Cool Red and Hot Blue?

Something that has arisen from the Ritual project is the question of representation of state with colour. Each of the individuals I’ve asked has had an immediate idea of which colour represents high energy/heat. When asked why they see it that way, and being offered other rationalisations, they have almost all remained satisfied with their view.

Based on ordinary physics, red has the lowest energy in the visual spectrum and blue has the highest. Red and Blue Giant stars are our celestial guides to colour temperature. Betelgeuse and Rigel make a conveniently placed pair in the constellation of Orion.

Based on psychology, blue is considered a cool, peaceful colour, while red is considered warm and energizing.

Based on correspondence, red is more likely to be associated with, say, fire, while blue is more likely to be associated with, say, water.

Based on biology and natural daylight, red triggers end of day and serotonin/melatonin conversion for sleep, while blue triggers start of day and an increase in serotonin.

Based on the plumbing industry, hot taps have red buttons and cold taps have blue buttons.

Based on traffic planners, red represents minimum energy/motion, stop, while green (halfway between red and blue in the spectrum) represents restoration/maintenance of a previous energy/speed.

Apart from the various beats I’m using, I wish to have the audiostrobe colour indicative of the anticipated energy level of the session. Maybe this is something I’ll have to offer as a personalisation?

If I were designing exclusively for Procyon users, life would be easy – the colours can easily be transposed, but most bicolour devices have fixed mapping.

My question, given that either way has technical merit, is, “Do you prefer red or blue to represent high energy/high beat frequency?”.


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