The Emotion of Color: Red

Red is the ultimate supercharged energy color. Sex, speed, heat and power – Red says it all.  Very nearly every fast food company uses red because it suggests all the things a fast-food company should offer: hot food, fast and sizzling.  Next time you drive down a highway, make a count of how many signs use red.

Red’s Emotional Effect

Red is one of the most over-used colors because it conveys the excitement owners want to generate in customers.  Red is fire, red is that car everyone is jealous of, red is emergency.

Keep in mind red can be overused.  If you lean on red rather than using it to highlight things you will find people ignoring your work because red is a supersaturated color in our culture.

Mixing Red with Other Colors

A popular use of red is as a highlight color against a black background with white text. Because of its stand-alone effect red does work well by itself.  It also goes excellent with green or melds will with yellow and orange for a fiery effect.

Remember to use red in moderation and it will accentuate and highlight other colors well.


Designer Challenge: Find three red designs that appeal to you and put them in a book to reference the next time you want to artfully excite your clients.

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