How Colors and Emotions Relate to Brand Recognition and Metal Packaging

by Alex Cosper on February 28, 2022

Various visual elements converge to create brand recognition among consumers after a period of time. A consumer's introduction to a brand is often through a choice of color. It raises the question: how important is color to brand building? Here's a brief look at why color matters and how it can be emphasized with metal packaging.

Color as a Visual Design Cue

The scientific term that defines differences in color is hue. Colors can also be distinguished in terms of darkness or brightness. Studies show that people tend to be aroused by exposure to bright colors, which can be measured by increased heart rate and skin conductance. Reddish and yellowish hues often generate greater arousal than blueish or greenish hues, which are more relaxing. Researchers point to repeated studies that suggest color stimuli can affect the emotional state of observers.

Why Different People Have Unique Color Response

Color psychology is different for each individual based on how they respond to colors through personal experiences. Many people naturally associate blue with water and the sky or green with trees. These associations are cemented in people's minds at an early age. So people develop their own relationships with colors, while at the same time sharing many of the same basic perceptions of color with the general population.

Due to the diversity in how different people respond to color, product, and packaging designers need to be careful about color selection. For the most part, bright colors associate with vibrant products. Not all products are designed to stimulate vibrant emotions, as many take on more subtle meanings. Health food, for example, typically is packaged in lighter or softer colors.

Metal Packaging and Color Associations

The reason metal packaging remains so popular is it does a great job protecting the product, especially for food items. When consumers see metal packaging, many instantly think of sturdiness and durability. People generally perceive metal as stronger than other forms of packaging such as plastic. This perception is also based on years of experience making associations between material and quality.

A major advantage to metal is that it's easy to print different colors directly on metal. Bread boxes and cosmetics containers made of tin make excellent items to save and reuse for convenience and aesthetic purposes. Fancy tins, for example, are still very popular as collector's items. Colors printed on metal have a shiny gloss that gives the package a powerful appearance.

The combination of various visual elements of a package adds up to a perception that can influence purchasing behavior. Visual appeal plays a dramatic role in whether or not the consumer is attracted enough to the package to ask questions about the product. Aluminum particularly works well with displaying colors, such as on soft drink cans.


Brand recognition can be built with various visual factors as color and material are two of the most crucial. Color selection on metal packaging should reflect the emotional appeal of the product. Metal is an excellent material for giving colors more shine. The more a packaging design communicates emotion through colors, the more effective it is at capturing the attention of target consumers.



[1] Relationship between color and emotion: A study of college students (2004), by Naz Kaya, H. Epps Published  

[2] Analysis of cross‐cultural color emotion (2007), by Xiao-Ping Gao, J. Xin, Tetsuya Sato, A. Hansuebsai, Marcello Scalzo, Kanji Kajiwara, S. Guan, J. Valldeperas, M. Lis, M. Billger

[3] Effects of color on emotions (1994) ,by Valdez, Patricia,Mehrabian, Albert

Topics: Colors & Emotions, Branding

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