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The Power of Colors in Design: Our Guide to Choosing the Right Palette

Updated: May 25, 2023

Color has absolute design power, and when renovating an office fit-out, it is essential to create an appropriate selection of hues to help elevate your projects. Although this may seem like a tiny detail to remember initially, it has a significant effect since the right colors can boost productivity, encourage inventiveness, and foster a happy work environment. However, it would help if you also kept in mind that utilizing the wrong colors can garner the opposite effect.

The Psychology of Color in Design

Understanding the psychological benefits of employing the right color combinations in any design aspect is essential, from wallpapers and carpets to furniture and other fixtures. With color significantly impacting our emotions and behavior, it is extensively used in design to convey a specific mood or ambiance.

For example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are connected with energy, passion, and excitement. In contrast, cool colors like blue, green, and purple are associated with calmness, relaxation, and focus. Neutral hues such as white or gray are frequently used as a backdrop to emphasize other colors, but they may also convey sophistication and elegance.

Choosing the Perfect Color Palette

When choosing a color palette, there are a few things to consider:

The tone you want to set: Consider the atmosphere you want to form in your office. Do you want to instill peace and tranquility or energy and excitement?

The type of work you do: Consider the tasks you have to accomplish and how your chosen colors will impact productivity and innovativeness. For instance, if you work in a creative field, you should utilize bright, vivid colors to elicit energy and produce brilliant ideas. If you operate in a more traditional industry, use neutral tones with pops of color to convey professionalism and elegance.

Your brand: Consider the colors in your logo and branding if you have a brand. Using these colors in your office can create a sense of consistency and reinforce your brand identity.

Lighting: Not only can lighting affect how colors appear, but its functional and decorative uses also extend toward providing a healthier atmosphere for employees. Work areas often have very little room for natural lighting, but employing cool tones like blue has been proven to boost attentiveness and reduce eye strain. Warmer colors like red also help increase memory and attention to detail.

Consider the 60-30-10 rule: The 60-30-10 rule is a prominent design rule. This means that a dominant color should account for 60% of your color palette, 30% for a secondary color, and 10% for an accent color. This will assist you in balancing your color choices and creating a more unified look. A good starting point is to select a central theme that will mostly dominate your office space. Remember that accent colors should provide interest and depth to the overall design. Thus, finding a balance between the shades you’ll utilize is critical to ensure they complement each other.

Consider the size and shape of the space: Your color choices may be influenced by the size and shape of your office area. If the site you’re utilizing is on the smaller side, choosing light colors might make it appear less stuffy and more open. On the other hand, a considerably sized office can employ vivid colors to give the impression of a fuller space that can provide a sense of vitality and enthusiasm.

Ultimately, viewing color as more than just a simple aesthetic detail that can be put off at the last minute is necessary. As previously established, it is an essential aspect of design, not just confined by buckets of paint splashed on walls. When paired with the right textures, reflections, lights, and even interior decorations, it can transform a typical project into a perfectly cohesive work of art.

Build the color palette that’s right for you with Neptel Design + Build! Learn more about our services here.


Busche, L. (2019, May 14). Nature-Inspired Color Palettes: 25 Beautiful Schemes from Earth, Water, and Sky. 99designs.

Meada, J. (2013, September 17). The 60-30-10 Rule for Color in Design. Fast Company.

Potts, E. (n.d.). How to Use a Color Wheel to Create Color Schemes. Creative Market.

Stewart, J. (2021, March 9). Color Psychology: How Color Meanings Affect Your Mood. My Modern Met.

Wheeler, A. (2010, January 28). The Role of Color in Branding. Smashing Magazine.

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