Office Furniture

Designing an Office when Brand Image Conflicts with Color Psychology

Choosing what colors to use in your office can prove challenging. Combine that with the challenge of incorporating brand image into your workspace, and you end up with an even tougher decision to make. Why? Well, here’s the thing about color psychology: studies regarding it often contradict each other. Even individual studies often show a certain color to improve productivity with one type of person or task but not for another.

Now, there are certain colors that most people agree work well in the workplace, namely green and blue (though we advise using lighter shades on walls). But what if your logo and other brand visuals have a lot of red in it? Or what if your brand targets a more alternative crowd and tends to employ a lot of black and dark colors like Hot Topic (or at least old Hot Topic)? While these colors may make sense when conveying your brand’s image to consumers, they aren’t safe bets for productivity in the office. With that said, you may want to steer clear of them in the office environment. Still, other ways exist to incorporate your brand image into your office design. Let’s explore them, shall we?

Make your reception/lounge area heavily visually branded, but keep employee areas conducive to what best supports an effective work environment.

The colors associated with your brand influence its brand recognition. In other words, people recognize your brand based on certain visual cues, so the spaces you use to interface with the outside world should reflect your brand visually. If your conference room is used to meet with clients more than it’s used for collaborative meetings, you may also choose to make it more branded appearance-wise.

Brand image has a lot to do with culture. While brands can communicate their culture in part with the use of colors, in the office, the best way to enforce a positive culture lies with supporting employees by creating a comfortable, stimulating workspace. And sometimes, the colors best for creating such a great workspace (again, green and blue) don’t include the colors people associate with your brand. That’s okay. With your office design, focus on what matters most to employees: having a place they can perform at and feel their best.

Add a little bit of your brand’s colors to the office, but not too much — and put them in the right places.

Although you shouldn’t go overboard with any of your brand’s colors that conflict with best practice according to color psychology, it’s okay to add a little here and there, especially when it’s not something directly in any employee’s line of vision while they work. Here are a few ideas for where to try adding more of your brand’s colors:

  • Chair seats (check out our seating options here)
  • The ceiling
  • Non-work areas like break rooms and bathrooms
  • On doors and entryways (You can use inspirational quotes, the names of the departments and people occupying the spaces, etc.)
  • Hallways

Let us know what you think about the use of different colors and their psychological impact in the workplace! We’d love to hear your thoughts. And remember, just because certain colors don’t always help people perform at their best, it does not mean the colors you use in your brand’s imagery evoke negative associations in consumers’ minds. Don’t feel the need to completely rebrand your visuals based on what works best for an office, especially if your brand is already well-established and easily recognized by consumers.