By Sabine Zetteller
Published January 6, 2017
When we are children, everyone has an answer to the question, ‘What’s your favourite colour? But something changes as we reach adulthood. Our favourite colour becomes less important as a statement of identity; some of us never think about our favourite colour again – but it’s always there in the background, guiding our actions in ways we may not even notice, let alone understand.
Although we may not think about it, colour still touches our lives. It can change our moods, influence our decisions and affect the way we react to the world around us – whether we realise it or not, colour preference is one of the innermost drivers of our psychology. Somewhere inside, all of us have a favourite colour. The time has come to find out what it is.
G . F Smith, UK’s largest specialist paper company, has set out to gain a better understanding of what colour means to people of all ages and from cultures all around the world – and create a new shade of Colorplan paper in the process.
Supported by design consultancy Made Thought and Hull 2017, G . F Smith is inviting everyone on the planet to select their favourite shade, with the goal of discovering the world’s favourite colour.
The project–that crosses cultures and continents, national borders and language barriers, age brackets and social categories–is one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging investigations into colour preference ever conducted; and the insights it will generate have the potential to change the way we think about colour.
After three months of international data gathering – ending in March 2017 – the most popular colour will be unveiled at the ‘Paper City’ exhibition in G . F Smith’s home city of Hull, as part of its City of Culture 2017 celebrations in July.
The World’s Favourite Colour will be permanently introduced into G . F Smith’s Colorplan range, and will bear the name of the survey respondent that picks the shade closest to the overall favourite. As well as the honour of having the most popular colour in the world named after them, the winner and a companion will be invited to G . F Smith’s mill in the Lake District to watch their paper being produced, and take home a full suite of personalised stationery in their eponymous colour.
This 51st Colorplan shade will be available for use by designers, brands and individuals via gfsmith.com immediately after the July 2017 announcement.
Based on the responses of thousands of people worldwide, the project will work with futures specialists and colour authority FranklinTill to test previous findings, challenge preconceptions, and explore other fascinating connected issues concerning colour perception and interpretation. The project’s findings will enable G . F Smith to begin to answer such questions as:
- Do colour preferences change across ages?
- Are boys really blue and girls really pink?
- Are hotter countries drawn to warmer or cooler colours?
- Is there a link between colour preference and decisiveness? (as indicated by user response times)
And, ultimately, go some way to answering the trickiest question of all: Is colour preference culturally determined, or is it an innate human trait?
Whatever the results of the World’s Favourite Colour Project turn out to be, the insights it will offer us into one of the most important components of human psychology – colour – are guaranteed to be fascinating.
But before then, there is just one question: What’s your favourite colour?
To answer the question, visit worldsfavouritecolour.com website.