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November 04, 2008

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

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Election Day is finally here and even Pure Contemporary, usually knee deep in design, isn't immune to its charms. We think a lot about color over here.  Today, we're especially interested in the two most talked about colors of 2008, red and blue.

Why are Republicans Red and Democrats Blue?

According to The Washington Post, the terms were coined by Tim Russert during his televised coverage of the 2000 presidential election.[1] It wasn't the first time colors were used to graphically portray state politics, but these colors stuck, and the connotations of each color is a good reason why.

Here's what the experts have to say about the meaning of red:

The symbolism of red is vast and varied -- by culture and by context. In Asia, red symbolizes luck, success, fire -- and stock market profits -- while in Western culture, red indicates a bad day on Wall Street. In either context, red indicates the ultimate. Of all the colors in the visible spectrum, red is the one that demands -- and attracts -- the most attention. In nature's palette there is an abundance of green's, blue's, brown's and even white. Against any of these backdrops, red stands out and impacts our moods; arousing, startling, warning, electrifying or agitating us.

And blue:

Feng Shui experts praise blue as being calming, soothing and tranquil. They say it seems to lengthen time, symbolizes understanding and can give an upscale look (historically, blue's a color of royalty).To the Egyptians, blue represented faith. The Greeks thought sapphires could help with physical health and mental composure; they used the airy hue to represent water, sky and truth. The Chinese used blue to represent the east and, along with green, the spring season of growth and rebirth. For early Christians blue symbolized the divine. In Islam it stands for winter, night and old age.

Makes sense to me. What do you think?


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