How to Pick the Right Wall Colours for your Office
The offices that we’ve worked in are finally starting to focus on things that should make us more productive, for example ergonomics and more useful and comfortable furniture, with a view to boost collaboration. But ask about office wall colors, and what shades to use, and you’ll mostly get one answer: White. A sea of never-ending white. As white as this webpage.
We can’t really blame the interior design guys – white is the safest choice of wall color, and definitely has its place in the office space – and can look really good in certain designs. What we are saying, however, that you need a mix of colors. Partly to liven up the space, and partly because colors have a clear effect on mood, on productivity, on well-being. And this isn’t just our opinion – it’s been well-studied and proven. We found some really interesting information at The Logo Company, and a lot of it applies to doing up the office too.
What Impact does Color Choice Have? Brand managers for the world’s top FMCG companies have known this forever: color plays a huge role in attracting customers. The right color choice for a brand will convey a specific emotion, and trigger the desired reaction from the customer. As you design the different zones for your office, keep an eye on these pointers for what individual colors mean. Of course, this isn’t an exact science, and there are plenty of differences at the individual level. But we’re looking for a general guide for our workspaces, something that works more often than not.
Yellow is, psychologically, the happiest color in the color spectrum. It signifies an optimistic outlook, and is seen as a welcoming color. It signifies creativity and an openness to new ideas. It’ll stimulate people. You don’t want too much of it, though, especially in enclosed spaces like small meeting rooms.
Green signifies harmony and peace. It has a calming influence, and reduces strain. Other than walls, try out light green workstations, mousepads, or even plants around the office. In the context of brands, it stands for health and growth, and companies like Dabur and Fortis use it to great effect. Green will show that you have an eye on the future, on environment-friendly living, on sustainability. You’ll find some great examples here of plants being integrated into the workspace and melding with the wall colors to great effect. Blue
Blue also has a soothing influence, like green, and improves focus. Blue conveys dependability. Blue also goes well with most colors without creating clashes or strong contrasts; a strong color contrast could work well for your home, but you want to portray harmony and collaboration in your office.
Orange is friendly, orange is warm, orange is happy, orange is confident. It is youthful; there’s a reason so many kid-focused channels and products use orange in their logos. An orange wall or orange desktop partitions will go well with white, blue and grey wall colors.
Use carefully. Red is very high impact – it stands for quick action, power, energy, passion, urgency. There’s a reason so many brands, from Coke to McDonalds to Kellogg’s focus so much of their brand on the color red – they want to encourage impulse buying through quick action. The flip side is it can distract from the immediate task at hand. Lighter shades of red will fit in better in the office than darker shades. The other way is to use it as an accent, on visible pipes or ducts, rather than on walls.
Grey conveys balance, neutrality, wisdom. It goes along well with many colors like blues and whites. You don’t want to go totally grey – too much of it has been shown to convey depression and melancholy; mix it up.
What paint should I choose?
Acrylic, or metal paints? How can I get just the right amount of gloss on the contrast wall? Don’t let your interior contractor confuse you with terminology! Here’s a good primer (heh) on how to choose the right kind of paint for your office. The better brands in India (like ICI or Asian Paints) will be more uniform in coverage, require fewer coats, and won’t show brush marks. They’ll also last longer.
Office spaces, especially in India’s dusty metros, are also notoriously prone to dirt and dust marks – Think of people leaning against the wall with one shoe on the wall – so you need to keep washability in mind.
These are some ideas for colors that should help you when you’re renovating or setting up a new office. Space. Got more specific needs? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’re happy to meet up for a chat and discuss in greater detail!