The Color Association on Pharmaceutical Packaging

Topics: Color, Lab color space, Hue Pages: 9 (2300 words) Published: April 23, 2013
The Color Association on Pharmaceutical Packaging
Yi-Wen Chang Department of Industrial Design, Tatung University, Taiwan Wen-Yuan Lee Department of Media Design, Tatung University, Taiwan

0380 Qualitative/ Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

The Color Association on Pharmaceutical Packaging
Yi-Wen Chang Department of Industrial Design, Tatung University, Taiwan Wen-Yuan Lee Department of Media Design, Tatung University, Taiwan

Abstract In the open shelf, package appearance determines the customer purchase. The most important thing for pharmaceutical packaging is to obtain the trust from customers at the first sight. Color is the most efficient design element for attracting people’s eye. Hence, the current study intended to understand the relationship between color and pharmaceutical package. To do this, two investigations were carried out. Investigation I asked 34 participants to provide the image of pharmaceutical packages in their home. In Investigation II, thirty-four participants took part in this investigation. Each participant was asked to point out the colors associated with drug function. The results showed that the observers associated pain medications, fever medications with bluish colors. The color associations for throat medications and the color on existing packages were consistent with orange colors. Abdominal pain medications were found to be different from the exiting package colors at the region of low chroma, but consistent with orange colors. The color associations for flu medications were found to be different with the existing color appeared on the packages which used greenish colors not bluish colors. The hue difference was found on dysmenorrheal medications, the color associations tended to be reddish colors, but the color on exiting packages tended to be purplish colors. Keywords: trust, pharmaceutical packaging, color association.

Introduction Ten of thousands of different medicines can be bought in the open shelf. This makes pharmaceutical companies face strong competition and begin to think how to make their own products recognizable, intending to increase consumers' desire to buy. Color is the one which can produce the greatest effect of visual senses, implying that good color design can attract people’s eye in the first sight. However, in comparison with product package, pharmaceutical package not only focus on customers' sight but also on their trust.


Festini et al(Festini et al., 2008) found out that children preferred the nurse who wearing multi-colored clothes. This increased the reliability of the nurses. Dalke(Dalke et al., 2006) proposed the appropriate color in hospital interior increased the friendliness of the hospital. Medley(Medley, 2009) compared two different pharmaceutical packaging but with same drug function, the results showed people preferred “friendly”, “funny” and “easy to understand” one. These studies tell us that color design can increase patients’ trust. In term of “trust”, Plutchik’s emotion model(Robert Plutchik, 2001; R. Plutchik, 2002) showed that “trust” is one of the primary emotional response. These primary emotions include “anger”, “fear”, “sadness”, “joy”, “disgust”, “trust”, “surprise,” and “anticipation,” as shown in Figure 1. This model tells us that “trust” is evoked by “acceptance”, contrasting with “disgust.” When people meet a new thing, we always make a judgment by our experience. If the judgment matches with our experience, it will be easy to accept. For example, if now asked you to do a association on blood you may think about red color, but if someone thinks about green or blue color, the answer would make people feel doubts and unacceptable, because it’s contrary to our experience. Thus, the choice of colors in the color design is often made through association and experience (Lechner, Jeffrey, Simonoff, & Harrington, 2012). Hence, how to use color design to enhance...
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