Design, Living

Your Brain Is A Red Liar

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Red Ink containers

Our brains are hard wired to respond to red. Evolutionary psychologists explain this by pointing out that in the time before writing, when our brains were developing, if you saw red, something was happening that was worth your attention. You could be leaking red blood, something might be trying to eat you with its red mouth, delicious meat was red, your loincloth might be on red fire, those red berries might kill you, etc. Because your reptile brain learned these things, we still fixate on the color today.

After black and white, red is far and away the most requested ink color by our clients. It’s so common, it’s cliche. For fun, ask a graphic designer to make something redder and bigger, sit back and watch them regret being born.

When your brain sees something close to red it responds like that dog in the Beggin’ strips commercial. “Is that red? It is! Red!”
It’s not. Your brain wants its fix and lies to you to get it. For example:

Red onions: Not red. That color is called purple.
Redheads: Their hair is orange or brown. Your brain thinks rhymes are fun.
Red foxes/pandas/squirrels/kangaroos/lemurs: Again, orange or brown.
Red rooster: Brown rooster makes brain sad–no alliteration.
Red robin: See above.
• Red cabbage: Is purple cabbage.
Red wolf: Gray. Much like the gray wolf, you might say.
Red clover/redbud tree: Purple flowers. Say it with me. Purple.
Red fescue: Grass is green. Five year olds know this.
Rednecks: Sunburns are pink.
Red-eye gravy: Both disgusting and brown.
Red clay (Georgia): It’s dirt. Dirt is brown. Might have an argument for orange, but not red.
Red Indian: Your brain is a racist.

Nancy Spungen said it best: “Never trust a junkie.” Especially not one with reverse red-green color blindness.