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The Psychology of Colour in Office Design

Posted by Will Dixon on

Pyschology of Colour in Office Design

Whether you realise it or not, colour plays a huge part in our daily lives; however, it’s not just limited to the colour of your car or the shirt you put on in the morning. Workplaces are becoming increasingly vibrant as business owners look to tap into new ways to achieve their goals, from triggering positive moods to boosting creativity.

If your workspace could do with a refresh, here’s everything you need to know about the psychology of colour in office design and how you can use it effectively.

The psychology of colour

The colour palette you select for your working environment has a huge emphasis on how your employees work, their overall productivity and importantly, their general wellbeing and mood. It also has the power to influence the perception your customers get when they walk through the door.

In a study conducted by the University of Texas, it was found that predominantly grey, beige and white offices caused feelings of sadness and depression in employees. However, it’s worth noting that using neutral colours in moderation can help to create a balanced, calm setting for an office – just make sure you add a splash of colour for personality!

Commonly used colours


Typically associated with a calm and tranquil atmosphere, blue is a popular colour choice across the branding spectrum, and you’ll find it in use in many open plan environments. The depth and stability it evokes can communicate reliability and trust; which is why it’s an ideal colour for the healthcare, technology and security industries.


In direct contrast to blue, red is a statement colour that can increase heart rate, mental energy flow, blood pressure and the metabolism. Unsurprisingly, it’s prevalent in high energy environments such as creative departments or fast food chains where it can make staff more productive.

Best used sparingly, avoid vast red walls and instead opt for furnishings that highlight particular areas and add a bit of character.


Energetic and fresh, yellow is known as the colour of teamwork and is often used in collaborative workplaces with artists, writers and designers to raise positivity and boost mental activity. It’s also the perfect choice if you’re looking to evoke a warm feeling about your brand.

Stick to using yellow as an accent colour against a neutral backdrop, as used too much it can have the opposite effect.


Green is associated with growth, nature and balance, making it the perfect choice in environmental or conservation organisations. It’s also predominant in financial companies who want to convey a sense of wealth and trust.

With the rise of biophilia and our inherent need to be in close proximity to nature, some of the best ways to incorporate a little green into your office are through potted plants and green walls – something we’ve recently introduced in our own office!


Purple has risen in the ranks as a colour that represents luxury and ambition but can also have a very calming effect. For this reason, it’s widely seen within the wellness industry at spas or salons.

Purple can be combined with neutral colours such as white, black and grey to add a quirky touch.


In organisations where you want to connect with authority, intellect or luxury, black can be the perfect choice when used judiciously. Combine with colours such as white or gold to create a complimentary accent for an elegant space.

Choosing the right colour for your workspace

The best starting point for your office will lie within your brand’s colour palette. With many of our clients, they’re looking to create working environments that reflect their corporate identity and emphasise their values. In essence, it’s yet another strategic branding tool that will introduce both potential employees and customers to you.

Using different elements of your colour palette will help to define particular areas and subtly denote what each space is designed for. Collaborative environments will often utilise brighter colours such as yellow to inject creativity, while areas such as the main office will opt for muted tones like blue.

If you’re thinking of moving office or are looking to give your existing space a new lease of life, contact us on 0800 6347 415 or Alternatively visit our sister company Foursquare Workspace for more information.

  • Tags: Design Tips, News
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