Cross preferences for colors and shapes

Na Chen, Kanji Tanaka, Daisuke Matsuyoshi, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Preferences for colors and geometric shapes vary considerably across individuals. Studies have demonstrated these variations in preference separately for colors and shapes, but the relationships between preference variations for colors and shapes are not yet known. By measuring individual preferences for basic colors and shapes, we found that color preferences and shape preferences were partly, but systematically, correlated. People who preferred some simple shapes (e.g., cone, pyramid) tended to prefer some light or warm colors (e.g., yellow, orange). In contrast, people who preferred some complex shapes (e.g., scrambled truncated-pyramid, scrambled pyramid) tended to prefer some dark or cold colors (e.g., blue, blue-green). That is, people who like "simple" or "complex" visual features might tend to like "light or warm" or "dark or cold" visual features. These results indicate that individual preferences for colors and shapes might not be independent, but could be correlated and intertwined to some extent. We suggest that the semantic information associated with colors and shapes underlies the cross preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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