Designing Custom Labels: The Psychology of Color

Color wheelPeople are visual. It’s true. It’s the reason there has been a shift in marketing to producing higher quality images for product pages, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites. The visual appeal of products can compel you to pick up a product or cause you to walk away. And when it comes to visual appeal, color is one of the major influences. If you’re considering a package redesign or creating new custom labels, don’t forget to take the psychology of color into consideration.

Black. This is generally recognized is a color of authority and strength – hence the black “power suit” executives wear to express their authority and stability. This color is also associated with intelligence. However, it’s important to remember that black is often associated with grieving. This color evokes strong emotions, so it’s important not to overwhelm your customers by creating labels or product packaging with too much black.

White. This color is commonly associated with purity, cleanliness and safety. It is a great neutral color since it projects the absence of color.

Gray. Anyone who grew up in the Midwest likely associates this color with the depressing winter months. This color is most associated with the practical, solid things in life. While too much leaves people feeling mostly nothing, a bit of grey can be a nice accent to your label or package.

Red. This is one of the most eye-catching colors as it is typically where the eye looks first. It is associated with movement and excitement. Like gray, this isn’t a color you want to over-use, since you’ll find yourself with too much of a good thing. Just a touch of red, however can be a great way to grab people’s attention.

Green. This color is also very calming and pleasing to the senses and is associated with nature and money.

Yellow. This color is associated with happiness and the color of the sun. The brain actually releases more serotonin when someone is around this cheery color. It’s important to be aware of shades, however, as intense yellow is the color of flames which causes a strong emotional reaction and can be overpowering.

Orange. This color is associated with fun times and happy days, similar to yellow.

Using color together. Select what color scheme works best for your design.

  • Monochromatic color scheme. This is the use of a single color in varying shades. Depending on the color you select, this color scheme can be soothing and pleasing to the eye.
  • Complimentary color scheme. Complimentary colors are selected by choosing colors directly opposite one another on the color wheel.
  • Triple color scheme. You can use this color scheme by selecting colors that are equally spaced from one another around a color wheel.

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