The Colour Red

TiC/ Aug 28, 2019/ Creative, General/ 0 comments

Red is such an interesting colour to correlate with emotion, because it’s on both ends of the spectrum. On one end you have happiness, falling in love, infatuation with someone, passion, all that. On the other end, you’ve got obsession, jealousy, danger, fear, anger and frustration.
~ Taylor Swift ~

Red is a very strong colour which is very good at taking attention off other colours;  this is useful in many contexts. It is often used on flags as a symbol of pride and strength and on signs for signalling caution or warning.

Red is a warm and positive colour that is associated with our physical needs and our will to survive, and it radiates a strong and powerful masculine energy, which might be why most sports cars are bright red.

Psychological Properties of Red

The colour red has the longest wavelength of the visible spectrum, which is stimulating to the physical senses – the sexual and physical appetite. It indicates strength and perseverance. It can improve the self-confidence of those who are shy or are in lack of willpower.

The positive side of red is that it can create life with its sexual energy, while the negative side is expressed by anger and aggression in war and destruction. The red colour can also stimulate the appetite and is often used for this purpose in restaurants. Every shade of red has its own unique wavelength.

Being surrounded by too much of the colour red can cause us to become irritated, agitated and ultimately angry. Too little and we become cautious, manipulative and fearful.

Red is Energetic – Red is the colour of energy, passion and action. Red is energising; it boosts our physical energy levels, increases our heart rate and blood pressure and prompts the release of adrenalin.

Red is Assertive and AggressiveA small survey conducted a few years ago showed that drivers of red cars, including females, said they felt quite aggressive behind the wheel of their red car.

Red is Exciting and Motivating – It excites the emotions, it is fast and promotes a need for action and movement.

Red is Strong – It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. It is also strong-willed and can give confidence to those who are shy or lacking in will power.

Red is Attention-getting Red demands you to take notice, alerting you to danger. This is why we have red traffic lights and stop signs – it is the universal colour for danger.

Red is Passionate  – By this we mean a passionate belief in an issue or undertaking, including passionate love or passionate hate. Anger is negative passion.

Red is Stimulating – Being the colour of physical movement, the colour red awakens our physical life force. Red stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage on the positive side or revenge and anger on the negative.


Variations of the Colour Red

Maroon: a dark bluish red, it denotes controlled and more thoughtful action. It is slightly softer than burgundy and not as dramatic as true red.

Burgundy: a dark purplish red, it is more sophisticated and serious and less energetic than true red. It indicates controlled power, determined ambition and dignified action and is often favoured by the wealthy.

Crimson: has a little blue in it. It indicates a determination to succeed but without upsetting anyone else. It emits sensuality rather than sexuality.

Scarlet: has a little orange mixed with it, giving it a richness and brightness. It indicates enthusiasm and a love of life. It is a little less intense and more fun-loving than true red, tempered with a degree of defiance.


Effects of Red

  • Light red symbolizes joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity and love.
  • Pink signals romance, love and friendship. In addition, it highlights the female qualities and encourages passivity.
  • Dark red is associated with energy, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing and evil.
  • Reddish brown is associated with harvest and autumn, and the brownish colour highlights the masculine qualities.
  • Maroon colour is dark brownish red which is why it is often referred to as wine colour.

Positive Traits

Among the positive traits given by the colour red are action, energy and speed, attention-getting, assertive and confident, energizing, stimulating, exciting, powerful, passionate, stimulating and driven, courageous and strong, spontaneous and determined.

Negative Traits

The colour red also has negative traits, some of which are: aggressive and domineering, over-bearing, tiring, angry and quick-tempered, ruthless, fearful and intolerant, rebellious and obstinate, resentful, violent and brutal.


Popular Phrases That Include Red

  • Red carpet treatment – treated with special importance
  • Left red faced – left feeling embarrassed
  • In the red – related to bank accounts or company accounts, meaning the spending is more than the income
  • Red herring – something that is a distraction from the real issues
  • Red tape – bureaucracy that one has to deal with
  • Seeing red – feeling very angry
  • Red letter day – a day of good luck when something nice happens
  • Red rag to a bull – something that is bound to make someone angry
  • Caught red handed – to find someone doing something wrong

I want to be different.
If everyone is wearing black, I want to be wearing red.
~ Maria Sharapova ~

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