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What is the color reddish orange brown?

Welcome reader! In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the fascinating world of colors. Specifically, we will explore the color known as reddish orange brown. This rich and earthy tone sits between red and brown on the color wheel, possessing qualities of both. As we unpack this complex hue, we’ll cover everything from its technical specifications, historical usage, cultural associations, and examples in art and design.

Defining Reddish Orange Brown

First, let’s examine what defines the color reddish orange brown on a technical level:

Hex Code: #CC5500
RGB Values: R: 204, G: 85, B: 0
CMYK Values: C: 0, M: 58, Y: 100, K: 20
Hue: 24 degrees
Saturation: 100%
Brightness: 80%

As you can see, reddish orange brown sits directly between red and orange on the color wheel. It maintains the vibrant warmth of red and orange, while also possessing strong brown undertones from the addition of black pigment. This gives it an earthy, natural feel despite its bright reddish tone.

Historical Origins and Symbolic Meaning

Throughout history, cultures around the world have made use of reddish orange brown pigments. During the Iron Age and Classical Antiquity, it was created using iron oxides like red ochre. In Medieval illuminated manuscripts, it was produced from earth pigments. Later on, synthetic versions were derived from cadmium sulfide.

This color has carried many symbolic associations across cultures as well. In China, red-orange shades were connected to fire, warmth, and light. Ancient Egyptians linked reddish browns to fertility and life energy. Alchemists viewed this tone as balancing and harmonizing. Modern color psychology links it with friendliness, approachability, and earthiness.

Reddish Orange Brown in Art and Design

Artists and designers have utilized this rich, vibrant hue in many impactful ways. Here are some noteworthy examples:

  • Pottery and terracotta sculpture glazes from ancient Greece, Rome, Mesoamerica, and Asia
  • Rock art paintings dating to prehistory
  • Landscape painting – Capturing natural features like clay, autumn foliage, deserts, sunsets
  • Fauvism and Expressionism – Influential works by Matisse, Derain, and Rouault
  • Mid-century modern design – Upholstery, carpets, architecture
  • Product branding – Used in logos for Wendy’s, Reese’s,links Firefox, Tide, etc.

As you can see, reddish orange brown has been an integral color across human history and culture. Its earthy quality lends itself perfectly to representing the natural world in art. It also conveys energy and boldness within design.

Shades and Variations

There are many shades and variations within the reddish orange brown spectrum. Here are some of the most common:

Rust Hex: #B7410E
A darker, desaturated reddish brown
Chocolate Hex: #7B3F00
A deeper brown with subtle red undertones
Terracotta Hex: #E2725B
Mid-tone orangey red-brown with a clay like appearance
Sienna Hex: #882D17
Darker, more muted red-brown earth tone
Tan Hex: #D2B48C
Soft, light beige-based red-brown
Orange Brown Hex: #CD853F
Shift towards more pure orange tones

There are limitless shades within the orange, red, brown color spectrum. Every variation offers its own unique aesthetic qualities and design potential.

Matching Colors and Palettes

When working with reddish orange brown, it’s important to choose harmonious color palettes. Here are some recommended matches:

  • Neutrals – Greys, off-whites, black
  • Earth tones – Greens, yellows, umbers, siennas
  • Rich accents – Blues, burgundies, deep purples
  • Vibrant contrasts – Complementary teals, light yellows, pinks

Avoid pairing with overly saturated tones. Stick with mutes, neutrals, and earthy hues. Reddish orange brown also works well with metallics like gold, bronze and copper.

Using Reddish Orange Brown in Design

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, how is reddish orange brown best utilized within design and branding? Here are some key considerations:

  • Use as an accent color against clean neutrals
  • Incorporate into earthy, natural color schemes
  • Use sparingly to avoid overwhelming
  • Add brightness for a fiery, bold effect
  • Mute with browns and greys for a vintage look
  • Pair with autumnal colors like oranges, greens, yellows

Overall, reddish orange brown promotes a friendly yet earthy aesthetic. Its versatility makes it suitable for industries like homewares, food and beverage, pets, gardening, and handcrafted goods. Approach this color with care and it will add just the right touch of earthy vibrancy.


We’ve now toured the complete landscape of the rich color known as reddish orange brown. This multifaceted hue offers earthy naturalness plus vibrant energy. It has decorated our world since ancient times and continues to find new life today. Whether used subtly or boldly, reddish orange brown provides the perfect bridge between red’s excitement and brown’s dependability. Hopefully you feel inspired to incorporate this diverse color within your own designs.

Thank you for joining me on this chromatic journey! Please reach out if you have any other color-related topics you would like explored.