Brand Colors - 88 Consumer Packaged Products



In the spring of 2008 I studied the packaging of eighty-eight consumer products. I walked around a grocery store (with permission) with a clipboard and a set of criteria and recorded what I saw. I also studied each product's Web site.

Four criteria were: 1. Primary brand color, 2. Secondary brand color used, 3. Serif or san serif typeface?, 4. Flash or static web site?

Brand Colors in Use

Of the eighty-eight products studied, more than half (57%) used blue or red as their primary brand color. The results are as follows:


Interestingly, many American products rely on the patriotic colors of our flag for their primary brand color. The following product pictures of several brand category leaders demonstrates this finding.

  • Many Web sites were Flash-based, and a lot were designed and directed toward kids.
  • Whole wheat products frequently used brown.
  • Reduced fat products frequently used green as a secondary or tertiary color on packaging.
  • Type was mostly white when used on colored backgrounds.

blue and red brands


Color Usage and Popularity

brand colors


Serif or Sans Serif Typeface

Of the eighty-eight products studied:

  • Serif 40%
  • Sans Serif 47%
  • Script 13%

Flash or HTML Web Sites

  • Flash-based Web site 66%
  • HTML-based Web site 34%