colour psychology … the meaning of red

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Colour Psychology - the meaning of red.

There’s an undeniable energy when you see the colour red. You only have to look at nature to see this in action. There’s nothing shy or retiring that’s for sure!

positive psychological qualities of red
Red is one of the psychological primary and it relates to the physical body.

Red’s positive qualities express warmth, energy and excitement. It’s the colour representing masculinity, stamina, strength, passion and yes … lust.

We associate it with courage, basic survival and rebellion. It signals warning and danger ‘stay away’, where the ‘fight or flight’ reaction kicks in. The red back spider is warning others to stay away or else whereas the harmless lady beetle is mimicking to protect itself.

Red has the longest wavelength and even though it isn’t the most visible, it has the appearance of being nearer than it actually is, attracting our attention – saying ‘look at me’. This makes red the ideal colour for traffic lights, stop signs, post boxes, warning signs. Anything you want to be noticed.

Colour Psychology - the meaning of red - red signs.

negative psychological qualities of red
Too much red or using the wrong tone in combination with other colours and it can begin to appear aggressive, confrontational and defiant. It can cause a visual impact creating a strain. As red is a stimulating colour, surround yourself with too much and you could find it can be difficult to relax and unwind.

Do you have a favourite red? How does red make you feel?

If you found this blog post interesting, you may also be interested in other blog posts relating to the colour red. More about the psychology ofcolour.

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