3 Smart Ways to Use Colour on Packaging

When you use colours on your packaging that appeal to your target customers, you can immediately grab their attention and create an emotional response to help increase your brand awareness. So, our design experts at Avery put together 3 smart ways to use colour on packaging that your customers will respond to.


Tip #1: Find the right balance

Colour balance is essential to a great design. But too many colours can make it hard to achieve a good balance. So try using a colour wheel to help visualize the effect of using a monochromatic (one colour) palette or a combination of colours.

Below you can see some examples of how you can use the colour wheel to choose your palette.

Using the colour wheel. The colour wheel shows relationships between the various colours. Many designers rely on the colour wheel to visualize their projects.

Monochromatic colour
Use three different values of the same colour scheme.

Complementary Colours
Choose two colours directly opposite each other on the colour wheel.

Select three colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel.

Pick three colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel to form a triangle.

Try using variations of your colour scheme to represent different product offerings. But make sure and keep a consistent style. Consider switching it up for different flavors, scents or other special features to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Candy Wrapper

Tip #2: Create an emotional response

Make a powerful impression. This candy bar wrapper shows how premium photo-quality printing services can make the colors on your product packaging materials pop.

Do you ever get hungry when you see the color orange? Or feel calm when you see sky blue? Colors can affect peoples’ emotions and their perceptions of your brand and its personality.

Here are some common color perceptions to consider when designing your labels.

  • Red: Confident, Strong
  • Orange: Energetic, Youthful
  • Yellow: Happy, Friendly
  • Green: Health, Freshness
  • Blue: Calm, Trustworthy
  • Purple: Royal, Luxurious
  • Black: Powerful, Sophisticated
  • White: Pure, Minimalistic
Essential Natural Juice

Tip #3: Know your competition and test how your brand colors compare

Factors that impact colour. The materials, varnish or laminate you select can also affect the overall appearance of colour on your packaging.

Do you know what your product marketplace looks like? Do some research, check out your competition and consider these factors:

  • Display: How will your product be displayed—on a shelf or table, or in a bin? Make sure the colours and design of your product label will be clearly visible from any angle.
  • Differentiation: Use colours that make your product label and packaging stand out from the rest of the pack.
  • Niche: Spotlight what makes your product unique on the label with a bright bold call-out.
  • Trends: Showcase with varied colours what your product does to meet the current needs or trends.

Being flexible and being able to update colours or create new product labels online, makes it simple to always keep your packaging up to date and on-trend.  When you’ve finally decided on a few colour options, test them out. Create your label design with different colours, making sure the text on the label is easy to read. Then, simply order a couple of sheets of each label and mock-up your products. Test the variations family, friends, neighbors and consumers to get their feedback. Then fine-tune your design until you get the right colours that will appeal to your target consumer.

If you have any other questions, feel free to call the helpful Avery Customer Care Center at 1800 644 353.