty (makeup, nail polish, hair dye products)
- Valentine’s Day products
- Home textiles
Facts About Burgundy
- European Union passports are usually burgundy, thought to symbolize unification—and maybe in the eastern region, a nod to a communist past.
- One of the most common rose colors on Valentine’s Day is burgundy.
- Although burgundy is named after the red burgundy wine of France, the French prefer to refer to the color as ‘Bordeaux,’ which alludes to a different red wine. Burgundy was dubbed after the Germanic Burgundians of olden history.
- This wine color is often confused with the color maroon.
Burgundy means: intensity, sophistication, and individuality
Effects of burgundy: increases appetite, accelerates heart rate, and stimulates
Positive traits: powerful, unique, and sophisticated
Negative traits: malicious, unfriendly, and uptight