While there are many aspects that contribute to the design of an effective custom food label, perhaps none is more important than color.

After all, when you think of the world’s most recognizable brands — McDonald’s, Coke, and Facebook, to name a few — you immediately have a flash of color come to mind. You might not remember what Coca-Cola font looks like exactly, but you definitely know it’s red.

Research corroborates this phenomenon, as studies show that nearly 85 percent of consumers list label color as a primary reason for buying a product.

So, given the importance of color to a custom food label, how do you choose one that will work?

Choosing the Color of Your Custom Food Label

At Cummins Label, Inc., we’ve been in the business of custom labels since 1972. This means that we have worked with thousands of food and beverage companies to design and print custom labels. After 46 years, we definitely have a sense of what’s effective and what doesn’t work.

As you consider a color for your label, start by identifying the four adjectives you want consumers to associate with your company. Write them down, find the commonalities between what you and your business partner said, and compare it to color theory.

Colors and Their Associations:

Red —

  • Energy
  • Love
  • Action
  • Excitement

If you thought of any of these words for your product, red could be a good choice for your custom label. The whole label certainly doesn’t need to be red, but you should at least incorporate a few red accents at the least.

Red, the color of Coke and Red Bull labels, signifies energy boosts, passion, love, and emotion. If your product fits any of these purposes, start seeing red!

Blue —

  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Honor
  • Security

In addition to these broader concepts, blue is also associated with refreshing water and clear skies. If your product is crisp or quenching, consider featuring blue in your custom product label.

Orange —

  • Entertaining
  • Friendly
  • Social
  • Sweet

Orange is an excellent color option if you’re selling a sweet, warm product. The only word of caution against orange is literally, “caution.” Orange can be associated with danger, caution, or warnings, so you might not want to make it your prominent color. Instead, include orange as a nice accent or as the color of your product’s name.

Yellow —

  • Confident
  • Bold
  • Warm
  • Comforting

Yellow is a classic color for food labels because it connotes warmth and comfort. It reminds consumers of a bright summer day, or a trip to their grandmother’s kitchen. If you want to appeal to any of these emotions, use yellow. Keep in mind that yellow is often used with wheat-based or grain-based products, so ensure that it is appropriate for your food.

Purple —

  • Creative
  • Original
  • Forward-thinking
  • Smart

Purple has become trendier in recent years, and that’s mostly because it signals an outside-of-the-box product. If you want to be known for originality or surprising flavor, purple might be a good route for your custom food label.

Black —

  • Formal
  • Sophisticated
  • Sharp
  • Classy

Black isn’t a typical color choice for food labels, as it can be associated with death and darkness. However, if you have an upscale food item or product, black could work. If you’re thinking about using black, chat with a label printing company for their advice.

Multi-Colored —

  • Inclusive
  • Positive
  • Versatile
  • Unique

If you want to come across as vibrant and progressive, a multi-colored label is the way to go. When done correctly, it can really stand out without looking tacky.

Cummins Label, Inc.

To have a partner in the custom label making process from start to finish, consider Cummins Label, Inc. We will work with you to conceive of, design, and print your custom food label!

Give us a call today.