Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Color Series: Red

Fire, blood, energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love. These are the words that are most commonly associated with the color red.

I recently wrote about the color orange and why I changed my blog layout. You can read all about it there. As I was writing that post, I thought it would fun to make a series out of color meaning, where I would write all about a certain color, break down the meaning, and offer suggestions and color pallets for inspiration. This is the second of many posts in my new color series.

Back to the passionate color. Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. Important? Very.

Red brings text and images to the foreground (if used correctly). You can use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions. It's a perfect color for "Buy This" or "Click Here" buttons on Internet banners, websites, or anything print. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings. Now cam down for a second, don't get too excited! Think of red lips, nail polish, red-light districts, and the overused "lady in red." It is widely used to indicate danger with things like high voltage signs and traffic lights. This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.

Here are some really nice red based color pallets that you can use. Oh, and if you do use these as a base for one of your future designs, make sure to post a link to it in the comment section for all to see!

Light Red: represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Pink: signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Dark Red: is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Brown: suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
Red-Brown: is associated with harvest and fall.

Do you have theories about the color red that you have discovered that I didn't include in this? Any ideas on how to make the next Color Series post even better?

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  1. This is great! One of my favorite colors. Do green next! :)

  2. Thanks April! If there are no objections, green WILL be next. ;)

  3. Thanks! I love color! Have you seen this video?

    Interesting points, very animated audience!