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Colors that Sell: Understanding the Psychology of

  • How do packaging colours influence marketing?

    Colour is crucial in packaging, representing your brand and influencing consumer perceptions and decisions. That’s because 85% of consumers buy products based on colour. 

    This makes picking the right colour or colours for packaging all the more important. But how do you pick a palette that suits your brand, describes your product, helps you build a unique identity, and appeals to your customers?

    Utilizing the Psychology of Color in Your Packaging Design: Strategies and Techniques

    Understanding the psychology of colours can be complex. Some companies spend months on their colour choices, while others decide quickly. The significance of colour differs across brands. One thing remains clear - there are no definitive answers here. Despite that, it’s better to have some sort of background. It might help decide whether yellow is such a top-seller or it’s just a random fact.

    Colors convey more than we realize


    Have you ever thought about why many airlines like KLM, United Airlines, and Lufthansa use blue as their primary colour? The answer is simple - blue signifies trustworthiness.


    And why did Subway opt for yellow and green? Yellow is cheerful (targeting a younger audience), while green symbolises freshness.


    In essence, your colour scheme requires careful consideration. Let's explore what commonly used colours communicate to your customers.


    Blue, reminiscent of the sea and sky, is calming and associated with trust, efficiency, serenity, logic, and intelligence. It's a popular choice in brand design, seen in companies like Facebook, Twitter, IBM, and Vimeo. Packhelp also uses a lighter shade of blue in its logo.


    On the other hand, red is bold, representing zeal, passion, excitement, warmth, and strength. Lifestyle and entertainment brands often use red, as seen in Netflix, Coca-Cola, Disney, McDonald’s, Marlboro, and Lego.


    Green symbolizes Earth, offering a sense of peace, balance, sustainability, harmony, and restoration. Major companies like Subway, Spotify, Starbucks, Lacoste, and Xbox incorporate green.


    Yellow is emotionally uplifting and cheerful but is rarely used alone in branding. Companies like McDonald’s and IMDb use yellow to add vibrancy to their designs.


    Black is synonymous with elegance and premium brands, often combined with white elements.


    How to Choose the Right Color Palette?


    Consider your customer's perspective. For a professional yet reserved look, opt for blue. Marketing agencies or companies aiming to build trust can benefit from using blue in their designs.


    If your brand is cheerful, consider a mix of light, warm colours like red and yellow to convey a lively image suited for passionate individuals.


    To appeal to customers concerned about environmental issues, use green and brown tones to reinforce this perception. Green packaging design works well for cosmetics, fair-trade products, and clothing, but use it sparingly to avoid monotony.


    Remember, the devil is in the details. Choose a subtle background like kraft or white cardboard to highlight black imprints in your packaging design.


    Other Considerations


    Colour preferences vary by age and gender. Research by Joe Hallock shows that blue is universally liked regardless of age. When targeting kids, focus on green and blue tones, while purple appeals to teenagers and those in their 30s. Black is attractive to younger audiences, and most people tend to dislike orange.


    Men tend to favour blue, with over 57% expressing a preference for this colour. Green and black also resonate well with a masculine brand—women also like blue, along with purple, red, and green for a feminine-friendly touch.

    Tonality and Color Combinations


    In the 90s, vibrant colours and loud designs dominated fashion. Nowadays, a more minimalist approach is favoured.


    Minimalism in packaging involves using brown kraft cartons with black imprints or white cardboard with the same. It also entails selecting subtle, delicate colours and small typography. Details like smart phrases or artistic patterns are what catches the eye.


    Colour tones can further distinguish your brand. A soft, light blue can lean towards grey, which is psychologically neutral, unlike a colder, darker shade.

    Choosing the Right Packaging Colors


    Colours evoke emotions and thoughts, influencing how consumers perceive a product. To effectively match colours with your target audience, understanding both the product and consumer details is crucial. Here are key goals to bear in mind when selecting packaging colours:


    Know Your Customer


    Consider your customers' demographics, preferences, and cultural influences to understand what motivates their purchasing decisions.


    Know Your Message


    Define the message you want your packaging to convey - be it comfort, fun, luxury, or value - and ensure your colours align with this message.


    White Packaging


    White signifies innocence, purity, and simplicity, ideal for conveying cleanliness or efficiency in packaging.


    Black Packaging


    Black exudes power and authority, adding a sense of mystery and elegance to products. Pairing black with gold or silver conveys sophistication, while red suggests sensuality.


    Blue Packaging


    Blue is universally liked and associated with honesty and dependability. Darker blues suit older markets, while brighter shades appeal to younger audiences. The tone of blue used can affect how the product is perceived - darker blues convey professionalism, while lighter blues suggest creativity and relaxation.


    Red Packaging

    Red packaging attracts attention and conveys liveliness, passion, and strength. Dark red implies professionalism and luxury, while bright red is more energetic but may seem less valuable. Adding gold or silver accents enhances the perceived value.

    Green Packaging

    Green symbolizes balance, harmony, and growth, ideal for eco-friendly or natural products. Dark green suggests wealth and luxury, while light greens convey natural and healthy qualities. Adding decorative elements in complementary colours enhances the appeal to your target market.

    Orange Packaging

    Orange packaging suggests affordability, fun, and adventure, appealing to those seeking something different or exciting. It signifies optimism, self-confidence, and friendliness. Pairing orange with other colours can alter perceptions and elevate perceived value.

    Yellow Packaging

    Yellow is cheery, uplifting, and associated with creativity and originality. It stimulates decision-making and is suitable for products in competitive markets. Yellow packaging can suggest innovation or affordability, attracting a younger audience and conveying positive energy.

    Turquoise Packaging

    Turquoise represents clarity and calmness, ideal for health-related products. It rejuvenates and inspires positive thoughts without feeling clinical. It's a good choice for cleaning products, reflecting purity and serenity.



    Purple Packaging

    Purple signifies luxury, quality, and uniqueness, especially when paired with gold or silver accents. It conveys high ideals, spirituality, and exclusivity, appealing to a female and youth market. Ideal for holistic or spiritual products.

    Pink Packaging

    Pink is calming and suitable for products targeting the female market, like cosmetics or fashion. It conveys empathy, inspiration, and youthfulness. Different shades of pink can evoke different emotions, with brighter shades being more energetic and trendy.

    Expert Assistance in Selecting Packaging Colors

    Talent Corners offers customized printing solutions that enhance the sensory experience of packaging. Contact us for more information.

    Packaging Color by Industry

    Food and Beverage: Red for universal appeal, green for health, yellow for energy, orange for healthy foods, and blue for fun foods.

    Cosmetics: Pink for females, blue for both genders, black and white for various products.

    Retail: Colors vary based on product type or brand identity, like Tide's orange packaging.

    Electronics: Colors reflect brand images, like Microsoft's white, grey, or black packaging for simplicity and power. Apple uses white packaging, Motorola opts for vibrant colours, and Logitech uses its signature green shade.



    To sum up


    Packaging design involves various elements, including colours, which play a crucial role in branding. Conduct market research, define your values, and select colours that reflect those values. Talent Corner offers affordable custom packaging solutions. Consider mood boards for rebranding or new products, and use tools to understand colour choices. Engage with experts at Talent Corners to create a standout package design tailored to your brand and product.