Sunday, February 15, 2009

This makes me see red

Our reaction to color is almost instantaneous and has a profound impact on the choices we make everyday.

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red.

In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, 'Lady in Red', etc). This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.

Red brings text and images to the foreground; a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element. Advertisers use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for 'Buy Now' or 'Click Here' buttons on Internet banners and websites.


Jamie of Thirtysomething Gamers said...

Ah, Red…my favorite color! Also, very interesting through culture. Red is the traditionally the color of Chinese wedding dresses. Whereas, in the U.S., red has the erotic connotation (you mentioned) and can be thought of as…well, slutty. LoL There is an old movie, with Bette Davis, called Jezebel. She scandalously wears a red dress to an event…just to cause a fuss.
Very interesting that red is often associated with danger…the stop light, fire-hydrant, etc. Warning symbols often use this “Stop – look” kind-of thought. Maybe this is because the color does jump to the foreground and grab our attention so quickly?

for the love of frank said...

red, more than anything, means stop. not just with traffic lights and stop signs, impulse buys and click-here's. it forces the person to stop what they are doing or seeing and focus on red. red captivates the attention and won't let us go until we've heard its message.

is red truly erotic? or does it just draw our attention to the lips that will kiss us, the nails that will scratch our backs, and the figure within the dress?

is red truly dangerous? or does it just force our attention to think about the meaning of a fire hydrant.

what about double-decker buses? old-school phone booths? 57 chevys and race cars? its attention grabbing, and our personal associations with the color and the memory the color siphons from us invariably affect our physiology in some way--hunger (red meat), heart rate (sexy lips), danger (fire truck).

there's very few things in nature that are red, and they are only a peppering on an otherwise green, brown or blue landscape. naturally our curiosity is roused with the color and we are forced to alertness.

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