Colour preferences have both scientific significance and relevance to manufacturers. Despite claims that these preferences are unsystematic and that saturation and brightness exert more influence on judgements than hue, a substantial body of research suggests that the rank order of preference for hues ‐ blue, red, green, violet, orange, yellow ‐ emerges with some degree of consistency and, in particular, blue is regularly preferred to other hues. Five explanations of this trend are considered: preferences are simply conventional; blue is more neutral and less susceptible to extremes of judgement than other hues; preference for blue is a by‐product of more general principles; blue has largely positive associations; blue has an evolutionary significance. It is proposed that further investigation of the connotations of hues will provide insight into the pattern of colour preferences.
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