The Significance of Colour

When we are approached by a client to ask for help in making their workspace more productive, what often comes way down on the list are the colours required – and yet colour and professional branding are intrinsically, and importantly, linked.

It is estimated that up to 90% of initial judgments made about a product can be based on colour alone. Colour influences how consumers view the ‘personality’ of a brand, and the relationship between brand and colour hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the colour being the right ‘fit’ for the particular brand.

Far from being an “oh, and what colour should we have?” add on at the end of any discussion about an office refurbishment, ensuring you have the right colour to reflect your brand and your company culture is a vital aspect of commercial property design.

The Significance of Colour for Commercial Design

RED: Linked with the emotions of desire red is associated with danger, passion, excitement and energy. Being a bold, energetic and lively colour symbolising strength, confidence and power, it needs to be used carefully. Too much red can bring about feelings of anger and frustration, so a splash here and there would be wiser than four bright red walls.

ORANGE: Not the first colour most people would think of, and a divisive option given that most people either hate it or love it. If your brand is a more traditional, serious type then orange is probably not best suited to your needs but being associated with fun and vibrancy it is great for youthful, energetic brands. (See our blog post about the Orange Offices).

YELLOW: The colour of sunshine and smiles, yellow is seen as the optimistic, cheerful, and playful colour. Associated with practical thinking and creating new inspiration, yellow can play a useful part in motivating staff. On the flip side, yellow can cause anxiety, agitation and confrontation particularly in people who are already stressed and therefore needs to be treated in a similar way to red. (See our blog post on Yellow Offices.)

BLUE: The colour most linked to the professions, blue is not unsurprisingly the favourite choice for companies wanting to convey reliability, trustworthiness and communication combined with expressing authority and solid professionalism. With a vast range in hues from the palest light blue through to solid dark, blue can be used to convey calm and tranquillity through to corporate and dependable.

GREEN: In a similar vein to orange, green can be a polarising colour in terms of its associated meanings. Green is often linked with nature and the environment, but also with finance and wealth. The trick here is to choose your shade of green wisely; the brighter, lighter greens indicate growth, vitality and renewal, whereas the darker, richer greens represent prestige, wealth and abundance.

PINK: Who would work in a pink office? We posed this question ourselves back in May 2017 and the responses we got were overridingly positive (see our blog post about Pink Offices). Stereotypically associated with all things feminine, pink is also linked with youthfulness and fun. It has the advantage of working very well with a wide range of other colours, so you can combine it with your blue office for example to reduce the overall effect of austerity.

If you are looking for a new fit out for your offices or commercial property, make sure that you think about the colour scheme as well – if you are limited by what you can change, there are always the options of adding colour through office furniture, partitions and other workplace accessories. If 90% of people make an instant decision on who you are as a company by the colour scheme you have chosen, then the significance of colour in commercial design is huge.

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