Which Colors Make Red?

Disco-Dan/CC-BY 2.0

Red is a primary color, so it is not usually possible to produce it by mixing two or more colors. However, print technology uses alternative primary colors, and an overlapping of magenta and yellow produces red.

Red, yellow and blue are called primary colors. Mixing primary colors produces other colors, depending on the proportions of the mix. For painting purposes, red cannot be made by mixing any other colors. This theory of primary colors is known as the Prang or Artists’ Color System, which was introduced by Louis Prang in 1876. Alternative color systems identify different primary colors. One such system is the four-color system for printing in which the primary colors are cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This system produces colors by overlapping different-sized patterns of dots using the four primary colors.