Color is considered one of the most useful and powerful design tools, red having the greatest power of all the colors. It is the color with the greatest emotion. It advances and screams for attention, “Here I am!” It warns us, makes us hungry, increases our risk taking, and grounds us. The color red gives the impression of seriousness and dignity. Red is love, passion, sex, ripeness, and fertility.
Interior designers use color psychology with diligence. Restaurant designers use red in their design plan to increase a person’s appetite. We naturally associate red with succulent foods like juicy berries, a ripe red apple, and red meat. It is inviting, warm, and comforting—a perfect choice for food consumption.
People will actually gamble more and make riskier bets when exposed to red light. It is excellent for creating emotional excitement and is known for encouraging people to make quick decisions and increase expectations. You can be sure that the casinos in Vegas are well aware of these psychological effects of color and design their environment accordingly.
In the art of feng shui, red symbolizes prosperity, good fortune and luck and is often used to auspiciously stimulate areas of the home.
In chakra colors, red is the color of the base chakra. It encourages self-confidence, passion, drive, self-awareness, belonging, groundedness, joy, and trust. Red is the color of life force. The color red implies stability, power, and conservatism. Red is fire, blood and success.
Physiologically, red stimulates brain wave activity, increases heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. It is known to escalate the body’s metabolism.
How to use red to affect your life:
Red is a dynamic, dramatic hue that gathers attention, demands respect and can be overpowering in professional settings, this can be good or bad depending on your intended goals. It draws out the aggressive personality of the wearer.
If you are speaking in front of an audience and need people to respect that you are an authority on the subject, or you are seeking political office, red is a helpful choice.
When you are trying to decide what to wear to an interview, red is seldom a good choice. No matter what position you are interviewing for, the interviewer will feel intimidated by your authority. In situations where negotiations are taking place or where there is a potential for conflict, avoid red as the main color of your physical presentation.
Red is most effective when just a spot of this powerful color graces an otherwise neutral outfit. The eye is drawn to the red pumps at the base of a black suit or bright red lipstick. This dramatic color moves the eye and the energy around the body.
Intentionally wearing red gemstones will generate that subtle energy needed for a successful day. Choose ruby, red garnet, red coral, bloodstone or agate to introduce a touch of red for that extra boost of grounding energy.
Choosing to wear red says to the world, “I am stable, safe and secure.” It also says “Look at me.”
Red is the ultimate cure for sadness. – Bill Blass
For more information on color, please check out these color links:
For further reading, check out these sources:
Leatrice Eiseman’s Web site, www.MoreAliveWithColor.com.
Marian Davis, Visual Design in Dress, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc., 1980.