What the Colours of Your Uniform Symbolise
When we choose what to wear, we usually make an emotional decision based on our own preferences and our mood. But did you know that colours convey subconscious messages to others?
With this information, we can make a conscious decision to use colours in our uniforms that convey the correct message for our brand.
Let’s take a look at some popular colours and their meanings.
Grey, similarly to black, gives the wearer an image of elegance. Too much grey, however, may appear boring. Incorporating multiple shades, or combining black and white with grey can yield some pleasing results.
If you’re trying to achieve a rustic look, try combining grey with brown.
Black is mostly associated with power. In a corporate environment, it’s a popular uniform choice for presentations and boardroom meetings. However, because of its tendency to be overpowering, its not usually a good choice for everyday wear. When worn correctly, black can also assert a sense of elegance and sophistication.
In retail and service, a black uniform can either be used to signal elegance (for fashion, beauty etc…) or professionalism.
White is usually associated with cleanliness and innocence. It’s very rare to see a full white uniform in the retail and for good reason. A full white uniform is at risk of becoming stained. Because of this, a completely white uniform in this and similar industries might suggest that the wearer has no intention of doing any work or is naive.
Because of its association with cleanliness, it makes absolute sense to have a white uniform in a field that requires cleanliness at all times. Laboratories, hospitals, restaurants and even nail and beauty salons put white to good use. A spotless white garment lets your clients know you’re confident that your establishment is clean enough to wear white!
Notice how most banks and law enforcement services use blue in either their uniforms, branding or both? Blue is generally associated with honesty, openness and trustworthiness which works well for these industries.
If your business requires an extra amount of trustworthiness, consider using some blue in your uniform.
Green is one of the few colours that conveys many messages, depending on the shade you choose. It’s mostly associated with nature, but let’s break it down a bit.
While both light green and dark green can be used as nature colours, light green is most opted for. This is because of it ability to impart a refreshing feeling on it’s viewers.
By extension, light green’s relationship with nature means it is also associated with growth and fertility, and as such, is commonly used with companies like trusts and financial investments. It’s association with fertility and rejuvenation makes it popular for companies in health.
Darker greens are used less often than light green, however, they can prove to be effective if used correctly. Popularised by army camouflage, army green is a dark green used often in the security industry.
Because of it’s association with nature signifying growth and prosperity, dark green can also be used for construction companies as well as real estate.
Green must always be used wisely, certain shades are associated with fungi, sickness, jealousy and fear.
Like black, red is also associated with power. However that power is accompanied by a much less subtle component of passion. Red screams for attention, and has the ability to increase the heart rate.
With that in mind, in uniforms, red must be used moderately so as not to intimidate clients.
While it may also be associated with passion, pink is far less aggressive than red. It’s more innocent and says you’re confident enough to be vulnerable.
Often associated with femininity, pink is often used in industries that cater exclusively or mostly to women.
Purple signifies royalty, especially when coupled with trims of gold or yellow. It isn’t very often used in the corporate world, but you may find it often in retail uniforms.
On one hand it can do well to suggest that the wearer or the brand consider themselves greater than the competition. On the other hand, the soft, playful element of purple makes it a good choice for companies with children as their target market, like toy stores.
Like Earth’s Sun, yellow can radiate happiness and warmth. Smiley faces are yellow for that exact reason. A moderate amount of yellow in a uniform can convey this to your customers and your staff.
Orange is usually associated with education and learning. By extension, it relates this colour to youth and children as well. Companies involved with education or childcare often use the colour as part of their branding.
Matching orange with purple can signify playfulness and is great when branding with children in mind.
Brown can be associated with the Earth. This means that the message it sends is one of stability, foundations and wholesomeness.
Very often used in combination with green to give a message that a brand believes in growth, health and sustainability.
Mix and Match Uniform Colours to Send the Right Message
Now that you know what colours can do for your branding and uniforms, you can make an informed decision of which ones to use, and how much of each to use. Remember, less is more and your branding should ideally have no more than three colours to maintain professionalism.