Red is a very strong color. It is a noticeable color that is often used on signs for signaling caution or warning. Red color meaning is often associated with the word stop. It is a warm color that evokes a strong sense of passion, lust, sex, energy, blood, and war. The red color is good at stealing attention from other colors, which is useful in many contexts. The color red is often used on flags as a symbol of pride and strength.
Red color Meaning
Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, a determination as well as passion, desire, and love.
Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags.
Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings. Red is widely used to indicate danger high voltage signs, traffic lights. This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.
Why is Red the oldest color?
On the earliest daubs of our remote human ancestors, red stole the show. In the caves of Lascaux in France, or Pinnacle Point in South Africa, can be found paintings in an earthy, dusty red. This pigment – along with other colors used was made from ochre, a family of earth pigments whose name is now, confusingly, most associated with the yellow-brown pigment found in art shops and painting sets. These paintings date back perhaps as far as 15,000BC. Red is ancient indeed.
Many Stone Age graves, too, have been found to contain red ochre. Some experts theorize this was simply to mark the grave, so no one mistakenly dug it up. Others believe it was used to color the hair, skin or clothes of the buried, either way, it clearly had important ritual significance.
Unsurprisingly, red appears as a symbolic color in many a warrior setting. In Roman mythology, it was associated with blood, of course, and courage. It was the color of the god of war, Mars and the color of the army. Roman soldiers wore red tunics, while gladiators were adorned in red. Generals wore a scarlet cloak, and to celebrate victories would have their bodies painted entirely in red. Brides at a Roman wedding wore a red shawl, called a flame meum. Red was the color of blood but blood was a symbol not just of death, but of life of fertility and love.
Through the Middle Ages, red was utterly dominant. Emperor Charlemagne painted his palace red, wore red shoes and is even rumored to have had red hair. In Christian art, it represented the blood of Christ and of Christian martyrs and became the color worn by Catholic cardinals.
From the 16th century, a new way of making red appeared in Europe, from cochineal beetles imported by Spanish merchants from the new world. This, naturally, made red terribly fashionable. Don’t hold that against it, though. It passed.
History Of Red
Found in iron-rich soil and first employed as an artistic material (as far as we know) in prehistoric cave paintings, red ochre is one of the oldest pigments still in use. Centuries later, during the 16th and 17th centuries, the most popular red pigment came from a cochineal insect, a creature that could only be found on prickly-pear cacti in Mexico. These white bugs produced a potent red dye so sought-after by artists and patrons that it quickly became the third greatest import out of the “New World” (after gold and silver), as explains Victoria Finlay in A Brilliant History of Color in Art. Raphael, Rembrandt, and Rubens all used cochineal as a glaze, layering the pigment atop other reds (like red ochre) to increase their intensity. A non-toxic source for red pigment, the cochineal bug is still used to color lipsticks and blush today.
Positive and Negative Traits of the Color Red
Positive keywords include action, energy, and speed, attention-getting, assertive and confident, energizing, stimulating, exciting, powerful, passionate, stimulating and driven, courageous and strong, spontaneous and determined.
Negative keywords include: aggressive and domineering, over-bearing, tiring, angry and quick-tempered, ruthless, fearful and intolerant, rebellious and obstinate, resentful, violent and brutal.
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 color highlights the masculine qualities.
Global Meanings of Red
Red’s global similarities are significant:
Red is one of the top two favorite colors of all people.
Red is the most popular color used on flags in the world. Approximately 77% of all flags include red.
Red is the international color for the stop.
Red districts sell sex and pornography in every European culture.
The history of languages reveals that red is the first color after black and white.
Red and good causes
American Red Cross
American Heart Association
The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness.
The Red Ribbon Campaign is a drug prevention program
Leonard Cheshire International
Energy: it boosts our physical energy levels, increases our heart rate and blood pressure and prompts the release of adrenaline.
Action: it is fast moving and promotes a need for action and movement.
Desire: it relates to physical desire in all its forms- sexual, appetite, cravings.
Passion: it means a passionate belief in an issue or undertaking, including passionate love or passionate hate. Anger is negative passion.
Unique Meanings of Red in Different Cultures
Red Bridal Wear – Asia
Red is the color of good luck in Asia and is the most popular color in China.
Most Japanese children draw the sun as a big red circle.
In East Asian stock markets, red is used to denote a rise in stock prices.
Note: In North American stock markets, red is used to denote a drop in stock prices.
Red is an auspicious color for marriage. Brides in India and Nepal wear red saris; in Japan, a red kimono symbolizes happiness and good luck.
Effects of Red
Stimulating: to the physical senses- the sexual and physical appetite. It stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage, hatred or revenge. If you have a flagging sex life and would like to introduce more passion into it, introduce some red into the bedroom – the more red, the more passion, but don’t overdo it or it will have the opposite effect.
Exciting and Motivating: it excites our emotions and inspires us to take action.
Attention-getting: it demands you to take notice, alerting you to danger. This is why we have red traffic lights and stop signs – it is the universal color for danger.
Assertive and Aggressive: drivers of red cars should take note! A small survey I did a few years ago showed that drivers of red cars, including females, said they felt quite aggressive behind the wheel of their red car.
Facts About Color Red
Red also means “Beautiful” in Russian.
The word “ruby” comes from the Latin word Rubens, meaning “red”.