Colors for Commercial Applications

August 1, 2008

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Color is powerful. Study after study has shown that color carries strong connotations for most people. These connotations strike at the heart of the observer and can play a significant role in the decision making process. Marketing professionals have exploited the link between color and emotions for years by carefully selecting a palette of hues that subtly influence customers.

What does the color scheme of your commercial space say to potential customers? Here are the most common connotations of colors used as exterior and interior paints:

White: White is neutral and is used as a background color. Fields of white indicate purity, but also run the risk of appearing cold or sterile. In painting, white is often replaced by warm cream tones which are more inviting than pure white.

Black: Black is the color of power and authority. It is also the most somber of the colors. In commercial painting, black is mostly reserved for accents.

Blue: For calm and peace it is hard to beat blue. Lighter shades of blue tend to be more relaxing than darker blues. Blue can also connote loyalty and inspire productivity.

Red: The color of fire and energy. Red is difficult to use properly in a commercial setting because it produces potent emotional reactions in people. In commercial painting, red is used to draw attention to specific areas within a building.

Yellow: Bright and vivid yellows attract attention even more effectively than reds. However, yellow easily overwhelms the eye, so small doses of the color are best.

Using color to generate emotional effects is a complex field. The paint and other coatings must be integrated into the décor of the retail setting. Without careful study, the desired effects will not manifest. This information is presented as a guide for retail store owners to self-check the impact of their business location and generate ideas for renovation.

Coming Up: The Secondary Colors

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White Brick Texture