Colour Psychology of Labels

The impact of colour on consumer’s choices is often underrated – at the brand’s expense. Colour psychology is often a key determinant when it comes to choosing a product, particularly the colour of the brand’s label. By selecting the correct label colour, you are visually giving yourself the competitive edge and encouraging consumers to select your product.

Colours and Labels

Positive colours

Obviously, the colours have to coincide with the brand’s message, but it’s also important to note the emotions stimulated by different colours. Here are the more positive colours and what emotions they convey in purchasers:

  • Blue – happiness, creativity, trust and reliability. Darker blue is more professional, where lighter blue is linked to creativity.
  • Green – happiness, relaxation, soothing tones of nature, energy-consciousness.
  • Orange – adventure, vitality, hunger, warmth, playfulness and self-confidence.
  • Black – stability, sophistication, high quality and wisdom.
  • White – relaxation, cleanliness, simplicity, clarity of thought and security.

You will often see brands that like to be seen as safe and secure use colours such as blue and green such as banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and asset managers. Many outdoor sporting brands use the colour orange in their logo as this signifies adventure. In product and packaging labels the above colours are very important in determining the overall look and feel of the product. A good example is pharmaceutical labels which use predominantly blue and white or green and white colours in their labels, signifying trust, happiness, cleanliness and relaxation. Black labels are often used in sophisticated products such as whiskey, cigars and wines.

Read more: Designing the perfect label

colour wheel for labels

Colours to use with caution

Some colours evoke emotions that are not necessarily conducive to brand promotion. Although this is no reason not to incorporate the colours, you just need to make sure they are in line with the image you are looking to portray.

  • Brown – passivity and depression.
  • Bright yellow – irritability and danger.
  • Red – danger, failure but also power, sex, boldness and impulse buying.
  • Pink – fatigue and tranquility.

You will often find the above colours used together with the positive colours to add balance to a product label. A good example are energy drinks which require a bright, frenetic and eye-catching label.

Colour contrast

In addition to choosing the ideal colour palette, your label needs to be easy to read. This means using a light/dark contrast, particularly with a smaller font print. It’s worth consulting the colour wheel to understand exactly what colours will contrast – look to colours on the other side of the spectrum. A legible text and clear colour combination will also increase the overall success of the brand.

Read more: Label trends for 2020

Rather than second guessing yourself on the correct colour palette for your company, seek input from industry professionals. Just a slight change in the colour choice on a label can have a dramatic impact on a consumer’s choice, so make sure you don’t underestimate the label colour.

When all’s said and done, your label needs to include all the necessary information. The ingredients as well as any allergens, the perfect label is there to provide the consumer with all the necessary tools to make a decision on your product, make sure they’re making the right one.

Rebsons Labels is a leading supplier of labels in South Africa and produce self-adhesive labels for local and international clientele from various industries. For the highest quality label manufacturing for your product through either digital label printing or traditional label printing contact Rebsons Labels today to discuss your needs.

colour wheel for labels

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