As a business owner, you already know that your product’s unique labels need to instantly appeal to consumers. After all, 54% of shoppers say they read an item’s label the first time they purchase it. That means a boring or off-putting label probably won’t get noticed (or if it does, it will be dismissed for more pleasing packaging). There are lots of ways to make your commercial labels stand out, from interesting fonts and logos or adding incentives like coupons. But at the most basic level, you need to ensure that you factor color into the equation when designing your label.

Whether you realize it or not, everyone experiences an immediate reaction to the way colors are used. The way a brand utilizes color combinations can completely impact our perception of the product or of the company as a whole. Before sending your business labels off to a label printing company and your products are sent out, you’ll want to consider the following color theory tips when designing your labels.

Understand Positive Associations

It will likely benefit you to learn a bit more about how we perceive specific colors and how you can use those associations to your advantage. Certain colors make us feel certain emotions; when you harness that knowledge in your label design, you can actually drive customers to feel a certain way about your product.

For example, white (the absence of color, if you want to get technical) makes us feel relaxed and secure. It also gives the impression of competency and cleanliness. Green tends to make us feel happy and peaceful. Interestingly, it’s also been shown to potentially reduce blood pressure, perhaps due to the tranquil mood that ensues from viewing it. Blue is often used to show trust, dependability, and creativity, while orange is seen as adventurous or confident (and to express hunger, in some cases). Understanding the “hidden” messages behind each of these hues is essential for high-quality label design. If you accidentally express a value that doesn’t align with your brand, you could unknowingly alienate potential customers.

Know Which Colors to Avoid

To that end, you should have a clear idea about what colors shouldn’t be included in your label design. Some of these choices are subjective, as there are industries that might benefit from a color selection that would put others at a disadvantage. But generally speaking, there are a few you’ll want to avoid (or to use with caution).

Although light yellow is seen as cheerful and optimistic, bright yellow can actually express irritation or danger. Pink can often express fatigue, while brown can signal depression. Although black can be seen as rational and stable, it can also elicit feelings of sorrow. It really depends on the context and the specifics of the label design. Certain industries and products will do just fine using these colors, but others may find that a poor color choice can really inhibit their ability to succeed. Make sure to conduct some research and even consider some initial testing to assess whether your choices are truly effective.

Choose Harmonious Color Combinations

When designing your label, you’ll also need to keep color combinations in mind. First of all, the colors you choose will need to contrast enough so that consumers can easily read the text that’s included. Not only will the text need to be legible, but you’ll also need to make certain that the color combinations you choose are pleasing. Pairing two colors that clash in an unattractive way won’t help your business. In most cases, you’ll want a lighter background and a darker color for the text, but you don’t have to limit yourself to these recommendations. Try out some samples by consulting your color wheel and ensure that you can easily read the information without straining your eyes. If the resulting labels are difficult to decipher or seem too loud or too traditional, you might need to keep tinkering.

Designing your labels can be a tedious process. But knowing a bit about color theory can allow you to make informed decisions from the very beginning. To learn more about how our label printing services can streamline your business and help your products stand out on the shelf, please contact us today.