Color preferences for different topics in connection to personal characteristics

Iris Bakker, Theo van der Voordt, Peter Vink, Jan de Boon, Conne Bazley
  • Color Research & Application, October 2013, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/col.21845

Color prefereences

What is it about?

Studies on color preferences are dependent on the topic and the relationships with personal characteristics, particularly personality, but these are seldom studied in one population. Therefore a questionnaire was collected from 1095 Dutch people asking for color preferences about different topics and relating them to personal characteristics. Color preferences regarding different topics show different patterns and significant differences were found between gender, age, education and personality such as being technical, being emotional or being a team player. Also, different colors were mentioned when asked for colors that stimulate to be quiet, energetic, and able to focus or creative. Probably, due to unconsciousness of contexts, many people had no color preference, a result that in the literature seldom is mentioned. Blue was the overall favorite color; however, most males chose for blue (25%) while most females had no color preference (18%). Black was the overall favorite color for clothing, mainly chosen by females (40%), while males primarily chose blue (27%). For building interiors subjects preferred white. For moods, subjects preferred white for being quiet or being able to focus, red for being energetic and had no color preference for being creative. It is concluded that color preferences are dependent upon the topic, and personal characteristics.

Why is it important?

The findings are important for architects, interior designers, fashion designers and product designers to have a basic idea of preferred colors for different objects by different types of people.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Theo van der Voordt