Rainbow colours: furnishing the office with pride
Each year in June, Pride Month is celebrated. During this time, a large part of the world festoons itself in all the bright colours of the rainbow and celebrates diversity. But it’s possible to make a clear statement with these six colours during the rest of the year too – even in the office.
Whether it’s a home office or an open-plan office, rainbow colours make a colourful statement. (Photo: Dayne Topkin, Unsplash)
Six colours, one statement
Inspired by the song “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz”, the first pride flag was designed in 1977 by veteran Gilbert Baker. Baker’s original design was sewn by hand and includes eight colours, each representing a different aspect of LGBT+ culture. But demand for the flag soon became too great and Baker could no longer produce each flag by hand. Instead, he began to use a rainbow fabric that was only available in six colours. This enabled him to produce more flags more quickly. To this day, the flag remains a symbol of unity, tolerance, acceptance and diversity – and an inspiration for many designers, including interior designers.
Rainbow colours and their effect
Colours have always played an important part in business – right from the corporate design stage. And yet as bold as some companies might be when it comes to logo design, they can be equally cautious when it comes to office furnishings. It’s not unusual for us to see a black, white and grey office space. But why not be a bit bolder and acknowledge colour?
Studies show that colours appeal to the senses and emotions, and have a direct impact on mood. They promote relaxation and creativity, as well as communication. Colours are important for well-being, allowing ideas to develop or reining them in. That’s why in an office setting, colours should be used with consideration. In the rainbow flag, as in colour psychology, every colour is assigned a specific meaning.
- Red stands for life and is an exciting and passionate colour. In areas where a lot of discussion takes place, the vibrant shade can stimulate and accelerate thought processes. Red is best used sparingly, as touches of colour.
- Orange stands for healing and has a more subtle effect than bold red. This warm colour is inviting and cheerful. By fostering a sense of well-being it encourages communication.
- Yellow stands for the sun and invigorates the mind. Combined with blue, this luminous shade is ideal for brainstorming areas, as the colours have an energising effect and stimulate creativity.
- Green represents nature in the rainbow flag. In colour psychology too, green is attributed with having a natural, very calming effect. The colour promotes concentration and helps to reduce stress.
- Blue is one of the cool colours. In the LGBT+ flag this colour stands for harmony. Blue supports clear thinking and self-confidence, particularly when solving difficult problems.
- Purple stands for spirituality and mysticism, both in the rainbow flag and in colour psychology. It stimulates the brain and increases creativity. The stronger the shade, the more stimulating its effect.
Make it pop: rainbow colours for the bold
From exciting red and radiant orange to powerful purple, the spectrum of rainbow colours is diverse and bold. Admittedly, it takes a bit of courage to style office furnishings so colourfully. But used in the right way, the six colours can turn any dreary black and white office into a colourful workplace.
Keep it simple: use subtle touches of colour
In the office, lots of interior design preferences converge. As a result, it is almost impossible to cater to every taste. But it doesn’t always have to be the entire spectrum of the rainbow right away. Whether it’s decor or pieces of furniture, it’s possible to have a big impact and make a clear statement, even with modest touches of colour.
The courage to create a rainbow office
Whether it’s the entire palette or individual shades only, rainbow colours always have a positive effect on the mood in the office. They can be inspiring, motivating and calming. A little effort and boldness in the use of colour can transform an office into a place that makes a clear statement in favour of tolerance, acceptance and diversity. Appropriately, the trend researchers at WGSN have chosen the pastel purple shade, Digital Lavender as the trend colour for 2023.