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Colours and contrasts give people orientation in the room

The need for security and orientation plays a major role in all areas of life. The interplay of colours and contrasts in orientation always works in the context of architecture. Learn in this article how to use colors and contrasts to make people's everyday lives easier.

In the case of declining eyesight at an advanced age or in the case of a dementia disease, the design of the rooms and the furnishings, for example in corridor areas or the bathroom, is decisive for independence and orientation and thus for the well-being of the people.

Facilitating orientation is particularly helpful in buildings accessible to the public, office and commercial buildings or buildings in the healthcare sector. Especially in hospitals or nursing homes colours and contrasts are essential for the patients and residents. 

How colours give people structure

Colours and contrasts serve as a well thought-out guidance system in the building. Colour structures rooms and clearly demarcates building areas from one another. A coherent colour concept serves as an orientation aid, for example to make it easier to find a floor or ward again.

Long corridors are divided by coloured accents, such as colour-coordinated handrails, door frames and door handles. Rooms that do not allow access to everyone fade into the background with neutral coloured doors and door handles.

Information and orientation systems should be designed according to the two-senses principle in order to provide clear information in accordance with DIN 18040-1. This is the simultaneous transmission of information via at least two senses (sight, hearing or touch). HEWI offers a wide range of solutions for the areas of fittings and sanitary, in which the missing or limited perception is compensated for by another sense. 

How functions give people orientation

Decreasing vision makes it more difficult to grasp the impression of space. Orientation can be supported by a clear colour scheme and distinct contrasts. The strength of the contrast always depends on the color of the product and the color of the background. The contrast value can be theoretically determined with the help of the light reflection ratio (LRV).

As a guideline, colors with a low LRV value will provide the highest contrast against a white wall, as would be the case with a black product on a white wall. HEWI specifies the LRV value for the colour to ensure the best possible design options.

The use of individual equipment solutions can also be signalled by contrasts. Supporting products are more easily noticed if they stand out against the background in high contrast. If only the functional area of the product is designed in colour, the colour accent signals the use and supports intuitive use. 

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