Skip to main content
Ages 13+
Under 13
Colour swatch samples

What Colors do Men and Women Prefer?


2000 popular colors classified by name and gender.

Colors nurture our ideas, dye our imagination and involuntarily evoke moods. It’s almost impossible to speak about any aspect of life without referencing a color: La vi en rose, Edith Piaf sang, describing her experience of love and the rosy crucible through which she perceived reality. To speak about colors is to speak about perception, but it is also to speak about physical realities.

The seven basic colors that fragment the solar specter, from red to violet, are objective since we can make an exact delimitation of each of them, using their wavelengths’ numerical data. Therefore, there is an extensive amount of hues that people can establish and of course name according to their cultural horizons.

Artist and scientist Stephen Von Worley created His and Hers Colors, a database using hypertext and HTML5 to render two thousand common color bubbles that the XKCD studio has according to this nomenclature.

The classification of colors is organized in horizontal lines concerning their relative use: vertical lines are its gender preference (women towards the top), while a broken line represents the “50-50 colors” ––those that are more gender neutral (gray, for example).

In the center of the table we find the most common colors, like green, blue, yellow, brown, etc. in the form of large ovals. It’s fascinating to move the cursor both vertically and horizontally and appreciate the different names, preferences and tonalities according to cultural appreciation ­­­­––the ways in which men and women perceive and enjoy colors on a daily basis.

Von Worley’s idea is refreshing: building a bridge between the multiple color provocations in terms of gender and perhaps scientific thought. It’s truly inspiring to see how such a difficult subject can be expressed through different categories: shade, saturation, shine, wavelength, name, so that we are forced to discuss the very essence of color.

Related Articles