Color Series: The Meaning Behind Red

meaning of redWelcome to the first of a series that will go in depth about the meanings and symbolism behind different colors we see and use every day! It’s important to understand color and the symbolism they carry- especially when it comes to artwork.

The first contestant is red.

“When in doubt, wear red.” – Bill Blass

Red is oftentimes associated with blood, which gives it strong ties to life. Not only this, but when people see red they think of passion, love, desire, heat and longing. When you think about Valentine’s Day, what do you think about? Aisles and aisles of red frilly stuff in your local Wal-Mart.

When you see diagrams of the body- our muscles and our heart- they are usually colored in red.

The color red is very intense. When we talk about passion, we talk about putting everything into a particular emotion- whether its love, anger, or even excitement. Red is extremely bold!

Studies have shown that red can create physical effects in our bodies. This tends to include elevated blood pressure, increased respiratory rates, higher enthusiasm, and even increased confidence.

The color red is highly visible, and it calls the attention of the onlooker. This is partly why fire trucks and stop signs are red. It calls the attention of drivers and is harder to miss in its surroundings.meaning of red

In some countries, brides will wear red and is considered a symbol of purity. In China, red represents happiness, prosperity, and good luck. In Tibetan paintings, red is synonymous with bliss.

It’s also thought in some circles that red stones such are rubies and garnets can offer protection from anxieties, create confidence and increase enthusiasm.

Some Cultural Uses for Red:

  • Red is one color associated with the Christmas holiday season.
  • Barns used to be red because red paint was the least expensive.
  • “In the red” refers to losing money or overdrawing from a bank account.
  • A “red herring” is referring to something that is dishonest or distracting from the truth.
  • The term “seeing red” is meant to indicate anger.
  • “Red flags” refer to a warning of danger or problems.

At Hunakai Studio, every brush stroke has meaning behind it. We know how to guide our students and encourage them to express themselves!