Color Wheel Tier: Primary
Tonal Value: Warm
Complementary Color: Green
Red is the color on the visible spectrum most easily seen and the color that most attracts attention (which is why it’s so popular in advertising). It is also one of the most versatile colors, with lots of different connotations depending on where and how it’s used.
Meanings / Associations
Love / Romance
Dynamic / Activity
Danger / Warning
The context in which red appears and the exact shade used has a lot to do with how it’s interpreted. If you see a standard red with green, for example, it will bring to mind Christmas. Red with white and pink might bring to mind Valentine’s Day and love. Bright red on a stop sign gains your attention and is a warning. Red in your bank account signals danger and debt. Many sports teams use shades of red on their uniforms to show strength and dominance. Red powder on your food generally means it’s going to be spicy. Deeper red lipstick and roses are associated with romance and lust. I could go on and on. You can check out my mood board for red on Pinterest if you want to see a whole bunch of different ways that red is used and appears, but the list above gives a good overview of all the ways red is interpreted. Something to keep in mind if you plan on using red in your branding or advertising.
What does red make you think of?
nice post… I enjoyed reading all of the different meanings of just ONE color! when i think of red, i think of many things… love, hate, and power would be the main 3!
Thank you! I love hearing how other people interpret color. For me, hate would be black, but I could see how red would evoke that.