A new research says that most people like to play it safe when combining colours for an article of clothing or outfit.
When consumers were asked to choose colors for 7 different parts of an athletic shoe, they tended to pick identical or similar colors for nearly every element. They usually avoided contrasting or even moderately different color combinations.
The results support the theory that people like their color combinations to be relatively simple and coherent, rather than complex and distinct
However, there was one exception. A large minority of people chose to highlight a relatively small signature part of the shoe with a contrasting color far from the colors used in other elements.
Overall, though, the study showed that people prefer a simple design with few colors.
For the study 142 participants were involved who agreed to go to the publicly available NIKEiD website and create a Nike "shox" shoe for themselves.
At the site, they choose colors for seven elements of the shoe: the base, secondary, swoosh, accent, lace, lining and shox. For each element, they could choose between six to 12 colors.
The researchers analyzed the color choices made by the participants and measured the similarity of chosen colors based on a widely accepted "color space" model.
While participants could choose from up to 16 colors for different parts of the shoe, the average person only used about four colors on the entire shoe they designed.
Results showed there was a strong tendency to use identical colors in more than one of the seven different elements of the shoe, said Xiaoyan Deng, lead author of the study.
It was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology.