PACKAGING DESIGN


473. Birren, Faber. Color in Modem Packaging: Being a Sprightly Discussion

of Color Harmony Principles Rather Than Laws That Affect the Efforts of

Packaging Artists. Chicago: Crimson, I935. 30 pp. Index, B/W illus.

    In regard to package design, Birren believes that the ability to attract

attention and make an emotional appeal is more important than purely

aesthetic concerns. In an authoritative manner, he states that color art for

packaging can be limited to a palette of 480 colors and provides rules for

color use. He argues against the use of visually balanced complements

because they have conflicting psychological qualities, e.g. hot/cold and

aggressive/passive. As an alternative, he suggests “off-balance” or near

complements and analogous colors, and proposes other color harmonies

based on the Ostwald color system. Those who know Birren’s work will

find this book a curiosity, reflecting his early views on color usage. Both

his approach and his ideas changed in his later work, where he adopted

Ostwald’s color order as his own.


474. Favre, Jean Paul. Color Sells Your Package. Zurich: ABC

Edition, 1969. 200 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    This discussion of graphic design and the function of packaging

emphasizes the importance of color, from the visibility of the package at the

point of sale to the memory value of the package after the sale. Favre

summarizes basic color theory and applies it consistently. Several chapters

address the psychological and physiological aspects of color with reference

to packaging. Relevant examples of packaging from various European

countries accompany the text. Some information is provided on procedures

for package creation and a research method for determining the best design

is described for several projects. One of only a few graphic design books

devoted to color, this text has two outstanding feature: the abundant and

excellent color illustrations and a list of 30 questions about the product,

consumer, and sales that need to be addressed during the package design

process. The bibliography is very brief.


475. Franken, Richard B., and Carroll B. Larrabee. Packages That Sell. New

York: Harper, 1928. 302 pp. Index, B/W illus., color illus.

    This pioneering book explains how packaging influences sales,

discusses the application of scientific method to package selection, and

encourages further experimentation and study of the topic. Aimed at

manufacturers, advertisers, and students, it stresses the use of packaging to

increase sales. Among the specific issues addressed are shape, size, color,

illustrations, lettering, product name, visibility, attention value, novelty

packaging, and packaging a product line. The discussion of color

concentrates on color preference and provides documentation. The student

of product design history will find this book fascinating despite its age and

dated illustrations.


476. Jones, Harry. Planned Packaging. London: George Allen & Unwin,

1950. 216 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus.

    A six-page chapter near the end of the book on color selection for

packaging cites recognition, legibility, and evocation of an appropriate

associational response as goals for package design. While the impact of

some individual colors is suggested, no documentation is provided. The

information is too brief and too dated to merit attention except within a

historical context.


  1. 477.Neubauer, Robert. Packaging: The Contemporary Media. New York:

Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1973. 207 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

ISBN 0-442-25995-6.

    The 15-page color chapter concentrates on color’s ability to elicit an

immediate emotional response from viewers. The associational qualities of

the primary and secondary hues are discussed briefly and illustrated with

packaging examples. The chapter also covers the process colors of

magenta, cyan, yellow, and black; color coding and the association of

colors with certain types of products; and the use of color to establish

corporate identity. Though useful, the book lacks documentation and its

illustrations appear dated.


478.Raphael, Harold J. Packaging: A Scientific Tool. East Lansing: Michigan

State University Press, 1969. 222 pp. Index, bibl., endnotes/footnotes.

    The use of packaging as a marketing tool is the subject of this

thorough survey of historic developments, management, design, research,

and reproduction. In a live-page section on color, Raphael suggests that the

simplest colors are the most easily remembered and that color preferences

are in a constant state of change. He describes a few examples of color

associations and notes that associations vary from country to country. In

addition to the symbolic and psychological aspects of color, Raphael covers

the concepts of legibility and visibility, two important elements in achieving

the attention-attracting purpose of packaging. His 12 rules for selecting

color include attention to appeal, retention, simplicity, appearance, materials

and lighting. The general color information, recommendations, and

documentation remains valuable, however the lack of illustrations is a big

shortcoming.


  1. 479.Roth, Laszlo. Packaging Design: An Introduction to the Art of

Packaging. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1981. 212 pp. Index, bibl.,

glossary, B/W illus. ISBN 0-13-647834-4.

    This book gives a good introduction to the field of package and

container design and provides general information on the design process,

materials and techniques available to the designer, and the environmental

implications of packaging. Each of the nine clearly written and well

illustrated chapters includes a reading list and projects for students.

However attention to color in packaging is restricted to a very limited five-

page color chapter, the recommended readings consist only of Itten’s Art of

Color and a 1940 text on advertising, and, worse, there are no color

illustrations.


480. Sacharow, Stanley. The Package as a Marketing Tool. Radnor, PA:

Chilton, 1982. 206 pp. Index, B/W illus. ISBN 0-8019-6954-9.

    The author starts with the premise that the package itself is a product

and that successful packaging results in increased sales. The range of topics

includes American consumer demographics, planning and executing

successful packaging, advertising, test-marketing, packaging economics,

brand names, consumerism, trends, and history of packaging. Discussion

of color, color associations, and symbolism is confined to a skimpy three-

page section. While there is no bibliography, reference is made to Favre’s

Color Sells Your Package, and to Cheskin’s Color for Profit, Color Guide

for Marketing Media, and How to Predict What People Will Buy.


481. Stem, Walter, ed. Handbook of Package Design Research. New York:

Wiley, 1981. 576 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus. ISBN 0-471-

05901 -3.

    This essentially unillustrated text brings together 50 essays by

experts in the field of package design research. The essays fall into seven

broad categories: planning, package design research tools, design

assessment in product development, package design research in the

corporate structure, special markets, international package design

assessment, and advanced package evaluation techniques. A seven-page

essay by Bonnie Lynn, the only chapter that specifically addresses color

research in package design, skims over the importance of color visibility,

color preference and symbolism but includes neither documentation nor

suggestions for further reading. Given the widely acknowledged

importance of color in packaging, the lack of color information in this

compilation of design research is disappointing.



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