Color Combination

Written by Jason Tanzer


Colors can draw someone in, or repel, depending on the situation. Let’s say a child is celebrating his or her birthday, with a trip to the toy store for a new gift. In most corners of the universe, a child simply can’t wait to go, bursting with excitement at the idea. Now imagine that child walking into such a toy store, and instead of bright, vibrant colors, the walls are black, adorned with dark images and serious fonts. How many kids are going to be impressed by the overall somberness? Many kids might even be frightened. That kind of atmosphere just doesn’t attract or appeal to children, who are drawn to fun arrays of colors, and a constant state of playfulness.

The same applies to packaging. A child might be excited by a toy placed inside a plain bag, once opened of course. But her eyes will immediately light up at the mere sight of a bright box, complete with balloon lettering and ribbons, making that present even more special and anticipated. Conversely, most adults wouldn’t care to receive a high-end sophisticated or romantic gift wrapped in a rainbow bag, complete with cartoonish fonts fit for the circus.

It is often thought that colors affect mood, and even behavior. That red is attention getting while blue is calming and green is associated with nature. Whether you believe such “color psychology” is valid, marketing hype or outright quackery, many successful companies take colors into consideration when designing logos and packaging. When colors are non-complimentary, as the above mentioned situations, the experience is likely jarring. Likewise, when the packaging does not match the original shopping experience, (i.e., the identifiable logo is missing or the colors do not match the store environment) a customer can wind up with the feeling that something is wrong after purchase, but what?

Packaging is communication, always sending a message to customers about your business. As a result, the choice of colors should never be overlooked. If your intent is to convey happiness, sending customers out of your store with dark, black bags, isn’t going to cut it. Colors must also be harmonious. If the colors of company logo clash with the custom printed bags or boxes, the effects can be hideous.

Picking colors for your store’s bags and boxes is not just based on what your personal favorites may be, but what you are trying to convey.

June 9, 2011

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