Monthly Archives: April 2012

pink or red?

The purpose of this blog is to collate all sorts of interesting facts and news stories for which colour is a main component and also to provide some education about colour and colour science. So I scan the newspapers and websites for interesting stories about colour that I can comment on (actually, I mainly look at news stories on google). Over the last three years or so I have come across all kinds of interesting topics but today I came across something quite unexpected.

Today I came across some research led by Sarah Johns at the University of Kent that reveals that men prefer pink female genitals to red ones. Her team set up a website that allowed women to submit (anonymously, you will be pleased to know) photographs of their parts. Four of these photos were each retouched (digitally) so that one pale pink, another light pink, one dark pink and the final one red. They then asked 40 heterosexual men to rate each of the 16 images on a scale of 0-100 for attractiveness. The researchers had thought that men may prefer red vulvas since it is commonly thought that red lipstick and clothing is a proxy for genitals. So it was somewhat surprising when they found that men preferred the pink photographs to the red ones.

For more details on this story please visit here.

colour maps

Last year a student, Kaori, from Japan spent some time with me at Leeds and we spoke a lot about how to use colour effectively in maps and in urban design generally. One of the issues we were looking at was whether the maps’ features would be discriminable to colour-blind observers (of which, of course, there are many). So I was interested to come across an interesting article today relating to this very issue.

Apparently the following image appeared in the Guardian newspaper:

It’s a colour-coded map of London. It shows areas of deprivation with red being the most deprived. It met with much criticism, however, and many people said they had difficulty in discriminating between the colours. Of course, colour-blind observers most commonly have difficulty discriminating in the red-green region of colour space. The company who made the map engaged in a debate with users on twitter and created variously different coloured versions of the map, subjecting each to the public vote via twitter. The map below is one of the later versions.


For further details please refer to the story at The Guardian here.