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Post 4: Secondary Research | Websites

1. Pointlessly gendered products affirm the gender binary

  • Men and women live very similar lives; gender isn't really all that important on the daily

  • Products like blue and pink baby cards go against this idea, making out that it matters a lot

  • There would be no gender inequality if there were no gender difference

  • Gender binary excludes those who don't fit into it

  • almost all of us try and fit into this binary through what we eat, how we exercise, what we wear, how we talk etc, and all these things are gendered forcing us to conform

2. Pointlessly gendered products reinforce stereotypes

  • Splits us into two groups

  • Tells us what it means to be in those boxes and products remind us of it

3. Pointlessly gendered products tell us explicitly that women should be subordinate to or dependent on men

  • Its about inequality as well as difference

  • Affirms a gender binary but also tells us that women and men should play unequal roles in society (e.g. nurse play set for girls, doctor play set for boys)

4. Pointlessly gendered products cost women money

5. Pointlessly gendered products are stupid. There are better ways to deliver what people really need

  • A common excuse it that men and women are different

  • Gender is used as a measure of some other variable

  • E.g. smaller ear buds are targeted towards women because they tend to fit better but it would be more straightforward to offer them in different sizes for everyone so the user can decide which works best for them

  • Makes smaller men and larger women invisible, feel bad and constrain choices

  • Its an ideological force that shapes how we think, what we do and how much we spend

Interesting comments:

"So what is the point of pointlessly gendered products? Why are they so flippin popular?

Maybe its *because* otherwise we live so similarly, we like being reminded of the difference?"

"As I say I do support your argument on how ridiculous retail can be. Please look the next time you go into shops how large the female section is in comparison to the male section and also the selection and size range women have in comparison to men I have met countless men who struggle with jeans and trousers they have to get a bigger waist size in order to fit their legs."

"The average price for a men's shirt is $17.99. The same shirt, cut for a woman, is $24.99. They are charging more for less fabric. Yes. That makes sense. I would just buy a men's, but they don't have a small and I'd be swimming in a medium. The ovary tax strikes again."

  • Designers tend to follow feminine/masculine stereotypes to reach the right audience but gender-neutral design in becoming more relevant

  • Its not widespread yet

  • Female designers react positively to pinks, purples and blues but not all male designers do unless more blue is added to replace some pink - shows how colour perception is different for men and women

  • you can make design more gender neutral by finding a balance between masculine an feminine

Feminine and Masculine Colours

  • Gender colour stereotypes start to affect our perceptions at a young age

  • Light blue for newborn boys and pink for newborn girls

  • Colour stereotypes are so common that they are ingrained in the general population

  • According to a study conducted by Joe Hallock in 2003, both males and females stated that blue is their favorite color and that orange and brown are among their least favorite colours

  • Meanwhile, men stated that purple is among their least favorite colours, while women widely appreciated it

  • Types of colors that will attract a specific gender depend greatly on your product

  • E.g. Gillette Venus is mostly blue, pink, purple and yellow whereas for men is a deeper blue with white and yellow

Gender-Neutral Colours

  • Light browns, greys, black, white and blue (as long as its not a deep or pastel tone)

  • E.g. Dermalogica uses colours that are completely neutral and use testimonials from both men and women; greys with purple, yellow and turquoise details

Feminine and Masculine Typography

  • Feminine fonts are cursive, thin, slanted, or smooth; handwritten are usually decorated or bubbly

  • Masculine fonts have straight lines, sharp edges and geometric lines; handwritten are geometric and sharp

  • Heavily slanted and rounded calligraphy has a more feminine connotation

  • Short straight letters with sharp brush strokes are more masculine

Gender-Neutral Fonts

  • There are more gender-specific ones

  • The most popular gender-neutral font is Helvetica but can also be feminine in UltraLight or masculine in Extra Bold

  • Garamond also appeals to both men and women

The Union Between Color and Typography

  • Helvetica paired with a colour like black, grey or blue

  • Don't be unbalanced (e.g. use a pink script font for the word 'power drill'


  • Straight, sharp lines and shapes are generally masculine

  • Curved and sloped are more feminine

  • Study websites that cater to everyone such as Amazon, Ebay, Google

Imagery and Photography

  • A group of women having coffee in an airy atmosphere could be geared toward women who like having coffee with friends

  • A group of men watching a sports game could be directed toward men who like sports

  • Pick images that reflect your client so they feel understood

  • The feel, background, elements, clothes, angle, lighting and layout can have an impact

  • E.g. Tom's of Maine produce deodorant for both men and women


  • Generally, infographics are designed neutrally because everyone needs information unless its being geared toward men or women (e.g. social media icons or business icons)

  • Mostly glyph and outline icons are gender neutral, with no specific colour or dimension

What do Men and Women Prefer?

  • More people are responding positively to gender-neutral design but it depends on brand values

  • Many women respond better to flowers, and men to sports references




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