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How to Use Blood Red in Your Design Projects

Blood red isn’t just for Halloween

Blood red is a warm color that can be bright red or dark red. A deep red bright red is often considered the color of fresh blood, but blood red can also describe a deep garnet red.

Depending on how it’s used, blood red may have some darker or more sinister red symbolism, such as anger, aggression, death, or a creepy feeling. Blood red can also symbolize loyalty (as in the blood oath) and love (blood is associated with heart and romance). You see as much blood red on Valentine’s Day as you do on Halloween.

Lifewire / Alison Cinkota

Blood red is an eye-catching color, so don’t waste it on unimportant elements of your design. The viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to it, so use it for the elements you want to emphasize.

Use blood red in design files

When planning a commercial print design project, use a blood red CMYK formula in your page layout software or choose a Pantone spot color. Displays on a computer monitor using RGB values.

Use hexadecimal identifiers when working with HTML, CSS, and SVG. A blood red hue is best achieved by:

hexRGBCMYK
red blood#bb0a1e166,16,300.95.84.27
crimson#dc143c220,20,600.91.73.14
deep red#8b0000139.0.00,100,100,45
grenade#800000128.0.00,100,100,50
orange blood#cc1100204.17.00.92,100,20

Choose the Pantone color closest to blood red

When using printed parts, it is sometimes a cheaper option to use pure red ink instead of CMYK red ink. The Pantone Matching System is the most widely recognized spot color system and is supported by America’s leading design software and most commercial printers.

These are the best combinations of Pantone color suggestions with blood red:

Solid Pantone Coating
red blood7621C
crimson199C
deep red7623C
grenade2350C
orange blood2350C

The C after the Pantone number indicates that the color will appear on the coated paper. When applied to uncoated paper, the ink remains the same, but its appearance changes due to absorption into the paper. It usually looks less vibrant. If you want to print blood red on uncoated paper, ask your commercial printing company to show you an ink comparison on the two papers using a Pantone brochure made for this purpose.

Blood-red text on a black background (or vice versa) is a low-contrast combination that often makes text difficult to read.

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How to Use Blood Red in Your Design Projects

Blood red isn’t just for halloween

Blood red is a warm color that can be bright or dark red. The bright red color of crimson is often considered the color of fresh blood, but blood-red color may also describe a dark maroon shade of red.

Depending on how it is used, blood red can carry some of the darker or more sinister symbolism of red, including anger, aggression, death, or a sense of the macabre. Blood red can also symbolize loyalty (as in a blood oath) and love (blood is associated with the heart and romance). You’re just as likely to see blood red on Valentine’s Day as on Halloween.

​Lifewire / Alison CzinkotaBlood red is an attention-grabbing color, so don’t waste it on unimportant elements of your design. The viewer’s eye is drawn to it immediately, so use it for elements you want to stand out.
Using Blood Red in Design Files

When planning a design project destined for commercial printing, use CMYK formulations for blood red in your page layout software or select a Pantone spot color. For display on a computer monitor, use RGB values.

Use hex designations when working with HTML, CSS, and SVG. Blood red shades are best achieved with the following:

Hex
RGB
CMYK
Blood Red
#bb0a1e
166,16,30
0,95,84,27
Crimson
#dc143c
220,20,60
0,91,73,14
Dark Red
#8b0000
139,0,0
0,100,100,45
Maroon
#800000
128,0,0
0,100,100,50
Blood Orange
#cc1100
204,17,0
0,92,100,20
Choosing Pantone Colors Closest to Blood Red

When working with printed pieces, sometimes a solid color red ink, rather than a CMYK red, is a more economical choice. The Pantone Matching System is the most widely recognized spot color system, and it is supported by industry-leading design software and most U.S. commercial printing companies.

Here are the Pantone colors suggested as best matches to blood red:

Pantone Solid Coated
Blood Red
7621 C
Crimson
199 C
Dark Red
7623 C
Maroon
2350 C
Blood Orange
2350 C

The C following a Pantone number indicates the color is represented as it appears on coated paper. When the ink is applied on an uncoated paper, the ink is the same, but its appearance changes due to absorption into the paper. It typically appears less vibrant. If you plan to print blood red on uncoated paper, ask your commercial printing company to show you the side-by-side comparison of the ink on both types of paper, using their Pantone guides made for this purpose.

Blood red text on a black background (or vice versa) is a low-contrast combination that usually makes the text difficult to read.
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