The Colour Psychology of Workwear: How Colour Impacts Brand Perception

White work shirts with colourful ties

A world without colour would be devoid of all meaning and significance. Colour has the power to affect how we think, feel and behave. It is also an important source of communication, for certain colours can send a universal message in one single second.

It is for this reason that choosing the right colour for your brand, logo, product or work uniform is key. The colour you choose can significantly impact people’s perceptions of your product and services, and how they interact with your brand.

Understanding the psychology of colour can be useful for making the most of this powerful tool. To ensure your employee uniform is sending out the right messages to your customers, take a look at our guide below.


Red brand colours on a Virgin Atlantic aeroplane

Red is eye-catching and can invoke strong emotions of excitement, power and confidence. This makes it a great colour for industries that want to convey energy and positivity. The Virgin Group does this very effectively. Red is the brand’s primary colour and is worn by all Virgin Air staff.

Interestingly, various studies have shown that red can also stimulate appetite, so it’s unsurprising several restaurant chains – including McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Burger King – use the colour heavily. If you have a hospitality brand, you should strongly consider featuring red on your work wear.

On the downside, red can also signify aggression, so it may be wise to balance it out with another colour so it creates the right impression.


Green is the colour of nature and conveys tranquility and regrowth. This could explain why it’s commonly used for work wear in the gardening and landscaping industry. Green also tends to be the colour of choice for those working with animals, such as vets and zoo workers. It has very few negative associations, and research suggests it inspires creative thought.


Blue is another calming colour, but it also signifies responsibility, loyalty and reliability. It is often used for work wear in industries such as plumbing, mechanics, and electrics, as it can help to gain the trust of clients quickly. For example, British Gas ensures all their employees wear navy blue uniforms.

In addition, a number of corporate uniforms are blue as it immediately conveys a professional, trusted image. The iconic blue nurse uniform is a further example of how effective the colour can be for reaching out to an audience who consider trust a key variable when it comes to engaging with a particular person or brand.

White coloured doctors workwear


White immediately conveys efficiency and good cleanliness, which makes it the perfect colour for employees working in the cooking, beauty and medical professions. It can however come across quite bland, so aim for an additional statement colour to complement a white uniform.


A bright, happy colour, yellow has a warming effect and can generate feelings of positivity, friendliness and hope. Research shows it can create a powerful psychological response, which would explain why it is commonly used for charity uniforms – such as Dogs Trust. Unfortunately, yellow isn’t the most popular colour, and it is the most likely to cause eye strain. It may therefore be best to use yellow sparingly on work uniforms.


Pink is a symbol of warmth and tranquillity, which makes it a great colour for uniforms in the cosmetics and beauty industry. Its calming effects may also explain why some sports teams have their locker rooms painted pink – to calm the players’ nerves before a game. Although typically associated with femininity, pink is increasingly being used for men’s uniforms, particularly in the corporate sector.


Orange is another colour associated with warmth, and like green has very few negative connotations. For many it represents affordability and positivity, which is why companies such as B&Q and EasyJet use the colour extensively. Orange can also hint at adventure and risk taking, and certainly several sports and leisure companies gravitate more towards this colour.

Men wearing black corporate suits


When it comes to the corporate world, black is a stylish colour that oozes sophistication and feelings of authority and control. It is a popular uniform colour of choice for industries such as security and the police. For this reason, however, it can come across quite overbearing and severe. If you are considering using it for your employee uniform, try breaking it up with a mix of other colours.

When it comes to uniform design, we have years of experience in creating eye catching and professional workwear for multiple industries. For advice on how to design the perfect uniform for your business,contact our expert team today on 0118 977 4529.

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