A question for all you design-type folks…


I’m working on designing a piece that will be emblematic of the four seasons. I’m going to have a four-armed solar cross in the center of a circle, with one quadrant for each season. What colors do you associate with the various seasons?

I’ve tried doing a traditional Wiccan representation, based on the elements, and although winter = earth summer = fire seems to work, it looks very un-seasonal with winter in green and spring in blue.

Currently, I’m kind of liking white=winter, green=spring, yellow-orange=summer, brown=autumn… but I’d really love to find a traditional set of colors, or ones that have a particular reasoning behind them. I can’t quite get my mind around the Medicine Wheel representation either, although the graphic looks a lot like one.

I don’t have enough graphic complexity to put in symbols that would make it clear, like snowflakes and new leaves; I wish I did!.

18 replies
  1. snack
    snack says:

    um, i don’t know if i’m coherent enough to understand this but i’ll toss in a comment:

    winter – white or blueish
    spring – yellow or pink
    summer – green
    autumn – red or orange

    or something like that. 🙂

  2. bronxelf_ag001
    bronxelf_ag001 says:

    Just speaking from a designer’s perspective– orange may be seen as too “autumny” for summer. i have a friend who can probably help you with the traditional color scheme and symbolism. Shall I direct her here?

  3. fragiletender
    fragiletender says:

    Winter – white or silver
    Spring – pale green or pale yellow
    Summer – bright blue (blue skies and seaside holidays)
    Autumn – orange, gold, red or brown

  4. admin
    admin says:

    Shall I direct her here?

    That’d be fantastic!

    I’ve been having a problem with everything being too “warm” – it seems like everything’s on the yellow end of the spectrum, but it keeps looking weird if I put blue in there!

  5. bronxelf_ag001
    bronxelf_ag001 says:

    Okay, one ping, coming up.

    As for me, I’d use white/silver/deep blue for winter.
    pink/pale green/pale yellow for spring
    crimson/brown/orange/deep green for autumn
    summer? clear colors. I don’t know that it matters which ones. Just make them unmuddied.

  6. culfinglin
    culfinglin says:

    ping answered

    merry meet!

    i suppose the color choice depends largely on how literally you want to take the wheel of the year, the holly king vs. oak king battle, and other seasonal symbolism.

    here’s how i’d do it:

    winter: black. samhain and yule are the dead time of the year, the God is in utero, the oak king and holly king have fought, nothing’s growing, the nights are long.

    spring: a warm light green (but not chartreuse). the God’s born, the earth’s waking up, there’s that wonderful bright, light green everywhere as plants begin putting out new growth around imbolc and ostara (depending on where you live).

    summer: a reddish gold, to symbolize heat, the sun, beltane and midsummer, and the oak king’s death. also straw, wheat, and the wicker man.

    autumn: a deep red, to symbolize the harvest, ripened fruit, lammas and mabon; a foreshadowing of the pomegranates of samhain.

  7. elorie
    elorie says:

    Re: ping answered

    I like her color scheme, but I have alternate suggestions to include the elemental correspondences as well…

    Winter/Earth: Black is good. Here in Georgia, winter is kind of brown. Definitely not white. I forget where you live; maybe you could think in terms of what is happening outside your own doorstep, rather than “traditional” colors and associations.

    Spring/Air: Most any springlike color also works for air. Light yellow, light green, lavender…colors of the sky and flowers.

    Summer/Fire: I like the red/gold, or a strong bright yellow for the sun.

    Autumn/Water: This one’s kinda tricky, but I favor a smoky hazy blue…the color of deep water, the sky in autumn, the Blue Ridge mountains which mean fall to me personally, and wood smoke.

  8. sandthistle
    sandthistle says:

    color correspondence/design

    I like so many of the suggestions above that I almost didn’t post, but here be thoughts:

    If you picked a part of the color wheel to symbolize earth, air, fire, and water, and then used a color from each in each of your seasonal quarters (appropriately varied in terms of intensity, saturation, and grey-tone), I think it’d be cool – because all of the elements are present in all of the seasons. That may give you more colors than you want to work with, but I can imagine – note: not design, but imagine – something very beautiful done this way.

    Typical. Ask an academic for a tangible, and they give you, rather, an idea. 🙂 *waves*

  9. admin
    admin says:

    Re: color correspondence/design

    Hee…

    If I had more space, or more graphic complexity in the space I’ve got, I would do it like the James Avery silver version – a sprout for Spring, a big oak tree for Summer, leaves for Fall, snowflakes for winter… but what I’m working with just doesn’t allow that much image complexity! I wrestled for quite some time with trying to make images in each quadrant (I’m doing a solar-cross-in-circle, with a quarter for each season) but I just kept ending up with blobs. I’m spoilt – I’m too fond of my design stuff, to go for “If you squint, it’s kind of like a leaf…”

  10. doobieous
    doobieous says:

    Here’s what we’d consider “seasonal” colors. What our seasons are in reality is wet/dry.

    Summer = Gray (we’re often overcast and foggy)
    winter = blue (it rains here during winter)
    spring = green (everything greens up after winter rains)
    fall = brown (this is the period when there have been no rains since early spring).

  11. admin
    admin says:

    It’s funny… although there are some constants (spring is yellow, pink, or green…) some people find winter to be blue (ice, water, rain), others find summer blue (bright skies, mostly)…

    I think a lot of it boils down, like you said, to local seasonal shades.

    Thanks for your input!

  12. bronxelf_ag001
    bronxelf_ag001 says:

    Re: ping answered

    Sure, no problem! After, I was looking over my friends list and realizing just how strong a network I have going on over there. It just blew my mind. 🙂

  13. colubra
    colubra says:

    If I can remember, when I get home I’ll take a photo of the spring/summer/winter/fall ceramic trivet my folks gave me- it’s terribly pagan, and really rather subtle.
    Summary: it’s a diamond-shape, four trees, one poking outwards N/S/E/W. One has fruit on it, one has leaves hanging onto it like they’re dry, one has birds nested in it, one’s bare.
    It’s not exactly what you’re talking about- but it might serve as a good inspiration.

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