Colors that are traditionally considered masculine colors or that appeal most strongly to or are more closely associated with men can be good choices for marketing messages, business logos, Web sites, and interior designs targeting men. Color studies done over the years indicate that the favorite colors of men and women do differ. Some of these differences in favorite colors may be attributed to cultural use of color and conditioning.
There are no hard and fast rules about what colors are masculine or feminine or gender-neutral. Because colors come in many tints and shades, someone may love a rich, royal blue but strongly dislike a pale, sky blue so a preference for the color blue doesn't mean that every shade of blue is universally appropriate. However, some generalizations are possible based on various color studies.
Blue is a favorite color of both men and women of all ages. However, men have a much stronger preference for blue than women. It may be the calming effect of the color blue that makes it a popular color for both men and women or it could be the association of some shades of blue with authority figures, intelligence, and stability.
A distant second to blue as a favorite color of men, the color green is cool, restful, and signifies growth, renewal, health, and environment as well as balance and stability. While women favor cool, soft colors, men prefer brighter shades although they still show a preference for cool colors such as blue and green.
Men favor the color black only slightly more than women. A strong preference for conservative colors such as blue and black may also reflect social and cultural norms where women wear the brighter, more varied colors while men's attire is traditionally less colorful.
Colors Men Don't Like Purple stands out as a feminine color because it is chosen almost exclusively by women as a favorite color and is strongly disliked by men. Men are less likely to respond favorably to other feminine favorites such as lavender and turquoise.
Most people still think of pink as a feminine, delicate color, the color for little girls. Even though it is acceptable as a clothing color for men, the color pink has such strong negative associations for men that some uses of the color may be considered insulting to men.
One prominent example of the furor over pink is the locker rooms at the University of Iowa. Up for debate is whether or not the color pink was chosen for the opposing teams locker room because it was a "calming, soothing color" or because of the cultural association of pink with the weaker sex and gay men - a sissy color.
Male Top 3 Favorite Colors: Blue, Green, Black (2 cool and one neutral color).
Male Top 3 Least Favorite Colors: Brown, Orange, Purple (neutral, warm, mixed colors).
Among favorite colors, preferences for green decrease with age (all genders).
Among least favorite colors (all genders), dislike of brown and purple decreases with age while dislike of orange increases with age.