What to consider when choosing a commercial building color

As the old saying goes, appearance is everything, and commercial buildings are no exception. The outer appearance of a business will likely play a strong role in how customers, or potential customers, perceive the establishment even before they step foot inside the door to see what the merchant has to offer.

The colors a business chooses for its outer appearance can either come across as inviting or as a deterrent. Ideally, a commercial entity wants to avoid the latter. That being the case, adding a suitable color scheme to the exterior of the building can create a pleasant appearance and one that people are drawn to enter.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a commercial building color scheme:

Type of Business

Before choosing the type of color, it is important to consider the type of business the building houses. The colors selected should complement the business and illuminate what it has to offer.
 
Image credit: Leigh Goessl
For instance, a store that sells infant attire is likely not going to want to use funky purples, yellows and other bold colors for its exterior or interior walls, but warm pastels are likely to be more appealing to the clientele. On the other hand, a hip clothing store could easily pull off these kinds of bolder bright colors, and would likely want to strive for that type of appearance. 

Or in the case of electronics giant Best Buy, the colors are bright and energetic. This "matches" the type of products being sold - tech is hot stuff. A medical building is going to strive for a soothing display, while a food shop is going to want to select color that is strong, draws attention and connects the senses.

It is vital to appropriately match the color to the type of commercial business because if the color does not appropriately reflect the nature of the business, customers and/or clients might be put off. The goal is to provide an inviting appearance to those entering the establishment.

Accenting colors are also worth considering. Even if the appropriate color is chosen for the exterior, adding additional splashes of color can also enhance its attractiveness. In some types of businesses, busy color might be attractive, while others want to aim for a more subdued look.

Cleanliness

It is also a good idea to consider cleanliness. It is of value to keep in mind, lighter colors, such as white, are more difficult to maintain. If not kept clean, lighter colors may give the building a “dirty” appearance. Also, these lighter colors may also invite graffiti. Colors that are strong enough to hold up to environmental factors might be an ideal choice to use. If the building appears unkempt, this can defeat the overall idea of enhancing the appeal of a commercial building.

Business brand

The business brand should also be considered as well. If the company has well-established colors in its logo, trademark or other differentiating feature, the colors chosen for the
building can help reflect the brand. Consider almost any fast-food restaurant, you're bound to find the same colors on each building; or in the case of Target, in general, for most customers, the color red usually immediately comes to mind. If a newly constructed Target building chose blue for its exterior, this wouldn't reflect the brand at all.

When it comes to adding color to a commercial building, it is important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, by evaluating a few factors, decision makers can enhance the building’s outer appearance and appeal to both the passerby and regular customer alike.

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