The Psychology of Colour and It’s Implications on Packaging Design

The Psychology of Colour and It’s Implications on Packaging Design


Anyone who has ever dabbled in art or design will tell you: colour possibilities are infinite and the role which colour plays in our physical world is imperative and compulsory. Beyond aesthetics, colour is a powerful force with makes us feel, reminisce, romanticize and imagine.

The significance of colour has made it a vital piece of marketing, brand development and retail packaging. Colour and business has been studied to the enth degree and back. It is what separates your product or service from your competitor. Beyond packaging, colour has become a vital part of an overall Ecommerce strategy.

So, how can you effectively use colour psychology in marketing, branding, packaging and Ecommerce?

  1. Thinking about your target market: Who are you selling your product or service to? Age/gender/socioeconomic status/geographic location? All of the above play a role in your target market’s motivation to buy. White across the board psychologically gives the feeling of opportunity and a blank canvas. White space on a website or packaging lends the feeling of refinement and space; giving you the freedom to create and customize.
  2. Considering culture: certain colours have various meanings associated to culture. For example, red in Eastern Asian countries often symbolizes good luck and fortune, whereas in North America, it has typically been associated with action, energy and passion. Shades of blue also has interesting connotations as in North America, it is typically associated with masculinity, and serenity, however in China and various Eastern Asian cultures, blue is seen as a colour of immorality.
  3. What is trending? This requires research! Every year, Pantone predicts the colour of the year. Pantone pays careful attention to which colours are subtly gaining notoriety in the fashion world, technological design trends and upcoming car colours. Further, they look at shifting social norms and discourses. For example, contrary to previous years, 2016 saw the rise of Rose Quartz, colloquially known as ‘millennial pink’. This colour was selected as a reflection of the societal rejection of gender normative fashion rules (i.e girls wear pink, boys wear blue). This year, Pantone selected a fresh green, aptly entitled ‘Greenery’ as a comment on the hectic nature of modernity and the desire to find natural beauty in the physical world. Greenery can be seen cropping up in modern architectural design and has hit it big with the resurgence of tropical plants and foliage in interior design.

When considering how colour impacts the way we think and view packaging, ensuring that your choices remain consistent with your overall branding strategy is key. From your pop displays, to retail displays, and website. Ensuring that the colour pallet is consistent with your overall brand image will guarantee brand visibility and recognition.

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