It might just be time to let the rainbow shine under your office ceiling. We look at four colours that will define your office space.

Stop straining your eyes staring at your computer screen and take a look around. Does your office excite and inspire you, or does it leave you feeling a bit dull? The colours of our surroundings can have a profound impact on our mood throughout the day. They even have the ability to spark different emotions; from passion and envy, to relaxation and creativity.

Since we’re spending upwards of eight hours a day in the office, we want to make sure that the colour palette is engaging and inspiring our brains

Splashes of colour around the office can help to create a vibrant workplace – all through your choice of colour palette. Colours can be used to represent your brand, for wayfinding, and evoking an emotive reaction. Corporations use specific colours to invoke of reliability (Barclays blue), fun (easyJet orange) or luxury (Liberty of London’s gold and purple combination) – colours are used for a reason!

Studies suggest that colour can also impact how productive you are at work, and it’s not just the colour itself that influences behaviour. The selection, intensity and placement within the office all impact the responses too. If you pair certain colours with art, you can even evoke additional wellbeing and productivity benefits.

There are four psychological primary colours – blue, green, yellow and red.


Red may be the colour of passion but when it comes to the office, red is proven to stimulate cognitive activity. A red office interior can boost energy levels and cognitive ability through the colour’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain.

It’s no surprise that splashes of red have been used throughout The Alan Turing Institute; from red carpets to feature sofas and lamp pendants. Red has been used as a directional colour to highlight areas suitable for collaborative work, and informal gathering spaces. Used sparingly, the red is complemented by neutral tones, such as grey, white and black, to balance out the effect. This allows the red to act as a stimulating highlight colour that truly provides a vibrant colour ‘pop’.


For workplaces that live and breathe creativity, yellow is the proven winner to get those creative juices flowing. Yellow represents optimism, creativity and has also been seen as a colour that encourages friendly communication.

In designing Costa’s new breakout space, we selected a mix of bright and natural hues that both revitalise and invigorate staff when they’re having some downtime. We used yellow to highlight Costa’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ which showcases its original bean tins, coffee scoop, awards and even the Costa logo throughout the years. The overall bright and vibrant scheme is finished off with vibrant light shades and yellow sofas, which provide the perfect place to start off your creative thought process – over a good cup of coffee, of course!


There’s a good reason why many of us choose to seek out nature in times of stress to find out balance again. Green has come to represent harmony, zen and environmental awareness. Through its natural symbolism, it’s also an essential component of biophilic office design, which uses patterns, colours and plants to bring outdoor space into your fit out.

In our design for Lindt, we used complementary hues of green and brown to create a visual connection to their product source – cocoa beans! Green carpet was used in a parabolic pattern to separate the meeting and collaboration zones from the rest of the open plan floor. The green carpet brings a feeling of zen to these meeting spaces, and the outdoors is brought to life through the planter boxes that separate the different workstations across the floor. The choice of colours cleverly creates a natural connection with Lindt’s products, making employees feel grounded and connected to their end product.


Blue has the power to calm and relax us. It relieves tension and provides a feeling of reliability and confidence. There’s a reason that a majority of the world’s insurers and banking giants use blue as their primary brand colour – reliability. Seeing blue can affect us mentally with strong blues inspiring clear thought and productivity. Just like casting your eyes across the Caribbean, seeing shades of blue can calm your mind without the risk of sunburn! White light tones and blues are often used in healthcare facilities to promote a soothing and calm effect.

In a meeting room at XChanging, blue standing desks were chosen to spur on clear thinking during any heated debates or brainstorming sessions. We also strategically used blue throughout FirstRand’s fit out, helping to keep staff calm and collected. Blue is primarily used in their breakout areas, acting as a calm oasis away from the pressures of trading and banking. The splashback at the communal tea point is a deep blue, providing instant tranquillity while grabbing a drink. Light blue sofas were chosen for huddle spaces to bring a feeling of serenity to these smaller meeting areas.

So it’s time to let the rainbow shine under your office ceiling! You’ll just need to decide which mood you want to evoke and which colours will inspire your employees to work harder, better, faster and happier.