Tag Archives: car colour

non-visual effects of light

Most people know that the ear system has two functions: hearing and balance. It is less well known that the visual system also has two functions. The first is seeing. The second is a set of non-visual functions including circadian rhythm. Mechanisms are being discovered that are particularly sensitive to blue light. So short-wavelength, or blue, light inhibits melatonin which is a chemical that makes you drowsy. So looking at bright lights late at night, especially blue ones, can contribute to a poor night’s sleep. So put your smart tablet away now and go to sleep!

In all seriousness though, I knew there was a reason why I do not like watching Chelsea on Match of the Day.


Studying these functional effects of colour and how they can be used in design is a major theme of the research I lead at the University of Leeds in the School of Design. If you have interest in these areas please contact me.

meanings of car colours

I came across another study on which colours sell best, commissioned by a car company of course. Turns out that in Canada the most popular is silver/grey (22.3%) with black second favourite.

But more interesting what the second part of the study which purported to reveal what your choice of car colour says about you:

Silver: “Since silver and grey are technical colours, they communicate a sense of aspiration and at times, an embrace of futurism.”

Black: “Overall black communicates strength, aspiration and a respect for the classic and the elegant.”

Blue: “Darker blue is perceived as more traditional. However, a bright or light blue is the opposite and is seen as the least ‘classic’ of the other colour groups.”

Red: “A colour which screams sporty and energetic but in certain shades can also be associated with distinction.”

White: “White is clean and modern. Premium specialty whites (also known as ‘tri-coat whites’) are also associated with luxury and ‘premium-ness,’

My experience of buying cars though is that though I may have a preference for buying a car of a certain colour, since I normally buy a second-hand one, in the end it is just what is available in the model I would like (or close to it) and the price I would like to pay (or just above it). My current car is black. My last one was grey. I have also had white and maroon in the last 10 years. So don’t read too much into it.