The Psychology of Colour in Office Design

Posted by , 4 months ago

A great deal of thought and planning goes into the layout and colour scheme of your office. After all, the average worker spends about 8 hours a day in an environment that has been carefully crafted to maximize their productivity and wellbeing. There is a method of implementing these colours in a way that subconsciously effects your mood and actions, this is called Colour Psychology. This technique is widely used in marketing and branding to influence consumers but is not always considered an important factor during the office design process.

The importance and impact of colour in the workplace-

Imagine working in an environment that was completely absent of colour, everything from the walls to the furniture is one shade of grey. Our natural human instinct is to be attracted to colours, so a bland office interior would negatively impact your mood and productivity.

Look at the clinical image below, imagine you had to work in that office day in, day out – how do you think that would make you feel? Would it positively impact your wellbeing? Do you think you’d be able to produce a continuous level of high quality work? A study conducted by the University of Texas discovered that predominantly grey, beige and white offices caused feelings of sadness and depression among employees that negatively impacted their productivity.

Ever think about colour in office design?

There have been many studies and articles on the colours and patterns to avoid when designing a workplace interior. The last thing any employee wants is to wake up and dread going into work due to a boring and bland office interior that creates a negative workplace culture. 

Yellow and Orange-

Bright, positive and exhilarating! Yellow and Orange is the colour of teamwork and is best used in creative environments to raise positivity and stimulate mental activity. Too much and you may start to feel hungry! These two colours, found very commonly in fast food branding, can increase anxiety and appetite, so it is best used sparingly as an accent colour.

How does this Colour in office design make you feel? Another example of Colour in office design.


Red invokes feelings of warmth and is best used in spaces where there is lots of physical activity or nightshift work. Red is thought to be one of the most powerful colours and is therefore best used for furnishings or as a feature colour to highlight certain spaces you wish to stand out. However, too much red can potentially cause negative affects to your health. Some people can experience headaches, an increase in your respiration rate and higher blood, so red should be used in moderation.

Red is a powerful Colour in office design.


In contrast to the colour red, a blue themed office interior can actually lower your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Blue surroundings tend to evoke feelings of relaxation and tranquillity much like the sky on a summers day. There are no negative effects of the colour blue so use as much or as little as you like!

These findings can also be applied to company branding. How many logos can you think of that are Blue? Blue is considered to be nonthreatening yet instil confidence, making it a good choice to represent your business.

Blue is a calming Colour in office design.


Green is a positive colour that boosts creativity and reduces anxiety and stress. We all know that summer smell, right? The smell of freshly cut grass? A dash of green in your office will create a subliminal connection to memories of summertime, fun, growth, mother earth and nature. Another great way to incorporate green into your office environment is through biophilia. Biophilia in the office is becoming more and more popular due to its harmonising effect on employees.

Green is the most natural Colour in office design.


Purple represents loyalty, royalty and ambition. It is often used to create a feeling of luxury in a space and is seen as a colour less commonly used. There are no negative effects of using purple and it contrasts well with a variety of other colours making it very versatile and easy to use. Shades on the purple spectrum may not be commonly used within office workplaces. However, due to its calmness, spiritual and luxury atmospheric vibes. The lighter variants such as lilac is widely seen within the wellness and spa industry.

Purple is a positive Colour in office design.


Colour plays a vital role in our lives in and out of the office. All colours influence our emotions in both positive and negative ways. To get the most out of your employees, it is beneficial to consider the psychology of colour during the design process to help create a positive and productive working environment.

Give us a call on +44 (0) 1908 534204 for a colour assessments and 3D renders of your new environment or you can use the links below to learn more about how to bring colour into your office space or give us a call on




Written by Samuel Muzsynai – Junior Designer