How Colour Theory Impacts Uniform Design

custom workwear

As innovative uniform designers, we find it fascinating to discuss the intimate connection between colour and psychology. Colours can have the remarkable ability to shape our emotions, perceptions, and behaviours in ways we might not even be able to recognise. By opting for bespoke uniforms brands can not only create a visually appealing design, but also convey a message.

Understanding Colour Theory

So, what is colour theory, and how does it impact design? Colour theory ‘ is the study of how colours work together and how they affect our emotions and perceptions’. Colour theory can help us communicate with potential customers through branding, marketing and uniforms. 

Colour theory is crucial when it comes to uniform design because colours can provoke meaning, emotion and response which are often influenced by cultural and personal inclinations. Being able to recognise the collective impact of these colours and understanding specific industry standards aids in selecting appropriate work uniforms. The choice of colour and uniform combinations significantly shapes the perception of your business.

The importance of selecting the right colour for custom workwear cannot be overstated, especially when considering the differences between primary colours and those that compliment warm, neutral, and cooler tones. For example, when using warmer tones, such as ‘red, orange, and yellow a brand can convey warmth’.

The Role Of Colour In Branding

The use of colour in your branding needs to reflect not only your brand and core messaging, but also needs to strike a balance with how potential customers may interpret the meaning of the colours. Examining individuals’ immediate responses to specific colours is pivotal. Colours possess the ability to evoke emotional reactions merely through visual perception. A 2020 study conducted by VeryWellMind, which surveyed 4,598 individuals across 30 countries, found that particular colours were associated with shared emotions among participants. For example, ’51% of respondents associated black with sadness, 43% of people associated white with relief and 68% associated red with love’.

In custom workwear design, it’s crucial to evaluate the particular industry and desired emotional responses when selecting colours. After all, colours are tied to brand personality. Uniforms should always reflect a brand’s personality in addition to creating cohesive visuals.  It’s not all about choosing colours which will complement your brand’s colour palette, but also considering how these hues will psychologically be perceived by customers. 

‘For consumers, each colour is associated with a different feeling and learned association’ – a great example of this is doctors and medical professionals opting for white uniforms. In addition to a doctor’s white coat being used for easy recognition by both colleagues and patients alike, we’ve also mentioned above about how white provides an individual with a sense of relief. By utilising the colour white, medical professionals project professionalism, cleanliness, and serve as a guiding presence, effectively communicating their role and expertise.

Practical Considerations To Keep In Mind

As well as custom workwear communicating a select message through colour, the design also needs to be functional and fit to the role.  For instance, roles in hospitality often opt for black uniforms. Not only does this signify an air of sophistication and elegance, but black also works well to hide any marks or stains. For many servers, the working hours can be long, which means that the uniform design will need to be able to also withstand these long shifts.  In the service industry, dark uniforms can become crucial due to the inevitability of spills, a common workplace hazard. This aspect is particularly why black and other dark shades are popular choices for waitstaff uniforms—they effectively conceal stains, maintaining a polished appearance throughout shifts.

Another example of colour being used as much more than a psychological choice is in the construction industry. Many labourers or manual workers are instructed to wear high-visibility colours such as yellow or orange. Being able to be spotted whilst working on building sites is crucial for safety. 

The Effect Of Brighter Colours 

It’s true that if you want to draw the eye, some colours will naturally do this, ‘especially red and orange’.  Red, for example, is often associated with urgency and requires immediate attention. Fast food chains often use this to their advantage and incorporate this bright colour into their branding to evoke feelings of hunger and impulsiveness. Famous franchises such as McDonalds and Burger King often pair their bright red with a similar eye-catching yellow.  This combination is commonly referred to as the “Ketchup and Mustard Theory” by marketing experts.

The Effect Of Darker Colours

Using darker colours for branding and custom workwear can give a different impression compared to lighter colours. Law enforcement, along with typically, aviation, are just a couple of examples of industries which for the most part, choose darker hues. In the UK, we often see our police force in navy blue. This shows professionalism, trustworthiness and authority. Navy blue allows for these feelings to be conveyed, in addition to officers maintaining a polished and well-maintained image.

Black is discussed as being ‘not a colour but rather the lack of it. However, it gives off a feeling of being professional, powerful, in charge, and in control’ – for example, in the legal system, judges are typically wearing black robes as a tradition, making them appear more formal and impartial. 

Bespoke and Sustainable Workwear Design – Jermyn Street Design 

When a business approaches Jermyn Street Design for their uniform design needs, our process is meticulous and detail-oriented. Utilising our extensive knowledge of colour theory, we understand that every custom workwear design plays a crucial role in shaping a company’s image and customer experience. 

At JSD, we specialise in every aspect of the uniform design process, from inception to production and management. We meticulously research each industry to tailor uniforms that perfectly match the brand’s aesthetics and operational requirements. With our comprehensive process, we include everything from pattern development to manufacturing and end of life.

Throughout the design journey, our clients are partnered with their very own dedicated account managers who oversee the customisation of their workwear to meet specific operational needs, priorities, and design requirements.  When it comes to logistics and distribution, Jermyn Street Design handles everything from shipping and storage to distribution and recycling of uniforms.

We show our dedication to sustainability by making eco-friendly work clothes. Not only are our uniforms designed with your team in mind, but they also prioritise environmental considerations. Reach out to our team today if you are looking to create custom and sustainable workwear which clearly conveys your brand’s core message.

B E S P O K E U N I F O R M S . C U S T O M U N I F O R M S . S U S T A I N A B L E U N I F O R M S . E T H I C A L U N I F O R M S .