Names of Different Red Shades


On a basic color wheel, red appears between its sister primaries, blue and yellow. Reds with yellowish undertones are warm and vivid, while reds leaning toward blue are cooler and less intense. Red combined with its complement, green, which is directly across from it on the color wheel, is grayer and more subdued. Each variation of red can be further altered by adding white to form tints and by adding black to form shades. The result is a large, diverse family tree, stemming from the basic color called red.

Fire Up With Glowing Red

  • Lively, bright red with notes of yellow, which express heat and energy, are sometimes described with names such as:

    • Scarlet
    • Flame
    • Fire engine
    • Tulip
    • Red-orange
    • Lava red
    • Coral red
    • Cinnamon

Luxuriate in Luscious Red

  • Luscious red leaning toward blue to express love and opulence is described with names such as:

    • Crimson
    • Rose
    • Lipstick
    • Ruby
    • Candy apple
    • Raspberry
    • Ginger
    • Magenta

Warm to the Nature of Earthy Red

  • Red leaning toward its complement, green, forms earthy, brownish tones that carry names such as:

    • Marsala (Pantone 2015 color of the year)
    • Raw sienna
    • Brick
    • Carnelian
    • Falu
    • Indian red
    • Kobe

Tints are Red on Tiptoes

  • Tints of red range from coral pink to pastel rose to warm white. Adding white to coral red produces coral pink; adding white to rose forms pastel pink; and adding white to brick red forms warm white. Tints multiply the color possibilities of any red tone and modify the strength of the pure color. Tints often express sweetness, gentleness and innocence. Well-known tints of red include:

    • Salmon pink
    • Coral pink
    • Pale rose pink
    • Bubblegum
    • Watermelon
    • Peach

Shades Add Depth to Empower Red

  • Shades of red, formed by adding black to the basic color, deepen the original tone and further expand the expressive possibilities of red to include mystery and strength. Familiar examples of these deep colors include:

    • Burgundy
    • Maroon
    • Garnet
    • Oxblood
    • Sangria
    • Rust
    • Carmine

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