The colours of CERN

Would you move into an office painted in a colour you hate? As we all know, taste in colour is individual. Thanks to the establishment of a new Painting Charter, conflicting opinions will be unified.

The four new paint colours established in the Painting Charter.

There were many reasons behind the creation of the Painting Charter by the GS SEM Department. Unlike many companies, CERN has not until now regulated which colours can be used inside buildings. With many nationalities passing through CERN, tastes tend to differ: northern countries usually prefer colder colours, while southern countries seem to prefer warm colours. It’s not hard to imagine how quickly we could make a rainbow!

In addition, whenever an office needs to be repainted, it can be difficult to find exactly the same colour. This results in entire walls being repainted, which increases the cost. If – by chance – the original colour is found, it could be out of stock. While it is being ordered, CERN staff need to wait even longer to have their walls repainted. "This Charter will not only reduce costs, inventories, etc., but it will also enable us to respond faster to the numerous requests from CERN staff, and, thus, work more efficiently," said Richard Morton, from the GS SEM department.

Besides helping resolve financial and managerial issues, the Charter aims to present a uniform image of CERN. The Painting Charter is the first step towards incorporating the Graphics Charter, currently under development, into CERN. "Colours give companies their own identity. Up until now, the colours of the CERN site had not been clearly defined. With the introduction of the Painting Charter, the interiors of the buildings will be consistent, "said Fabienne Marcastel, graphic designer. Three neutral colours have been chosen for office walls, while a blue colour has been selected for use on doors to technical areas (see image). The colours were selected from RAL, an international system of colour coding. Interestingly enough, each of these four colors was given a separate English, French, Italian and German name.

Not only does this new charter unify the colours of paint that will be used, it also applies to floors. In fact, different types and colours of flooring are included in the Painting Charter: carpeting will be laid in meeting rooms in order to reduce noise; offices will be given linoleum floors, which are easy to maintain; tiles will be placed on the three types washrooms of CERN- technical, public and staff.

If you would like painting work or any other maintenance work to be carried out, call 77 777 (help desk).

by Laëtitia Pedroso