Visual guidance
A healthcare facility is often a very large structure and all
floors and wings look alike, using specific colour coding
for the various departments can assist people to navigate
and easily find their way around such a facility.
Use contrasting colours
It is vital that colour not only complement each other but
also provide a good level of contrast. Imagine if a bright
red and bright blue are photocopied in black and white,
there will be very little visual difference between the two.
The same photocopy of a dark blue and a light blue would
provide a significant difference. Contrasting colours will
guide partially sighted.
Limit the colour palette
When choosing internal finish materials, using a lot of
differing colours may lead to an environment which is
too visually busy, leading to confusion and unease.
It may also cause maintenance and storage problems
of materials for repair.
Choose the right finish
As well as considering colours, the choice of paint finish
has an important role to play. High gloss surfaces can
glare and cause confusion for visually impaired people.
Matt or semi-gloss finishes will maximize the colour
contrast. Designs should be kept simple and the use of
mixed, confusing patterns or stripes should be avoided.
Identify key features
If corridor walls are painted with a pale shade, the door
and door frames within the corridor should be painted
with a contrasting colour. Vertical edges of doors should
also contrast in colour from the rest of the door as open
doors can be very hazardous for the visually impaired.
The door handle should also contrast with the colour
of the door. This will help to easily identify exits even
for partially sighted people or in case of panic.
If floors and walls are of similar colour or tone think
of using contrasting colours on the skirting (baseboard)
to visually mark the depth of a room or corridor.
The colour of furniture and accessories should also
contrast with the colour of environment in order
to make them appear and avoid accidents.
It is possible to signal the end of a long corridor by using
a contrasting colour on the facing wall. It has been
observed that colour coding a corridor can drastically
reduce the damage on walls caused by trolleys and beds
while circulating.
Visually mark changes in floor gradients or slopes
with colour and contrast to alert people.