Logos, patterns, or politics: Which mask designs do Americans want?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
May 15, 2020, 3:48 PM UTC

Alongside T-shirts and baseball hats, face masks are now quickly becoming a fashion accessory for self expression, including conveying political views.

According to a YouGov survey of more than 1,000 Americans who have been wearing masks in public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly a quarter (24%) said they would definitely or probably consider wearing a mask with a political message. Men (30%) are more likely than women (19%) to consider wearing a political mask.

Fashion designers now offer a wide range of masks in different patterns, materials and price points. Roughly two-thirds (62%) of Americans would consider wearing a non-medical mask with a pattern, such as plaid or houndstooth. Women (51%) are especially likely to say so, compared to men (36%).

Sports leagues are also pouncing on swiftly changing attitudes around masks and now offer face coverings adorned with team logos. More than two in five (45%) of Americans who have been wearing masks in public say they'd definitely or probably consider wearing a mask with their favorite team’s logo (55% men versus 36% women).

To keep things light during these hard times, half (50%) of Americans would also consider wearing a mask with a humorous message.

While many are putting their sewing skills to use and making their own masks, roughly two in five (43%) of mask-wearing Americans prefer face-coverings they’ve purchased from a store compared to homemade (28%).

Roughly half (49%) are willing to spend up to $10 on a face covering and those between the ages of 18 and 34 (8%) are twice as likely as the general mask-wearing public (4%) to spend more than $30. 

Many companies selling masks are funneling at least a portion of proceeds to charities helping those who have been affected by COVID-19 and the majority of Americans (61%) say they should be doing that, while about one in six (14%) say they should not.

Meanwhile in separate research, YouGov has been tracking mask use among Americans. As of early May, two-thirds of Americans said they were wearing masks in public.

Methodology: Total sample size was 1,266 adults (1,019 of whom wear masks in public at least sometimes). Fieldwork was undertaken between May 11 - 12, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). See full results

Image: Getty

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