When you work with a red color palette, you’re working with extremes. From passionate love to dangerous liaisons, seductive overtures to anger or violent explosions, shades of red symbolize heartfelt passion, adventure and as well as a lack of control.
In the past, red colors were associated with fires, flames and blood. The red color was associated with both life and danger. Many of the associations we form with red in the present come from the associations our ancestors once made.
Red has both religious and heroic meanings. Greek gods and deities were often heroic and their super-human acts were related to the color red. Red is also the color of the crucifixion and the blood of Christ. In times gone by, red was a very expensive color – and this may be why red is seen to have superhuman and even magical qualities. In present times red is widely available. Red dyes are made from crushed insects.
Table of contents
- Shades of red
- Examples of a red color palette in graphic design
- Examples of a red color palette in web design
- Examples of a red color palette in UI design
Using a red color palette: the global meanings of red
- Many people choose the red color as amongst their two favorite colors.
- Red is a great symbol of nationalism, with 77% of flags made up of some red.
- Internationally, stop signs and traffic lights use red.
- Red is associated with sexuality and in every European city there is a red light district.
- Historically, red was the first color to be introduced into language after black and white.
Why use the color red in your designs
Red is an attention-grabbing color. It is striking in appearance and is one of the most highly visible colors. This is why stop signs, as well as fire engines, use red. Yellow and orange are equally visible, but red is also associated with danger and stresses the importance of staying alert.
When we see red, our lenses literally pull forward. We see red as having a great deal of movement which draws us in. Perhaps this is why red grabs our attention so easily.
Meanings of the color red
When you draw on the color red, you’ll be using a striking and very emotional color. Red is passionate and alive, and symbolizes extreme emotions such as love and hate, Cupid and the devil. The red color palette is warm and passionate, exciting and full of movement. When we see red, our blood pressure rises, our libido increases and our metabolism increases. The color red causes us to breathe faster. Our confidence and our energy levels begin to increase.
Too much of the color red and we might become agitated. When we see red, we lose our tempers, behave in an overbearing manner and partake in angry or demanding behaviors. When there is too little red in our lives, we may be too cool and lethargic, sad, cautious or manipulative. Green balances out red, creating a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere. If your designs are overly passionate, add green. To get rid of a lethargic or exhausted energy, add red.
When used to express passion, red becomes the color of love. However, red is often far more representative of sexuality and lust. Pink is used to represent love.
At its most positive, red symbolizes sexuality and a love of life. When used negatively, red is an angry and even violent color which carries dangerous meaning.
The red color palette is often used in restaurants as it increases the metabolism.
Alternate meanings associated with red shades
- Vibrant red colors are often combined with vivid greens to symbolize Christmas and the wonders and joys of the festive season.
- Ruby red shades are symbolic of fortieth wedding anniversary and the gifts associated with this.
- In present times, red is an inexpensive color. Country barns are often painted red as this paint was easy to acquire.
Shades of red
There are many different types of red. Some are a deep red color such as brick, Venetian red, crimson, maroon, and burgundy, while other colors of red are lighter, such as rose madder.
Reds may be combined with a touch of orange, as in cinnabar, russet, or rust. Other reds are pure in color, such as tomato, Indian red, blood red, scarlet, and flame.
RGB 255, 36, 0
Scarlet is a pure red color with a touch of orange. Scarlet is often considered to be a pure red shade. Perfectly balanced and deep in color, the scarlet color of red also contains a small tint of green.
Indian Red Color
RGB 205, 92, 92
Chilli Red Color
Fire Brick Color
RGB 178, 34, 34
Carmine Red Color
RGB 150, 0, 24
Carmine-Red is a bright color red which is vivid, with a dominant red light. It is close to a scarlet color.
RGB 128, 0, 0
Maroon is a red color which combines with a touch of black to create a deep red shade. Although it looks like a deep red color, maroon is really a pure shade of red. This is because it doesn’t have any blue or green light incorporated into the color red.
RGB 164, 90, 82
RGB 234, 60, 83
Cerise is a bright red color given the French word for ‘cherry’. We can, therefore, say that cerise is a cherry red color. Cerise has also been used to describe other red shades such as blood, raspberries, rubies, and tomatoes.
Persian Red Color
USA Flag Color
Barn Red Color
RGB 124, 10, 2
Ruby Red Color
RGB 224, 17, 95
Vermilion Red Color
Candy Apple Color
RGB 255, 8, 0
Ferrari Red Color
‘Crimson’ is a deep, blood red color which is associated with wine, sunsets and even blushing.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between burgundy vs maroon? Both are deep, wine red colors. However, while maroon red shades are pure shades mixed with black, burgundy has a tinge or purple, making it one of the warmer shades of red.
Using a red color palette in graphic design
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Examples of a red color palette in web design
Measure that matters
Showcase of a red color palette in UI design
Hotjar Mobile App Concept
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The wine shop app
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Agenda Mobile Application
Cool Chat APP
Bike Community App
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Card App | iOS
Ending thoughts on the different shades of red
Red is a warm and passionate color which symbolizes both visual and emotional intensity. Red is the color of love, passion, violence, and adventure.
Different shades have different meanings. As you can see from the gorgeous names given to shades of red, the red color remains a firm favorite amongst viewers.
Used in your designs, you can use reds to create vibrant or sophisticated touches to your designs. By drawing on the different red shades, you will be able to create visual designs which are interesting and alive.