When you think about winning a competition, I’d imagine that most folk would be hoping to win something like Euromillions, or one of those round the world airplane tickets, a brand new car or a year’s supply of one of your favourite (expensive) products – something that would make a bit of a difference to your life.
Yet, for me it looks like my big win is being lucky enough to have picked the World’s Favourite Colour!
Colour is something which is hugely personal. We all have our favourite colour. And that comes across in our daily lives. It influences what we choose to wear, the colours we decorate our homes in and even the colour of our car. For some the idea of a blue car would be unthinkable, yet for others only a blue car will do! This expensive purchase is often influenced not by what is under the bonnet but rather on the colour it is available in.
Asking someone’s favourite colour comes with an expected response. Choose from the drop-down menu of standard online security questions and ‘What’s your favourite colour?’ will be in there somewhere. I would doubt that there are many people who can’t answer that question quickly and while we might have a family of colours that we enjoy above others – there will always be one which tops them all.
The World’s Favourite Colour competition was run during the first six months of 2017 by Hull City of Culture 2017 and Hull based paper makers, G. F Smith. It was a global competition delivered online, but it is not the first time a survey to find our favourite colour has taken place. In 2015, a YouGov survey presented the result that blue was the world’s favourite colour – although it didn’t specify which type of blue. There’s fair difference between a royal blue, a sky blue and duck-egg blue! But it would appear that according to the world’s expert on colour preference Steve Palmer who is based in California, colours are strongly favoured mainly because they are associated with things that we prefer.
Research shows that positive emotional experiences with a particular colour are likely to increase our chances of developing a preference for that colour. Affection for a colour can be influenced by social and cultural factors. If we have happy experiences surrounding by a particular colour range we’ll develop an affinity with it. Something which we clearly see though the engagement with colours by sports fans, be that a national flag or a local team scarf!
And of course that works the other way – negative experiences directly linked with a colour can put us off. I won’t be painting my home in the drab yellow / beige of school room walls, or the clinical mint green of a hospital waiting room any time soon.
So is it any wonder that a colour which evokes bright, sunny days beside water comes out on top? For me, Marrs Green is that deep green / blue tone which you see when you stare deep into the sea or gaze out over a loch with its surface glistening in summer sun. Sure it’s calming, but it is also bright and full of energy just waiting to be released.
I guess it’s been lucky that I live in a part of the world that is surrounded by a stunning landscape, big vast skies and wide stretches of water. Although there is the odd day where maybe it would be more appropriate to have chosen grey as my favourite colour…
Annie Marrs is project co-ordinator for UNESCO Dundee City of Design & Place Partnership Programme