The most appealing aspects of packaging: Colour and imagery

Colour and imagery are the most attention-grabbing aspects of packaging design, according to research investigating public perception of packing aesthetics in the digital age.

In a survey of more than 650 members of the UK, nearly 40 per cent said that colour was the most appealing feature of packaging, whilst a quarter said that imagery caught their eye the most. In light of the explosion of digital marketing and e-commerce, contract packers WePack wanted to find out how brands can adapt their packaging design to ensure it functions both online and offline. These findings come during a time where brands need to consider how their packaging functions in the digital realm as well as on the shelf.

The results of a survey conducted indicate that the basic foundations of getting colour and imagery right still apply when presenting products online, confirming previous research that links colour to consumer purchasing.

In response to the question, ‘What catches your attention most when it comes to product packaging?’ 37 per cent of participants said colour, 25 per cent said imagery, 15 per cent said size, 11 per cent said shape, 9 per cent said texture and 3 per cent selected another aspect.

Interestingly, the research also found that although texture was not a key concern, men are far more attracted to the feel of packaging than women. Out of the 59 respondents who cited texture as the most important factor, 70 per cent of them were men.

The survey also revealed, 1 in 8 men paid attention to texture the most, whereas only 2 out of 327 women selected this option, implying that when marketing to men online, brands may need to find a way to communicate texture through a screen.

Gender differences were also found in relation to the selection of colour, with just 31 per cent of men choosing this option compared with 43 per cent of women.

Overall, the results indicate that brands do not need to rethink packaging design in its entirety to improve promotion online, but changes can be made to take better advantage of the digital world.

Mick Clarke, sales director at We Pack, said: “Adapting to the digital age does not require brands to radically overhaul their understanding of the fundamentals of packaging design. Colour and imagery have always been and still are incredibly important.

“But this doesn’t mean tweaks cannot be made to take better advantage of digital platforms. Colour and imagery work differently on the screen, and now any pictures or videos of your products are in competition with all sorts of other content on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“Making smart decisions and keeping things bright, bold and simple will help your brand stand out in a wash of other online content.”

The report, including examples of packaging that stands-out on digital platforms, is available in full here.