The power of color red

by Tolovaj

Color red is the most powerful color of all. It has strong symbolic meanings and being color of blood it is certainly related to life and death.

Red is a very stimulative color. It energizes and it is associated with love, hate and passion. According to legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani there are really two colors worth mentioning: red and black (which is not a real color from physics point of view).

So here is my Top 10 facts about color red!

(All images, unless stated otherwise:, PD licence)

Red is hot!

1. Red is color of sun, warmth, life. It calls for action and it has provable effect on metabolism: it increases blood pressure and speed up the pulse. Red has longest wavelength in spectra which can be seen with human eye. If wavelength is even longer, it can be sensed as a heat. In this case it is called infra red.Red is color of life

2. Color red is color of passion, seduction and lust. Ever heard about red light districts?

Redheads were considered very special through all known human history. Women with red heads are considered as more passionate, have more intimate partners and are in general more popular among men. Many ladies who colored their hair red reported after that simple act their life really changed and became more similar to this stereotype!

There was even a research in Germany made in 2006 which proved redheads have more sex than brunettes or blondes, but this stands only for ladies. Men with red hair were never popular...

One possible explanation is rarity of the gene for red hair. Only one percent of world population carry this gene. Men with this gene can look to risky to be considered as possible partners to women, but women with this gene can look like a trophy to men!

Don't mess with the redhead!

Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, katiem2 and Aphrodite are only few of famous redheads in history

Color of love

3. The most emotionally intense color is red. This means red is also a color of love.

In many cultures red dresses or accessories are associated with marriage. It is color of bridal dresses in parts of India and it represents joy, celebration of life and of course sexuality.

Blushed cheeks and red lips attract attention and red is considered as most provocative but also romantic of all colors.

Think about Valentine's... Flowers, candy, cards... All red, or pink, what is really lighter and more gentle shade of red, right?

Red rose is powerful symbol of love

It is beautiful but beware of the thorns
Roses are red...
Roses are red...

Red is popular

4. Red is extremely noticeable and thus very popular for logotypes. It is not a coincidence to find it as dominating color in so competitive and powerful brands as Coca Cola or Marlboro.

Now think about their main competitors! A lot of red, right?

Color red doesn't only make you excited. It triggers hunger as well and it is very hard to find a food oriented brand (to be honest Coca Cola and Marlboro are power players in this industry too) without red in its logotype. Red is widely used as food additive and it is almost a must in restaurants.

And talking about competition, we should not forget sport teams. You can find a lot of red here too!

Red in Japan flag represents sun

5. Want to make a statement? Red is the most popular color on flags. 148 of 192 independent countries have red in their flag (white only 140). If we mix all flags together, red will again occupy the broadest area: more than 30 percent (blue being second in this category with only 21 percent).

Source of this statistics:

Color of alertness

6. When we see color red, we know we have to be prepared for action. This is color or war and all sorts of danger. On traffic signs red is used for stop or prohibition.Beware!

There is very simple reason why is red used on semaphores: because of its wavelength red light is seen from longest distance and this can be very important if weather conditions (e.g. fog) are not ideal.

7. Color red is used to emphasize something. If we want to send important message, we can surround the most crucial points with red color to draw special attention of the reader to them.

Making closing balance of certain business is also very important task. Operating loss is usually colored red. For the situation when expenses exceed the income is usually said to be in red numbers.

Red in nature is reserved for special creatures

Ladybug is saying: I am not tasty and I am also slightly poisonous!
Red animals are not hiding
Red animals are not hiding

Maturity is red colored

8. Red is color of maturity and with maturity comes responsibility. We can see this best in fairy tales. Thinking of red we can't miss Little Red Riding Hood.

Girl's red hood symbolizes life energy and can be easily associated with menstrual blood, in many cultures associated with magic powers, what is not far from truth.

With menstruation comes ability to become a parent and this fairy tale tells as she is really not ready for this responsibility until she learns some important life lessons.

Is this color tempting enough?
Is this color tempting enough?

This is not the only example of symbolic meaning of red color. Red shoes, less known fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen, is also telling about (ir)responsibility and price which has to be payed to earn a position in society.

And not forget about the poisoned apple for another immature girl: Snow White. The fatal half was not red by coincidence.

Red color of fruit tells us (well, it really screams): I am ripe, I am ready to spread my genes, eat me!

This is the reason for red color of cardinals' hats in Catholic Church: they are the most mature men in the organization, so they and nobody else can elect a new Pope!

Why red carpet is red?

9. Nobody knows for sure, but it looks custom of putting red carpet in front of important guests originated in India, although there is also very old mentioning of red carpet in Greek tragedy of Agamemnon (where we found out this color is reserved only for gods).

Red color is traditional color of power and was in many environments meant for nobility only. In last decades we don't think about kings and queens so often, but the need for red carpet persists. Now it can be found at all sorts of gala events and is intended for movie stars, rock' n' roll kings and other celebrities.

The color of power

Red for royalty
Imagine yourself on red carpet?
Imagine yourself on red carpet?

Can we have Oscars without red carpet?

Color of rage!

Fire can mean safety or danger!10. Red is associated with anger, hatred, revenge and aggression. It is color of revolution and changes. Changes are not always for better but we all live in the world where we can't escape them.

This is only one of many reasons red is and will be the most complex and controversial color of all!

Updated: 09/15/2013, Tolovaj
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

What do you feel about color red?

Tolovaj on 12/09/2013

It certainly isn't appropriate for every situation. In negotiations where you are looking for cooperation and compromise, red is strictly forbidden from psychological point of view. It is a color of of aggression after all. Thanks for stopping by, VioletRose.

VioletteRose on 12/09/2013

I love red roses, red gemstones and red dresses, but I do not like it in everything. Sometimes this color makes me feel scared.

Tolovaj on 11/12/2013

Agree on that, WriterArtist:)

WriterArtist on 11/11/2013

I love the brightness and the alertness of red though. A wedding dress in crimson is outstanding.

Tolovaj on 07/22/2013

You are right, WriterArtist. It is color of alert and danger. This is why traffic signs use red so often.

WriterArtist on 07/22/2013

I am not sure but I think red is also the colour of danger. I have seen red signs as symbols for "Danger Ahead" on roads. Interesting article on the colour, I adore this shade and have many dresses in crimson.

Tolovaj on 06/01/2013

Thanks, davestone13, this is great trick. I suppose Santa already knows this;)

davestone13 on 06/01/2013

Let me add to that. Red is also joyful and inviting in the right context. I've found, when working in arts and crafts fairs, that red is the most effective color for getting passersby to wander in and look further. I try to keep a splash of red somewhere on me, especially in the winter markets when a red scarf catches attention.

Tolovaj on 05/27/2013

Not surprising, it's a color of really fast cars after all:)

poutine on 05/27/2013

Red is my husband favorite color.

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