The Color Red Meaning, Uses and Why People Love It


What is the color red meaning and what makes this energizing color so popular? Those are just a few of the questions this essential guide will cover. This emotionally intense color is complex, and it raises blood pressure, increases breathing rate and enhances your metabolism.

Red isn’t playing around.

Color Red Meaning

Red is the color of fire and blood, and of love. It is a high energy color associated with danger, strength and power. It is the color of extremes — love and hate. War and passion.

The meaning of the color red is multi-faceted, but its power is undeniable. That’s why it’s used in so many ways. The color red compels people to make quick decisions and inspires them to act.

The color red can convey urgency which is good for sale signs.

Alerts, Warnings and No

Because red is easy to see, it has been used for fire engines and traffic lights. The color is associated with the words stop and no. Many devices have warning lights or off indicator lights that are red. Think about it. Traffic signs are often red. Do not enter signs, yield signs, wrong-way signs and stop signs all use the color red to alert drivers not to do something.

Courage

But that’s not the only color red meaning. Red also symbolizes courage. The color is uses on many national flags to indicate courage.

Sales and Buy Now

Red also symbolizes urgency. In graphic design red brings text and images to the foreground. It is often used as an accent color to compel people to buy something. Advertisers use red’s sex appeal to further harness red’s power over people.

More Color Red Meanings

  • Light red means joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
  • Pink is synonymous with romance, love, and friendship. It symbolizes feminity.
  • Dark red means vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
  • Reddish-brown symbolizes harvest and fall.

The Color Red Biblical Meaning

In this video, John Thomas talks about the significance of the color red in the bible. It essentially signifies wisdom or anointing. This biblical meaning behind red comes out of the blood of Jesus which is God’s wisdom, Thomas explains.

Color Red Facts

  • All people list red as one of their top two favorite colors.
  • Red is on 77% of all flags in the world.
  • Red is the international color for stop.
  • Red is the color for the 40th wedding anniversary and ruby is the traditional gift.
  • Red paint was the cheapest and easiest to make. That’s why barns are red.
  • Red herring is used to define something that is deceiving, dishonest, or distracting from the truth.
  • The phrase paint the town red means to have fun and celebrate.
  • Seeing red means you are angry and may be flushed and have higher than usual blood pressure.

Meaning of Red in Asian Cultures

Red is the color of good luck in Asia and is the most popular color in China. In Japan, most children draw the sun as a big red circle. In East Asian stock markets, red is used to denote a rise in stock prices, the opposite of North American stock markets.

In China, the color red symbolizes prosperity. During the Lunar New Year celebration red is used to invite abundance into people’s lives. People give each other red envelopes with money or coins to wish them a luck-filled and prosperous year.

Red is an auspicious color for marriage. Brides in India and Nepal wear red saris; in Japan, a red kimono symbolizes happiness and good luck. Chinese brides also wear red.

Red in Design

Other names for the color red include the following colors. Here are the hex codes for red and its variations.

Red #8B0000

Blood red #8a0303

Blush #DE5D83

Brick #cb4154

Burgundy #800020

Carmine #ff0038

Cinnabar #e34234

Crimson #DC143C

Dark red #8B0000

Maroon #800000

Rose #ff007f 

Rouge #a94064

Ruby #e0115f

Rust #b7410e

Scarlett  #ff2400

Tomato #FF6347

Vermillion  #e34234

Even though there are many names for the color red, there are only two types of red — berry and tomato. Yellow-based reds are known as tomato reds. While blue-based reds are called berry reds.

Red Logos

Lego brand uses the color red in its logo.

Red is a popular color for logos because of its visibility. Color has a significant effect on how a person feels and what they think when they see a certain color. How many red logos can you name? Logo color can increase brand recognition and inspire emotional reactions.

For example, blue is thought to convey tradition, wealth and truth. It is a popular choice for law firms, tech companies, and some financial companies. Investment firms opt for green to symbolize money and that it is growing.

But let’s get back to red.

BONUS TIP: Red is a fabulous color combo with indigo.

Red Logos the Good

  • Visibility — Red catches the eye.
  • Appetite stimulator — Restaurants and food companies love using red because of its appetite-stimulating properties. KFC, Jimmy John’s, McDonald’s, Red Robin, In-and-Out, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Coca-cola, Frito Lay and the list can go on and on.
  • Urgency — You’ll see the color red used by the media to display breaking news or by retailers who are having a sale. Some media outlets such as CNN and Time magazine have red logos.
  • Fun — Lego, YouTube, Netflix have harnessed the fun connotation of red. Red can signify a party, joyous occasion, a rolling out the red carpet event and just having a good time.

Red Logos the Bad

  • Aggression — Red is an aggressive color, not something you would want to use if you have a business where you want to put people at ease. Hospitals (red is also the color of blood.), spas, funeral services, and children-related businesses may want to opt for another color.
  • Urgency — While urgency can be an advantage in some industries, urgency and warning are not good in others. If you have a business that requires people to really think about their purchase, using red in a logo will make you look disingenuous.

Red in Home Decor

The color red can instantly raise the energy of a room. It can also signify the holidays such as Christmas, Fourth of July and Valentine’s Day. You can add pops of red with pillow covers, accents and wall art.

Now that you know the meanings of the color red, you might want to add it to your project or home decor. For great home decor items check out the ColorAmazing Etsy Shop.

Stacey Crawford

Stacey Crawford is the owner of Color Amazing Etsy shop that specializes in home decor accents. For the past 8 years, she has been designing pillow covers, shower curtains and table linens for thousands of customers. A professionally-trained photographer and graphic designer, she is an expert in using color and texture to create beautiful touches for your home.

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