Influence of Color-Texture Associations on Preference

Fasllija Ela – Bilkent University, Turkey

Basic design, while covering different concepts such as pattern, color, texture, relief etc., is the origin of many design related fields. This study is focused on analyzing the possible existence of a relationship between two of these concepts when juxtaposed with each other. Since color is rarely seen as a uniform plain element, the current research embraces both color and texture as equally important weighted variables in it. Color and texture have been investigated about their association in terms of preference. One hundred design-trained and ninety six non design-trained participants underwent an experiment carried out in a virtual and abstract environment. Four primary colors (yellow, red, green, & blue) having the same saturation and brightness values were chosen from the NCS color space and were associated with three different texture types (plain, basket, & broken twill) obtained from scanning the physical textile samples. Twelve color-texture mapped squares were placed in a neutral grey colored background of a calibrated monitor and shown to the participants. They were asked to choose their most preferred color-texture association. Moreover, as a second part of the experiment, it was probed to find a relation between color and a texture variable, which was texture strength. Plain & basket textures types had both fine and coarse alternatives respectively. The participants who previously selected one of these textures as their preferred mapped square, were asked to choose the fine or coarse version of this color-texture association. Apart from this, this study was interested in finding differences between design and non-design trained participants in terms of their color-texture choice. Also, in the latter sample set it was investigated the existence of any gender difference. Results of the study did not verify the existence of a dependency between color and texture in neither the sample groups. A relationship between color and texture strength was not verified either. Furthermore, the results showed that blue is the overall most preferred color. Moreover, fine textures are more preferred than coarse ones in all the participants’ responses. Design trained participants associate fine strength level  more with basket texture whereas non design trained associate it more with more plain textures. Lastly, a majority of the participants agreed on the fact that the blue color is most preferred when associated with fine textures rather than coarse ones.It should be highlighted that this study’s results are not definite and prescriptive because of a variety of confounding factors that affect individual preferences. However, this study hopes to be helpful to design professionals in gaining an insight about color-texture combination.