Ideal interiors: Colour Your Company Successful!

The corporate colour scheme you choose makes a strong statement about your company, and how it does business.
Sudents and Staff of Green Hills Academy at the Ntarama memorial site. (Courtesy photo)
Sudents and Staff of Green Hills Academy at the Ntarama memorial site. (Courtesy photo)

The corporate colour scheme you choose makes a strong statement about your company, and how it does business.

A new start-up just getting off the ground has a long list of action items to complete to move forward. Choosing a corporate colour palette often gets added to the “C” priority list.

This is a mistake, as the future success of your company depends on how it is positioned out of the starting gate. And colour is a large part of corporate presence and the image you convey.

More established companies looking for a face lift can also find one by revitalizing the colour palette, and revolutionizing the entire look and feel.

Colour schemes that made sense ten years ago can seem out dated now. Trends are sorted by magazine and website trends. Conventional marketing wisdom dictates that your site colours are also your corporate colours, but some exceptions have been seen to this rule in recent years. One of the newest colours is lime green, but this may not be appropriate for traditional businesses.

If you are new to the world of colour, it is wise to spend some time understanding colour theory.

Colour theory encompasses not only what are primary and secondary colours and how they are created, but also how colour impacts moods and emotions. For instance, a great colour for a restaurant or food business is orange as it stimulates appetite.

Red conveys action, but can also convey a sense of danger. Colour can also mean different things to different cultures, so it is wise to research all connotations for all countries in which you wish to do business.

Shades and variations of colours matter too. For example, sky blue is soft and dreamy while dark blue is authoritative and commanding. Studies have shown that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.

This is because colour stimulates the memory, and is very effective when combined with a recognizable shape or symbol. If you want to be successful, colour your business bright and bold! Let’s look at what different colours symbolize;

Red is a warm color, exciting our perceptions and warming our desires. Red is often associated with hunger, anger, passion and vitality.

This colour is particularly well suited for environments that serve food, be it a restaurant, corporate dining facility or domestic dining room. Often red can invoke excitability so it is not typically well suited for medical or educational environments.

Red is a bold, dominant colour, overshadowing most other colour tones by its intensity, therefore, when considering red as a part of your colour palette, be creative.

A room all painted in red can be dark and very atmospheric, even moody. While this might be perfect for your intimate dining room at home, of perfect for the hip new club you are opening, a corporate dining place, with its larger dining area, will most likely be oppressive in all red.

Consider painting one wall only in a red, with the remaining walls white and black. This will add a lively, colourful and festive feel; generate interest as a visual space, while staying approachable and palatable.

Consider further that this one wall is where you, as the colour consultant or designer, will want the primary focus to be in the space. The food service area, the corporate communications or messaging area, etc

Blue is generally a calming colour. Though an intense, rich cobalt blue may be stimulating and vibrant, the energy created is still one of calm, happiness and comfort.

Pale blues remind us of the ocean and sky, expansive colours and relaxing. When you think of your beach holiday, umbrella drinks aside, blue sky, warm sun and clear waters often jump to mind.

The image alone is calming. Blue is also a fresh, crisp colour and is considered a ‘cool’ tone (just as red is a ‘warm’ tone). Variations of blue values work well in institutions like educational and medical environments, as well as corporate spaces.

Some banks use a middle value blue tone in their logos and hence, associate that blue with their corporate identity.

Viewing the logo and its associated blue colour implies strength, security and calmness and is a very effect marketing tool of that corporate entity.

When using neutral blues (blues that are almost grey in tone) one can utilize the advantages of integrating color under the Neutral Color Schemes approach mentioned previously.

Green, a combination of blue and yellow in its purest form, offers many characteristics of both blue and yellow. Green can be vibrant, crisp and lively as well as muted, soft and calming.

Examples of this are; Hunter Green, Grass Green for strong colours (often found in northern crafts of Scandinavia, and North America); Lime Green and Kelly Green are vibrant and lively (found among warm and island cultures like the Caribbean, Mexico and regions in Asia); and Celadon Green and Sage Green, calming and neutral colours evoking images of Italy’s Venice, and the earthy palette of the Arts & Crafts movement.


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