Although comfort and durability are considered the most important factor when choosing a company uniform, the colour also makes a big impact on employees and customers alike. When designing a new uniform, colour is one of the first things you think about before moving onto style and fabrics.
Why is colour important?
The first thing you will notice about a person’s uniform, or clothing in general is most likely the colour – so it’s important to make an impression so that the brand is memorable. A uniform is a walking advertisement for a business so it’s important that it stands out – for all the right reasons.
“Colour is registered by the brain before either images or typography. It increases brand recognition by up to 80%.” Source: University of Loyla, Maryland study
Colour branding on uniform has many positive affects but can also benefit three key areas:
1) Employees – They should feel proud to wear the uniform and it assists in reinforcing equality
2) Company – Increases brand recognition and helps create a professional looking team
3) Customers – Easy identification of staff members and consistent branding drives positive emotion and trust within the brand from the public
Take the Virgin Atlantic uniform for example – The striking red is instantly recognisable and iconic. Red is used to attract attention by creating excitement as it stands out amongst the crowd, and against the usual monotone colours of business – grey and black.
What does each colour represent?
- Black – Standard corporate colour that evokes the feeling of power and authority. Often seen in high-powered corporations. The majority of colours will blend with black as well, meaning less chance of clashing.
- White – The opposite to black and creates feelings of calmness and purity. This is why health care professionals often have white tunics.
- Grey – Another corporate colour and comes in many shades ranging from dove to charcoal
- Green – Idea of growth, which is why many garden centres would have this colour for their employee uniforms or why some health centres have this colour.
- Red – Gives the impression of excitement and easily draws the eye, attracting more customers (See our Virgin Atlantic uniform).
- Blue – This is a team colour, signifying trust and belonging, which would instil confidence from the customer that they would be partaking in the service of a trusted company.
- Yellow/Orange – Both bright colours, which as with red, would draw attention to the uniform. Could have association with construction, thinking of Hi-Vis and protective clothing.
Making your choice
The colour of your uniform is mainly down to branding – it must all match so customers can easily associate a uniform with a company. It must also be timeless due to uniforms being usually worn for at least two years before any changes are made.