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How to Choose the Right Packaging Colors

Blog / February 10, 2022
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Long before interacting with your product, your customers will be interacting with your product packaging. Packaging can be so much more than a nice product protector. It can tell the brand story, provide information to help the consumer make an educated purchase decision, or cause a consumer to make an impulse purchase.

Here are five different factors 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. 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.

Let Vanguard work with your team to choose the right colors for your packaging. Vanguard Companies offers in-house structural and graphic design support. Our award-winning team provides the innovation and design expertise to help companies better connect to consumers and shoppers. We do this by integrating the art and science of the decision-making process into the design and activation processes.

We bring all the market insights and best practices together and share them with our award-winning sales and design activation teams. They are not only part of the design process, but they are part of the test and learn process as well.




Ferreira, N. M. (2022, January 4). Color psychology: How color meanings affect you & your brand. Oberlo. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from 

Feber, D., Granskog, A., Lingqvist, O., & Nordigården, D. (2020, October 21). Sustainability in packaging: Inside the minds of US consumers. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from