Marvel’s Daredevil is full of beautiful colors. But what to they mean? Let’s find out, shall we?
When Matt describes how he sees the world he describes it as “a world on fire.” We get a glimpse into his world in one episode and it looks something like this:
This is the basis for which all of the color themes in this show are based on. All of the key colors in the show are yellow, orange, or red.
One of the most prominent colors for Matt is red. Daredevil’s suit is mostly red. Matt’s glasses have a red tint to them. Because the red that is most commonly used in this show is bright red or a dark red, there are a few associations with this. Most commonly people associate red with fire and blood, as well as energy, power, and passion. The dark red color of Daredevil’s suit is associated with willpower, rage, anger, and wrath.
The show also incorporates yellow and orange tints throughout the first season and in the second half of the second season. The important thing is when they show up. Many times we see the colors used when Daredevil is in action or when Matt dealing in something important. The interesting thing is that the normal color associations of yellow and orange do not fit with the feeling set up by the show. Orange is usually associated with heat, creativity, and enthusiasm, and yellow is commonly connected with joy and happiness. However, a muted yellow commonly suggests caution, as does a vibrant orange. Why else would traffic cones and crossing guard vests be that color? We can see orange and yellow interacting with Daredevil in a less direct way than red.
Yellow is employed in two key places. First, when Daredevil is fighting foes we often see the world with a muted yellow tint, and second, in Matt’s apartment we see a brighter yellow from his windows. In the first instance, we can connect this darker yellow with the idea of cautiousness and also a sense of happiness. Matt is definitely the happiest when he is able to practice vigilante justice. He even says to Foggy in the first season that he never slept better after the first time he went out as his vigilante alter-ego. In the second instance it is not as clear. The best association for this might be happiness since he is at home.
Orange also shows up during Daredevil’s fights, though not as frequently as yellow. There is actually more uses of orange in the second season than the first. This can be considered a graduation of the yellow into a more intense, heated color. This suggests even more danger for the character and less happiness.
Another thing to consider is how all three colors play together. The clearest association is fire. Fire is an interesting thing – humans have used it and continue to use it today as a source of heat, to cook food, and to boil water. Essentially, fire was and is an integral part of staying alive. At the same time, though, fire has great destructive capabilities, for example burning down entire forests. On top of the smaller instances of color symbolism we see in Daredevil the color usage also points out that Daredevil is a necessary power in the show, even though he has potential for incredible destruction.
What did you think? Let me know in the comments!