What is the World’s Favourite Colour?

Extending the reach of the World’s Favourite Colour project further, G.F Smith set up a pop-up shop and collaborated with iconic British brands to create limited edition products featuring the new colour.

by G . F Smith

When we are children, everyone has an answer to the question ‘What’s your favourite colour?’ But something changes as we reach adulthood. Our favourite colour becomes less important as a statement of identity; and many of us never think about our favourite colour again. As a result of this insight, over a four month period, G . F Smith set out on a global search to answer this question and to find the world’s favourite colour. Crossing cultures and continents, national borders and language barriers, age brackets and social categories, the project is the most ambitious and wide-ranging investigations into colour preference ever conducted, and the insights have the potential to change the way we think about and view colour.

Submissions were gathered over a four month period between January and April 2017.
Marrs Green, R75 G172 B165.

Each colour submission was captured with additional information, including country and city location, gender, age, the weather at the time of the submission and a short explanatory narrative explaining why they had chosen their colour. The data collected allowed G.F Smith to assemble far reaching analysis of favoured colours within specific markets, genders and age groups.

After three months of submissions, a K-Means algorithm was then employed to determine the favourite colour from all of the entries. The result was Marrs Green, named after Annie Marrs from Dundee in East Scotland who was inspired by the River Tay.

The ambition of the project was realised by translating the colour into a coloured paper and included as a permanent shade in the Colorplan by G.F Smith collection. Available in two weights and commercially available globally, it has gone on to become one of the most popular colours in the collection.

The World’s Favourite Colour was unveiled at the ‘Paper City’ exhibition in Hull as part of the UK City of Culture programme. G.F Smith has been in Hull for over 130 years, and as a significant employer in the area, it was invited by Hull 2017 to be a Creative Partner.Jointly curated between G.F Smith and Hull, its aim was to “inspire people to the power of the physical and tactile” by bringing together notable British artists — including Richard Woods, Max Lamb, Bethan Laura Wood, Jacqui Poncelet, Liam Hopkins, Adam Holloway, Joanna Sands and Made Thought — to create eight site-specific paper sculptures throughout the city. The aim was to transform the city by playing with the most fundamental creative material — paper.

The Fabric of Hull, a paper installation at Paper City designed by Made Thought showcases every Colorplan paper available including the new Marrs Green in chronological order since 1936. G.F Smith, Hull and paper are inextricably linked. This specially commissioned installation, made by hand in Hull, by the people of G.F Smith, binds the story of people, place and paper together, from personal histories and the blossoming of the company to the societal and cultural events that have impacted on Hull — and in so doing shows the ‘cultural history of colour’.

To read the full report contact G . F Smith to order a physical copy.