Redden up your website

Red is a powerful color, evoking passion and warnings, excitement and action. But is it a color you would want to identify your business? Would you want your logo in red? Would you want your main website colors to include red? Would you want to brand yourself red?

In many cases, the answer is yes. In other cases, the answer is not. Let’s look at the psychological meanings of red and see if the color is right for you.

SPOILER ALERT – if red is not an ideal main color for your business, you still should use red in one specific case – even if red is the worst possible color for your business. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s first look at red as a main color for your brand.

RED color for website


Let’s start with the easy and generic. Red is a color of vision. I don’t mean thoughtful vision of our future, but simply vision of our eyes. Red stands out. That does not necessarily mean that red should be the main color of your website or your logo. maybe it should, maybe it shouldn’t. It does mean that even if it is not the main color, it might make a very good accent color amid the blues and yellows and blacks.

However, there are times when you need your logo to stand out and be seen. If no other consideration prevents you from using red, it is a good color to use. Orange is, too. So is yellow. These hot colors are the most easily seen, which is why emergency vehicles are always painted in these colors.


Red is the color of heat. Yes, so is yellow. So is orange. These are all “fire” colors, and they all are considered hot colors. But none is as hot at red. There is an interesting collection of red logo designs here, and even a quick glance shows you how many of them are aligned with the words “hot” or “heat”.

Red doesn’t signify just temperature, but also spiciness, which is another form of heat. Not surprisingly, a couple of those logo designs featured red hot peppers.

If one of the main attributes of your brand that you want to get across is heat, then red should definitely feature on your pallet. It’s a good color for a number of ethnic food products or restaurants, or for warm, sunny destinations.

Juanitas Hot Shop red logo


“Hot” has another meaning – romance, passion, sexual attraction. Red is the color of seduction and lipstick. If you run dating services, you should be in red. It is not a coincidence that

If you are trying to arouse sexual passion or even other forms of passion – excitement of any sort, red is the color to do it. Red gets people’s blood pumping and adrenalin flowing. Red is the color of excitement.

If you run an adventure travel company, red is an ideal color. Performance vehicle sales? Red. Anything to do with sports? Go for red.

Please visit our sponsor: DesignCrowd for a truly original design idea.


Red is also a color of power. Of course, power goes hand in hand with passion, as we tend to get energized with our passion. Red is not just the color of sports, but more specifically power sports. Think engines. Think race cars. Think muscle-building supplements. Use red to stir both passion and a craving for power in your customers.

Red Bull Energy Drink logo

If you provide power, perhaps batteries of electrical generator or solar panels, red is your color.


But be careful, red is also the color of danger – so much depends upon the context. This might be because red is the color of blood, or it might be because your body energizes, builds power and gets “excited” in a sense when you suddenly sense danger. Stop signs. Stop lights. Red stops people. It warns of danger.

There are some sectors where you do not want to get your customers excited. That might seem anathema to most marketers, but the fact is that in a number of sectors, you want to instill a sense of trust and security. You want to calm their anxiety.

For example, red is a very bad color to associate with insurance. Or with funeral services. Or with investment advice.

Or with any safety-related product. Well, maybe that could be a false assumption. Do you want to create a sense of danger, so as to sell a safety solution? Maybe red is a good color for a safety related website or logo. After all, fire engines are red, and they exist as a safety solution to a danger problem.


Red is also the color of anger. No surprise, anger is perhaps the strongest emotion, the most passionate of all emotions, and one that evokes a sense of power. It is no coincidence that the fist is a symbol of both anger and power. And it is no coincidence that both the fist and the color red have been used in protest posters.

Red for anger is generally not a great color for your business. After all, what business wants angry customers? The one exception to this is protest movements. They like to get people riled up, angry, passionate against whatever they are protesting.


Red is the color of action. It doesn’t matter what your brand is, eventually you want action. Yes, your insurance business needs to make people feel calm and safe by signing up, but you do need them to take action. You brand is solid – navy blue, perhaps deep green – but your call to action should still be red. “Click here”.

An arrow. A “submit” button. These items on your website should usually be red, no matter what your business.

You might think that green means “go” and red means “stop”, so shouldn’t green be the color for better click-throughs? Not so. A Hubspot test showed red outperforming green by 21 percent.

Red beats green for action

Just how much does color inspire people to take action? A 2015 study on what gets shared most on Pinterest showed that red, pink and purple promote sharing, whereas blue and green suppress sharing.

Red is a critical color in marketing and in branding. For some brands, red is a color to embrace. For others, it is a color to avoid. But for all brands, a red call to action will get, well, the action they need from their customers.

This leaves us with only one unanswered question: Why is Santa Claus red?


  1. I have noticed that when I visit other websites that are in dull colors, I tend to take them less seriously. If the website seems to be created by a less-than-professional designer, I automatically think that the owner is just as unprofessional in the way they operate. Funny, I never really thought specifically about the significance of color and how it might make the difference in how visitors see my website. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Red is one of the best colors to use on a site. I like red and a mix between light and dark blue. Works wonders. For me the text and the background colors are very important. As we know usability is very important. Finding the mix between danger, anger and passion for me is important.