You see a rainbow of different colors on the shelf in a store — and these colors are subconsciously communicating information about the brand and product in question. 

So how can you communicate the right information with your potential customers that drive them to make a purchase? Here, Box Genie dives into what you need to know: 

What Is the Psychology of Color and How Does It Work?

Whether you notice it or not, color affects the way that you think and feel. These effects are collectively known as the psychology of color. The psychology of color studies how different colors make us feel and the qualities that we associate with different colors. 

In turn, colors can be used by brands for marketing purposes — automatically portraying information about a brand or a product while also evoking specific emotions that can drive people to make a purchase. 

What Do Different Colors Say About Your Brand?

  • White: Associated with innocence, equality, and new beginnings. White signifies a basic and conservative product that’s a safe choice. It also evokes feelings of cleanliness, purity, and efficiency. And while it may seem basic, it can be enhanced along with the use of other colors. 
  • Black: Associated with power, authority, and control. Black can evoke a sense of heaviness and value. It can also add a degree of mystery and intimidation or elegance and class depending on how it’s used. 
  • Blue: Associated with trust, honesty, reliability, strength, and unity. Blue is one of the most popular colors in the opinion of consumers, so it’s a really safe choice when it comes to your packaging. 
  • Red: Associated with energy, action, passion, excitement, and strength. Red is one of the strongest and boldest colors that you can use in your packaging as it draws a ton of attention while stimulating the senses and evoking a sense of excitement. 
  • Green: Associated with security, wealth, and growth while representing balance and harmony in the mind, body, and spirit. Specifically, dark greens represent wealth, luxury, and high-quality products. Muted greens represent products that are environmentally safe — perfect for organic and ecological products
  • Orange: Associated with adventure, optimism, and self-confidence. Orange suggests affordability, fun, and adventure and comes with a degree of risk as it can portray a cheap product of poor quality or a quality product at an affordable price depending on how it’s used. 
  • Yellow: Associated with positivity, cheerfulness, and optimism. Yellow is the brightest and most eye-catching color available and stimulates the mind while lifting spirits. It attracts children and young adolescents and can portray an original product or a fun product. 
  • Purple: Associated with luxury, extravagance, and uniqueness. Purple is used in “new age” products to portray individuality and originality. It can also be used in holistic products as it evokes feelings of spirituality. Adding metallic colors like silver or gold to purple can amp up the luxurious feel of the products and packaging. 
  • Pink: Associated with inspiration, warmness, compassion, and comfort. Pink is widely regarded as a feminine color and is therefore ideal for feminine colors. It is also widely appealing to teens in brighter shades but can also be marketed toward older audiences in more muted shades. 
  • Gray: Associated with neutrality, indifference, and reserve. Gray is a safe and conservative color that can be used in the background in combination with other colors, including bright colors for a hi-tech look. 
  • Brown: Associated with strength, solidarity, comfort, earthiness, maturity, and reliability. However, you should be careful about choosing brown as your packaging color as brown is also the color of basic cardboard packaging and can be seen as a bit boring if you don’t do it correctly. 

How to Choose the Right Packaging Colors?

But how can you use the psychology of color to choose the right colors for your brand’s packaging? Here are five different things to keep in mind to help you choose the best color for your customers, brand, message, products, and competition: 

1. Consider Your Customers

For starters, you need to consider your customers when choosing your packaging colors. This is because different colors mean different things to different groups of people. At the same time, specific colors are more appealing to specific groups of people. 

If you have a wide customer base, you should consider going with a universally-appealing color like blue. Other safe color choices include neutral colors like black, white, and gray. 

On the other hand, if you’re specifically trying to target teenage girls, you should consider going with a more niche color like hot pink. 

2. Consider Your Brand

Next, you need to consider your brand when choosing your packaging colors. The best way to translate your brand into a specific color is to think about your brand persona. Come up with a few different adjectives that you would use to describe your brand. 

For instance, if you would use the words “strong, established, and authoritative” to describe your brand, you may want to consider using black packaging. On the other hand, if you would use words like “fun, youthful, and exciting” to describe your brand, you may want to consider using yellow or orange packaging to match these qualities. 

3. Consider Your Message

Another factor you need to consider when choosing your packaging colors is your message. For example, if you’re trying to send a message to consumers that your product is high-quality and luxurious, then you should use purple packaging. 

Or if you’re trying to send a message to consumers that your product is environmentally friendly and recyclable, then you should use green or brown packaging. 

4. Consider the Product

Of course, you also need to consider the product when choosing your packaging colors. Specific colors are commonly used for specific products within specific industries. For example, red is commonly used in the food industry. Green is used for healthy products, blue is used for fun foods, and yellow is used for high-energy foods. 

Cosmetic products are typically packaged with pinks and blues — depending on the gender they’re marketed towards with blue being used for masculine products and pink being used for feminine products. 

Finally, electronics products are typically packaged using neutral colors like black, white, and gray as these colors signify simplicity and power. Take Microsoft and Apple, for example. 

5. Consider the Competition

Finally, you need to consider the competition when choosing your packaging colors. After all, you want to stand out on a crowded shelf of products. So make sure to do some competitor research when choosing your packaging colors to make sure that you won’t just blend in with every other product on the shelf. 

At the same time, you want it to be clear what your product is and what it represents. Take feminine cosmetics, for example. While you may not want to choose the ever-popular pink color, it’s probably not a good idea to choose something on the other side of the spectrum like black or blue. Instead, choose something similar yet still different enough to stand out — like purple, red, or orange. 

Final Thoughts on Psychology and Packaging Color

Now that you have the information you need to select your packaging colors, it’s time to start designing. But don’t just stop with color — you also need to use specific fonts and images on your packaging for a branded look.

With Box Genie, it’s easier than ever to design custom packaging with colors, fonts, and images that work for your brand. Visit Box Genie now for information on creating custom boxes for your business.



  1. Color Psychology: How Color Meanings Affect You & Your Brand | Oberlo
  2. How US Consumers View Sustainability in Packaging | McKinsey & Company
  3. Packaging Colors: What They Say About Your Brand | Johns Byrne

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