Neurodesign: the Science behind Packaging

Training and development business education concept with a hand holding a group of gears transfering the wheels of knowledge to a human head made of cogs as a symbol of acquiring the tools for career learning.

In a world full of competitors, brands are fiercely fighting to stand out from the crowd. Except for the brand name, which has the power to appeal customers, there are also some other factors that explain why a product is selling. Color, shape, height and even weight have an influence on consumers’ perception. This is where Neurodesign appears, applying knowledge from mind sciences to create more effective packaging designs.

Most of our shopping choices are made on a subconscious level, triggered by a combination of perception and emotional response. Most of the times consumers do indeed favor a product without being able to tell the reason why they chose that product instead of another.

Research has showed that consciously, we have a very little understanding of why we are attracted by determined shapes, colors or images. Probably because to interpret images, the main job of our brain is subconscious. That’s why most of our purchases have generally no particular reason. Let’s be clear: designing beautiful packaging is also useless if your product doesn’t “talk” to the customer’s brain.


To achieve that, Neurodesign uses all the data scientists and psychologists have collected over the last two decades about our brain, to develop packaging, logo and even websites that are appealing to the consumers’ minds and easy for their brains to decode. Just think about HOW TYPOGRAPHY CAN MODIFY your perception. You probably just read the last sentence in 3 different ways. Usually, sans serif fonts are seen more serious and way easier to read than “fancy” fonts. This is why it’s very important to catch the consumers’ minds and not just their eyes. However, it’s not only typographythat makes customers consider purchasing a product or not. Actually, there are four more elements that would influence the customer’s perception of a product: color, shape, texture, and sound.

You probably have plenty of brands on your mind related to certain colors, just think about how red and yellow are especially used for food (red triggers the appetite and energizes the body), blue for milk and yogurt, or how recycled papers make you immediately think of green/organic products.


Even if each of those five factors evokes a particular reaction in our mind, all of them are blended together by our brain and not processed separately. After that, the brain gives a final perception of the product. It’s important for designers to focus on how consumers are considering purchasing, and to remember that one factor can affect another. The first look at your product is very important but also very fast, you need to catch the consumer’s eyes attention but, more than that, you have to understand how your subconscious brain will interact with those few seconds of seeing it.

When you are in an aisle, doing shopping, your brain will subconsciously analyze colors, shape and more to determine if a product is visually interesting or not. All this happens without even the need to touch the product itself. After a few seconds all the information is collected and the brain determines an image in the buyer’s mind that tells how they feel about the product.


Look at this example of McDonald’s logo. Are you feeling comfortable with this blue logo? It looks more like the entrance of a car wash than the fast food we all know. It’s simply because yellow has the power to create the feeling of hunger in our mind, and when simply changing the color it creates a completely new perception, a new kind of emotion in our brain.

Artists and designers use all these stratagems to change people’s perception towards a packaging or a logo. They have to know all kind of emotions and feelings colors can create. Moreover, it also has to work with the brand name, the message, the shape and fonts. Those five factors and more contribute to influence the customers. While choosing a shape, texture and color, you also decide how the consumer will feel when he looks at your product!