As graphic designers, we are often asked, “Can you make it red? Can you add more red?”
Naturally, they are hoping to make some text or element in their advertisement, newsletter, or other collateral stand out. This common question (and Valentine’s Day), are the inspirations for the topic today: the color RED.
In response, yes, I can make it more red. But do you really want me to?
There is a science behind color use. Every color has an immediate effect on us, which can be utilized to your advantage to enhance a marketing strategy or in this case, call attention or provide emphasis. Color use can actually affect a consumer’s choices.
Some examples of what colors can convey:
But a color’s effect can be altered by its surroundings. Some colors may minimize the attention that red gets, and others can actually fool your eye into decreasing the apparent size of the red item (which makes it even less noticeable).
Red against similar colors doesn’t stand out as well it does against Black. Also, the importance that a red element will convey is inversely proportionate to the number of red elements. In other words, the more red, the less importance may be placed on it. It’s like highlighting in a book. If you highlight every word then it’s like highlighting nothing. Or if you highlight all but one word, that word will stand out more than the highlighted ones.
At the end of the day, it’s about balance, control and purpose. Most likely, there are many important things to spotlight when creating effective sales and marketing materials for your business, but there are a number of ways to accomplish this through design and color in addition to simply painting it red. The key is to know what you’re trying to communicate through text and design elements. Do you want boldness, strength, emergency, action, calmness, gentle, curiosity or oddity? There’s a color for each of these.