For the Love of Reds

Rachel Perls, a cattledogs reader, an , and an accredited color consultant, wrote in recently to tell me all about what she does and how color consultants help people chose just the right mix of hues for their home, office, product design or marketing. I thought it would be fun to have her write a bit about color and how it affects our mood, starting with Red, often known as the color of love and passion. Rachel, take it away...


For the Love of Reds

By cattledogs contributor:

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're paying tribute to the color red. Ever notice how this color gets all the attention? Ah red, so passionate, so fiery. Like that crimson velvet sofa you can't help but drool over. Reds make statements, whether a brilliant ruby, understated burgundy, or sexy fuchsia. A study in contradictions, they can represent love or hate, sex or innocence, power or passivity.

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Why does red tug on your emotions? Scientific studies have shown that the color can actually induce physiologic changes. As a visual stimulant, red can accelerate a heart rate and cause an adrenaline rush. As such a dominant color, red works great as an accent: a rich scarlet Oriental rug, cheerful cranberry throw pillows, or cluster of persimmon-hued candles can really perk up a space. And for bigger spaces, by first understanding the different personalities of this stimulating hue, it can be used to its fullest potential. A heart-pounding fire red will evoke a dramatically different response than that of a cool, regal wine red or a soft, romantic pearl pink.

More than any other color, red has the ability to stir up emotions and set a mood. Because of its incredible power, take care in its application to avoid over-stimulating your audience.

For professional advice on effective use of color, please visit Rachel?s blog .

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Any questions for Rachel regarding Red? Ask her by commenting below.

[Update: Reader pointed us over to a over on NPR. It examines how Red has been used throughout the ages, and for those who haven't taken a color theory class, I think you'll find it rather fascinating. Thanks, Vanessa]