Guide to Using Colors in Package Designing

    Packaging Cans

    In a world with thousands of brands to choose from, it’s getting harder to give your product a unique edge that will help it stand out from the rest. Shelves are packed with brands that more often than not offer essentially the same thing as its competitiors. What can you do to beat the competition? The answer is effective packaging designing.

    Consumers stand in front of store shelves for about 12 seconds so this means you only have this short amount of time to grab their attention. A surefire way to catch their eye is to craftily play with colors. Colors is one of the most powerful components of packaging design; it is discernible from a distance than size, shape, and texts. It has the power to evoke emotions and attitudes, both positive and negative.

    Colour Packaging

    So how do you know which color scheme to use?

    Choosing Colors in Packaging Design

    The first thing you need to consider when choosing a color to use in packaging designing is not so much as the trend, like in fashion designing, but longevity. Fashion designing takes into account which colors are fit for certain times of the year, while package designing considers which color would be fit as the flagship of the product. You need to ask yourself this question: In five years time, what color would you like to be associated with your product?

    In other words, it should reflect the image you are trying to build for your product. Are you going for sohpistication, fun, or relaxed vibe? Consider also your niche; is it about beauty, health and well-being, luxury, and such?

    Then you need to consider the subliminal messages various colors convey. Which colors communicate best the message you want to convey?

    Color Stereotypes

    There are existing color steroetypes in the packaging world that can work for you or against you. If you want to convey calm and serenity, you can use blue. If you want to elicit emotional response and trigger memory, red is best. Yellow conveys hunger. Brown, black, and white are commonly used for luxury and sophistication.

    For certain products, it is inevitable to use usual colors associated with it. For an instance, yellow is expected of banana-related products, red for apples, green for veggies, and the like. Using different colors, perhaps blue for banana, can be perceived as weird.

    Other products, though, allow for more creativity. Think about how many products use green tones to convey environment friendliness. Now think of an alternative color that will convey the same message but will most likely stand out from the rest.

    Packaging Cans

    Colors in Cultures

    Lastly we will talk about the importance of considering the cultural implications of colors. Think about the demographics of your target market – age, location, gender, religion, and other factors. One color may mean positively to a certain group of people but negative to another.

    A striking example is the meaning of red in South Africa. For the most part of the globe red means excitement, celebration, and love. In South Africa, though, red is the color for mourning. Using red to incite joy and excitment, therefore, is not effective in this area.

    There are no concrete set of rules in choosing colors for packaging design. It highly depends on your message and personality, psychological implications, and cultural meanings.

    • Nice article! You have mentioned the great guide to Using Colors in Package Designing. To answer the question “what color would you like to be associated with your product?” is a very critical. Very informative article!