World’s Favourite Colour – and how you can add to the debate

Paper wizards G . F Smith have begun an ambitious project asking, ‘What’s your favourite colour?’ after identifying the question as one largely abandoned after childhood. With support from design consultancy Made Thought and Hull City of Culture 2017 they are inviting you, me and the world to contribute a favourite shade to gather insights about current attitudes towards colour from a broad demographic, while also finding a winning shade to add to their Colorplan paper collection – this will be named after the person who selected it. Colorplan was introduced in 1936 and now incorporates 50 shades, many of which nod to cultural moods to colour at various periods – ‘Bagdad Brown’ from the years between world wars, ‘Mandarin’ from 1960s psychedelic Britain and ‘Stone’ from the nature-loving 1970s backlash against it to name a few.

Todays tastes are already emerging through the project, which began last month. “Pinks, teals, greens, reds and blues are all gunning for top spot,” says John Haslam, Joint Managing Director at G . F Smith, whose own submission is  “bright, vibrant, sun filled green.”

Helping to kick start the the project, a selection of colour-loving tastemakers were asked to make their submissions – and as you can see below, some were more specific than others…

Bethan Laura Wood – Bubble Wrap Green


Designer Bethan Laura Wood with favourite colour – (Bubble Wrap) Green. Photography by Toby Coulson.

Camille Walala – Yves Klein Blue


Artist Camille Walala and her favourite colour – Yves Klein Blue. Photography by Toby Coulson.

Johnny Coca – Red


Mulberry creative director Johnny Coca with his favourite colour – Red. Photography by Toby Coulson.


Richard Woods – Green


Artist Richard Woods with his favourite colour – Green. Photography by Toby Coulson.

Osman Yousefzada – Hot Pink


Fashion designer Osman Yousefzada wth his favourite colour – Hot Pink. Photo by Toby Coulson

Bompas and Parr – Teal and Slime Green


Architectural foodsmiths Sam Bompas and Harry Parr with favourite colours – Teal and Slime Green. Photography by Toby Coulson.

The project ends in March with the winning colour to be announced in July at an exhibition in G . F Smith’s home city of Hull, being held as part of the City of Culture 2017 celebrations. As to how the decision will be reached? It sounds complex but fair! “The colour group that most people select will be the starting point, then at the centre of that group there will be a tonal range. Right in the centre of the range there will many very similar tones that the largest group of collaborators selected. In the centre of this will be the World’s Favourite Colour,” explains John.

So go on, what will you choose? Take part in the project here.



Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist