That’s the question we asked … and more than 1,500 people from 70 countries have answered! Since November 2011, survey respondents have weighed in on their favorite and least favorite colors. They also have been telling us where they are from, their age, and their gender. Early on, favorites emerged, and they have held mostly true as the responses roll in.

Male Color Preferences by Age

Male Color Preferences by Age

(There is currently a tie between blue and green as the favorite color for males 19-24 and a tie between blue and red for males 70 and older.)

Female Color Preferences by Age

Female Color Preferences by Age

Preferences by Gender

Color Preference by Gender

Respondents

Survey Respondents by Age and Geography

The written responses on sites where we posted the link have been all across the board:

  • Decisive: “Green!” and “Always red” and “REDDDDDDD!!!!!”
  • Descriptive: “Warm Red or Fiery Red!” and “Skyblue”
  • Specific: “100C 100Y 10M 30K” and “I think I would have to go for British racing green (Pantone 5535)” and “Blue, RGB: 102.204.255, HEX: 66ccff” and “Blue: not a power blue and not a real dark blue, more like somewhere around PMS 285 blue” and a personal favorite: “1 micrometer (wave length) or maybe 10 micrometers”
  • Silly: “Plaid” and “Iridescent” and “They still don’t let you pick ‘clear.’ Oh well….”
  • Angry: “This is not a scientific study” and “I like different colors for different things. This poll is junk.”
  • Entertaining: “Blue … not into that purple crap” and “Blue NO RED Auuuuuuuuuuuggghhhh…” (Monty Python “3 Questions”)

A sampling of FAQs:

Did you know you forgot pink?
Yes, and people wanted to vote for it for most AND least favorite. If we created a new survey, it would definitely be there. (Plus, isn’t it just technically a shade of red?)

Don’t people like different colors for different things?
Of course. We actually talk about just that in “Selecting colors for design projects.” But, judging by the number of people who were willing to pick just one, we bet that most people do have one they generally like more than others. Think of what color you would select for your personal toothbrush if you saw all these colors offered in the store.

Don’t you think it would be better to be more specific on where people are from, for example, eastern U.S., southern U.S., etc.?
No way! In fact, we wish we had just made it a question of which continent you were from so we had more data from each place. There were so few from each country other than the U.S. that we’re not even going to analyze the differences based on culture. If we get more answers from other countries, we’ll share that information.

Why do older people like red so much?
As our eyes age, we sometimes lose the ability to distinguish between blues and yellows. The color that stands out the most is red, so that may be why we are more drawn to it as we age. Or maybe it was just a cool color when they were growing up in the first half of the 20th century!

Can I see the raw data?
You bet! Just drop us a request using the form on the right and we’ll send you the data so you can sort and analyze to your heart’s content.

This poll isn’t very scientific, is it?
I’m a designer, not a scientist! But it still is interesting to see the differences emerge in the responses we’ve received so far.

Can I still vote?
YES! In fact, we’d love to have you post a link to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/colorprefs so everyone you know can participate. The more responses we get from around the world, the more we can learn about color preferences. Take the one-minute poll, and after you vote, you can see how your answers compare with the latest worldwide results.

Color Preferences Infographic Thumbnail

Download the full infographic (PDF 187K)

Results and graphics updated 9/2/13