Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Color Preference by Gender

Color Preferences by Gender

Perceived appropriateness may explain why the most popular car colors are white, black, silver and gray ... but is there something else at work that explains why there aren't very many purple power tools?
One of the better studies on this topic is Joe Hallock's Colour Assignments. His data showcases some clear preferences in certain colors across gender.
It's important to note that one's environment--and especially cultural perceptions--plays a strong role in dictating color appropriateness for gender, which in turn can influence individual choices. Consider, for instance, this coverage by Smithsonian magazine detailing how blue became the color for boys and pink was eventually deemed the color for girls (and how it used to be the reverse!).
Here were Hallock's findings for the most and least favorite colors of men and women:
The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding
The most notable points in these images is the supremacy of blue across both genders (it was the favorite color for both groups) and the disparity between groups on purple. Women list purple as a top-tier color, but no men list purple as a favorite color. (Perhaps this is why we have no purple power tools, a product largely associated with men?)
Additional research in studies on color perception and color preferences show that when it comes to shades, tints and hues men seem to prefer bold colors while women prefer softer colors. Also, men were more likely to select shades of colors as their favorites (colors with black added), whereas women were more receptive to tints of colors (colors with white added):
The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding
Image credit: KISSmetrics
The above infographic from KISSmetrics showcases the disparity in men and women's color preferences.
Keep this information in mind when choosing your brand's primary color palette. Given the starkly different taste preferences shown, it pays to appeal more to men or women if they make up a larger percentage of your ideal buyers.


  1. Well, I guess I'm a bit of an outlier, as some of the indications of men's choices are mine as well...especially the large expanse of blue. The tints, however, look pretty much what I would like, and maybe some of the softer colors. We may be more influence by mood?

  2. Good post! Thanks for sharing this information I appreciate it.

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