Colour Selection Tips for Industrial Spaces

The correct use of colour will bring considerable benefits through improvement in employee morale, without adding any extra cost. Psychological research and study in recent years has established indisputable evidence that human beings are sub-consciously influenced by colour. It has also been established that eye comfort is definitely related to colour and has great effect on work efficiency. This is especially true for employees who must use their eyes for close work over prolonged periods of time. Eye Fatigue leads to physical fatigue which reflects in efficiency, attitude and temperament of the work force.

The correct use of colour contributes in a very real way to:

  •        Safety
  •        Identification
  •        Reflective Control
  •        Decoration


Critical Colours

Danger points or any area which need to be instantly visible in case of an emergency ought to be painted in Focal Colours. That is colours which command attention or appear to push themselves forward from the background. Focal colours, generally speaking, come within the warm range i.e. reds, oranges and yellows


Non-Critical Colours

Other areas while not likely to be critical in an emergency, may still need to be identified easily. Strong but not pushy colours like prominent greens or blues may be suitable. The colours should be used consistently and exclusively for the ease of identification.

Furthermore, success depends upon the colours being automatically and subconsciously identified by operators and others as having a special association with that which are to be identified such as blue for water storage areas.

Then there are other areas which should be kept in the background. They are best painted with unobtrusive cool or receding colours such as pastel shades of grey, greens or blues. They should be chosen to provide contrast to critical colours.


Reflective Control

Fatigue induced by eye strain is a more frequent cause for accidents than carelessness. The most common cause of eye strain is bad light control. A colour scheme carefully chosen for its reflectivity of light will help improve the situation.

In areas lacking natural lighting, colours with high level of reflectivity such as white or tinted white, should always be used. Besides maximising available light, they will reduce lighting costs. On the other hand areas subject to glare must be treated in the opposite manner. Restful blues and greens will help reduce strain.

Ceilings contribute more to total reflected light than side walls. White or pastel tints on ceilings help even out islands of glare and lighten up areas in shadow. It does this be reflecting light downwards, a direction most comfortable to the human eye.


In selecting colours for sidewalks, two special considerations needs to be taken into account:

1. Different colours create illusions of distance or expanse. The right choice minimises discomfort.

2. Colours of the side walls should blend with incoming light lessening window glare and sharp contrast

The final result should be a workspace that has a suitable level of lighting distributed evenly. The walls and ceilings through their colour should appear to be at a comfortable distance, neither too close nor too far away.



The correct use of colour in any factory or office will increase productivity, reduce mistakes and improve morale. Gloomy surroundings do not inspire great output. A well-chosen colour scheme inspires cheerfulness, encourages cleanliness and develops pride.

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