First of all, everyone should recognize that we see colors differently than other people do. This becomes more obvious when groups of people choose their favorite color. A bright orange blouse might repel you, while your aunt thinks she looks young and energetic in it.
These choices are common and understandable; but how about choosing between six shades of red based not on saturation – i.e., pink/maroon – but on a hue that can be described as from yellow-red (warm) to blue-red (cool). If we ask about respondents’ preferences, the choice becomes more difficult.
It should be noted that statistically, one in twelve men suffers from color blindness, while one in two hundred women does. There is a certain irony in this, since the gene that causes color blindness is passed from mother to son/daughter. By color blind glasses I mean that it is one of the major diseases of color blind glasses:
A person cannot see red/green – red becomes brown, orange becomes dark yellow, green becomes dark yellow and purple becomes dark blue.
In this case, the colors become even flatter – green becomes brown and purple becomes just blue.
Here heat is removed from the colors – light red becomes purple, orange becomes pink, green becomes blue, and purple/blue becomes a cool blue/brown.
As the name implies, there is no color vision – everything is black and white.
Although these are the basic forms of color blindness, it is estimated that 4 out of 10 men and 1 out of 50 women have color blindness. Color blindness can also be caused after birth by “shaken baby syndrome,” retinal and/or brain injuries, UV damage – if you look at the sun too much – and certain medications.
What does this have to do with the packaging industry?
A recent study at the University of British Columbia found that in a series of mock advertisements presented to a group of control group students, the products presented were rated more favorably when red was used, regardless of product type. Blue evoked thoughts of the sea, water, openness, peace and quiet. Not the best conditions for impulse buying.
The study went even further and showed that for eclectic messages, such as toothpaste that whitens teeth, blue works well, but when it comes to achieving a specific goal, namely caries prevention, red works much better. In this study, we used only red/blue and neither shade.
Other studies show us that yellow can cause feelings of hunger-just think of McDonald’s arches-perhaps because Americans prefer starchy/starchy foods in yellow/brown colors-just think of hamburgers and fries. Conversely, blue rarely goes with food because it suppresses the appetite. Aside from blueberries, how many blue-colored foods actually exist?
The basic packaging colors have always been the same: gold/silver/purple for royal products, white for a bright, clean look, black for elegance, pastel colors like melon, sky blue, gray for soothing/relaxing products, red/yellow for awakening emotions and generally for impulse buying. Blue/green rarely appears in packaging, except for household products or cereals, which go unnoticed.
Most designers and packaging experts try to analyze how people would like to see themselves rather than how they actually look. A woman who wants to provoke desire in her husband will buy red products rather than pastel packages. Similarly, underwear that is considered sexy is usually black or red, not blue or green.