Color associations among designers and non-designers for common warning and operation concepts

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Journal / PublicationApplied Ergonomics
Online published14 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


This study examined color-concept associations among designers and non-designers with commonly used warning and operation concepts. This study required 199 designers and 175 non-designers to indicate their choice among nine colors to associate with each of the 38 concepts in a color-concept table. The results showed that the designers and non-designers had the same color associations and similar strengths of stereotypes for 17 concepts. The strongest color-concept stereotypes for both groups were red-danger, red-fire, and red-hot. However, the designers and non-designers had different color associations for the concepts of escape (green, red), increase (green, red), potential hazard (red, orange), fatal (black, red), and normal (white, green), while the strengths of the 16 remaining associations for both groups were not at equivalent levels. These findings provide ergonomists and design practitioners with a better understanding of population stereotypes for color coding, and consequently to effectively use colors in their user-centered designs.

Research Area(s)

  • Color-concept association, Design, Stereotype