Colour psychology in cocktail bars

A bar is a place people go to unwind and relax after a long day of work; they want to go somewhere where they feel at-easy, and comfortable, this is the type of bar people will go to spend the evening with you. However, this is only the case for some bars. Other bars will want to create a busy, loud atmosphere where people can have fun and let their hair down, feeling energised before a big night out.

It has become an association that we also drink with our eyes. From choosing the cocktail, to watching it being made and drinking it yourself, your mind will take into account the drinks aesthetic, the colour, the smell, the glass, how they make it, is it with ice etcetera, to form a mental profile of the drink in your head where you will be assuming/guessing what the drink tastes like. Building on this association, we have developed the mental attitude that stronger coloured drinks have a stronger taste. With red with being sweet and green with being sour. This association also transfers to bar design. From the first impression looking in from the outside of the bar, to the last impression when they leave, the design needs to be visually powerful and engaging in order to encourage customers to come back. Colour is a primary way to achieve this, as it will also effect interactions taking place between people: creating mood, for instance, warm colours are associated with comfort, cosiness and intimacy. In contrast to this, cooler colours generate a calmer and soothing energy. Darker tones with spots of a bold/bright light provide a contrast, accentuating emotions of excitement. This will influence the type of atmosphere your bar has and in turn influence the crowd of people the bar will attract.

Green, although a very refreshing colour if used incorrectly is can create ambiences where it is hard to relax in the environments where it is used. If you want to use green in your design, we recommend accents of a deep and dark green, this can add to a cosy, classy and romantic lounge/cocktail atmosphere. An example of how you can incorporate this is by using a dark hunter or racing green leather for a deep button tufted banquette seating.

Black browns and greys combined: although they are very dark, neutral tones, this can feel more dungeon if you are not careful. When designing a bar in this style you must utilise natural light as much as possible and use a splash of something bold and exciting, whether this is a colour is up to you.

Deep reds can have mixed results depending on their context, for bars, using a blue-based red will add to a feeling of romance, luxury and sophistication, helping people stay relaxed.

Deep blue’s add to a feeling of sophistication and suppress feelings of hunger. Meaning you will stay longer for drinks. A bold blue with a higher chrome will make the space feel energised.

Purple, more specifically;18-3838 ULTRA VIOLET has been marked the pantone of the year, Astounding can pride ourselves in saying we have been ahead of the game using this colour in our bar design for years, giving our customers the innovative edge over their competitors. With this colour being on trend in 2018, this colours versatility can cater to a wide range of atmospheres. For instance, a bright tone of purple can provide feelings of excitement while still keeping a relaxing and cosy atmosphere.

Deeper purples can create a romantic or cosy lounge-like atmosphere. The success of the colourpurple in this industry is unparalleled. In 2014, the colour 18-3224 in Radiant Orchid was on trend as the pantone of the year. This reoccurrence of a shade of purple again so soon as pantone of the year can be back to its success within the industry of bar design. Purple is a spiritual and historically royal colour. This association makes the colour extremely popular in hospitality design.