Considering Colour Palette in Your Event Design Process

When designing an event you may want to have a colour theme running throughout, or want to consider how colour can affect your event attendees experience at your event. Depending on the type of event (e.g. weddings, conferences, workshops, themed birthday parties, and much more), this can be as simple as choosing to decorate your venue in red or pink for valentines. Deciding on an event colour palette is an important visual stimuli for people, and it can greatly enhance the experience. With this in mind, what are the rules of colour and how can you use them to your best advantage?

What do we mean by ‘colour palette’?

A colour palette typically refers to the full range of colours that work well together. This can be as simple as two complementary colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel such as blue and orange. Or, it can be three analogous colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel such as orange and yellow.

How to integrate a colour palette in your event design process

An effective colour palette can drastically change and enhance the overall look and feel of an event. When an event has colour combinations which don’t quite match, we tend to notice it. I’m sure you can think of one event you’ve been to which felt strange, or like the overall look didn’t quite fit together. There was something ‘off’ about it; perhaps the event purpose and the decor felt disconnected or confusing? This could have been due to conflicting choices within the colour palette selected. In the fashion world, we are often told that brown and black are a colour combination that should never be placed side-by-side. 

In this post we’d like to explore how a colour palette, when used correctly, can suit your event objectives, the venue and time of day (or night).

Where to start when considering colour palette in your event design?

Revise colour basics

It may be worth quickly referring to the colour wheel and seeing if that sparks any creative choices or decisions. You may find a tint, hue or shade of colour that you had previously overlooked, or hadn’t considered using. When you have selected a colour, you can then begin to look at what colours can be used in conjunction with it, either as a contrasting or complementing colour palette.

Think about colour and emotional response

Colour palette can enhance the overall look and feel of the event. One key thing to bear in mind when designing or creating an event is exploring how colour can evoke an emotional response, or has common emotional associations. One great example is how, when we think of the colour red we associate this with passion, anger and intensity. When planning an event it is worth taking colour connotations and their emotional responses into account. It can greatly impact your attendees’ experience and add real depth to the event. 

  • Red

Passion, love, power, excitement, strength, high energy, anger, intensity

  • Orange

Fun, warmth, confidence, friendlessness

  • Yellow

Hopefulness, cheer, optimism, clarity, intelligence, energy, positivity, mood enhancing

  • Green

Nature, health, renewal, growth, healing, harmony, nurturing

  • Blue

Peace, trust, dependability, calm, intelligence, relaxation, serenity

  • Purple

Royalty, luxury, creativity, spirituality, wealth, meditation

  • White

Purity, innocence, empowerment, goodness, cleanliness

  • Black

Authority, power, mystery, drama, sophistication

Start with existing venue colours

Look at the colours that already exist in your chosen venue; context is a great starting point for analysing colour side-by-side and what could or wouldn’t work for your event. You can take a look at the colour of your venues walls, fixtures and fittings. These will be the backdrop and act as a point of reference to inform your design decisions.

Select complementing lighting, furniture and decor

If you are hiring furniture or general decor for your event, you may already have an idea on the type of items you want to have, or need, for your event such as tables and chairs. For example, if you are planning a wedding, and you have decided to hold it in a barn the interior will be shades of brown, have a rustic wood feel – and its important to decorate the venue so it suits this backdrop. 

You may choose to have lighting which has a gold, yellow hue to complement the wood. Equally, you may also decide to choose furniture which is also wood based. Depending on the tone of the wood, you may want to use a colour that brings out/ highlights the natural beauty of the wood. For example, yellow brings out the wood’s orange and yellow tones, and emphasises warmth.


Creating a colour palette looks easy when you look at colour rules. However, creating a palette that takes into consideration your unique venue and delivers the ‘wow’ factor through different hues, tints and tones for you event attendees can be a challenge. If you want to evoke a particular feeling from your visitors or guests, don’t forget to think about emotional triggers and responses. You can use colour to your advantage and make use of the common associations and responses from particular colours. 

One handy tip when designing and planning an event is perhaps creating a mood board where you can try out different palette ideas. When coming up with palettes, always work with and incorporate what you already have rather than creating overbearing colour contrasts that don’t suit your chosen venue.

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If you’re planning an event, here at Jaspers Event Hire we have a wide range of furniture, kitchen equipment, linen and more available to hire. You can contact our friendly team by calling us on 01582 749 966 or through filling out our online contact form.

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