Set Your Website on Fire with Red Themes, Photos, and Palettes

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 3 Comments

There are some things that you wouldn’t have thought of when using red, such as symbols or effects on our mood. After all, it’s just a colour, right? Red has quite a few qualities and associations; fiery, passionate and overall dynamic are just a few descriptive words that barely scratch the surface.

Prepare to go deeper into the subject and see just how it works!

Basics


Like its predecessor from the previous article, red is part of the primary triad, but it is also on the opposite side in a few senses. Unlike blue, its name is much less tolerant and only a few colours have the luxury of being included in the category. The exclusiveness is present at a biological level, as well: only one of the three types of receptor cells is truly sensitive to the wavelengths characterising red. If you really think about it, just slightly tinting something red will most probably warrant a different name.

Characteristics


Being a warm colour, it tends to be more invasive and will make a room appear to be smaller than it actually is, but when used well and in darker forms, it can lend itself to a cozier environment.

As mentioned, red is somewhat more difficult to perceive and this is because it has the highest of wavelengths. As its wavelength increases, it also nears the edge of what is called infrared, which cannot be perceived by the naked eye.

Colour therapy suggests that exposure to red raises the blood pressure, thus having an invigorating effect. Without going too much into the subject, Eastern philosophy associates red with the adrenal glands and, by extension, with the emotions produced by increased adrenaline.

Symbolism


Naturally, the things associated with it vary with every culture, but there are some general symbols with which we can all agree. In no particular order, these include heat, fire, passion, courage, danger, love and energy.

featured-rose-martin-lougas

photo by Martin Lougas

It is a very human colour which is why it has emotions associated to it. Demanding activities, whether mental or physical, and strong emotional responses imply increased blood flow therefore creating a very straightforward connection with red: blood.

Delving deeper into the human aspect, warmth and energy can be derived. Strangely, the general idea of flames being red has long been rooted, even though orange would be more appropriate. Perhaps it’s because it triggers much stronger feelings which are better represented by fire and we also tend to remember and associate extremes. Warmth and heat also suggest life, but from an inner perspective.

Red is a very powerful symbol for danger because of its immediate perception and adrenaline-related qualities. Stop signs and stop lights are examples of its daily uses. In part because of this, large quantities of bright red can be overbearing so it should be used sparingly.

Combinations


Given its overall effect, for a balanced result it’s best to either tone down a predominantly red design or use it in smaller quantities to bring more life. This mostly concerns bright shades; while darker tones can still be imposing, they are still more tolerable. It should be noted that it tends to conflict with strong cool colours and will warm up more passive colours like browns.

Its complementary is green and theoretically it should be used in a 50-50 proportion for a harmonious effect. In order to avoid a Christmas impression, their interaction should be kept at a minimum and a third colour should be introduced to keep them in check by dominating quantity-wise. Another solution is to use less bright variants.

As an attention-grabber, it works well on darker backgrounds such as dark grey, ash brown and even black. The contrast is effective even with darker or vintage tones of red. On the opposite side, it can be successfully used on white backgrounds in more minimal designs, but once again with a bit of caution.

Palettes


01. TOOL Remix by whoneycutt

palette-01-tool-remix

02. Sea Serpent in Horrible Peril by sethbenson

palette-02-sea-serpent-in-horrible-peril

03. Shark Attack by kristi

palette-03-shark-attack

04. Fire Dragon and Charthouse by mark

palette-04-fire-dragon-and-charthouse

05. Herzin by maya-kido

palette-05-herzin

06. Oil Flame by rickomoreira

palette-06-oil-flame

07. Vintage Poster by robertkubas

palette-07-vintage-poster

08. Court of the Crimson King by carle

palette-08-court-of-the-crimson-king

09. Water Cherries by spongebobgirl949

palette-09-water-cherries

10. War on Water by cgriffith

palette-10-war-on-water

Web – WordPress themes


01. Slick Red (free)

website-01-slick-red

02. Provocateur (premium)

website-02-provocateur

03. Redminton (premium)

website-03-redminton

04. ShapeShifter (premium)

website-04-shapeshifter

05. Titanium Folio (premium)

website-05-titanium-folio

06. Daily Journal (premium)

website-06-daily-journal

07. Bold (premium)

website-07-bold

08. CherryTruffle (premium)

website-08-cherry-truffle

09. Snapshot (free)

website-09-snapshot

10. Myriad (premium)

website-10-myriad

Artwork – macro photos


01. Red Delight by Bozack

artwork-01-red-delight

02. Abstract Red by StacyD

artwork-02-abstract-red

03. Shades of Red by eyedesign

artwork-03-shades-of-red

04. Blood Clot by PoisonedHamster

artwork-04-blood-clot

05. An Apple II by OnMostSurfaces

artwork-05-an-apple-2

06. Ladybug by wulfila

artwork-06-ladybug

07. Leaves on fire 3 by Dieffi

artwork-07-leaves-on-fire-3

08. Cherry Blossoms by heathersfeathers

artwork-08-cherry-blossoms

09. Red by i-shadow

artwork-09-red

10. Flaming Feathers by starlightspell

artwork-10-flaming-feathers

8 Written Articles

Costin is a passionate multimedia designer focused on graphics, video and web. Coming from the often stressful Bucharest and currently living in Denmark, right now he is probably lost in thought, pondering absurd but creative ideas.

3 Comments
  • Alexander

    Saturday, February 25th, 2012 17:48

    1

    very beautiful flowers =)) and red color useful for our mood and energy…

    0
  • Saket Jajodia

    Saturday, February 25th, 2012 21:30

    2

    I forgot about the post while looking at the designs and images.. Those are awsm, jst awsm.. Thanks a lot, Costin..!! :)

    0
  • Amandeep Singh

    Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 19:06

    3

    Awesome design ideas for my new blog :D… Thanks a lot, Costin….

    0
  • Amandeep Singh

    Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 19:06

    3

    Awesome design ideas for my new blog :D… Thanks a lot, Costin….

    0
  • Saket Jajodia

    Saturday, February 25th, 2012 21:30

    2

    I forgot about the post while looking at the designs and images.. Those are awsm, jst awsm.. Thanks a lot, Costin..!! :)

    0
  • Alexander

    Saturday, February 25th, 2012 17:48

    1

    very beautiful flowers =)) and red color useful for our mood and energy…

    0

Comments are closed.

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