Throwback Thursday — Colorful Packaging Isn't So Black and White

April 03, 2019

Did you catch Apple’s recent event? They never fail to impress, and neither does their iconic packaging! Using certain colors can influence the consumer in a rainbow of ways, and Apple’s understated packaging certainly makes a strong statement. Black and white packaging is iconic and timeless, and for good reason! Here’s some of the psychology behind these colors (or lack thereof).



Photo courtesy of Apple

The late Steve Jobs summed up Apple’s design principles with the phrase “It just works.” Pure and simple, huh? There’s a reason that the company’s packaging is largely white because simplicity and cleanliness are two of the main feelings associated with the color. In an industry where people often feel overwhelmed by complicated technology, Apple’s packaging is an appeal to the consumer’s desire for an easy-to-use product.

White is also a blank canvas, and that doesn’t play well with consumers in all areas. Walking down the aisle of your local grocery store, you’re likely to see colorful packaging trying to lure you in with the promise of superior flavor or quality.

Photo courtesy of Viva Naturals

Head over to the healthy section, and you might find a different story. Here products tout their freedom from preservatives and dedication to responsibly sourced ingredients. In their efforts to bring food back to its simpler roots, white packaging can be a powerful ally.



Photo courtesy of Nike

During the 1920s Henry Ford promised consumers “a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.” If that doesn’t speak to the color’s authority, we don’t know what does! Black packaging communicates with a sense of power — the product is an authoritative voice that demands your respect, and your hard-earned dollars.

But black packaging isn’t about beating the consumer over the head. On the softer side, it hints at sleekness and luxury. Check out the cosmetics aisle next time you’re at the store, and you’re sure to see this side of black packaging in action.

Somewhat paradoxically, black packaging is particularly good at attracting the attention of impulse shoppers. Since top-quality products are often packaged in black, it may signal to these eager buyers that they’re getting a great deal on a great item.

Color is a powerful tool, but you don’t need an art degree to put it to good use. Retail design is one of our specialties, and color is just one of the many ways to influence the consumer; get in touch to see how Ernest can put color to work for you.