How to Use Blood Red in Your Design Projects

Blood Red Is Not Just for Halloween

Red liquid splashing
Level1studio/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Blood red may or may not be the actual color of blood, but it's a range of red colors we associate with blood. - Jacci Howard Bear's Desktop Publishing Colors and Color Meanings

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 being associated with the heart and romance).

You're just as likely to see blood red on Valentine's Day as on Halloween.

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. You use Hex designations when working with HTML, CSS and SVG. Blood red shades are best achieved with the following:

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

Choosing Pantone Colors Closest to Blood Red

When working with printed pieces, sometimes a solid color red, rather than a CMYK red, is a more economical choice.

The Pantone Matching System is the most widely recognized spot color system. Here are the Pantone colors suggested as best matches to blood red.

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

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