What does the colour of your logo say about you? – 2

In the last article we looked at the colour green and the effect it can have on the perception of an organisation when used as a predominant element in its brand identity.

In this second article, we’re focusing on Red.

Red is generally considered the most powerful colour of all. From the scientific perspective it is the colour with the longest visual wavelength. It grabs attention like no other, hence its use on fire engines, post vans, letter boxes and the classic telephone box.

Red is the colour of love, passion, lust, desire, excitement and fire. It implies strength, action and boldness. It is the colour of blood, rage, aggression and Danger. It is the colour of the nuclear button. It is the colour of the VIP carpet. But it also says STOP! in no uncertain terms.

Politically, red’s association with socialism dates back to the French Revolution of 1848 where it represented the blood of angry workers. It is the colour of communism and the UK Labour party and yet it is also the colour adopted by right-leaning Republicans in the US. It is the colour long associated with the Red Cross, Remembrance Day Poppies and more recently, Red Nose Day.

It is the most intensely emotional colour, it enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate and blood pressure and can also heighten libido, energy, enthusiasm and confidence.

Red light therapy is used to help treat wounds, wrinkles, hair loss and arthritis. Red light is used in photographic dark rooms, submarines and military bunkers and nightclubs because it enables people to see while keeping their eyes accustomed to the dark. Red light is also the descriptor given to districts devoted to carnal pleasure the world over.

Red is the colour of energetic challenger brands. It is used by automotive, media, fast-food, computer game, drinks, clothing and even some financial services companies keen to break the mould.

Despite its attention grabbing qualities (or perhaps because of them) 11% of cars sold in the UK in 2016 were red as opposed to 1% green, 15% blue, 20% black and 20% white.

Notable organisations using red significantly in their brand identity include.

Avis, Cannon, Coca Cola, CNN, Ferrari, Fiat, H&M, Heinz, Honda, HSBC, Kellogg’s, KFC, Lego, Levi’s. McDonald’s, Mitsubishi, Nando’s, Netflix, Nestle, Nintendo, Nissan, Pinterest, Pirelli, Puma, Ray-Ban, Red Bull, Santander, Suzuki, Time, Uniqlo, Virgin, YouTube and Xerox.

Go to the next article in the series to find out about Blue.