Monday, July 13, 2009

Red or Black

Red is a popular colour for sporting-minded car owners: it is seen as exciting, aggressive and stimulating. However, until the 1990's it was one of the least popular with car manufacturers, because of the difficulties of producing contrasting shades of red with solid, intense colour. There were limitations with red pigments because of the inherent optical properties of their lead based chemistry; large quantities of red pigment are required to be mixed with binders to produce a red that does not seem translucent. Recent changes in paint technology have produced a red pigment that is entirely lead-free with a far superior colour saturation. Subtle alterations to paint chemistry now provide different hues of the spectrum - from yellow reds, through blue reds to violet. Fast moving red cars are used mainly in photographic advertising precisely because of this attribute and the way they react to changing light and the visual appeal to your brain.

Red and white remained the predominant colours into the late 1990's, but colour impression can account for the acceptance or rejection of a product. Some surveys suggest that owners of red cars tend to be outgoing, creative and impulsive; owners of white cars are aloof, dutiful and methodical. Silver owners are associated with success, style and maybe a touch pompous; black owners are seen as ambitious, sophisticated and stealthy. Unfortunately, a sleek black car can also be seen as sinister, not visible and impractical to keep clean or polished.

Ferrari is synonymous with supercar red, and Lamborghini has laid claim to muscle black, and to a lesser extent, flashy yellow - the two colours in its badge.

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