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The Colour Effect

The Colour Effect

The famous – and rather enigmatic French philosopher  – Roland Barthes wrote in his book Roland Barthes (yep, a book in which he studies none other than himself…) “When I buy colours, it is by the mere sight of their name. The name of the colour (Indian yellow, Persian red, celadon green) outlines a kind of generic region within which the exact, special effect of the colour is unforeseeable; the name is then the promise of a pleasure…”

Now, whereas Barthes had the luxury of picking colours based only on their names, interior designers, office managers and even homemakers need to base their colour-decisions on something slightly more tangible than the mere “promise of a pleasure”, something like, scientific proof…and here to help you in your colour quest is a list of four psychologically important colours:

Red has been linked to increases in energy, urgency and, uhm… appetite. So if you’re not too keen on binge eating at the office, the authors of Office Space Planning suggests steering clear of this primary colour. We tend to not agree, not entirely at least… A private workstation – in red ­– might be just the thing to help you shake off that mid-afternoon lethargy and get cracking.

Blue, on the other hand, is associated with all things intellectual and promotes thinking and performance. Blue can be put to best use in collaborative spaces or conference rooms.

Yellow can have a mellowing effect on people but if it’s not used in moderation or if it is too bright, you’ll be stuck with a host of anxiety stricken colleagues, and that’s not good for anyone’s nerves, least of all yours!

TV stars relax in “green rooms” before live broadcasting because the rooms are, well, green and green brings about a feeling of relaxation and tranquillity. Green is the perfect colour to be used in break-out areas or even reception rooms.

As winter proper draws near – and brings with it the unavoidable sense of claustrophobia and depression, keep these colours in mind these colours to make a difference in your employees’ lives at work.

Happy painting!


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