The Power of Red

Red is the color of blood and fire and often represents life and vitality — a symbol of energy, radiating its vitalizing life-force into human beings. Red is often associated with energy, strength, power, and determination, as well as passion, desire, and love. A ripe fruit announces its readiness with its red color.

Red is power, hence the red power tie for business people and the red carpet for celebrities and VIPs — we even call it rolling out the red carpet or giving someone red carpet treatment when we want to recognize their power and importance. A red-letter-day is said to have special importance or significance. Going out and celebrating is even referred to as painting the town red!

Red is a very emotionally intense color, in fact, several studies have indicated that red carries the strongest reaction of all the colors. 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 heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags.

In China, red is the symbol of fire and the south (both south in general and Southern China specifically). It carries a largely positive connotation, being associated with courage, loyalty, honor, success, fortune, fertility, happiness, passion, and summer. In Chinese cultural traditions, red is associated with weddings (where brides traditionally wear red dresses) and red paper is also frequently used to wrap gifts of money or other treasures.

When you use red, you make a statement. Use the color red to grab attention and to get people to take action. Use red when you don’t want to sink into the background. Use red to suggest speed and efficiency combined with confidence and perhaps even a dash of danger. A little bit of red goes a long way; small doses can often be more effective than large amounts of this strong color. Multiple shades of red and even pink or orange can combine for a cheerful palette. You cannot go wrong with spirit-lifting red dinnerware. It is right for almost any mood and can conform either casual or formal events.


This unique ceramic sculpture was commissioned by Solectron for its Board as a parting gift when the company was acquired by Flextronics. The red was used to reinforce Solectron’s brand and corporate color.