The color palette in the marina at Fisherman’s Wharf is basically white and blue with some brown and grey highlights, i.e. there is not much color. Two boats caught my eye yesterday, one with yellow trim and another with two patches of bright red. The red details in particular popped out. As with lipstick, a little red on a boat goes a long way. The power of red lies with its discrete application.
Further down the wharf I came across my first sighting of a Valentine’s Day promotion: chocolate truffles in the shape of Panda bears, boxes and ribbons and red slapped over everything in a pile of gifts. No one with the public’s or the color red's welfare in mind would do this to this color. Having too much of another color thrown at you, blue for example, is just tedious—like having someone talk down to you. Having too much red thrown at you is like being yelled at by a mean cop, or like having a bad dog yap at you over and over again.
How can we explain the annoying overuse of red on Valentine’s Day? Some would call it a tradition, and it is. To me, it seems little more than an embarrassing ‘add-on’. Fortunately, red has a stronger sense of self and purpose than that of the holiday gift marketers. Red is out there working away everyday guiding our eye to many common things that might otherwise go unnoticed. Click here for examples. It has an appetite for Ferraris and things speedy, but it works equally well to stop us in our tracks. Arrogant, selfish, territorial, and never cute, red is rarely claimed as anyone’s favorite color. But its power is usually treated with respect, but not during this holiday period.
Red will survive Valentine's Day.
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