Off Color

Know The Code

While no single color officially promotes productivity in the workplace, there are some general guidelines to follow. First, your color choices "depend on your service. [They] should fit your personality," says color expert Pat Verlodt of Color Services and Associates Inc. in Huntley, Illinois. For example, a creative or visual business-like a Web design or interior decorating firm-should incorporate bright, bold colors in the office. Conservative service providers like accounting firms, on the other hand, should stick with subtle tones like deep greens, olives and burgundies. Says Verlodt, "Navy blue is good, because it's a very trustworthy color."

Speaking of blue, "You can never go wrong with blue," Verlodt says. "Blue is most often selected as a favorite color. It's very easy on the eye." And depending on your business, you can use a light, cool blue to create a tranquil and ethereal mood (great for an aromatherapist or masseuse). A darker blue would work well in a law office, where you want to project an image of seriousness and organization.

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Off Color.

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