September 22, 2009 | 27 Comments |


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see red?
Comment here!
Then read more and find other viewer’s responses.

Psychologically red is the warmest color. Red colored rooms feel 10 degrees warmer than they measure. It is a symbol of energy, power and vitality. It is highly active, it quickens the pulse, arouses, and motivates. It’s physical and sensual. It evokes intense passions – love and anger. Mythologically it is linked with Mars, the god of war, whose name was later given to the red planet. Red is the most eye-catching color.  It is often a sign of danger, used in emergency equipment, warning signs, and hazard alerts. Stop! In recent history it has become associated with revolution, socialism, and leftist tendencies.

Pink is a subtler expression of red working in a more understated way associated with rejuvenation and youth.

Classic images

sun rising and setting
red cross


red alert …
I see red …
painting the town red …
red-blooded male …
in the red …
red letter day …


brick, blood, blush, burgundy, carmine, cinnabar, crimson, fire engine, flame, garnet, madder, rose, rouge, ruby, rust, russet, scarlet, tomato, vermillion

Read more on Color Psychology here.

Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops.

  • jahartford

    Hot, passion, concentration, intense

  • jahartford

    hot, passion, intenese, concentration

  • Sam Krisch


  • jahartford

    passion, intensity

  • Red is an attention grabbing color; one need only envision a red shirt, scarf or dress. However, nature recognized this eons ago – consider the red swash of a male cardinal, the bright dewlap of a male anole, or even the vermillion flowers that contrast so brightly against their background to attract the birds and insects necessary for their survival.

    Red is an important color in marketing as well – consider the appeal and success of Coca-Cola and their universally recognized logo.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.


  • Mr. Muskrat

    When I first read this post this morning I thought of a sports car, a Lamborghini specifically.

    When I read it again this afternoon, my first thought was a stop light.


  • Red = passion, heat, center of creativity, volcanic, firey, beginnings, passion (did I say passion!) sexy, creation

  • PS: When I was a non-digital painter my mantra was always “when in doubt, start with red”. It is my alltime favorite color…

  • Looks like my prior post didn’t work…
    For me red = passion, creativity, volcanic, passion, firey, center of the earth volcanic beginnings of everything, source, (did I say passion!)

  • loud

  • trace

    reminded of the “red shirt” comment on “LOST” between Boone and Locke. A reference to the original Star Trek series and how the “red shirt” guys in the landing party always ended up killed…

    It does have very intense associations, even if the hue is subtle. A hard colour to embrace when one is drawn to the blue/indigo part of the spectrum.

  • jahartford

    passion, intense

    red is for racin’

  • fire
    truth in/of/through action

  • (sorry if this gets duped – but this comment has not posted 2x…)
    Red = passion, creativity, the source, volcanic, molten lava, love, passion.
    In my medicine wheel, red is the color of the south, the source of all creativity, firey, hot, and passionate.
    Oh, yeah, did I say passion?

  • passion, action, emphasis, push, explode, projection, move, energy. Ever notice how American Presidents wear a red tie when giving important speeches?

  • The first thing that comes to mind when I see red is passion, intensity, activity, hot.

  • hmmm….. didn’t keep my previous post.

    hot, projecting, anger, action, energy, strength, red-neck republican,

  • passion, creativity, source, volcanic, molten lava

  • Julia

    images: tomatoes on the vine, lipstick, dancing.
    expressions: she’s one hot tomato! kiss me, darling. i love salsa dancing.
    language: tomato red, kissable red.

  • i also like red food. If offered a handful of jelly beans, I’ll always go for the red ones first (m&m’s too!)…and I avoid the blue m&m’s, go figure

  • This raises a red flag for me! It screams NOTICE ME!


  • jahartford

    intensity, passion, focused, angry

    red is for racin’

  • shayne


  • passion
    molten lava

  • warmth

  • Raise a red flag! Red screams for me attention; pay attention to some sixth sense about danger or something that should demand a resolution as soon as possible.

  • Fire


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