The Color Red

People have strong emotional ties to colors and a color can affect someone’s mood and their thoughts. During February we are surrounded in a wash of red everywhere we look as Valentine Day approaches: from red roses to red packaged confections to big banners and signs.  Red is everywhere!

It’s meanings are strong:  guilt, sin, anger, passion, courage, sacrifice and love!

I was told once that when I have a long meeting with a client to never wear red, since before long the color will start to mentally exhaust my clients and they will begin to hate and despise everything I say….well, I never wear red to a meeting and so far so good!

I also learned, in the school of color theory, that if I want an instant sale, show the product in red first; for a quick moment in someone’s mind it evokes a passionate and impulsive attraction.  I was given an example of one red watering can that a man had on his showroom floor:  he sold tons of them…but never in the color red!

As Presidents’ Day also approaches we have different feelings that are translated by the tapestry of our American flag. The red stripes represents the courage and sacrifice of our early forefathers that liberated our country, a symbol of the blood shed for our freedom.

Warning symbols are largely in the color red – with stop signs to warning lights of danger ahead to our highest national security alert color…red meaning take cover, I think!

Flip the world over and view red from China and they have additional emotional ties and  meanings associated with red that stand for success, fortune, fertility and happiness. In Japan and India a symbol of purity is a beautiful bride in a red dress.  In the Western world we might think a little differently of a bride in a red dress!!

How can this be?  The color red can be simply lovely and exciting to you, or extremely dangerous and vengeful, but always passionate.  Love it or hate it, eliciting a response is what it’s supposed to do.

“Red sky in the morning sailors take warning.

Red sky at night sailors delight.”

“Red on black, friend of Jack.
Red on yellow, beware fellow.”

Friend or foe, from here on out I will refer to the color red as “my girl Scarlet”; she deserves a name that is as equally feverish as she is lovely.

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