Do police really pull over red cars more often than blue vehicles? Do middle aged men prefer black sports cars over beige mini-vans? Automakers do turn to color psychology when choosing color options for their cars. Certain hues denote certain attitudes and lifestyles. Auto makers know this, yet, somehow white and black endure as the most common car color choices for consumers. Your auto technician will see a lot more silver tones on vehicles coming in for car repair than that vibrant red. Following are the stats for car color, by manufacture:
FerarriMost Popular Car Color’s By Manufacturer, 2012
(by percentage of vehicles manufactured)
1. White/white pearl
3. Black/black effect
If we go back 6 years, we see that silver (now at number 3,) followed by white were the most prevalent color choice by manufacturer. Gray and Black tied for third.
Most popular colors in 2006
The most popular car colors by manufacture for the year ending 2006 were as follows:
Black, White, and Silver (also gray) dominate the upper percentages of what manufacturers choose for paint color. Rental Fleets also prefer these base and neutral tones. It appears that as consumers, we don’t ask the car market for more personal colors on our vehicles. Neutral tones are more evocative of technology and practicality, evoking a psychologically neutral sleek machine. Like our computers and cell phones, our kitchen appliances and stereo components we buy machines picking a color image imbued with the image of solid dependable technology, not hipster cool yellow or soothing sky blue. I think we need to make color selection a bit more personal. Lets break out into some magenta and Forrest Green once in a while. The highway could be a vibrant rainbow of purple and yellow, not a homogenous stream of white, black and gray. Looking for a new vehicle, or considering a paint job for your Jaguar? Consider the following colors and what they evoke and imply.
Lets start with the basics:
Rolly RoyceBlack is the color of authority and power. In Judges and clerics, it denotes authority via their robes. Black can also indicate darkness of character, as in Dracula style capes and Goth eyeliner, black leather bikers jackets, and don’t forget the “bad” cowboy with his black hat. If you want to send a message of power and danger, black is a good choice.
Pure, clean and innocent. Hospital sterile-no danger here. White is also the ultimate neutral tone to offset other colors. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is airy, neutral, and compliments everything. The only drawback to white tones is how badly they show dirt and grime. Most car’s off the lot will be white, it is most likely the color of the vehicle you are driving. Interestingly, most police cars are white, evoking an image opposite of the “authority and Danger” we connect with black.
Now let us add some excitement!
The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates us. It is blood and action, pumping up our adrenaline and making us think of physical achievement and sexuality. You are most likely to notice an item if it is red, over any other color. It is primal and intense. Want everyone to look at your car? Pick red. But be wary of over stimulating people you really don’t want to be noticed by!
Peaceful and calm. It is our sky, our water, the calm of sunshiny days. It symbolizes loyalty. We are at our most productive in blue rooms. Blue is a great choice for calmness and healthy emotional functioning.
Green symbolizes nature. It blends effortlessly with our environment, making it the hardest color vehicle to see on the highway. In fashion, green clothing will sell less in quantity than over colors, and it does not photograph well. On the flip side, it used to calm and stimulate the imagination in creative settings, like green rooms at TV studio’s. If you love green (I do), pick a dark tone to evoke richness and power, like emerald, or teal, which makes us think of energy and playfulness.
Cheerful sunny yellow is the less alpha attention getter of red. It evokes optimism, sunshine, and cheerfulness. It does have a less pleasant side, however. It is the most difficult color for our eyes to understand, so it can be overpowering. People are more likely to lose their tempers in yellow rooms. It affects our brains by enhancing metabolism and concentration.
The long held color of Royalty, purple dye was a very difficult and expensive product to manufacture throughout much of history. It is distinctly feminine as well as a “not natural” color as it is not abundant in nature. Purple denotes richness, luxury, and feminine seductiveness.
Still want to stick with silver for your car color? Perhaps we don’t want to use or vehicles to provoke impressions and emotions in others, but then again, I would love to see a rainbow of vibrant yellow, emerald green, and magenta on the highway once in a while. Of course, we would all be very distracted, but it would be interesting!