How the World & TM Sees Red
In our first article of the Red series, we examined the history of red and its prevalence throughout human existence. We use this to contextualize many of our internalized feelings surrounding the color that we may not realize. This is because of the years of learned instinct and the scientific properties of the color. In this post, we’ll examine the current impacts of the psychology that drives our reaction to the color seen all around the world. Additionally, we’ll share how TM sees red.
The Color Red
When we look at a pure red pigment, there’s a sense of warmth in the chest. It’s an enveloping feeling that swaths you in a soft blanket of hue ( colors are very subjective). This relates back to the first post stating how red is the lowest wavelength. It’s also the reason why it is a great color to help individuals fall asleep. While warmth and rest are typically associated with red light, the use of red as a pigment has various meanings, such as in print media and beyond into the context of digital screens.
Love or Hate? Both!
The first common association when it comes to red is always love. While this is true, it can also be indicative of hate – think the phrase “seeing red.” You have both furthest ends of the emotional spectrum, but somehow both feelings are encapsulated by the same color. The reason for this is because, at their core, they are both realms of passion.
Passion is also commonly represented by the color red. So while we say love and hate, it’s the passion underlying in both of those emotions that the red is representative of and the level of emotion where you’re blinded whether by enamourment or rage. The vibrancy and intensity of the brighter end of the red spectrum emanate this, like our brand color Vermilion. This shade of red is very passionate, while colors in the burgundy realm are more reserved in their exuberance.
As our ancient ancestors did, we often associate the color red with danger, stop, caution, or take a quick look around and check your surroundings. Again, this is because of that intrinsic relation to the color of blood. Ideally, we shouldn’t see blood outside of the body, except for certain circumstances.
Red is eye-catching – its relationship with blood is part of the reason. You feel an instant sense of panic if you get a cut and see the red rise. This made it a great choice for the stop sign since you’re immediately notified something’s not right. You shouldn’t be moving. Even relating back to passion, a common term we hear in relationships is a “red flag.” An example of that is “their mom still clips their nails, big red flag.” This means to take caution since you’ve found something that’s considered a big warning sign. So instead of yellow, a moderate caution, you throw up a red flag. A full stop.
One of the most common color associations with red is power. This is a worldwide effect. Most countries incorporate red in their flag’s colors. This is because it imbues power. Red gives an authoritative presence to whatever it is being incorporated with. The red associated with power is typically a fully saturated red. We can see this throughout history as well. Many members of royal families would wear vibrant red as a sign of superiority and power, such as gowns and the red crown of South Egypt.
Across the world, many Eastern to Western religions use red in ceremonies. It has worked its way in as an integral symbol of many belief systems. In Japanese Shintoism, you see their Torii – a thin post and lintel arch – painted in a vibrant vermillion that repeats along a long path. It also wraps the person walking the path into a sacred place. Even in Christianity, we see negative associations with red, and it symbolizes the sacrament of communion. In India, the red sari wedding dress symbolizes the joy of marriage. As a whole, we hold red close to our hearts by integrating it so closely with our deepest views and beliefs.
Red, All Wrapped Up
At TM, we love our brand red! We are passionate about what we do here and remain as a powerful authority in the web industry in Michigan. TM sees red as a fit for our personality so well. We are a team filled with exuberance and passion for every project that comes our way.
Vermillion is vibrant enough to capture the fervor for good web dev within our four walls. It’s an even better color to help express that to the rest of the world who sees it! Crafted around Vermiilliion, our color palette includes lots of analogous colors. Our supporting colors complement it well to keep it at the proper visual hierarchy since Vermiilliion can also easily overpower the eye when used too heavily. In a way, this is a microcosm of real life as we have all this passion and drive. All things need balance in life, but life isn’t very interesting without any passion!
TM Sees Red – How Do You See the Color?
We see red in a wide variety of things. It’s all defined by context. But as we’ve seen, it’s all in how you use it. It has passion, power, danger, and sacred implications, which makes it a versatile color of high emotion. It’s also well suited for a variety of applications.
Let us know if you learned anything or plan to integrate red into your next branding project!