When you think of romance, passion, intensity…. does the color red come to mind? This is a very natural thing, so much so that in fact, it is one of the most symbolic colors of all. Love = red. And although it is universally recognized for this particular characteristic, have you ever wondered why it is so?
If you have that doubt in your mind, do not worry that the psychology of colors can explain what is the power that red has to enchant us and make us passionate. After all, each color has a particular meaning, as well as a different impact on each of us. Which is why they serve as inspiration for us to create countless things or to feel a certain way.
So now you know, if you want to find out everything related to the meaning of the color red according to psychology, then keep reading this article this article and don’t take your eyes off your screen.
- You may be interested in: “The meaning of colors and the emotions they express”.
Color psychology and its emotional impact
One of the best areas of development to put into practice the psychology of color is in the marketing and advertising market, why? Well, because colors have a great visual impression on us, but not only stays there, but they manage to stimulate our brain to associate it to other things. For example, food, makeup and even technology. And all thanks to the emotion we experience when we perceive those colors, together with the auditory experience they offer us to finish selling the product.
In this sense, everything is based on the emotions that we can generate with colors and that is where the psychology of color acts because each shade can represent a feeling and a mood. This leads us to buy that product, just as marketing and branding experts have planned.
One of the clearest examples of marketing, taking the color red as a reference is that this color can stimulate appetite and that is why you can see it in restaurant chains such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut or KFC. While others others also connect it with romance and passion, that’s why we can see a lot of red inOthers also connect it with romance and passion, which is why we can see a lot of red in Valentine’s Day gifts and decorations.
Red color: discover its psychological meaning
Love, passion and appetite, that must be all the meaning that the color red acquires in us, right? Well, not completely. You see, the color red may have one of the simplest meanings of the entire range of colors within psychology. Which is undoubtedly, intensity.
But, because it is just a color that represents intensity, it has a very wide variety of meanings in all those feelings and sensations that involve an intense reaction or response. In this way, for psychology, red dances between being a clear representation of extroversion and having a spiritual meaning..
So, we can say that the meaning of the color red in general is intensity, but it also has other connotations, such as: passion, love, romance, sensuality, the forbidden, risk, success, power and aggressiveness. So it is established as a link between what is right and what is wrong in life and which have taken shape with every culture in the world and which we will talk about in depth below.
What the color red transmits to us
As we already mentioned, the color red has many implications in our different cultures and therefore, we can find it in different things. As you will see now.
1. Red, the color of passion
This is perhaps the most iconic characteristic of the color red around the world and the truth is that it has a very particular and human origin. It is due to the act of blushing and ‘turning red’ when we react to an event or a person that makes us nervous. When this happens, the body’s blood pumps faster, the heart flutters, our breathing slows down and as it travels to the head, it accumulates and becomes visibly red.
Besides, since ancient times fire has been symbolized with this color and we all know that a moment of passion is as hot and burning as fire. Including your attraction to it and the subjective feeling of ‘burning’ in the romantic moment with that person.
2. Hate is also red
They say that from hate to love there is only one step and that seems to be the same case for its meaning. As this is a very intense and strong emotion, it is represented with the color red. Just because of the physiological alterations that this emotion produces in us.
3. Red, red, more violence
And speaking of physiological alterations, one of the major ones that most affects us, transforms us and has negative consequences is aggressiveness and violence. Which, in psychology are also focused under the color red. Thanks to the unrestrained anger that is unleashed, the accumulation of blood in our body and even the ‘bloodlust’ that we want to spill, in a subjective and literal way in certain cases.
4. Danger, here comes more red!
Yes, danger is also represented by the color red. That is why warning and caution signs are drawn in red, to call our attention and to perceive the risk we run if we follow them without taking any previous care.
However, did you know that this has been the case since ancient times? Since, men associated natural catastrophes such as fires or earthquakes, which devastated their homes, with the red color that came out of the explosions or the bowels of the earth. So, with the passage of time it became an intuitive sign of danger.
5. Extroversion and power
At the other extreme, we have red as the clear manifestation of power, good luck and extroversion. Since it is a very striking and rich color in our eyes, it is a color that attracts us and causes us sensations. That is the reason why a red dress or red lips attract the eyes or why people of Chinese heritage have a preference to use this color in their buildings or ornaments, because they think that this color attracts success.
Many associate it with the fact that red represents life, matter and warmth. That is, everything that we can not only see, but have access to and rejoice.
6. Warmth in the use of red
Touching on the previous point of warmth, this is a characteristic of the color red that also comes from ancient times. Where those who lived in the coldest and most inhospitable regions of the earth, had to face life and the low prosperity of their lands due to the high temperatures. Therefore, fire and warmth were something sacred because it represented the opposite of cold.
In this sense, many companies use this color for their logos, as a way to invite people to use their products to feel the same warmth of their homes, so they can feel at home. A clear example is Coca-Cola, which even has its own registered shade of red: Coca-Cola Red.
7. Red and hell
Many believe that hell is a place where eternal burning flames burn as punishment for sinful and repulsive acts committed in earthly life. However, the origin of why hell has this description is linked to the way people in countries with high temperatures perceived the heat.
It was a torment, as there was little time to cool down and food was often sour or spicy. They were also more prone to fire due to the intense heat.
8. Red as a sacred element of religion
We know that blood is red and since the times of ancient Christianity, the color red has been honored as a symbolism towards the blood of Jesus Christ shed for his sacrifice for mankind, when he was crucified. Therefore, we tend to see red cloaks or the inclusion of some element of that hue in the pictures representing Christ.
Other curiosities about the color red
Since childhood we are taught that red is one of the primary colors and therefore, when combined with others, create new colors (such as purple or orange) which is something extraordinary because this means that it is one of the colors that exist in reality and that our eyes are able to perceive as they really are.
Recall that each color has a specific frequency (wavelengths between 654 nm and 700 nm) and we can perceive the different shades of this color, (ie, see it lighter or darker) depending on the wavelengths of light that can capture one of the cones of our eyes (which are 3, one for each primary color).
So it is normal that, if you feel angry or romantic, the color red is the one that first comes to your mind to express it..