Color has a significant psychological effect on consumers. Whether to communicate organic origin or to incite action to buy, here’s how the color that designers choose for boxes, bottles, and labels can affect sales and brand loyalty.
Here, we look at fifteen examples of inspirational packaging design that bring color to the fore. From cobalt blue gin bottles to berry-purple cereal boxes, you’ll find a range of designs to help spark your own colorful packaging ideas.
The color of growth, regeneration, and cleanliness, green is the go-to color for brands looking to give their designs a wholesome, nature-centric quality.
Often used to promote health products, dark, olive, or true greens can help communicate natural or organic origins for food products. Brighter and paler greens also have a lively, vivid quality that gives a wide range of products more energy and vitality.
In this packaging design collaboration by fashion house Carven for French macaron brand Ladurée, Carven turned to their signature green stripes to give the boxes a retro and elegant style.
Designing packaging for a food or drinks brand? Green, with its affiliations to nature and growth, makes an excellent color choice. Here, Studio Mast have created fresh and lively packaging for meal kit company Gobble.
Delicate, playful and recently repopularized by the rise of Millennial Pink, pink is currently one of the world’s most fashionable colors. Pink is the perfect choice for brands looking to position themselves in fast-paced, trend-led markets. Beloved by Instagram influencers, rosy hues are enticing and fun, and make for joyful packaging designs.
In this example, pink is paired with its color neighbor red to create a compelling brand identity for ice cream brand Gelateria Di Neve. Pitched as a brand that creates unusual and surprising ice cream flavors, here pink is a fittingly playful color choice.
Teaming pink with red and yellow creates a fun retro mood for these can designs for PangPang Brewery’s new PILLSner beer by Swedish designer Jens Nilsson.
Passionate and primal, red is an unfailingly look-at-me color that commands attention and action. If you want to transform a lackluster brand or give a product that might otherwise be dull more visibility and charisma, red is suitably assertive. It also has a warm energy, able to bring romance and emotion to packaging in certain contexts.
Red is often associated with Christmas, so it makes a great choice for holiday gifts and seasonal products. Here, Russian designers Lesha Galkin and Olia Marchenko have created a simple and striking red box for a set of Christmas gifts from brand P.Y.E.
It’s difficult to make a bag of cement look sexy but Rubio & del Amo, a design studio based in Murcia, Spain, succeed with their take on the humble paper bag for cement brand Ditop. Emblazoned with geometric patterns, the red color choice helps to give the bags a stand-out look when stacked on the hardware store’s shelves.
Zesty, optimistic and full of energy, orange is a positive and versatile color that’s popular amongst a wide range of brands. Orange has a fresh and youthful energy, which makes it suitable for products that are intended to rejuvenate and stimulate, such as energy drinks, sports brands, and airlines.
The obvious fit for orange-flavored drinks, the color orange is nonetheless used in a unique and contemporary way in these label designs by Norwegian design studio by north™. Zingy orange is paired with crisp white to create a minimalist, “less is more” aesthetic.
Orange’s complementary color is blue, and this timeless combination is used to full effect on the marbled packaging for soap brand Aromatherapy by Dubai-based designer Alaa Amra.
In some contexts calm and serene, in others sophisticated and formal, blue is a versatile color that can give designs a sense of order and tranquility. Blue is often used by packaging designers for luxurious or high-end products. Compared to its color opposite, red, blue has a calming effect on viewers. If consumers are looking for products for relaxation, blue will hit the right note.
In this example, Montreal-based agency Demande Spéciale took inspiration from the intense blue color of the BleuRoyal gin, a color derived from the use of butterfly pea flower, to create minimal and ultra-stylish bottles and boxes.
Another example taken from the drinks sector, these beautiful labels for tea company Stash make the most of blue’s relaxing and calming qualities. Designer Rachel Minier created watercolor paintings to use on the designs, mimicking the colors of the waters that traditional tea merchants would have crossed to bring tea to America.
The color of earth, wood, and stone, brown is a stabilizing and warm color with the ability to bring a grounded naturalism to designs.
Packaging designers look to brown to communicate natural origin or a down-to-earth, wholesome quality, features prized for products retailed in the wellness and organic health sectors.
Here, Polish design studio Studio Otwarte has created a series of simple packaging designs for United Soil, a brand for ecological and healthy fermented foods. Based around the natural brown color of kraft paper, subtle colorful accents are added to each packet to help differentiate the type of product.
Australian cosmetics brand Aesop is well-known for its unisex and ultra-stylish approach to packaging. A brown color palette is at the core of their brand identity, with shades of deep amber, golden brown, and beige mimicking the look of old-fashioned alchemy bottles. The result is quietly luxurious packaging that is desired by stylish homeowners worldwide.
Gray is often overlooked in favor of other colors or neutrals, such as black and white, but in the right context it can look extremely stylish and understated. Often favored by architects and modernists, gray is serious and sophisticated, and allows packaging designs to make a subtle statement.
At first glance this box design for interior design brand COMODO is somber and stylish, but Hong Kong design agency FUNDAMENTAL Studio designed it to enclose a bright yellow book within, creating a pleasing contrast.
A gray on gray palette can look supremely elegant, especially when paired with minimal typography. In this example, Seoul-based agency TRIANGLE STUDIO use a totally gray palette to create soulful and calming packaging designs for food brand SOSOLIFE.
Sitting on the color spectrum between blue and red, purple is historically associated with royalty and rarity. In recent times, designers have rediscovered purple’s more intriguing and creative affiliations with spirituality, mystery, and originality.
On packaging, purple is vivacious, dramatic, and luxurious. It makes an intriguing and sometimes unconventional choice for a range of products, from food to furniture.
Purple can be associated with the fall season, and in particular the rich berry colors of autumnal fruits and berries. Here, UK-based design consultancy Big Fish gave their client Dorset Cereals a luxurious makeover by setting a cereal box in a deep, rich shade of purple.
German creative agency Espacioblanco make the most of purple’s beauty by hand-dipping bottles for Vienna Craft Distillery in vivid purple dye.
Eager to discover more about the power of color?
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