Using Red on the Web – Our Verdict
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, but is red really the colour of love? Hear our expert insights from our Web, UX and Graphic Designer, Sophie and our Brand Manager, Jess.12th February 2021 -
How many times have you looked at a website, branding or brochure and felt a reaction whilst interacting with colours? This probably happens more than you think… In UX (user experience) design and branding, colours create impact and personas. For example, when you see blue, you may think calm, clean or even social media!
Back to Valentine’s Day… As it’s just a couple of days away, you’ve probably seen the colour red more than ever this year! We’ll explore this hue in more depth, as it might surprise you that there’s more to this colour than love.
The Origin of Red on the Web…
Red is one of the oldest colours on record, dating back to Ancient Egypt! Fast forward to when websites first started popping up, and it was initially used by brands due to its bold, attention-grabbing aura. It was also a go-to choice to create a “stop and look” impact.
What Does Red Mean?
In 2021, there’s more to red than just impact. Colours in design can evoke different thoughts and feelings. The colour red is now much more widely used due to it connoting a variety of different feelings in different contexts. This is just one reason why it’s so important for brands to think carefully when choosing their colour palette.
So, what does red really mean?
Danger and Warnings
Typically, in UX design the colour red is used as an error state as the colour is often associated with warnings. A highly visible and powerful colour, red triggers immediate reactions. Due to its association with danger and error, it can also prompt consumers to make quick decisions – making it a strong colour for brands that want users to click quickly through their website, for example during sale periods for eCommerce businesses.
Going back through the history books again, the colour red has been notoriously linked to eroticism, lust and seduction since records began – making it the perfect choice for Valentine’s Day! Shades of red represent love in more places than you may think, how often do you scroll through Instagram or Twitter and tap that red heart?
Red represents heat, fire and ultimately, energy. We could list so many red marketing campaigns and brands we’d run out of web space… There are some iconic ones that spring to mind though… Coca-Cola and Red Bull are drinks that give us a boost of energy and both use red! Another perfect example is football teams. Take a look at some of the top teams, what colour do they wear? There’s a higher chance that teams or athletes who wear red will win.
Red is a powerful colour. Due to its impactful connotations, red has power over our emotions. The colour red can build feelings of excitement, danger and encourages action. Not only that, red is powerful due to its connection with influence. For example, take a look at the red carpet – celebrities are looked up to as power figures by so many and the red carpet exuberates just that.
Want to Know What Colours to Utilise?
See, there’s definitely more to the colour red than just Valentine’s Day! Colour psychology covers a broad spectrum, with each and every colour having its own connotations and the power to trigger different actions, thoughts and feelings.
So, if you’re thinking about which colours to use to represent your brand on your website or marketing collateral, talk to us. We love working with businesses to bring projects to life! Get in touch with our friendly team of experts today.