personal branding colours…. what are you saying when you wear orange

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

When you think about all the colours you wear or see others wear in the work environment, orange is probably the colour you are least likely to see. Why is that?

creating orange
Combining lively, stimulating red and the fun, cheerful yellow you get orange. A colour that represents physical comfort and plentiful abundance, joy, stimulating conversation and playfulness.

business colour?
Given its fun, playful nature its not surprising orange is not often worn in the business environment. Negatively, orange can come across as frivolous and not taking things seriously. Probably not the impression you want to make, unless of course you have a job that is all about fun, social interaction and playfulness.

EasyJet, the UK budget airline have chosen orange as their primary brand colour. Regardless of your view of the company’s service, when it comes to colour psychology their orange uniforms communicates friendliness, helpfulness and being approachable. The message can easily get muddled and the negative effects of a brand’s colour can be felt if the service experienced doesn’t correspond with  the positive qualities of their brand colour.

an orange for everyone
this isn’t to say you shouldn’t wear orange. Like any colour, wearing the right tone for you and knowing the effect the colour has on you and how others may respond to you, you’ll know which situations to wear it.

Orange varies from the softer, more gentle, subtle hues such as peach, apricot through to pumpkin and Pantone’s colour for 2012, the vivid, vibrant Tangerine Tango. Interestingly, peach and apricot has a hint of pink, communicating the additional feelings of sensuality, but that’s a blog post for another day …

a bit of fun
if you want to add a bit of fun to your working day think about wearing orange accessories such jewellery, a handbag, shoes, a tie or a scarf… and if you want to keep it under wraps why not add a touch of orange in your underwear…

How do you feel when you wear orange? How do you feel when you feel others wearing orange?

Share the knowledge


  1. Laura on February 1, 2012 at 6:27 am

    ooo love your suggestions about how to wear orange Karen!
    I can see handbag ranges in patent orange doing well this summer…

    do you think we’ll see much of it before the summer comes around?

    • admin on February 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Laura,

      That depends on how quickly the manufacturers get their products out. Most know what the colour of the year is going to be to ensure their products are on trend… for maximum sales. If a trend colour doesn’t take off then all along the supply chain suffers.

  2. Tamsin Fox-Davies on February 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Wearing orange certainly makes me feel perky!

    I can see how it may be backfiring a bit with EasyJet though, as many see them not as ‘cheap and cheerful’ but more ‘cheap and nasty!’. Not necessarily a good mix in an environment where luxury and safety are the golden rules.


    • admin on February 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Hi Tamsin,

      Interesting observation. EasyJet’s target customer base is the budget, price concious traveller, filling the space the luxury airlines don’t. It sounds like you may not be EasyJet’s target customer…

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