The Sunrise of Henna Sky – A Designer Color Story

#R325 Henna Sky is a Rosco gel color that captures the earthy reds found sweeping the Arizona desert, or the searing sunrises and complex sunsets that accompany dry summers. The color is a toasted red amber loved by lighting designers for its drama and effectiveness.

Lighting Designer Angela Marks used R325 Henna Sky in her dance lighting design to bathe the performers on stage in an earthy red.#R325 Henna Sky bathes the stage during the Kaleidoscope Dance Concert. Lighting Design: Angela Marks

Fun Fact: Even though the color has become incredibly popular with theatrical designers, #R325 was originally conceived on a film set.

How #R325 Henna Sky Was Created

While working on a feature film, Director of Photography Jean -Yves Escoffier had a particular reddish-amber color in mind. After searching every available swatch book, his Chief Lighting Technician, Dwight Campbell, concluded that a single filter did not exist to create that color. So, he came up with a combination of four different CTO and Minusgreen gels to create the "Maraschino Cherry" that Escoffier wanted.

R325 Henna Sky was used as an architectural accent color on the set of NBC’s Las Vegas.Dwight used his “Maraschino Cherry” recipe as an architectural accent color on the set of NBC’s Las Vegas.

After working with the color on that film, Dwight found a need for it again while working on the TV series Las Vegas. Dwight was convinced that others would find this rich toasted amber useful, and he contacted Rosco. The color design for #R325 was the final result of that conversation. But the color’s unique name came along later.

How #R325 Henna Sky Got Its Name

Although Campbell and Escoffier referenced the color as “Maraschino Cherry,” the name was ultimately vetoed to ensure that all designers, both English-speaking and non, could easily spell and pronounce it.

The colorimetry and  SED curve for R325 Henna Sky.

Amé Yeager, who was Rosco’s color filter product manager at the time, shared how it was Lighting Designer Herrick Goldman who came up with the name for this unique new color. Yeager visited Goldman on Cape Cod, bringing with her a slew of new Rosco gel colors in need of names. They volleyed ideas back and forth and finally settled on “Henna Sky” - the name loosely inspired by the “tasty reddish-pink" of Henna tattoos and hair dye.

Herrick used #R325 Henna Sky to light scenes in a performance piece entitled, Firedance.

When asked to share his favorite use of Henna Sky – Goldman referenced the Firedance tour he took to Manila, Philippines in the early 2000s. The show blended Native American rhythms & culture with acrobatics & aerial dance inside Araneta Coliseum, one of the largest indoor arenas in Asia. To be effective in such a large venue, Goldman’s lighting design called for a massive red wash. He remembers having twenty sheets of #R325 with him and “doubling them up on about 36 PAR 64 NSPs and slamming it at the stage. It was beautiful.”

Do you have a color story about #R325 Henna Sky you’d like to share? You can either email your color story to – or @ tag us in a post on social media.


Caroline Connell June 20, 2024 Questions?

About Caroline Connell

Marketing Coordinator: Prior to joining Rosco in 2022, Caroline worked as a musical theater performer, director, and educator for over 10 years. Her strong background and diverse skill set within Live Entertainment make her a valuable resource at Rosco for industry professionals around the world.