Colour Psychology: How to Choose the Right Colours for Your Packaging

When you picture the world’s most iconic brands, immediately their colours come to mind. Think of Coke’s bright red coke bottles, McDonald’s yellow arches, and Victoria’s Secrets pink bags.

Choosing the right colours for your packaging helps your products stand out on the shelf and makes your product memorable. When picking a new colour for your packaging .

Here’s an overview of the major factors to consider:

Target audience: Every marketing decision should be made with your target demographic in mind. First, develop a buyer persona for your audience. Define the age, gender, income, and interest of your customer. Customers have distinct pain points and interests that they hope to address with your product and the colours in your packaging should reflect that. For example, a light green colour may be ideal for a gardening tool but a poor choice for a lingerie brand. Once you develop a persona for your audience it will be easier to identify what factors drive those consumers to make a purchase and it will be simpler to determine the best colours.

Culture: Beyond using colours that reflect your brand’s persona it is important to choose a colour that is culturally appropriate for the market you serve. For example, in Chinese culture, red represents good luck.  And in some cultures, darker colours have negative connotations.

A General Overview Colour Psychology

Colour psychology explores the relationship between colours and certain sentiments and emotions. It’s worth noting that a different hue of the same colour can also mean something different. For example, dark blue has a much more conservative and somber tone than turquoise or light blue colours — which exude playful energy.

Here are the primary characteristics associated with major colours based on modern colour psychology:

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  • Bright red hues can have a sexual connotation, thus for a more neutral, professional sentiment opt for a neutral or dark red.
  • Dark green paired with silver is an elegant combination that can convey professionalism and luxury.
  • Since yellow is an optimistic colour it is ideal for health and wellness products. It is also a good pick for fun-loving brands.
  • Grey alone may be too dull or too somber a tone for packaging. Pairing grey with another colour is ideal. Thankfully, since it is a neutral colour, it pairs well with other colours, especially non-neutral colours.
  • Turquoise balanced, calm nature makes it an excellent choice for health and wellness products.
  • The Gold Standard is a phrase used to refer to something of the utmost quality. Thus if you choose gold packaging, it’s important your product lives up to this standard too. Also, all-gold packaging can be abrasive, so it is best to tone down gold by pairing it with another colour like black or dark blue.
  • Silver has a much softer, less flashy sentiment than gold, so it is a great choice if you are creating a product that has a sophisticated but demure tone.
  • Black on its own is a bold statement that can come off as somber. Adding a pop of colour makes black look sleek and playful and pairing black with a jewel tone like silver or gold gives it an air of sophistication.