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Let’s talk about colour – Red

If you share our enthusiasm for colour, you’re going to adore today’s blog post. To celebrate Red Nose Day in the customary artistic fashion, we came up with the idea of writing a piece centred around the hue (a popular colour during Comic Relief). We’ll talk about how the colour affects us physiologically and psychologically, as well as the range of emotions that it evokes. Both the good and the bad will be discussed.

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Red is a lively and adaptable colour that is widely used in a variety of industries, including fashion, graphic design, and branding. It is at the extreme of the visible light spectrum and has been linked to passion, vigour, and intensity for a very long time. Red is a primary colour that can be combined in different ratios with blue and yellow to produce every other colour in the visible spectrum. Red is regarded as a warm colour in colour theory and is frequently linked to euphoria, strength, and stimulation. Red is a common choice for branding and advertising campaigns that aim to arouse a sense of urgency or desire because it is also known to evoke feelings of love, danger, and adventure.



How Can The Colour Red Affect Our Purchasing Behaviour?

Red is a well-liked colour for product branding and packaging because it conjures feelings of passion, strength, and excitement. Red is a powerful colour for promoting time-limited offers or exclusive deals because it is frequently connected in advertising with urgency and impulsiveness. Additionally, red is frequently used in marketing for items like food and sports drinks that increase energy and pique the appetite. Red can, however, backfire if used improperly, especially when applied to goods that call for a more calming or soothing approach. A sense of aggression or overstimulation may occasionally result from the excessive use of red, which may turn off potential customers.


Red colours are associated with love, energy, excitement, or danger and induce intense and dramatic feelings. Red is commonly used in the food industry as it increases appetite. It is also often used in the fashion industry and luxury goods market to evoke a sense of power, boldness, and energy.


What Does Red Say About a Brand?

Red is a popular choice for brands looking to elicit a sense of urgency or boost sales because it is frequently linked to passion, energy, and excitement. The colour red is frequently used to promote goods that increase appetite, like food and drinks, as well as goods that improve physical performance, like exercise gear and athletic apparel. Red used in logos or packaging can be perceived as dynamic, bold, and self-assured by consumers. Red can also imply danger, aggression, and impulsivity, which may not be consistent with the principles and objectives of every brand. As a result, it’s crucial to think about how consumers might interpret the reds used in branding.

red is a highly visible and attention-grabbing color. It stands out in a sea of more muted colors
and can help a brand to catch the eye of potential customers.

Colour Red And Its Usage

Red can be used effectively in some situations, and less effectively in others. Because it appeals to people psychologically, colour is essential in the design process. Red can be a great colour to use in design, but it must be used carefully. Red can effectively convey excitement, passion, and urgency, especially in sectors like sports, entertainment, and the food industry. However, when red is used incorrectly, such as when it is used excessively or in conjunction with clashing colours, it can have a negative effect on the viewer. For instance, dark shades of red may be too solemn and serious for some applications, while bright neon red may be overwhelming when used as a background colour.

Let’s take this simple example of some buttons below.


Here we see how the same buttons can look very different depending on their colour. Some shades of green make for terrible contrast and readability when paired with red, whereas white against red makes for a highly legible button. Green and red are also traditionally associated with the holiday season (so use wisely). The above images illustrate how the colours purple and red compete for the viewer’s attention when used in close proximity. Both red and yellow have their uses, but while yellow is soothing, red stimulates hunger and impulse buying. The “Ketchup and Mustard Theory” is the term used by marketing professionals to describe the effectiveness of combining the colours yellow and red.


We can see from these examples that red can be a very attractive accent colour and convey both quality and power. However, when red is used as the primary colour, it can be very dominating and, depending on the situation, it can be very overwhelming. Take these two suits, for instance. While there is nothing inherently wrong with a red suit, if you wore one to work, you might draw some curious glances. Wearing black with red accents, on the other hand, would be a good choice. Think of the red stitching found on sporty car interiors or the red brake callipers visible through the alloy wheels.


Emotions And Meanings of Different Shades of Red

Different red hues can evoke various feelings and meanings. Pink and coral, two softer reds, are symbolic of romance, femininity, and tenderness. Darker reds like burgundy and maroon are thought to be sophisticated, elegant, and opulent. However, if you use too much dark red, it might look heavy or oppressive and have a negative effect. In order to make sure that different shades of red correspond with the desired emotions and values, it is crucial to take context and application into consideration.



It’s important to be mindful of the type of red that you use in your marketing materials; different shades
and tones can evoke different emotions and feelings in people.


Key Take-aways

  • Red is a primary colour that sits at the end of the colour spectrum.
  • Many brands use red in their marketing to create a sense of urgency or excitement, however it can be used on products to create a sense of luxury.
  • Red is considered a ‘warm’ colour and often promotes feelings of urgency, desire, and passion.
  • If red is used in the wrong way, it can cause feelings of anger, overstimulation, and aggression.



Red is a well-liked and adaptable colour that works well in branding and graphic design. Red can effectively convey passion, excitement, and urgency when used in the right context. It’s crucial to think about the various red hues used and how they relate to the brand’s values and objectives. Red can influence emotions, purchasing decisions, and productivity when used effectively. Red used in logos or packaging can be perceived as dynamic, bold, and self-assured by consumers. Red should be used strategically to ensure that it reflects the desired feelings and brand values.


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