Skip to Content

What color is between red and orange?

What color is between red and orange?

The color between red and orange on the visible spectrum is a reddish-orange hue that is precisely halfway between the two colors. Determining the exact halfway point involves an understanding of color theory and the physics of light.

The Visible Spectrum

The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. The visible spectrum ranges from wavelengths of approximately 380 nanometers to 740 nanometers. Each wavelength corresponds to a particular color as perceived by humans. Red has the longest wavelength visible to humans at around 700 nm, while violet has the shortest wavelength visible to humans at around 380 nm. Orange falls between red and yellow at around 600 nm wavelength.

When all the visible wavelengths of light are combined together, they form white light. The color spectrum displays the progression of colors from the longest visible wavelengths (reds) to the shortest visible wavelengths (violets).

Color Mixing

When two colors are mixed together, the resulting color is a combination of the two original colors. This is known as additive color mixing. For example, when red and yellow light mixes together, the result is orange. Orange is the color precisely halfway between red and yellow on the visible spectrum.

The same principle applies when mixing red and orange. The color midway between red and orange can be found by mixing appropriate proportions of the two colors until a reddish-orange hue is produced.

Calculating the Halfway Point

To mathematically calculate the precise halfway point between red and orange:

  1. Determine the wavelengths of red and orange light. As noted above, red light has a wavelength of approximately 700 nm. Orange light has a wavelength of approximately 600 nm.
  2. Calculate the midpoint wavelength between 700 nm and 600 nm. The midpoint would be 650 nm.
  3. The color corresponding to a wavelength of 650 nm is a reddish-orange color precisely between red and orange.

Using computer graphics software and color pickers, the hex code for the precise halfway point between red and orange can also be determined to be #FF5A1D. This hex code displays a color that is exactly midway between the pure red of #FF0000 and the pure orange of #FFA500.

The Munsell Color System

An alternate way to precisely specify the reddish-orange color midway between red and orange is using the Munsell Color System. Munsell is a three-dimensional color space that specifies colors based on hue, chroma (saturation) and value (brightness).

In the Munsell system, red is defined as hue 5R. Orange is defined as hue 10R. The midpoint between 5R and 10R is hue 7.5R. Maintaining the same chroma and value as pure red and orange, the precise halfway point would be Munsell 7.5R 6/12. This code defines a color with hue 7.5R, chroma 6, and value 12 – a bright reddish-orange.

Color Munsell Code
Red 5R 6/12
Midpoint between red and orange 7.5R 6/12
Orange 10R 6/12

Computer RGB and CMYK Color Codes

The intermediate reddish-orange color can also be precisely specified using RGB or CMYK color codes used in computer graphics and printing. In the RGB color space, the color halfway between red (255, 0, 0) and orange (255, 128, 0) would be (255, 64, 0).

In the CMYK color space used for print, the color halfway between red (0%, 100%, 100%) and orange (0%, 50%, 100%) would be (0%, 75%, 100%). By mixing the appropriate percentages of cyan, magenta, and yellow pigments, the precise reddish-orange intermediate can be reproduced.

Pigment Mixing

The halfway point between red and orange can be achieved through pigment mixing using paints or dyes. Taking vermilion, a bright red pigment, and mixing in increasing amounts of yellow ochre, an orange pigment, will result in a color midway between the two. Adjusting the proportions allows fine tuning of the exact hue.

Using this technique, artists can carefully blend paints on a palette to produce the desired reddish-orange hue between red and orange. With care and an understanding of color theory, very precise color mixing can be achieved.

Natural Examples

In nature, reddish-orange colors midway between red and orange can be observed in things like fire, autumn leaves, flowers, gemstones, minerals, animals, and birds. Here are some examples:

  • Maple leaves turning color in autumn
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cooked salmon flesh
  • The gemstone carnelian
  • Carrots
  • Paprika powder
  • Coral reef fish like clownfish
  • Several species of tanagers and orioles

These examples from nature display the reddish-orange hue precisely between the primary colors of red and orange.

Cultural and Symbolic Meanings

The reddish-orange color midway between red and orange hasdistinct cultural and symbolic associations:

  • Balance, warmth, energy – It combines the passion of red with the cheerfulness of orange
  • Autumn seasons and harvests
  • Earthiness, nature
  • Spices, flavor
  • Buddhism and Hinduism – In these religions, orange and saffron (a yellowish orange) are sacred colors

This striking shade evokes earthy qualities of fall yet maintains the vibrancy of red and orange. It is rich in symbolic meaning across cultures.

Use in Art, Fashion, and Design

The reddish-orange color midpoint has many applications in art, fashion, and commercial design:

  • Painting – Useful for mixing vibrant secondary colors
  • Textiles and clothing – An energetic accent color
  • Interior design – For a warm, inviting look
  • Food packaging – Associated with autumn harvests and spices
  • Cosmetics – Nail polishes, blushes, eyeshadow

Modern and contemporary artists like Mark Rothko and Barbara Kruger have used this color in bold abstract paintings. Brands leverage it to convey energy and earthy authenticity. In many settings, it strikes the ideal balance between red’s intensity and orange’s friendliness.

Mixing Other Color Combinations

The process of finding midpoint colors can be applied to any adjacent colors on the visible spectrum, not just red and orange. Some other examples include:

  • Greenish yellow between green and yellow
  • Blue-green between blue and green
  • Blue-violet between blue and violet

The same principles of light wavelengths, additive mixing, or pigment blending allow intermediate colors to be derived. Computer color pickers or Munsell codes make the specifications scientific and precise.


The reddish-orange color halfway between red and orange occupies a striking space on the visible color spectrum. By calculating halfway wavelengths of light, combining pigments, or using color systems, the precise intermediate hue can be derived. It embodies autumnal earthiness and energy, finding many symbolic and practical applications.