People Innovation Excellence

Colour application to food container

In food container of these products have a variety of interesting colors but behind the colors of course these colors have special characteristics that can stimulate humans psychologically. The designers also must have selected these colors so that each product can work optimally and effectively on this article characteristics and functions of the color will be reviewed clearly

Colors of the food container that circulating in the market commonly are Red, Yellow, Green, Blue Orange and Black. [1]

The characteristics of the colour above were:

1. RED

Physical Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.

Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.

Being the longest wavelength, red is a powerful colour. Although not technically the most visible, it has the property of appearing to be nearer than it is and therefore it grabs our attention first. Hence its effectiveness in traffic lights the world over. Its effect is physical; it stimulates us and raises the pulse rate, giving the impression that time is passing faster than it is. It relates to the masculine principle and can activate the “fight or flight” instinct. Red is strong, and very basic. Pure red is the simplest colour, with no subtlety. It is stimulating and lively, very friendly. At the same time, it can be perceived as demanding and aggressive

Red is excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger.

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure.

It has very high visibility that’s why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is the color found in many national flags.

Red brings text and images to the foreground.

Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.

Red is widely used to indicate danger (high voltage signs, traffic lights).

This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, and items related to sports and high physical activity.

If you want to draw attention, use red. It is often where the eye looks first. Red is the color of energy. It’s associated with movement and excitement. People surrounded by red find their heart beating a little faster and often report feeling a bit out of breath. It’s absolute the wrong color for a baby’s room but perfect to get people excited. Wearing red clothes will make you appear a bit heavier and certainly more noticeable. (Some studies show red cars get more tickets but that maybe because the red car owners drive faster or the ticket giver notices the movement of the red car more prominently). Red is not a good color to overuse but using a spot of red in just the right place is smart in some cases (one red accent in a otherwise neutral room draws the eye; a red tie with a navy blue suit and white shirts adds just the right amount of energy to draw the eye (no wonder it’s the “uniform of the day” at the seats of government). Red is the symbol of life (red blooded life!) and, for this reason, it’s the color worn by brides in China. Red is used at holidays that are about love and giving (red roses, Valentines hearts, Christmas, etc.) but the true color of love is pink. Pink is the most calming of all colors often our most dangerous criminals are housed in pink cells as studies show that color drains the energy and calms aggression. Think of pink as the color of romance, love, and gentle feelings, to be in the pink is to be soothed. Red is a warm and positive color, a very physical color which draws attention to itself and calls for action to be taken.

Red stimulates the physical senses such as the appetite, lust and sexual passion. Although it is often used to express love, it really relates more to sexual passion and lust pink relates more to romantic love than red.

Red represents masculine energy, whereas its softer version, pink, is associated with feminine energy. Red, a universal sign of danger and warning, can also show and create aggressiveness and anger, particularly if used to excess in the wrong applications.

Physiologically, red stimulates and energizes the physical body, including the nerves and the circulation of blood, raising blood pressure and heart rate. It is stimulating to the appetite and therefore a great color to use for any product associated with food and its service, including restaurants and take-away businesses.

Red excites and motivates but in excess it can cause anxiety and tiredness. It also has negative connotations associated with blood, war and violence.

The color which most complements and balances red is turquoise, although green or blue will also create balance.


Intellectual. Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.

Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.

Blue is the color of the mind and is essentially soothing; it affects us mentally, rather than the physical reaction we have to red. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently, it is serene and mentally calming. It is the color of clear communication. Blue objects do not appear to be as close to us as red ones. Time and again in research, blue is the world’s favorite color. However, it can be perceived as cold, unemotional and unfriendly.

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.

Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.

In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water).

Blue is linked to consciousness and intellect.

Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males.

Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.

Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.

When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.  Ask people their favorite color and a clear majority will say blue. Much of the world is blue (skies, seas). Seeing the color blue actually causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming; but that isn’t true of all shades of blue. Some shades (or too much blue) can send a cold and uncaring message. Many bedrooms are blue because it’s calm, restful color. Over the ages blue has become associated with steadfastness, dependability, wisdom and loyalty (note how many uniforms are blue). People tend to be more productive in a blue room because they are calm and focused on the task at hand. Some studies are showing that weight lifters can lift more weight in a blue gym in fact, nearly all sports are enhanced in blue surroundings.

Blue: color meanings in business

Blue is the most universally favored color of all and therefore the safest to use. It relates to trust, honesty and dependability, therefore helping to build customer loyalty.

Blue indicates confidence, reliability and responsibility. It relates to one-to-one communication rather than mass communication. It inspires wisdom and higher ideals but is also conservative and predictable.

Physiologically, blue is calming, reducing tension and fear. It slows the pulse rate and reduces appetite.

Being a cool color it creates a sensation of space.

Blue adds strength and unity, and is therapeutic to the mind and body. It brings harmony to the spoken word.

Blue works well for the corporate world and is often used for more conservative types of businesses such as accountants, insurance companies, banks and other financial companies where trust and reliability are important.

Younger people see blue in general as a color relating to maturity and the adult market, unless it is a bright electric blue of course.

Too much blue can encourage boredom, manipulation or a rigid outlook.


Emotional Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.

Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.

The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating. In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically. The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a colour scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Our “yellow streak” can surface.

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy.

Yellow is often associated with food.

Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter that’s why taxicabs are painted this color.

When overused, yellow may have a disturbing influence; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms.

Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning.

In heraldry, yellow indicates honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.

Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings.

Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design.

Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘kiddish’ color, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes.

Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety.

Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it.

Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they lose cheerfulness and become dingy. Cheerful yellow the color of the sun, associated with laughter, happiness and good times. A person surrounded by yellow feels optimistic because the brain actually releases more serotonin (feel good chemical in the brain) when around this color. It is the color associated with optimism but be careful with yellow, when intense, it is the color of flames and studies show babies cry more in (bright) yellow rooms and tempers flare more around that color too. It has the power to speed up our  metabolism and bring out some creative thoughts (legal tablets are yellow for good reason!). Yellow can be quickly overpowering if overused, but used sparingly in the just the right place it can be an effective tool in marketing to greater sales. Some shades of yellow are associated with cowardice; but the more golden shades with the promise of better times.

Yellow: color meanings in business

Yellow is a warm and happy color which creates a sense of cheerfulness and playfulness. Psychologically, it is optimistic, uplifting and illuminating, brightening people’s spirits.

Yellow stimulates the logical side of the brain and mental clarity. It promotes wisdom and academic proficiency. It inspires original thinking and creative ideas.

Physiologically, yellow stimulates the mind and mental activity. It increases the analytical processes and our logical reasoning, helping with decision-making.

Too much yellow can cause anxiety, nervousness, apprehension, agitation and confrontation particularly in people who are already stressed. It can motivate people to become overly critical and judgmental, as well as deceitful.


Balance Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.

Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.

Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the center of the spectrum, it is the color of balance – a more important concept than many people realize. When the world about us contains plenty of green, this indicates the presence of water, and little danger of famine, so we are reassured by green, on a primitive level. Negatively, it can indicate stagnation and, incorrectly used, will be perceived as being too bland.

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility.

Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety.

Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for human eyes; it can improve vision.

Green suggests stability and endurance.

Sometimes green denotes lack of experience; for example, a ‘greenhorn’ is a novice.

In heraldry, green indicates growth and hope.

Green, as opposed to red, means safety; it is the color of free passage in road traffic.

Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products.

Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products.

Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, financial world, banking, and Wall Street.   The color of growth, nature, and money. A calming color also that’s very pleasing to the senses. Dark forest green is associated with terms like conservative, masculine and wealth. Hospitals use light green rooms because they too are found to be calming to patients. It is also the color associated with envy, good luck, generosity and fertility. It is the traditional color of peace, harmony, comfortable nurturing, support and well paced energy.

Green: color meanings in business

Green is a color of growth and vitality, associated with new life and renewal.

Psychologically green relates to balance and harmony of the mind, the body and the emotions. It assists in decision making by helping us to see all sides clearly.

Physiologically, green balances people’s emotions, creating a sense of calm.

Green is associated with nature, health and healing, and the environment, creating a sense of compassion and nurturing for all. It encourages generosity, kindness and sympathy.

Darker greens relate to money, wealth and prestige, while lighter greens relate to growth and freshness.

Green is regarded as the color of money in the Western world.

Too much green can lead to feelings of envy, greed and selfishness. Dirty olive green can have negative connotations unless it is associated with the environment.


Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.

Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.

Since it is a combination of red and yellow, orange is stimulating and reaction to it is a combination of the physical and the emotional. It focuses our minds on issues of physical comfort – food, warmth, shelter etc. – and sensuality. It is a ‘fun’ color. Negatively, it might focus on the exact opposite – deprivation. This is particularly likely when warm orange is used with black. Equally, too much orange suggests frivolity and a lack of serious intellectual values. Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. To the human eyes, orange is seen as a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance. Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.

Orange: color meanings in business

Orange is a warm, vibrant and flamboyant color. It is energy combined with fun, the color of the risk-taker, the extrovert and the uninhibited. In color psychology it means adventure, optimism, self confidence and sociability.

Physiologically, orange vitalizes, inspires and creates enthusiasm. It is stimulating to the appetite and social conversation and therefore works well in restaurants and other food

outlets. This can be achieved by using some form of orange in the décor, such as in the furnishings or the lighting. It does not need to be bright orange salmon, coral, terracotta and other versions of orange will work as well. An up market restaurant will look more elegant with subdued versions of orange. Combine with aubergine, purple, or blue for a unique, contemporary and classy look.

Psychologically, orange gives the impression of affordability, depending on the shade chosen and its combination with other colors. Too much orange can suggest cheapness. Use your own judgment on how it affects you if it looks cheap to you, it will do the same for others. More gentle than red, orange represents a more feminine energy and the energy of creation.


Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.  Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.

Black is all colors, totally absorbed. The psychological implications of that are considerable. It creates protective barriers, as it absorbs all the energy coming towards you, and it enshrouds the personality. Black is essentially an absence of light, since no wavelengths are reflected and it can, therefore be menacing; many people are afraid of the dark. Positively, it communicates absolute clarity, with no fine nuances. It communicates sophistication and uncompromising excellence and it works particularly well with white. Black creates a perception of weight and seriousness.  It is a myth that black clothes are slimming

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.

Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’).

Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes).

In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.

Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but the black background diminishes readability.

A black suit or dress can make you look thinner.

When designing for a gallery of painting or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make other colors stand out.

Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange other very powerful colors black gives a very aggressive color scheme. Black is the color of authority and power, stability and strength. It is also the color associated with intelligence (doctorate in black robe; black horn rimmed glasses, etc.) Black clothes make people appear thinner. It’s a somber color sometimes associated with evil (the cowboy in the black hat was almost always the “bad guy”). In the western hemisphere black is associated with grieving. Black is a serious color that evokes strong emotions; it is easy to overwhelm people with too much black.

Black Promotes self-confidence, power, and strength. But, too much black can make a person feel depressed. Dress in black if you need to make a good impression — except when you’re trying to console a friend whose pet just died. meanings in business Psychologically black means authority, power and control. In many situations it can be intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable. Alternatively, it can be seen as sophisticated, dignified and serious.

Physiologically, black is intimidating and controlling, although its power can instill confidence in some.

Black creates an air of mystery and secrecy. Sometimes people hide behind its unapproachable facade.

In very small amounts it can add strength and confidence without becoming overpowering.

Black is favored by the youth market aged approximately 16 to 25, who are still trying to find their own sense of identity and place in this world. Those who are achievement oriented and ambitious also favor black.

Black board with printing in any of the jewel colors of red, emerald green, magenta, or bright blue, or gold, silver or white will create a dramatic impression. Black packaging can make an item appear ex


Positive: Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.

Negative: Lack of humor, heaviness, lack of sophistication.

Brown usually consists of red and yellow, with a large percentage of black. Consequently, it has much of the same seriousness as black, but is warmer and softer. It has elements of the red and yellow properties. Brown has associations with the earth and the natural world. It is a solid, reliable color and most people find it quietly supportive – more positively than the ever-popular black, which is suppressive, rather than supportive.

Based on the characteristics above, some designers used those colors in food containers and the functions were : [5]

  1. Red is a good color for food container because it can bring an interesting impression, making people hungry and improve appetite. Red, Full of Energy, Red is a color full of emotion as well as energetic. Seeing the red color can increase the rate of breathing and raising blood pressure, so this color is very influential to increase one’s appetite. That is why many restaurants use red as an interior accent, even decoration on the table.
  2. Yellow as well as the color red, then the yellow color is also able to generate appetite so that people will be interested to immediately eat or drink, To apply it, yellow color you can choose as an accent color that later can make the appearance of stealing attention on your food container. Yellow, cheer. Often called if yellow is a reflection of the cheerful nature, because this color is bright and makes someone feel happier. Because it is cheerful, yellow color is very useful to improve concentration and appetite. If your baby is hard to eat, you can try with a funny dish colorful bright color, to increase the mood of children, so he/she ate his food.
  3. Orange when applied as an accent color properly can give the impression of fun and can increase appetite. Orange, Very Comfortable. A powerful orange color to stimulate and increase the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a refreshing effect and mental activity. The orange color symbolizes warmth, so it can cause a comfortable effect when we see it. Often found in healthy fruits and vegetables, orange color can increase someone’s hunger .
  4. Green, is the color that signifies good luck, good and money. Green color will also create an impression of freshness for the user while enjoying food and drink Natural With Green. Green is the color that symbolizes health, why? You can easily find this color on healthy vegetables, and green reflects the natural. Ever tried to make dishes from a combination of green or orange vegetables? When served, this dish will certainly arouse the appetite of the whole family because of its very interesting color.
  5. Blue, Key to Successful Diet. It’s not a secret, blue color reflects the calm and relaxed effect, so often applied to the bedroom than your kitchen or eating utensils .However, do not underestimate this color, because by using blue as the interior of the kitchen or set of cutlery will greatly help limit your appetite so blue is the right type of color for the diet program to succeed. Studies in the journal Appetite reveal that people who eat with blue light or blue plates consume less than those who eat with a plate of red or yellow. Blue proved to be the least attractive color for appetite. The reason is because this color is rarely found in nature, especially in meat or vegetables, so humans do not have an automatic taste response to it The use of blue dishes or eating foods with blue dye has been suggested for those who want to lose weight to overcome the desire to overeat.
  6. Black is the color can cause a person to lose appetite. Very rarely the black color is used as the dominant color in the dining area. Very rarely is the restaurant decorating the room with black dominant color. For those who are dieting, maybe you want to try to wear black as  the dominant color of your dinnerware?
  7. Brown maybe a color that may look delicious if we connect with chocolate. But people do not like the crown because it tastes worse than a chocolate? The proof is a lot of chocolate candy red, yellow, etc. Brown color is not a color that can increase your appetite. Brown is often associated with the color of food that over time cooks burnt an human waste. For example, when you’re on the road and see a street fryer on the street, do not you feel hungry to see piles mendoan, bakwan, or other brown fried food that signifies overcooked that makes you do not want to taste the food.

Writer’s opinion :

In my opinion if the user wants to eat much or gaining weight they can use warm colored food containers of the colors that existed in nature but if they want to do diet or losing weight they can use dark colored, cool colored or the colors that rarely appeared in nature [2][4].


Even though color psychology is not 100% proofed scientifically, colors in food containing products can help person that wants to gain weight or losing some. All that matters is a good choice of colors in their food containing products to stimulate or suppress their appetite.[2][4]


Written By: Mishael Widjaja 



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