It is no secret that color affects many aspects of our lives – our mood, purchasing decisions and even physiological reactions. But did you know that color and positive learning environments can be synonymous with students’ happiness, ownership and even engagement? PPG recently surveyed nearly 900 teachers, parents and educational administrators across the United States, and found that 97% of respondents said colors and décor are meaningful to positively affecting student engagement.

“Paint colors are a powerful tool for impacting the aesthetic of a space, but they also have the potential to impact the emotions or experience one has within the space,” said Dee Schlotter, PPG Senior Color Marketing Manager, Architectural Coatings. “We found this to be particularly true in educational settings, where color can stimulate learning, promote imagination and encourage creative thinking.”

The survey results show that 63% of respondents believe that certain colors help children learn better. Schlotter recommends the use of specific colors in different types of learning environments to evoke particular emotions or outcomes. “Blue is ideal for libraries, as it provides a calming feeling and helps increase the time one spends in a space,” she said. “Reds and oranges are perfect for cafeterias, as these colors stimulate appetite.”

The survey also found that teachers want to improve their classroom and add color, but resources are limited. 55% of teachers say their classroom needs to be painted more often, and 63% believe certain colors can improve engagement. However, only 33% of educators believe their school gives them appropriate support in providing bright, stimulating colors and décor. According to the survey, 36% of educators and nearly one third (30%) of parents have raised funds or used their own funds to improve or beautify classrooms.

These same concepts apply to adults working in office or lab environments as well. An article on by Kim Lachance Shandrow, titled “How the Color of Your Office Impacts Productivity,” cites research that suggests that employers can harness the power of color to increase employee output and spark creativity. The article states that a recent University of Texas study found that bland gray, beige and white offices induced feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women. Men, on the other hand, experienced similarly gloomy feelings in purple and orange workspaces.

The article suggests that low-wavelength colors, like restful green and calming blue, improve efficiency and focus. Meanwhile mellow yellow, often viewed by color psychologists as the shade of optimism, is energetic and fresh. It is believed to trigger innovation and is best used in work environments where artists, writers, designers, developers and other creative -professionals work. If the job involves physical activity, red is the productivity color. It has been shown to increase the heart rate and blood flow.

And as many in the coatings industry are aware, color affects customer behavior. A recent post in PCI’s Industry Insights blog, titled “Leveraging Color Design for Increased Business Profitability,” by Max Chekalov, Co-Founder of, encourages companies to actively take color into account when designing their products, brand logo or website. According to Chekalov, “Statistics indicate that general product assessment is carried out in just 90 seconds; clearly, the window of opportunity to leave an impression is a narrow one. Depending on the category of buyer, between 62% and 90% of their product assessment is directly color-related.” He also says that 84.7% of consumers state that color is the main reason for buying a specific product. And 93% of online users believe that website visuals have the strongest influence on online purchasing decisions. If the color coding isn’t to their liking, 52% of users won’t return to the website in question.

So if your office is due for a new coat of paint, or you are thinking of a website or product redesign, research your colors! They may impact your employees’ engagement and productivity, drive website conversions and affect sales.