Integrating Color Into Your Workplace

Chromatophobia is the fear of color. A lot of people have this phobia, especially in the workplace. Although leaders are often willing to change technology and the design of their physical office, they are often afraid to introduce color in a way that would make them stand out. Yet, color is one of the least expensive and most dramatic ways to change the feel of a space. Your office doesn’t have to look like a Mardi Gras parade explosion to change your daily experience.

Here are three tips for successfully integrating color into your workplace.

  1.     You may be tempted, but do not take the colors from your company logo and paint the walls. An intense burgundy or blue make look great on a 1.5” x 3” business card, or printed on your employees’ shirts, but it will most likely be too dark or too bright when you apply it to the walls.

  2.     Choose colors that are similar in value to each other. Value is how light or dark a color is. The best way to test for similar value is to tape color swatches on a wall, stand a few feet away from them and squint. When you squint, none of the colors should appear darker or lighter than the others.

  3.     Choose colors that are analogous on the color wheel. This means that they are next to each other on the wheel. For example, yellow, yellow-orange and orange.

Below is an image of analogous color in nature and how it can appear in a workplace.










(images: Kepware headquarters; photo credit: James R. Salomon)

Throughout 2015, I’ll continue to share more tips on color in the workplace, along with stories of how I’ve helped clients brighten their work world.  Need a push in the right direction, or a second opinion on your potential office color choices? e-mail me at lisa(at)!

Lisa Whited