Friday, November 2, 2018

Color Preferences of Men & Women


By Denise Turner, ASID, CID, CMG

From the moment that a baby is brought into this world and swaddled in a pink or blue blanket, his or her gender carries implications of color preferences. 
There are no hard and fast rules about what colors are exclusively feminine or masculine. However, there have been studies conducted over the past several decades that suggest some general tendencies in preferences between genders.  
A study done by Joe Hallock in 2003 on “Color Assignment” compared color preferences among various demographics. Hallock polled 232 people from 22 countries (most respondents were from Western societies).  
In general, the study revealed clear preferences in certain colors across genders. Specifically, the study showed that:  



  • Blue was the favorite color of both genders.  
  • Purple showed the greatest discrepancy in preference between genders.  
  • Our gender, environment, and cultural perception play important roles in dictating color appropriateness and ultimately influence personal choices. 
  • When it comes to shades, tints, and hues, men typically prefer bold colors, whereas women prefer softer colors.  
  • Men were more likely to select shades of colors (colors with black added) as their favorites; women were more likely to select tints of colors (colors with white added). 
These color theory findings on “perceived appropriateness” are widely discussed and debated by color marketing researchers and industry professionals. It’s quite possible that a brand or product can still succeed even if the colors don’t jive with the surveyed tastes. It’s just good information to consider.  
I forecast that as humanity continues to evolve and foster a greater acceptance of individuals who do not identify with a particular gender, these graphs will become more similar.  

Photo credit: Alexis Brown