scarlet color

Scarlet Color – Scarlet Color Meaning and How to Use It

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In most western societies, red is the color of love, and when we add descriptive words to a shade of red, such as scarlet red, it takes the color to a different playing field. But what color is scarlet? We will attempt to answer this question as we navigate our way through this article. We will also discuss the scarlet color meaning as well as the various scarlet hex codes so that you can incorporate the color into any design. While many people may shy away from scarlet red because it is a powerful color, after reading this article, we hope you will feel more confident about deciding whether to use this bold color to add a little pizzazz to your home or office.



What Color Is Scarlet Red?

Scarlet is a bright red color that carries a slight orange tinge. The traditional scarlet red color is slightly less orange than vermilion. Although not specific, the early recorded use of scarlet as a color dates back to 1250. Red is a primary color and is also one of the more popular colors used by artists over the centuries. The red color ranges from orange tinges to deep, wine-colored hues. Throughout history, the scarlet color has held a special significance worldwide. This warm color is commonly associated with love in Western cultures and remains an attractive color that draws attention.

Scarlet Color Meaning

Scarlet ShadeScarlet Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeScarlet Color
Scarlet#FF24000, 86, 100, 0255, 36, 0


Scarlet Red Color: A Brief History

In the 8th century BCE, scarlet dyes were used but were known as Armenian red as described in Persian and Assyrian writings. This bright red color was exported from Persia to Rome, and during the Roman Empire, it was the second-favorite color worn by emperors, with purple being their first choice.

Scarlet and crimson refer to red colors made from certain dyes. Ancient cultures placed great importance on processing colored fabric, especially those used for ceremonial purposes such as burials or purification rituals. In the Roman Catholic Church, scarlet is the color won by the Cardinal and is directly associated with the blood of Jesus and the sacrifice.


The Meaning of the Scarlet Color

Since red is the color of blood, red shades are often associated with danger and, at the same time, also with courage. Bright reds like scarlet red are associated with heat, activity, passion, love, and joy. The scarlet red color symbolizes happiness and good fortune in China, India, and many Asian countries.

Bright Scarlet Red


Scarlet Red Used in Famous Paintings

From deep, dark crimson red colors to softer reds, this color has been used extensively in famous paintings. Although scarlet red is not specifically mentioned, the bright red hue can be seen in many paintings by famous artistic masters of the past.


Mit Und Gegen (1929) by Wassily Kandinsky

ArtistWassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944)
Date Completed1929
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions (cm) 80 x 60
LocationThe Guggenheim Museum, New York, United States

Wassily Kandinsky is one of the more famous Abstract artists from the 20th century. Kandinsky’s more renowned art pieces portray various shapes and colors that convey a different meaning for those who view the paintings. The painting titled Mit Und Gegen which means “With and Against” in English, which was completed in 1929, shows red hues such as scarlet.


Red Hill and Bones (1941) by Georgia O’Keeffe

ArtistGeorgia O’Keeffe (1887 -1986)
Date Completed1941
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions (cm)75.6 × 101.6
LocationPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States


Georgia Totto O’Keeffe was an American Modernist artist known for her beautiful paintings of large flowers and New York skyscrapers. She was called the “Mother of American Modernism”. In 1905, Georgia O’Keeffe began training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and then moved on to the Art Students League of New York. One famous painting that appears to contain the scarlet color was created in 1941 and is titled Red Hill and Bones. This painting depicts the hills outside of the artist’s home in New Mexico. Speaking of this artwork, O’Keeffe said; “A red hill doesn’t touch everyone’s heart as it touches mine. . . . Badlands [desert] roll away outside my door, hill after hill—red hills of apparently the same sort of earth that you mix with oil to make paint.”


How to Make Scarlet-Color Paint

Red cannot be created from scratch because it is a primary color; however, you can mix other colors into red paint to create different red shades. Scarlet is a bright, bold red shade with an orange hue. You can create your own scarlet red paint by using an equal amount of red and yellow until you reach your desired scarlet color.



The Various Shades of Scarlet Red

With so many shades of red to choose from, it can be daunting to decide on the perfect shade. Scarlet red has many variations, ranging from vermilion to dark scarlet. We have listed a few of the more popular shades of this bold red color.

Scarlet Hex Code


Dark Scarlet

The shade known as dark scarlet is exactly as its name suggests – a deep, dark red shade. It is much darker than traditional scarlet and is quite a popular choice of nail polish color. Dark scarlet can often be confused with maroon or even burgundy.

Scarlet ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeScarlet Color
Dark Scarlet#5603190, 97, 71, 6686, 3, 25


Flame Scarlet

This scarlet shade contains orange undertones, which is probably why the word “flame” was added to its name. In 2020, flame scarlet was announced as one of the colors of the year by Pantone.

Scarlet ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeScarlet Color
Flame Scarlet#CD212A0, 84, 80, 20205, 33, 42

What Color Is Scarlet


Medium Scarlet

The medium scarlet shade is created by mixing pink and red. This variation of the traditional scarlet color can be described as a pinkish-red shade. The pink in medium scarlet is quite apparent when compared to traditional scarlet red.

Scarlet ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeScarlet Color
Medium Scarlet#FC28470, 84, 72, 1252, 40, 71


Safflower Scarlet

This variation of the scarlet color can be seen in the safflower plant’s thistle-like flowers, which range from yellow to scarlet shades. Extracted pigment from the safflower plant can also be used to dye textiles. Using safflower as a dye is an ancient Korean tradition.

Scarlet ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeScarlet Color
Safflower Scarlet#E839290, 75, 82, 9232, 57, 41

Scarlet Color Code



Up until the 19th century, the vermilion pigment was created using a toxic mineral known as cinnabar. The name “vermilion” was also given to this scarlet-red shade thanks to a dye created from the Kermes vermilion insect, which was used in Europe to create a natural red dye.

Scarlet ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeScarlet Color
Vermilion#E342340, 71, 77, 11227, 66, 52



What Colors Go With Scarlet Red?

When paired with beige or white, scarlet red becomes a focal point in a room without removing the warmth that the neutral colors give off. Dark browns are also a great complementary color to scarlet red. This pairing works well, especially with big brown furniture, which can otherwise overpower a room.

Scarlet Color Combinations


Scarlet Red in Interior Design

For a sophisticated color palette, you can combine scarlet with a neutral color such as beige along with a deeper red such as Bordeaux. Studies have revealed that red color tones increase brain activity and physical stamina. You will also undoubtedly make a statement if you consider incorporating white and scarlet into the kitchen. Because it is believed that red denotes feelings of hunger, you may spend long hours in the kitchen creating beautiful dishes for your family.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Scarlet#FF24000, 86, 100, 0255, 36, 0
Beige#F5F5DC0, 0, 10, 4245, 245, 220
Bordeaux#5F021F0, 98, 67, 6395, 2, 31


Because of the connotation of love directly associated with all things red, incorporating scarlet red into the bedroom may be the exact color to boost a relationship. It’s an attractive color full of passion and mystery, and if combined with other colors such as dim gray and ivory white, it is sure to be a winner.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Scarlet#FF24000, 86, 100, 0255, 36, 0
Ivory#FFFFF00, 0, 6, 0100, 100, 94.1
Dim Gray#6969690, 0, 0, 59105, 105, 105


If you have a room that has already been finished in deep colors such as bottle green or midnight blue, you may be hesitant to add a bright color like scarlet. Rest assured that it will be a great contrasting color, especially if used for accessories such as scatter cushions or lamp shades.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Scarlet#FF24000, 86, 100, 0255, 36, 0
Bottle Green#0F472C79, 0, 38, 7215, 71, 44
Midnight Blue#08113B78, 78, 0, 568, 17, 59


Because of the bright undertones of scarlet red, we often shy away from this gorgeous hue. Still, it is a color that creates an impact if incorporated well into the appropriate space in your home. Just like other bright colors, there is nothing to be afraid of; in fact, the color is so daring that it could very well make you want to experiment with it. The scarlet red color is impactful no matter what setting it is placed in. So, please go on and give this bold shade a try!

Scarlet Red Interior



Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Is Scarlet?

Scarlet red is a tone that carries a tinge of orange. Scarlet falls under the red umbrella on the color wheel. Because of its close ties with red, it is a powerful color, and no matter if worn as an outfit or used as a company logo, it will attract attention. It is a color often associated with passion or love.


What Is the Scarlet Color Meaning?

The scarlet hue denotes courage and passion. It is a color of joy and power. In many cultures, scarlet symbolizes good fortune. In fact, in Asian countries, brides wear the color as a symbol of fertility and luck. Many strong corporate companies will incorporate scarlet into their logos because it is a bold color associated with energy.

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