Interesting post about colour meanings in business.
I just noticed that quite a few of my PhD students have blogs so I thought I would give them a mention.
Jason Kao is studying for a PhD in the generation of 3D movies – particularly interested in the effect of hue and saturation contrasts on the strength of the 3D percept (as in, red objects tend to appear forward whereas blue objects recede). You can read his blog here.
Jade Smith is undertaking a PhD to look at how we can understand more about how consumers use clothes in order to better design clothes that will be used longer. As you may know, our current consumption of textiles in the world is not sustainable even from the persepctive of the demands made of water during their manufacture and processing. You can read her blog here.
Maryam Da is undertaking a PhD in colour semiotics. Specifically, she is running a massive on-line global colour survey to determine the meanings that people attribute to different colours. She is also using a clever methoodology whereby each person does just a little bit of the experiment – in fact, we ask each person about just one colour. So there is not excuse not to help out. Please have a go at the survey – it takes less than a minute. You can read her blog here.
I came across another study on which colours sell best, commissioned by a car company of course. Turns out that in Canada the most popular is silver/grey (22.3%) with black second favourite.
But more interesting what the second part of the study which purported to reveal what your choice of car colour says about you:
Silver: “Since silver and grey are technical colours, they communicate a sense of aspiration and at times, an embrace of futurism.”
Black: “Overall black communicates strength, aspiration and a respect for the classic and the elegant.”
Blue: “Darker blue is perceived as more traditional. However, a bright or light blue is the opposite and is seen as the least ‘classic’ of the other colour groups.”
Red: “A colour which screams sporty and energetic but in certain shades can also be associated with distinction.”
White: “White is clean and modern. Premium specialty whites (also known as ‘tri-coat whites’) are also associated with luxury and ‘premium-ness,’
My experience of buying cars though is that though I may have a preference for buying a car of a certain colour, since I normally buy a second-hand one, in the end it is just what is available in the model I would like (or close to it) and the price I would like to pay (or just above it). My current car is black. My last one was grey. I have also had white and maroon in the last 10 years. So don’t read too much into it.
At some point I intend to post something about colour meaning or what I like to call colour semiotics. However, in the meantime you may like to refer to this blog entry – http://dressdesigning.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/discover-how-to-understand-color-for-dress-designing/ - about understanding colour for dress designing (though the advice seems quite generic and not connected with dress designing at all). It’s a reasonable primer into the meanings of colour.