The Best Colors for Product Packaging

best colors for product packaging

If you’re designing your custom cardboard packaging, you’ve probably already wondered if there’s such thing as having the “best colors for product packaging.” You might also wonder about things like color and branding.

Should you use your brand’s colors, even if you’re unsure about their effectiveness? If so, which color should be the most prominent? Or should you go with entirely new colors that may be more influential and recognizable to consumers, but could confuse your established market? Should you always keep subscription boxes‘ colors consistent, or is it better to rotate them throughout the year to keep customers guessing?

Studies show that branding colors can increase recognition in consumers by up to 80%. We understand that when it comes to the psychology of colors, you may have a lot of questions. In this post, we’ll explore the psychology behind different color options, to help you to make the best first impression possible.

First Things First

Of course, determining the best colors for box design depends on what type of product you’re selling. Colors that have particular design or product connotations include:

  • Red: For foods, red is especially appetizing, in part because it’s a color common in some of the freshest, natural foods. Red also connotes a sense of energy and passion. 
  • White or black: If you choose white or black, colors often associated with minimalist design, you may be in a more competitive industry. More specifically, black indicates control, suggesting to consumers that, in a sea of retail choices, your brand is the most dependable option. White is often associated with cleanliness and may work well with household detergents and other cleaning agents.
  • Green and brown: These shades are often associated with ethically-sourced and eco-friendly merchandise. Make sure you’re selecting a color that fits well with the specific products you’re selling, as well as with the message of your brand.
  • Blue: Blue is a calming color that is often used to promote trust, peace and reliability. It has cultural associations with water, but its spectrum of shades makes it marketable for all kinds of products.
the majority of customers are drawn to visuals

Color Psychology in Marketing

In creating your cardboard box design, you may have questions about which of your branding colors to favor over the other. Studies show that the majority of customers are drawn to visuals and that having the right color scheme can impact your total product sales. Brands are recognizable because of the colors used to promote them, which makes it important for you to choose the right colors to package your products in.

If you don’t want to create a completely new color scheme for your packaging, tweaking the shades and sizes of the colors already contained in your logo is a great way to create an impact on consumers. Keep reading for more hints on choosing product packaging colors that can drive purchase decisions:


As an attention-grabbing color, red is sometimes associated with taking an action or reacting to a choice. Stoplights are red to signal motorists to quickly react, and purchase buttons are often red to draw a user’s eyes to the final choice. A red hue is bold and easy to see, giving it distinctive energy for branding purposes.

Red is also the color of certain spices and sauces, making it popular for branding in the food service industry, specifically. Since it’s the color of commonly consumed fresh produce like apples and tomatoes, it can be used to promote fresh vegetarian or vegan products. Red has also seen a lot of success in the candy industry, tempting consumers to select an option linked with their other favorite food items.


If you’re looking for a competitive color when used in marketing, try black. It stands out, and you can blend or match it with any other color to complete a tasteful design. Black is often used to promote luxury products or indicate authority.

Black’s neutrality and ability to draw attention make it a universal choice for many industries. It has a strong association with the press and the publishing industry because of its usage for ink and typewritten words. Black lettering is noticeable and easy to read, just like how the color itself is an attractive choice for creating high-contrast in an advertisement or promoting a simple, straightforward product or service.


As a longtime symbol of purity and cleanliness, white is great for marketing products with a similar theme. A white fabric or surface is impeccably unstained and clean.

White is also perceived as the absence of any other colors, like a blank page. This gives white neutrality in marketing while also indicating an array of creative possibilities to a consumer. 


Green is a relaxing color like blue and has a quality of healing and peacefulness. Its association with nature and plants make it an ideal fit for companies with sustainable missions and environmentally friendly products. As a recognizable color reference to the financial industries, green also makes consumers think of money and abundance.


For a natural, rugged aesthetic, brown is a simple choice that delivers quality logos. Brown is frequently used to promote foods and beverages that match this rich color, providing an unspoken promise of quality for chocolate and coffee products. Brown is also favored by companies who value eco-friendliness and dependability, making it well-rounded in marketing.


You may have already read that blue can build a sense of trust in your business, but did you know that the darker the hue, the more serious your products come across? So, for a sleek vibe usually geared towards working professionals or older shoppers, we suggest going with a deep navy. However, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, or if your products are just a little more light-hearted, then go for a turquoise or bright blue shade.

The good news about blue? It’s equally liked among males and females, so it’s a popular option among gender-neutral products.

The Cultural Impact

One last word of advice that often goes overlooked when choosing the color of your packaging — watch for the cultural meanings and signs of colors you choose. For example, in China, red symbolizes good luck, but in India, red is most often associated with weddings. Similarly, black clothing in most Western counties is mourning attire, while some Eastern countries actually wear white for funerals. If you often have customers from a specific background, be aware of potential cultural meanings when selecting your packaging colors.

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Design Your Shipping Boxes With Custom Boxes Now!

Now that you have a better idea of the best colors for shipping boxes — and all other forms of retail packaging — it’s time to start creating a box that blows the competition out of the water and pleases your customers. Keep checking back with our blog for more tips and tricks about how to make your packaging work for you. Also, take a look through our work to see the amazing boxes we’ve created for our clients.

To start your own project, start configuring your custom shipping box or contact us and we’ll help you with all your questions.