Color is a powerful element in designing great packaging. The right colors, chosen to complement one another, can turn curious consumers into loyal customers who will select your product from a sea of competitors. Improper color execution, however, can turn people away from your product. Developing the right color scheme for your product is a process that requires careful consideration, research, and collaboration with experienced professionals.
The Profound Effect of Color on Our Mood
We can feel calmed, invigorated, happy, sad, excited—even nervous—based on a color we see. We associate color with people and places, particular memories, and our surrounding environment.
With all of this being said, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that making your product packaging aesthetically pleasing is essential to the success of your brand. In fact, an expertly designed package can make the difference in sales, brand recognition, and the success of your product sales overall.
When you’re picking colors to represent your brand, make sure to consider color associations.
How does color influence consumers?
Color conveys messages based on our cultural backgrounds, our life experiences, and our unique preferences. There’s a reason that environmentally-conscious companies choose green for their packaging. Green evokes a sense of balance and harmony with nature. Similarly, companies that provide customer service or consumer goods tend to lean toward blue because it translates to a sense of trustworthiness and integrity.
Here’s a quick rundown on common emotions associated with color among consumers in the Americas and Western Europe.
Red – Creates a sense of urgency, which is good for clearance sales. Encourages appetite, thus is frequently used by fast-food chains. Physically stimulates the body, raising blood pressure and heart rate, associated with movement, excitement, and passion.
Blue – Blue provides a sense of security, curbs appetite, and stimulates productivity. Blue is the color of trust and reliability, and the different shades give even more depth of meaning. Bolder blues represent a more serious or professional product. Lighter blues present more creativity and light-heartedness. Blue also contributes to calmness and security.
Green – Associated with health, tranquility, power, and nature. Used in stores to relax customers and for promoting environmental issues. Green stimulates harmony in your brain and encourages a balance leading to decisiveness.
Purple – Commonly associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. Stimulates problem-solving as well as creativity. Frequently used to promote beauty and anti-aging products.
Orange & Yellow – Cheerful colors that promote optimism. Yellow can make babies cry, while orange can trigger a sense of caution. Used to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers.
Black – Associated with authority, power, stability, and strength. Often a symbol of intelligence, but can become overwhelming if used to frequently.
Grey – Symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity. But too much grey can lead to feelings of nothingness and depression.
White – Associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety. Can be used to project an absence of color or neutrality. White space helps spark creativity since it can be perceived as an unaltered, clean state.
The Importance of Careful Color Combination Selection
Most packaging will contain a combination of colors. Selecting effective color combinations can be cumbersome and when executed improperly, can have a negative effect on consumers. Your selection of color should be pleasing and balanced. Colors should not compete for attention or clash too much. The right color combination can drive sales and improve your brand’s image. The wrong color combination could turn customers away to your competition.
Because color selection is so important, we strongly encourage business owners to work with professionals. This is not the time to try your hand with a DIY approach. Professionals have the education and experience necessary to help you execute your vision with panache and professionalism.
Another helpful tip our team recommends is to test your colors on the material you are printing them on before running the entire batch. Different materials hold and display color differently, so you will want to make sure that the color you want is true to your vision before you invest in hundreds (or more) of copies.
Pel Hughes is a woman-owned enterprise that serves businesses in diverse industries. If you are looking to design your packaging with a greater focus on color selection, give us a call at (504) 486-4686 and lets start a conversation. Our team can help drive revenue and increase brand awareness through outstanding package design.