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The Importance of Colour in Organisations

Colour is very important and when working with people, we have to ensure that the work environment is conducive to efficient productivity and performance.

COLOUR

Colour has both a physical and psychological effect upon people. Research has shown that, thoughtful use of colour can increase working efficiency levels, aid in the retention of data, and create positive associations with corporate identification. Choice of colour schemes in a building can have a very real affect upon the health of people using that building. For the utilisation of colour to be successful, it should be an integral part of the design process, be that the design of an entire building or simply a company logo. Consistency of colour and colour matching should be carefully monitored to ensure the desired affect is achieved. 

Colours can be divided into two broad groups: warm colours (reds, oranges, yellows, etc.) and cool colours (blues, greens, greys, etc.). Warm colours have a psychological effect of making people feel active and stimulated. They don't encourage relaxation, but they do encourage work. Cool colours tend to be softer and more relaxing.

Most colours evoke an emotional response, and are therefore often used symbolically. For instance, the colour red evokes an excited, active, alert response, and tends to symbolise action or danger. It is also easy to see and stands out, so it is often used by businesses to inform persons of late payment of fees. In this case, red signifies urgency and a call to attention. Blue, on the other hand, is said to signify strength and reliability, or even fiscal responsibility.

The effect of a particular colour can be manipulated by the shade or indeed, the brightness of that colour. Bright reds will convey a different attitude to pinks or oranges. Pink tends to have feminine qualities, and can be calming and restful (though not in the long-term). Oranges represent fun and vitality.

Dark colours tend to absorb heat energy. They may be used for walls or roofs in cold climates, because they will help buildings remain warm.  Light colours tend to reflect heat energy. For example, buildings in hot climates often have light coloured walls and roofs to reflect heat and keep the interiors cooler.

Contrast refers to the amount of difference between a mix of colours used. Black on white signifies a major contrast, which is quite dramatic. This can be desirable in areas where people will be staying for a short time, such as a reception area, but may be difficult to tolerate for very long periods. By using colours which do not contrast, but rather, colours that harmonise (belong to the same colour family); you can create a mood of greater harmony, which is generally more pleasing in the long term. 

Below is a table of some possible psychological effects associated with different colours. Since people and cultural preferences can vary greatly, this chart is a possible guide, only.

Colour and Meaning

Colour

Meaning

Blue

Strength, Calmness, Reliability.

Green

Serenity, Jealousy, Poison

Red

Anger, Fire, Danger

Pink

Sweetness, Femininity

Brown

Comfort, Dullness, Practicality

Black

Death, Foreboding, Elegance

Grey

Stateliness, Business-like, Refined

Yellow

Solar, Arid, Sickly

Purple

Melancholy, Mystical, Dignified

Learn more with ACS.

The above text is an extract from our Personnel Management course. Colour has relevance in so many areas of business - from office décor, to marketing materials. ACS offer a great range of Business and Management courses that cover a variety of areas from Personnel Management, Operations Management, Supervision, Marketing and much more.

We have listed some courses which you may find of interest lower down this page; also a link to our Business and Management course directory where you can view all of the courses available.

If you would like to improve the potential for your performance in your business or as professional development for your career development then connect with our specialist Business and Management tutors today. They are experts in their field and will be happy to answer your questions and discuss study options available to you.

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