The psychology of colours in packaging

When it comes to colours in packaging, the choice of color is one of the most important elements in attracting customers.

Apart from the shape and size of the packaging, color is vital to the function or otherwise of the packaging.

Why does color play such an important role in packaging?

Colour, according to colour psychology, has the power to evoke thoughts and emotions. To attract or repel the consumer. No matter how good and qualitative the product is, the packaging can make it stand out more or “lower” its value.

Considering the cultural variations that influence in some countries the meaning of certain colours, there are specific psychological effects towards people.

For example, as soon as a consumer sees a red package, his mind will immediately go to a product full of passion and energy. If the packaging is dominated by green, they will expect a healthy, ecological product that inspires safety and confidence.

In today’s world, packaging is part of marketing. According to the Mittleman/Robinson Association of US Designers, “Packaging is both the silent salesman and the last thing customers see before they decide to buy something.”

How to choose the right colours in packaging?

In order to choose the right colours in packaging we need to consider a few parameters, and know the answers to the following questions:

· Who is the consumer?

Who are the consumers, those for whom the product is intended, and who are the consumers? Is it worth investing time and thinking about who our customers are? What are their needs and motivations? Their gender, age, socio-economic status? Let’s see how by answering these questions one by one, we can more confidently choose the ideal packaging colour.

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· What is the age of our customers?

If you sell children’s products (toys, baby food, juice, etc.) make sure that your packaging targets both the parents, who will pay for the product, and their children, as they will ask for it! For this reason it is imperative that the packaging is bright, brightly coloured and why not colourful. The font will have the same youthful logic, which should not be strict with angles, but with curves and soft writing.

·  What is their gender?

While favourite colours are subjective to each individual, a global survey conducted by Xerox suggests that men and women have specific preferences. Studies show that blue is the top color in both genders. This is easily explained when you consider that blue is associated with clear water, clear sky, calmness and truth.

Next in women’s preferences comes purple, while for men it takes the last place. A stable value for both sexes is green, followed by red.

If you are wondering why pink is not in the preferences of women, it is because it is included in the palette of shades of red.

· What is their socioeconomic status?

If the product you are selling is aimed at affluent people with a high level of education, then the 2 most classic colors are black and white. Both colours have been proven to add a prestige and because of their minimalist nature, they add glamour and sophistication. Very rarely will you see expensive products found in colourful packaging. On the contrary, if it is a product that is aimed at a large portion of people and you are “betting” on consumption and mass consumption, then it would definitely be a good idea to choose bright colours or even combinations of bright colours.

· What are their needs and motivations?

Last, but not least, is what feeling consumers seek to receive from the consumption of the product. Do they want to feel joy? Then make sure to package the product in the colors of orange or yellow, which refer to these feelings. Do they want you to excite their imagination? Opt for seductive purple or mysterious black.

What message does the product need to get across?

The colours in packaging should subconsciously “get across” the message we want to convey to our consumers. What does this mean? When they get their hands on the product what will their feelings be? Is it a luxury product or an everyday product? Is it playful? Is it professional? Conservative? Having taken these key themes into account, we will choose the colours that correspond to them.

How can the product stand out from the competition?

No one wants their product to be confused with others on the shelf. The ideal packaging needs to stand out. By choosing a different color than what is usually found in the competition, we have a better chance of our product making an impact.

A typical example is Coca – Cola and Pepsi. Coca – Cola’s main colour is red while its main competitor, Pepsi, has the opposite colour, blue.

The more specific we are in our answers, the better our choice of colours will be.

What does each of the colours in packaging mean?

And after taking all of the above into account, it’s time to see what emotions colours inadvertently trigger in people’s psychology.

Let’s take a look at the most popular colors and the characteristics attributed to them.

colours in packaging


White is the colour of harmony and this is because it consists of all the colours of the iris. It communicates innocence, equality, new principles while at the same time giving the feeling of cleanliness and simplicity.

White can also be associated with creativity as the white canvas offers endless possibilities.

It stands out for: Simplicity, elegance, purity, excellence

Featured brands:Apple, Dove


Black conveys a sense of luxury and is used for high-end products. Classic, with a touch of authority. It tends to stand out.

Black exudes a mystery, while creating a perception of weight and seriousness.

Depending on the messages we want to convey, we can add various other colour details, such as:

Gold: The combination of Black – Gold creates elegance and foreshadows a premium and expensive product.

Silver: The same message as gold.

Red: The addition of red creates a sensual character to the black canvas.

Pink: Pink softens and lends itself to the female market.

It stands out for: Aegis, Safety, Efficiency

Brand Features:Adidas, Gucci


Blue is a color that is by all accounts a favorite of both men and women.

If we’re not sure what color to choose for our product packaging, blue is a safe choice. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s boring, it just provides credibility.

But if we want to stand out using blue, then we need to find a shade of blue that will allow us to attract a more unique audience.

A basic rule of thumb is that darker shades of blue are preferred for older age groups, while paler and lighter shades appeal more to younger customers.

Blue is considered professional, serious but depending on the shade it can be transformed into youthful, graceful and relaxed.

It stands out for: Reliability, calm, harmony, security

Featured brands: pepsi, Gillete


Green offers balance and harmony. Based on colour psychology, green is associated with security, wealth and recovery.

If we look at packaging related to the environment or organic products, we will certainly see the colour green dominating, whatever its shade.

It stands out for: Safety, Harmony, Balance

Featured brands: Starbucks, Green Tea


Red packaging adds energy, passion and power.  The sense of impact is evident and products in this colour stand out on the shelf.

Red dominates the food marketing industry.

It stands out for: Excitement, passion, energy

Typical brands: Coca – Cola, KFC, Vodafone, Kellogg’s, Mc Donalds, Goodys


Yellow is the colour of joy and vitality. It offers energy, while at the same time being fun, youthful. Ideal for packaging aimed at children and teenagers.

In addition, yellow packaging usually evokes creativity and is refreshing.

It stands out for: Wellness, Fun, Energy, Energy, Optimism

Featured brands: Lego, Schweppes, Lego, Schweppes


Orange is the colour of friendliness and sincerity. Brands that prefer the colour orange are characterized by credibility, and usually consumers feel very close to the company.

Many food products trust the orange packaging.

It stands out for: friendship, fun

Characteristic brands: Fanta, Carroten, Uncle Bens

The company and the people of XENOS PACKAGING, years in the packaging business, know well how important the choice of colour for your bag or the packaging is!

That’s why, they can educate you and help you to choose colours in packaging, according to the above parameters we have analyzed, in order to stand out in the market and attract your customers with simple techniques.