Scarlet is powerful. It is bold. It is an integral part of our brand, which is why its presence is required on all Ohio State communications. A prominence of scarlet, however, is not always advisable.
Scarlet is a red, and red is one of the most visible colors. Why? Anthropologists believe we’re hardwired to notice red as a survival instinct. Aside from black and white, red is the only color distinction found in every human language.
Physically, red focuses behind the retina, which forces the lens of your eye to become more convex to pull it forward; therefore, we perceive red areas as advancing.
How scarlet is positioned in relation to other hues, however, makes a world of difference. On a black background, for example, scarlet glows and expands, while on a white background it appears more contained and crisp. Surrounded by orange and purple, scarlet is relatively lifeless.
Bottom line: in any design, a little scarlet goes a long way.