Colour Theory: Red & Orange

This is the 7th instalment in the series ‘Colour Theory: Learn it, Use it, Love it’. If you missed the previous posts you can find them here –

Colour Theory:  Learn it, Use it, Love it.

Colour Theory: What is Colour?

Colour Theory: Terminology I

Colour Theory: Terminology II

Colour Theory: Types of Colour

Colour Theory: Colour Psychology Introduction and Yellow

Colour theory can be a complicated thing. This is my attempt to simplify it.

Today, we will be continuing our foray into colour psychology by discussing the warm colours of Red and Orange.


From research it seems that Red is the colour which is most associated with personally in comparison with the other colours.  Red is seen as exciting and is in fact a stimulant as well. This is due to the energy which the colour gives off.

It demands the attention and if you don’t believe me, look at any image that has a nice red accent and tell me what stands out to you the most. The eyes don’t lie in this case as focus is immediately drawn to the red hue.



The colour red has a few effects which you probably figured out already but definitely are worthy of note.

  • Increases enthusiasm
  • Provides a sort of sense of security and protection from anxiety.
  • Stimulates energy. In so doing it may raise the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat and pulse rate. (Why do you think it’s a preferred colour of lingerie?)
  • Encourages action and confidence

Another interesting factoid about the colour red is that it is the first colour that you lose sight of at twilight…so no red shirts when you go out at night!


This is the colour which is most closely associated with red. It is something of a controversial hue (for some strange reason) and it usually is a colour that is either loved intensely or just as much hated.

This colour has a flamboyance about it which is not only cute, but also fun in a warm energetic way.

The colour is also used on some safety equipment to set it apart from it’s surroundings.


Orange which doesn’t really play nicely with many colours is associated with:

  • Stimulating activity (of course)
  • Encouraging socialization. I’m not entirely sold on this premise as I can’t think of any social networks other than Hi5 that used this colour…we all see how well that went.
  • It stimulates appetite. Speaking of which…

Ok, that is all for today class, next week we will be looking at my favourite colour and the epitome of cool, blue. Until then, hasta luego!


2 thoughts on “Colour Theory: Red & Orange

  1. Pingback: Colour Theory: Green, Purple & Pink | the design lounge

  2. Pingback: Colour Theory: Blue | the design lounge

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