View Full Version : Gender design differences

Patt Bell
01-26-2000, 08:14 AM
I am teaching a class and would like to add some information on the differences between masculine and feminine design (bold vs pastel, straight line vs curved, etc). I would appreciate any input on this topic, and of course, I need it immediately (Plan ahead??) :-)

01-26-2000, 06:00 PM
Hi, I have read your question several times now... and wonder... are you asking what it is that makes something look masculine or femenim in general?

Patt Bell
01-26-2000, 07:55 PM
Hi Henrik, Yes,I am looking for general information on what elements of a design determine whether it would appeal more to a man or a woman. Benjamine Moore Paint company suggested that (in general) bold colors are masculine and lighter, pastel colors are feminine and that cooler colors (blues, grays) are masculine and warmer tones more feminine.

01-26-2000, 09:16 PM
this may be one of the most ridiculous things i've ever heard of in my life. it is a marketing ploy........ milt

back with an edit...it IS the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard of in my life. imcluding the straight vs curved stuff
"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited January 27, 2000).]

01-27-2000, 08:57 AM
Hi Pat, I was afraid that you were asking what men and female like rather than what makes something look male or female.

You may have started just another heated debate corner http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif like "what is art?".

If you leave the male or female aspect out of it you may be asking about the difference of technocratic and romantic views. The technocratic view would be a functional; decorations, color and frills that do not add to the function are uneccesary. The technocratic notion is void of emotion.

The romantic viewpoint is the opposite.

So if you generalize and say that men are all technocratic and all females are romantic then you could perhaps talk about what men and women like. This however I think is just ridiculous (as Milt points out too).

I am a man, and I defenitely like curves http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Patt Bell
01-27-2000, 03:28 PM
henrik, thanks for your input....technocratic vs romantic! Wow, a whole new can of worms! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

I have been quite surprised at the heat generated by this question! You only have to walk into a greeting card store like Hallmark, or to browse through interior design magazines or the piles of catalogues that grace our mailboxes everyday to see that there are plenty of designers out there who feel they have a handle on what is masculine and what is feminine. Perhaps it is nothing more than a marketing ploy, but if people weren't continuing to buy the idea,those designers would all be out pounding the pavement. It's the differences of opinion that keep things interesting.

I'm going to be out of town for a week, but will be very interested to see the direction this discussion takes.

01-28-2000, 02:39 AM
Pat, again, I challenge you to define masculine and feminine..please write an essay http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif(I am not referring to physique)..have you ever been in a chat room and could not tell if you were talking to a male or a female?? why??


01-28-2000, 01:10 PM
WHAAAAT?? I can never tell if artwork was done by a male or female, not by subject, color, design...whatever! My work is genderless and so is most of what I have seen..Milt is right..it's all marketing! The most "romantic" paintings are often done by men...God bless'em!

01-28-2000, 02:51 PM
henrik,,,i would like to reach out into cyberspace and tie your hands behind your back........and put duct tape on your mouth in case you have dragon naturally speaking......milt

01-28-2000, 03:58 PM
Milt, I don't understand...
I don't get the "dragon naturally speaking" part of it ???

When I said I liked curves, I ment curves on a female http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/cool.gif
Oh boy am I dense or what ? http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/redface.gif Now I get it. I read it first as "if I was the dragon speaking..." - I thought it was some sort of Asian insult http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by henrik (edited January 28, 2000).]

02-01-2000, 03:49 PM
This sounds much like the proverbial question, 'which came first, the chicken or the egg?' I suppose it would help to know if the chicken were male or female! However I do agree with Henrik in some aspects of the generalities of the question. Marketing definitely wraps its products to appeal to the masculine or feminine gender. Just check out some of the ads on tv! for example. I like the auto ads that show the winding roads up mountaintops, destination to a scenic view overlooking the ocean..etc.
My husband on the other hand sees no sense in showing all those views when its the car he's interested in. I say the ads appeal to my sense of romance and adventure...he says they waste time from the 'game'!
So male or female? what appeals to each...I say viva la difference! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

02-07-2000, 01:08 PM
This entire discussion has been very interesting and humorous! I would just like to add that I am a straight woman who (in my graphic design work) has always used very dark, bold, linear images, etc. in my work. I used to work in only black and white! I think color is very subjective...it has more to do with personality and mood than gender....and let's not forget that nature v. nuture debate! Are girls still dressed in pink and pastels? Boys in blue? I dressed my son in purple when he was a baby because it was a good color on him! :} Marketing is everywhere, in everything....I'm sure a lot of studies have been done and maybe there is something to gender and color appreciation...but who is doing these studies and what questions are they asking? Overall, color is personal, subjective and intuitive...it is not an exact science!