Color in the Workplace: 3 Ways to Make Color Palletes Work for You

Color in the Workplace: 3 Ways to Make Color Palletes Work for You

Color is a powerful tool. Think of the many ways objects communicate through color and subsequently affect our actions – red stop signs, yellow yield signs, red, green, and yellow traffic lights, for example.

In some settings, red and yellow are used to signal dangers, like high voltage or poison. Stores may use certain color tags to indicate sales or specials. And, the clothes we wear can communicate our mood (or affect it) via color.

Color can be equally powerful in the workplace. Today, we’ll discuss how you can use color on your resume, in marketing and branding, and even at your brick-and-mortar location.

Using Color on Your Resume

Hiring managers today may receive hundreds if not thousands of responses to an online job posting. With that much competition, it is essential that your resume stand out from the crowd.

One way to do that is through the use of color. It can catch the eye, and it prevents your resume from looking just like everyone else’s.

What are the best colors for your resume? That largely depends on your industry and even on the company culture of the business to which you are applying. Accountants, bankers, and lawyers may prefer a minimalist black and white layout. Those in creative professions – ranging from hairdressers to graphic designers – will likely benefit from well-placed pops of color.

A word of caution: while color can enhance your resume, keep in mind that the resume content is the most important part. Your resume should be clear and easy to read. Never compromise this in favor of bright colors. For example, some color and text combinations may be difficult to read. It is a good idea to print your resume in black and white to see if your color choices still look good in this format – after all, your hiring manager may decide to print your resume in just this way.

If you’re still unsure of how to best use color or you need a bit of inspiration, check out these professionally designed resume templates.

Using Color as Branding

Color is also important to brand identity. For example, if you see a red rectangle with yellow arches, you immediately know what restaurant is nearby.

Consistency is one of the most important aspects of brand identity. Your customers should be able to recognize your brand from just a snippet of your logo or product packaging. For example, the Facebook and Twitter icons almost always appear in their unique shades of blue. Google uses its green, yellow, and red color scheme across its products, such as Gmail and the Google Chrome browser.

Pick a color or colors that work well with your logo, and use them across your advertising media, website, and product packaging. 

You can even apply this concept to your social media. While every photo won’t contain the same colors, you can use a complementary color pallet for text and borders. You can also apply the same filter to every image.

Using Color in Workplace Decor

The color of walls and objects at your brick-and-mortar office or storefront can affect both employees and customers. How?

One reason goes back to branding. Customers will feel comfortable entering a location with a recognizable logo. If you have multiple service locations, consider utilizing the same wall paint and decor across all locations. A good example of this is Cracker Barrel restaurants. Despite regional differences, most if not all Cracker Barrels have a brown and gold color scheme with an iconic front porch, a gift shop, and a dining area with a fireplace, oversized checkerboard, and antique items on the walls. Even when far from home, customers feel “at home” in these familiar surroundings.

Planet Fitness is another prime example. The interior of each gym is layered in the company’s trademark purple and yellow. This makes the gym recognizable even if you are traveling – and increases the odds that you’ll pay a visit using your Planet Fitness Black Card!

Colors are also known to have a direct effect on mood. Blue and green tones are known to produce calming effects. Red is associated with strong emotions and increased appetite – which is one reason why many restaurants use red in their color schemes.

Key Takeaways

Color can be used as a tool in the workplace. When used appropriately, color can make your resume stand out from the crowd. It can even suggest creative skills.

Color is especially important in brand identity. People recognize a brand and its products not only by the shape of its logo but by its consistent use of color.

This type of branding can also be used in the design and decor of brick-and-mortar business locations. Customers are likely to feel more comfortable visiting new locations of a business if familiar colors and layouts are present.

About the author


Mike K. Watson

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