Colour Theory and Your Uniform Design

Colour Theory and Your Uniform Design

What is Colour Theory?

Aristotle is credited with the first writings on this fascinating study.

It is both the art and the science around the utilization of colour. It explains the human perception to colour in terms of both the physical and psychological impact. It also demonstrates how colours interact, contrast and can be mixed. Finally, it gives us an insight in to how different colours convey different messages and guides the creative soul as it seeks to communicate it’s ideas and inspirations.

A multifaceted field, colour theory factors into many areas including printing, digital design, art, and countless more.

Practically, colour theory informs design harmony, providing benchmarks for the selection of harmonious colour combinations. It teaches which specific colour schemes are more appealing to the human eye, and in what contexts.

It is consequently a crucial consideration in the world of branding and marketing. Key to conveying brand identity and securing brand recognition. The instantaneous transmission of the right message is vital in this mercurial world (where 90% of the information sent to our brains is visual).

In summary, the understanding of colour theory provides you with an invaluable tool box, enabling you to create effective designs, evoke strong emotions, and communicate important messages through colour.

Here, we take a look at how important the implementation of the tenets of colour theory can be in the design of visually appealing bespoke uniforms, and how they can greatly enhance the message you wish to convey.

 Colour in Branding

The need to instantly create a positive impact means that selecting the right colours for your uniform design is of paramount importance. The choice of primary colours and the others that compliment it is a vital consideration, as the choices you make will significantly affect how your business is perceived in the market place.

Specific industry standards must also be observed and this will serve to instruct and guide the designer.

It is very important to recognise that although the primary purpose of your uniform colours is to reflect your brand and convey a core message, the potential reaction of your customers, or their interpretation of your chosen hues may not be aligned with your vision.

It is excellent practice to test the immediate responses of a variety of persons to your chosen palette, as this will go a long way to ensure you are on the right track!

Psychological Effects

Certain colours seem to be synonymous with certain emotions. Red is often associated with love (although, confusingly, “seeing red” is associated with anger), while Blue often evokes images of open spaces and freedom!

Consider the industry you serve when making your colour selection. How will the hues you favour be received by the type of client you work with? Is there any risk of a negative psychological impact? What might be the reaction of potential customers?

For example, someone working as an undertaker would be ill advised to don the colour pink, while an Environmental Advisory Consortium would probably want to avoid a unform sporting bright red and yellow!

Associative learning has taught us to recognise and expect the colours that go with certain professions. Red for the fire service as an example, or white in the medical arena.

Another practical consideration to take account of is the potential hazards that the industry might throw up. Waiting staff in a busy restaurant will almost certainly wear black or very dark clothing which maintains the appearance of sophistication while hiding the stains of any comestible spills.

There are colours that enhance a calming effect, advisable in a dentistry practice. Other colours might be needed to take into account cultural diversity or cultural sensitivity. Warm colours (red, orange yellow) prompt feelings of energy and happiness, while cool colours (blue, green, purple) soothe and calm.

In the effort to achieve an appealing design, one that draws the attention of the intended customers, branding colours should try and reflect the service or product being purveyed.

Fast food emporiums, for instance, often dress their employees in bright stand-out colours that send a message of urgency and (hopefully) stir pangs of hunger in the observers frame.

And then there is the superlative example set by “The Firm”. Although not a uniform in the usual sense of the word, the colour of royalty is one that much deliberation and forethought is gone in to.

A sense of harmony, a sense of calm, a sense of pride, a sense of unity. The thoughtful design and cultural context that goes into the colour palette of the royal garments is an object lesson in itself.

Darker colours tend to be favoured by more “serious” professions. The police force as an example. This colour scheme is intended to portray authority and trustworthiness.

And then the red of the Household Cavalry!

What emotions of pride and patriotism these evoke in the British subject, or interest and awe in the visiting tourist.

There is the colour of mourning. There are colours with a cultural meaning. The connection between colour and perception are entwined in the fabric of society.

Colours can invoke aggressive behaviour, and not only with humans. Ponder the anecdotal evidence of a “red rag to a bull”!

Considering your team will be wearing your colours on a daily basis, and often interacting with customers face to face, you need to make sure the uniform design process takes into account how colours will enable you to gain a psychological edge, whilst being easy on the eye!

The team colours should instil in your employees a sense of pride and belonging.

There is much that design teams must take into account when they set about creating the classic uniform that will give them the competitive edge.

And it may seem a trifle daunting to the uninitiated!

We are here to help.

Which is where Clad Safety will be delighted to be of assistance. With a deep understanding of the psychological concept of colour, vast uniform design experience, and a highly skilled design team, we can take the uncertainty out of colour theory, and use the colour wheel to help you decide on the perfect complementary colours to promote your brand.

There IS the perfect colour for the image you want to convey, and WE will help you discover it.

Get in touch today on 0800 161 3661, or email [email protected]. and let us help you make the colour choices that will have a beneficial impact in every department of your organisation.