Color preferences for different topics in connection to personal characteristics

IC Bakker, DJM van der Voordt, P Vink, J de Boon, C Bazley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


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, 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 favourite color, however most males chose for blue (25 %) while most females had no color preference (18 %). Black was the overall favourite 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. 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • color preference
  • personal characteristics
  • personality
  • mood

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