The Colors of Productivity

If your work had a color, what would it be? Would it be as brown as the bomber jacket portfolio you sling under your arm as you walk to a meeting? Or perhaps it's translucent blue, to match the PDA you deftly slid into your bag? about the color fountain pen one uses? Have you ever thought about why you're drawn to a particular marble color on your fountain pen? Is it a marble patterned red with sparks of gold? Or a calmer, more royal purple? This article explores the colors of productivity and what they mean and say about you.

The primary colors of productivity include black, brown, cream, green, blue and red. Bold, yet subtle, these color choices can be found across most businesses around the world.

Associated with Management, black and brown represent power and dedication. These classic colors represent hard work and tradition. Professional, no fuss, and right to the point. Hard-case black briefcases carry important papers to and from the office, and in and out of the courtroom. Life making decisions include some amount of black in them. Tuxedos are black while mourning dresses are black. Brown represents the connection to the past and a love for renaissance ideals. People who choose brown tend to be a bit more easy going and flexible. Brown wrapped portfolios and planners sit on desks waiting to keep track of your engagements and projects. Brown also grounds us and reminds us to keep our work life and home life balanced.

Associated with the Creative Arts, we have green and red. These vibrant colors represent creativity, passion and the ability to go against the status quo. "Think different" these colors suggest. Green is easy on the eye. It's the color of nature, a major source of inspiration for many of us. And of money. Don't forget that green also represents fortune in many countries. Red underlines mistakes. It guides the eye to messages when done in small bursts. Red gives us courage and helps us attain the goals we desire. People who choose red aren't afraid to speak their mind and stand out from all the rest.

Associated with paper, cream represents freshness. It's the undiscovered idea or gem that's about to be written across the paper. It's the faded color that reminds you of days past and all the ideas that the great thinkers once thought and wrote down on their cream filled notebooks. Cream is the color of the soft and smooth paper in a Moleskine. As a part of the white family, cream also represents knowledge. The knowledge that allows you to do your job effectively and the knowledge of new ideas that you write and record in the notebook.

Associated with pens, blue represents communication. Almost every pen manufacturer makes a blue hued pen. It rolls smoothly across your page and is your constant companion. It comes in many different hues. Dark blue, or navy, is also a power-color for many business women.

What color is your world? Post your ideas and links to color schemes you created to define your productivity colors from COLOURlovers here. Special thanks to Ryan Rasmussen for the photos that accompany this post.

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Thoughts on color + new addiction

I loved reading your thoughts on color. Color affects us even when we don't notice it much. Unfortunately, as a result of reading your beautifully written article, I'm now addicted to COLOURlovers!
GND* expert
*Getting Nothing Done

Primary colors

did you ever read the book "The Primary Colors?" by Alexander Theroux? He writes three wide-roaming essays including on the history, symbolism, source, use and variations of each primary color. I'm making it sound boring but it's very poetic and a great read.

julie, No, I haven't read


No, I haven't read that book..yet. I'll research it and add it to my wish list. :) Thanks for the suggestion,


Color affects the mental state...

I love purple/violet/lavender and try to have lots of accessories in purple around my desk. I think it helps me stay calm and focused. It's not perfect and doesn't solve all my problems, but it helps my attitude to my office and makes me a bit more productive, since I see my favorite colors all around me.