Red Color Psychology, Symbolism and Meaning

Red is a primary color. It represents passion, warmth, sexuality, but it is also known as a color that stands for danger, violence, and aggression. Red  sits between violet and orange on the color wheel. Colors that are similar to red are rose red and red orange. The hex code for color red is #FF0000.

The history of color red

Color red is the first color that humans mastered, fabricated, reproduced, and broke down into different shades. During the Middle Ages, it had religious significance. It was the color of the blood of Christ and the fires of Hell. In the Renaissance period, red colors were supposed to draw attention of the viewer to the most important figures in a painting. Color red became the color of a new political and social movement, socialism, in the 19th century. It was also the period when color red was used for creating specific emotions in art and not just for imitating nature. 

The psychology of color red

Color red is passionate, warm, vibrant. It is the color of sexuality, romance, and lust. Red is energizing. It can increase a person’s heart rate. It is considered a color that, compared to the rest of the colors, provokes the strongest emotions. Red is considered powerful. The fastest and the most luxurious cars in the world are most often painted in red; people that are famous and important are usually given the red carpet treatment; women that wear red are considered much more attractive and passionate than women that don’t favor this shade. Color red makes people  feel dominant and powerful, and it can boost their self esteem. Red is a bold color, which makes one stand out from the crowd and influence the way others see them.

The red personality type

People who favor color red are extroverted, open, enthusiastic. They live their life to the fullest.

They are optimistic, strong, confident. They are not afraid to stand up for themselves. They are not easily scared and they can be quite competitive.

Reds are known to be impulsive. Due to their passionate nature, they take things personally and rarely back down. It is hard for them to apologize and admit they are wrong. They are natural leaders and a big inspiration to everyone around them. They have a capacity to recognize the important things in both personal and professional life. They gain respect by knowing how to set boundaries.

It is easy to notice reds when they enter the room. The are charming, charismatic, radiant. Even though, it is not always easy to be around them. They never give up control and they like to be in charge all the time. When they don’t get what they want, they can be aggressive. In fact, they can often exhibit violent temper. Despite the fact that they calm down pretty quickly after the outburst, people around them find it hard to overlook frequent meltdowns.

Negative characteristics of color red

While red is a passionate color, it is also linked to revenge and anger. People often get red in the face when they are angry, which is why red is associated with anger across many cultures. Red color stands for violence and danger because of its resemblance to the color of human blood, and is also associated with warnings. Due to its high visibility, it attracts people’s attention very fast, therefore, it is often used as a warning sign. For example, red flags indicate that something bad may be expected to occur, and so they are used to warn people of impending danger. Too much of red can provoke aggression and irritation. It is found that red can cause increased heart and respiration rate. For this reason, people can feel alert and stressed out when around color red for a long time.

Color red in business

Color red is not liked by everyone. For some people, red is a great way to express their sexuality, passion, lust for life, but for others, it may seem a little bit too much. It can appear sleazy and overwhelming. Having color red represent your business is a risky path. Red is recommended for use only by the businesses that are already successful or by the ones that feel certain about their business strategies. Red stands for motivation, and it will certainly encourage clients to take action, but it doesn’t guarantee a positive response. The best way would be to use it in small doses, as a sign of passion and energy for the business.

Color red in branding and marketing

Red cannot go unnoticed. It is the most intense color on the color wheel and it evokes strong emotions. So far, brands have been using it to build excitement and encourage customers to take action. When targeting bigger crowds, lighter tones of red should do a better job. Softer shades will make a point, but also help brands not appear too aggressive and desperate. Already successful brands use darker shades of red to create a more fiery and authoritative effect.

Information about Red / #FF0000

In a RGB color space (made from three colored lights for red, green, and blue), hex #FF0000 is made of 100% red, 0% green and 0% blue. In a CMYK color space (also known as process color, or four color, and used in color printing), hex #FF0000 is made of 0% cyan, 100% magenta, 100% yellow and 0% black. Red has a hue angle of 0 degrees, a saturation of 100% and a lightness of 50%.

Color conversion

The hexadecimal color #FF0000 has RGB values of R: 100, G: 0, B: 0 and CMYK values of C: 0, M: 1, Y: 1, K:0.









255, 0, 0


rgb(255, 0, 0)




100, 0, 0


rgb(100%, 0%, 0%)




0, 100, 100, 0




0°, 100, 50


hsl(0°, 100%, 50%)




0°, 100, 100










53.241, 80.092, 67.203




41.246, 21.267, 1.933




0.64, 0.33, 21.267




53.241, 104.552, 39.999




53.241, 175.015, 37.756




46.116, 82.7, 28.335




11111111, 00000000, 00000000




  1. Paint it Red ! I like Red hints of red in different places in the home & garden , signifying , I can do 😎

  2. Good afternoon,

    My name is Christian, I am a first year high school student. We are preparing to do research work, in which I have decided to investigate color blindness, since I suffer from this defect. I would like to be able to contact a specialist in this field, to do an interview, and also to be able to expand my information.

    Thank you, I’m looking forward for your answer.

    1. i am not very impressed with some of your comments. Have a better attitude and be grateful for the information we are given. Red is a good color and symbolizes a lot of things.

  3. I find that when I wear maroon shades,colors within/etween the red/violet spectrum, people will approach me and ask me where certain addresses are.
    This seems to happen more often than when I’ve worn my typical rowns, greys and darkest hues.
    This is just an o-servation that I’ve tested within the past month.
    Perhaps people are conditioned in Toronto to the maroon, reddish colors worn y the TTC operators.
    Anyway, interesting article and thank you for posting.

  4. Your work would be more credible if you actually included concrete research and reasoning as to why and how the color red can psychologically affect us. Red does this and that, but how? We understand the meaning of the color red, but what gave it meaning in the first place? What is the science behind it? If you’re going to write about the psychology of red or colors in general, you should include the psychology part. Otherwise, you’ll leave your audience asking “what’s the point of this text?'” why am I reading this?”

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