Red – The Extremist Color

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

14 February 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day! Before the day is over, I’m willing to bet you’ll run into some items in the crimson category. Aside from being tied for the world’s second favorite color, red is most well-known for being the extremist in the group of primary colors. Blue can bring a feeling of peace and calm. Yellow is known as being cheerful and optimistic. But red? Red can stand for love, represent hate, show dominance, imply loss, or be a warning. The meaning is irrelevant, as long as the feeling is intense.

In marketing, we’re able to utilize a color like red when we need things to stand out. Are you a new company trying to attract attention? Then we might opt for designing a logo with red elements. Or perhaps your identity is already established but you want to increase the click-through rate on your email campaign. I think you get the picture.

Okay. One more: Do you know a guy who bought a fancy sports car and wanted everyone to know about it? What color was it?

Sailor’s Delight?

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

If — like me — you’ve grown up on a mid-latitude point of the globe, you’ve likely heard the rhyme above. This rhyme perfectly conveys the power of the color red. It won’t be mellow or melancholy, but you can count on pure delight or a bounding storm.

Think of it in terms of Valentine’s Day. What color or type of flowers should you send? What color or type of flowers would you like to receive? I wonder how many different answers there could be for those questions. Me? I’d like a dozen black roses. That’s my favorite color. But send those to the wrong lady and …

Red, like any color has its use in the marketing and design world. Colors are not the only element available to us to evoke the feelings of your prospects, but they are part of the equation.

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of love, indulgence, and some good redness.