The Importance of Colour in Commercial Refurbishment and Shopfitting

Commercial refurbishment and shopfitting are all about creating commercial spaces that keep customers happy and make them want to spend more with your business.

In a retail space, this might mean making sure merchandise is correctly displayed and providing a comfortable, spacious environment for customers to shop in. In a restaurant setting, this might mean creating a space which is warm, relaxing and inviting for customers to dine in so that they keep coming back. For an office, it might mean designing a space that is conducive to productivity so that more work gets done. Whatever your business is, it’s important to make sure that this commercial space is well-designed and a good shopfitting company will do this for you.

But there is much more to shopfitting than meets the eye. It’s not just about selecting appropriate shelving and display units. Shopfitters are keenly aware of consumer psychology and make the best decisions they can to attract customers into your shop, and one key component of this is selecting the right colours.

Why Are Colours Important?

Believe it or not, colours affect the way we behave in many subtle ways. You might not feel that seeing a certain colour evokes a certain emotional or physical response, but it often does. Many studies into the psychology of colour have been completed over the years and the results are clear – colours really can incite us to take specific actions.

As colours only really affect our subconscious, it might be difficult for your conscious mind to accept that your decisions really are affected by colours. To assuage any doubts, let’s look at some proof.

Take the McDonald’s sign, for example. You know that strikingly familiar red and yellow that it uses? Well, they chose that colour because it makes us hungry. Ever notice how a lot of fast food restaurants use similar colours? Burger King, Hardees, Pizza Hut… the list goes on and on. The effects might be subtle, but they affect consumer behaviour enough to warrant companies to base their
whole brand image on them.

So why is it that red and yellow makes us hungrier than other colours? One theory is that it’s due to the wavelength of the colour. Colours like red and yellow have long wavelengths and thus are related to ‘warm’ things like fire. Conversely, colours with short wavelengths, like blue, are considered ‘cool’ colours.

Several studies have looked at the different effects of cool and warm colours on consumer psychology. Some have suggested, based on the results of controlled experiments, that warm colours like red and yellow, attract attention and speed up the blood flow of our bodies, this blood flow goes to our digestive systems and consequently stimulates our metabolism, which causes hunger.

It might also be due to simple association. We learn to associate the things around us with their colours. This subconscious association might affect the way we see other things of the same colour and the feelings they evoke within us.

In our representative example above, the answer might simply be that many people like McDonald’s and, therefore, associate red and yellow with the brand. Other fast food companies might want to capitalize on this and make their brand logos red and yellow in the hope that customers will associate them with McDonald’s and eat there instead.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that colours are important. Now that’s been established, let’s look at what effect different colours can have on commercial spaces.

Shades of Green

What are the first things you think of when you think of the colour green? Two answers that might have popped into some of your minds are money and plant life.

Dark greens and wood colours can lend a commercial space a feeling of elegance. They can make a room feel quieter and more natural. This makes these colours a popular choice in offices, restaurants, and retail spaces where natural imagery is important to their brand image.

Brighter greens have a slightly different effect. They hold connotations of health, which makes them ideal for retail spaces which sell healthy lifestyle products, such as health and fitness stores, juice bars, organic restaurants and more.

Pale greens have similar connotations but are more calming, which makes them more suitable for relaxed environments like spas and massage parlours.

Blues and Purples

Remember how we said that blue was a ‘cool’ colour? Well, this gives it a calming effect. It’s unassuming and creates a sense of calm and control. It’s also associated with authority figures, dependability and trust. As you might have guessed, it’s often used in banks, offices and in uniforms. It’s also a versatile colour that can work well with other colours and can be used to create interesting designs.

Many people associate the colour purple with passion, creativity and originality – particularly darker shades. You’ll see purple often used in beauty stores, clothing shops, and hair salons.

Black and White

Black is powerful, dramatic, and sophisticated. We associate black with boldness and power, so it’s often used in high-end establishments alongside accent pieces of brighter colours to lend the space an air of class and sophistication.

White, on the other hand, is simple and clean. Consumers associate it with cleanliness, simplicity, freshness and professionalism. It’s often used in office spaces and certain retail stores. It’s also the perfect background colour and can function as a blank canvas to set off other colours.

What Else is Important?

Colour isn’t the only important consideration to make when designing a new commercial space or fitting a shop. It’s just one of many tools that shop fitters and interior designers utilise to create the perfect interior atmosphere.

Fixtures, use of space, lighting, music, temperature and scene all combine to make a space what it is. Relying on the above colour guidelines isn’t recommended as, whilst these associations are common, not everybody is the same. Different customers will react differently depending on their culture, life experience and personal preference.

A good shopfitting company will be able to take all things into consideration and come up with a design solution that fits your customers and brand.