The color wheel is a visual representation of color theory, first proposed by Sir Isaac Newton in the 18th century. More a color chart or color scale than anything else, a color wheel shows the relationship colors have to one another.

A color wheel is useful for identifying harmonious colors for a particular context.

The most common version of a color wheel contains 12 colors based on the red yellow blue (RYB) artistic color model. In this model, the primary colors of red, yellow and blue are placed opposite their complementary secondary colors (green, orange and purple) and next to their tertiary color variations (yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green).

Tertiary colors are the colors formed by mixing a primary and secondary color.

Many variations of the traditional RYB color wheel concept exist. Another popular color wheel is the red green blue (RGB) or red green violet (RGV) wheel with the colors cyan, magenta, and yellow as secondary.

A wheel can also be a useful visual representation or analogy for poverty. The wheel's hub represents absolute poverty. The wheel's spokes represent the different needs of those living in poverty, and the rim of the wheel represents a life fulfilled. Our mission, to release children from poverty in Jesus' name, brings children living in poverty from the hub of the "poverty wheel" to the rim.
If we combine the color wheel premise with the idea of a wheel also representing poverty the newly created "poverty color wheel" makes a vivid point.
A woman in a blue shirt blows blue powder onto the face of a girl wearing a blue dress
The presence of poverty in a person's life doesn't mean joy, hope and dignity can't also be present. On the contrary, joy, hope and dignity can be in full bloom.

RED

Red symbolizes life. It asserts itself with boldness and daring and expresses itself with pioneering spirit. Red represents the strength and determination of a child fighting the lies of poverty.

A boy wearing a red button-up shirt

YELLOW

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy. It’s an optimistic color, one that communicates a brighter future for children in poverty.

A group of boys wearing yellow shirts stand in a circle

BLUE

Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth and heaven. It is the color of the sky. And it is the color of Compassion. It represents the unlimited potential of the children we serve.

A young girl in a sundress with a blue flower stands in front of a blue wall

GREEN

Green is the color of nature. It represents balance and symbolizes self-respect, growth and harmony. It also symbolizes freshness, like a fresh opportunity, a chance to succeed and break the cycle of poverty.

A young man

ORANGE

Orange is a bold invigorating color suggesting strength, endurance and success. It represents enthusiasm, encouragement and determination. It is the banner of success carried by children released from poverty in Jesus’ name.

A smiling young girl in an orange tanktop

PURPLE

Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes wisdom, nobility and ambition. It communicates wealth and extravagance. But it’s also the color of dignity – something you’re helping give to children in poverty.

A smiling young boy stands in front of a purple wall

PINK

Pink is associated with purity, love and compassion. It communicates gentleness and freshness. Pink represents good health and life, which you offer to children in poverty.

A baby wearing a pink cap

WHITE

White symbolizes goodness, innocence and purity. It’s the color of perfection and safety. It’s the color of light — the Light of the World we share through our ministry.

A woman holds up a baby dressed in white

BLACK

Black is a mysterious color associated with power, fear, and strength. It’s an authoritative and elegant color simultaneously sophisticated and aggressive. It’s the color of mystery and the unknown — like the future of a child waiting for a sponsor.

A young man wearing a black tie and vest

The pictures of poverty you see throughout compassion.com are meant to express need while maintaining the dignity of the person. They show that joy and hope still bloom within the poor despite the conditions they endure.

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Poverty Color Wheel - Compassion International