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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

America's Color Preferences

The following article about color is primarily about "home decor" colors. However, we thought that this may be helpful for those of you planning colors for your fashion projects as well.
Creative Study Reveals America's Favorite Colors. 
Newly launched study that reveals the favorite colors of specific U.S. states and bigger cities -- based on home decor product purchases.
America's true colors are not red, white and blue, after all, but blue, b lack and gray, according to a new study ranking the U.S.'s favorite colors based on home décor purchases. 

There are also strong regional differences in color preferences, reveals the study conducted by Spoonflower- www.spoonflower.com - which allows customers to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. California and the West buy black décor most; the South likes gray; the rest of America prefers blue.

A few results:

The top six colors nationally are blue, black, gray, pink, white and green.

The study's surprise findings for color experts include: the dismal ranking of red, in just seventh place; the high ranking of neutral colors, with black, gray and white all in the national top five; and the popularity of pink, which ranks fourth nationally and is the most bought color in no less than five major U.S. cities.

The study reveals the most popular color in every state and 74 U.S. cities, based on data from nearly 200,000 purchases on Spoonflower over two years.

Since we are in an election cycle, consider this political slant...

Blue is the top color in 41 states and just over half the cities, while red ranks top in none of either.

"Blue states have wiped red off the map," says Allison Polish, President of Spoonflower.

Black, however, ranks top in a block of five neighboring Western states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming), while gray does so in a swathe of three adjacent Southern states (Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma), plus North Dakota.

"The popularity of blue doesn’t surprise me," says Ethel Rompilla, professor of color theory at New York School of Interior Design, and author with Stefan Steil of a new online course, on Color for Interiors. “The reason for the universal popularity of blue, say color theorists, is likely the connection to sky and sea. There's nothing more uplifting than a clear blue sky on a sunny day."

W hat does surprise Rompilla is both the low ranking of red and the high ranking of so many neutral colors, like black, gray and white. "The latter may be because as color becomes more popular, the relief of neutrals is more needed.”

The traditional favorites of her own students, in informal surveys Rompilla has conducted over the years, have been blue, closely followed by red and green. “But more recently red and green have given way to other colors.”

Rompilla, however, is less surprised that gray is most popular in the South and black in the West. "My guess is that it may relate to the architecture, furniture and interiors, which are generally more traditional – hence graceful – in the South, while in the West homes can be more contemporary. In the latter case, the geometric scale and lack of decorative details may better support the boldness of black."

California is the largest "black décor" state, while both Los Angeles, its largest city, and Sacramen to, its capital, are both black décor towns.

San Francisco and Oakland, however, are both blue décor towns, as are New York, Washington DC, Miami, Houston and Dallas, among just over half (55%) of major U.S. cities – 41 of 74 in Spoonflower’s study. 18 cities (13%) buy black décor most; seven (5%), including Chicago and Boston, buy gray most, while pink ranks top in five (4%) cities – Detroit, El Paso, Indianapolis, Long Beach, Phoenix.

Who knew? "I’ve always found pink to be controversial," says Ethel Rompilla, surprised that pink ranks as high as fourth nationally. "People either love it or hate it. Although times are changing, it still is perceived as a feminine color."

White ranks top in two cities and green in one (Charleston).

None, however, of the three main “warm colors” – red, yellow, orange – rank top in either a single state or city, or among Spoonflower’s top six colors nationally. They come instead a lowly seventh, eighth and ninth respect ively in the national rankings and account between them for barely 8.5% of Spoonflower purchases.

"Not only have blue states wiped red ones off the map," says Allison Polish, "but cool (blue, green) and neutral (black, gray, white) colors have left warm ones in the cold."

Spoonflower's map of America's true colors + the top color in every state


METHODOLOGY: Spoonflower crunched the data from nearly 200,000 purchases of custom fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap by its customers over a two-year period and organized them under 15 color categories. It then weighted the scores by first identifying the number of customers buying a particular color in any given state or city and then dividing that number by the total number of Spoonflower customers in that state or city. That gave a better measure of the popularity for each color in any city or state and so identified the most popular/most purch ased col or in each state and city.

ABOUT SPOONFLOWER: Spoonflower - www.spoonflower.com - lets users design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. Founded in 2008, it was the world's first web-based service for custom fabric creation and has become the world’s largest community of independent fabric designers. With over 350,000 designs for fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap, and more added every day, the Spoonflower Marketplace is also the world’s largest design collection of its kind. Making things with Spoonflower is the subject of a new title from Abrams Books, The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap with 30+ Projects. For more information visit www.Spoonflower.com/welcome

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