Published: March 20, 2020
Published: March 20, 2020

Donna Reveals How Colors Impact Our Lives

For Donna Taylor, one of our color experts, color is something she celebrates every day. For her, color has a deep impact on the way we perceive the world around us. It doesn’t just brighten up a dreary room or building, it governs our emotions, and can help people to overcome stressful situations and environments.

Donna joined our Decorating Center network nearly 20 years ago, and now she’s our principal technical color consultant for the UK and Ireland’s JOHNSTONE’S® brand.
What really appealed to me was helping customers find their perfect color choices for their own spaces. I realized how color interacts with products and finishes in different ways, and wanted to understand more about it. So, when the opportunity came along, I couldn’t pass up applying for a color consultant role.

A Challenging Career in Color Expertise

Donna loves the challenge and variety of her projects. Her passion for design, architecture, interior design, and the psychology of color has meant her career path has been an ever-changing learning curve!

Luckily, I have an amazing team whose color expertise is second to none. We view challenges in a positive light. It’s all about customer satisfaction.

Her team of color design consultants not only provide color solutions and guidance to our customers and their clients, but design principles in line with industry drivers and legislation, including the Equalities Act for Visual Impairment, Dementia, Wayfinding, and Autism.

Our key focus is to provide color solutions and guidance for our customers and their clients. We also help support our Specification growth strategy across market sectors such as Education, Healthcare and Social Housing. We assist in supporting press and social media communication and our internal departments with exhibitions, color workshops and educational talks.

The team’s goal is to ensure they continuously provide respected advice and color choices that are not only up to date with current expectations, but also provide us and our customers with value-added propositions.

There are truly no limits to leveraging the team’s expertise. Donna’s colleague, Kayleigh-Ann Whybrow, PPG senior technical color consultant, is currently training our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project leaders on color psychology and the advantage of colors for our project beneficiaries, with a special focus on schools and educational environments.

Bringing Education, Health Care and Social Housing to Life with Color

The greatest satisfaction I get from my work is seeing complex projects come to life through color application.
Donna was instrumental in the re-mapping and color coding of the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital, which helps patients and visitors find their way around the site.

For another one of her recent projects, she spent nine months perfecting a meticulously researched dementia-friendly design to be used across dozens of care homes in the UK. Her team also helped York NHS understand more about how color can impact behavior to create the desired effect on their users with autism.

Besides that, customers often approach Donna’s team asking them to create dementia-friendly color palettes… when in fact, there is no such thing.

It’s about suitably combining all elements within a space – paint, color, finish, flooring, upholstery, artwork…

To overcome this, the team even developed a Design for Dementia brochure to raise awareness for the importance of dementia design in helping wayfinding, reducing frustration, and boosting productivity of staff in dementia-specific environments.

Understanding the Psychology of Color

Donna is currently working on the Global Color Trends for 2021 and loves discovering the vast color expertise across all PPG business units.

It’s not just about the paint. For example, within our Automotive OEM Coatings business, it’s also about the finer details that you can find in seat belts, stitching on seats and the effects of finishes that are just as important. It really is quite inspiring.

But out of all the colors, the 2018 PPG color of the year Black Flame is still Donna’s favorite.

I have it as a feature wall in my bedroom and accessories, complemented by glass finishes. It has an air of privacy about it. It is quietly comforting and has a bit of a luxurious vibe.

As Donna explains, understanding the psychological attributes of colors can help us consciously create the desired ambience for our spaces and even boost our performance effectiveness at work! Ever wondered about the impact of the colors that surround us?


Color is Shaping the Future

Away from the world of color, Donna looks forward to a trip to Nepal with four friends in 2021, trekking 58 hours over 12 days in the Himalayas to reach Everest Basecamp. The inspiration is to make a dream come true for one member of the group who has Leukemia. Here’s more about the trek and how you can support it.

It sounds like Donna’s intense physical training is channeling the Psychological Red Persona!

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