Psychology of colors. The Red.
Over 50 Pantone colors identify the shades of red. The first color to which lip makeup is associated, but also the first color that children distinguish from others.
The fields of application of colors are vast and wide and cover all sectors. Now let’s try to analyze a study conducted in 2003 between color and sport. During the Athens Olympics in 2003 two anthropologists from the University of Durham, Russell Hill and Robert Barton, analyzed the results of all the meetings of the various disciplines of struggle that took place during the Games. In 55% of the cases the victory went to the athletes in red and in the hand-to-hand disciplines (such as the Greco-Roman fight) this percentage rose to 62%.
The behavior of primates for example is strongly influenced by red: in males of mandrill the face and the red genitals communicate to the rivals the ability to fight and the level of brightness of the color is directly proportional to the amount of testosterone in the blood.
To understand whether the dominance of red has genetic or environmental origin, Sarah Pryked of Macquarie University of Sydeny, in July 2002 conducted a study on the diamonds of Gould, small birds that may have a red or black head depending on genetics. In food competitions, individuals with red heads have always won on others. And they have also always won the black birds whose head was colored red, because in many cases the opponents have refused the fight even before starting to fight. In these subjects the fear of red seems to be innate.
Science teaches us that color is nothing but a visual elaboration generated by the nervous signals that the photoreceptors of the retina send to the brain. Visual perception is therefore created to all intents and purposes by our brain and, as such, is capable of provoking emotional responses and different psychological attitudes.
For example, red and orange are known as intense and emotional colors, which stimulate the increase in heartbeat and breathing. Furthermore, these colors, applied to the food industry, encourage consumers to eat more and faster. This is why many leaders in the restaurant sector choose red as their corporate color, and also use this color to determine furniture details, such as placemats and curtains.
In 2017, Pitney Bowes’ communications officers commissioned research with the aim of verifying how we react in the various European countries to color messages on correspondence. The results, analyzed by the expert expert in color psychology Karen Halle (our knowledge also for the previous articles), have found that the perception of color seems to reflect the current economic situation of the country.
If for most French or British consumers, an envelope with a red message may primarily contain notice of an overdraft or non-payment, for the Germans this color has no meaning either positive or negative.
Hassler adds: “In the past, colors were an alert system, which we have maintained until today even if the level of conscious perception has been reduced by 20%”
As a result, when a company is preparing to issue a communication, it must pay attention to the color combinations used. Many color combinations can be potentially problematic, such as red and black, which in nature correspond to a message of danger and for this reason the combination of the two colors is rarely used in communication campaigns, as it could trigger a negative reaction.
In conclusion, red is the most vibrant and stimulated color of the spectrum, and expresses numerous positive and vital sensations. It is the first color that we notice, and it is the color that most of all is able to attract our attention and provoke in us any emotional reaction.
Some studies have shown that in the presence of red, an average consumer tends to spend more, and to buy more quickly, almost irrationally. it is therefore a very dynamic color, with a decidedly strong potential.
However, red is also the color of danger. Tired eyes, causes insomnia, increases blood circulation; and it is therefore a color to be used with extreme care moderation and awareness.
When is it necessary to avoid the use of this color?
We advise not to use it in the medical / health or financial sectors (red is the color of debt and the economic problem in most European countries). It is not suitable for expressing the freshness of a product or as a color for sensitization. But if you are in love, give your beloved or your beloved red roses as well .