Choosing appropriate colors for the right audience is an important part of the equation. While color preference is often highly personal, research has made it possible for color experts to make general observations about the color preferences of the major demographic age groups.
Here is a look at the four major age demographic groups and their color preferences:
The Mature Market
To meet the needs of the Mature Market, it's important to seek out color combinations that are functional, enjoyable and comfortable. Instead of muddy colors like khaki, fresh and cheerful ones such as buttery yellows, clear blues, fresh pinks and warm whites are preferred.
Don't avoid all greens, though. Studies show that people report less stomach upset when surrounded with lush foliage colors even while under stress. For the Mature Market, cleaner hues of green jade, for instance, are preferable to avocado.
The Baby Boomers
Favorite neutrals are chameleon shades that take on the undertones of colors around them. These could be grays married with plum or green, or perhaps yellow-green undertones that bridge the gap from gray to beige.
For this age group, popular colors include violet and indigo hues, or exotic greens from the Australian landscape. Asian reds also add drama to neutral spaces awash in contrasting textures.
There has even been research on the visual preferences of babies. High-contrast colors and simple patterns that encourage scanning, focusing, orienting and pattern recognition are not only favorites, but also help to stimulate physical and cognitive development. Studies indicate that reds and blues are the colors preferred by infants.
Though reactions to color are psychologically and culturally induced to some degree, age does make a difference in how people respond to color. That's one reason why color preferences change over time as people move through the life cycle.