Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Color symbolism: Meaning of colors I - The color red

Designer have to deal with colors a lot. Most of the time, the clients do not even know. Color can improve a design or it can destroy it.

Colors have different effects. Depending on the country and the cultural background there is a different color symbolism. The color symbolism mentioned here only applies to Western Europe and the U.S. only. Not every color has the same meaning in every culture.

Different color combinations can also have different meanings. In addition, there are different shades and hues for every color - whose meaning can also vary a lot.

The color red

  • Red is the color of blood and also fire. This, it is associated with danger, war, energy, strength, power, passion, love, desire and determination.
  • The color red is an emotional intense color: It enhances the breathing rate, the human metabolism, as well as the blood pressure.
  • Red has a high visibility, which is why traffic lights, stop signs and fire extinguishers are painted red. Red is also used to show courage and is found in many national flags.
  • Design and advertising
    Red emphasizes texts and pictures. It is often used as an accent color, in order to inspire people to make a quick decision. Red is the perfect color for "Buy now" or "Click here" buttons on advertising banners on the Internet or on websites.
    In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings, for example with red lips or red nails.
    Since red is associated with energy, the color is often found in advertising for sports, cars, games or energy drinks.
  • Color gradiations
    • Light red is associated with sexuality, passion, empathy, love and joy.
    • Dark red stands for anger, rage, willpower, spite, courage, desire and leadership.
    • Pink is associated with romance, friendship, love and passivity.

For more information on the color red go to SensationalColor or Wikipedia.

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