The Visual Psychology of Packaging Design

People recognize that the visual image of an item generally undergoes three kinds of reflection processes: 1) optical reflection, that is, reflection of light that strikes the human eye and imaging on the retina; 2) physiological reflection, which is obtained through the expansion and contraction of eye muscles, And through the visual nervous system to the brain; 3) psychological reflection, consciously to reach the cerebral cortex stimulation information analysis and make judgments. In the packaging design process, how to use visual psychology to design packaging that meets people's psychological needs is a problem that designers must face.

The "Joint Feeling" Phenomenon in Packaging Design

People have a variety of feelings that can occur in certain conditions, the phenomenon of mutual communication, this phenomenon is called synaesthesia, and some scholars also call it "feeling." It is caused by a feeling that has already been created, causing another feeling of psychological phenomena. For example, a loud sound can cause a tingling sensation; deep blue or dark green can cause a cold, cool feeling; a bright red peach contains sweet taste information; and a blue peach has jerky taste information. However, people can't feel the taste of watching an unknown advertisement outside the domain.

Because only the accumulation of experience and knowledge can enable people to understand the relationship between the visual and non-visual characteristics of things, it is possible to “directly observe” the object’s weight, texture, and temperature.

In the design, the use of synaesthesia includes two aspects:

1. Avoid bad, unpleasant feelings through certain colors and shapes, or change people's feelings to some extent.

2. A variety of sensations are evoked through specific colors and shapes to enhance the artistic charm of the design. Especially those designs that can only be grasped by vision alone, to arouse other feelings, can only use the role of synaesthesia. The conversion of this feeling can make recipients feel a variety of information, thus forming a comprehensive and profound impression on the product.

The American scholar Rudolph Arnheim pointed out in the book "Art and Visual Perception": "A person's observation at a certain moment is always subject to what he has seen, thought or learned in the past. Impact (positive or negative). The effect of this potential experience schema on observation is omnipresent in design activities. People who are familiar with the traditional sofa style will not be able to know whether it is a seat or a sculpture when they see a pop style sofa like a giant glove. Those who are familiar with the abstract artist Mondrian's work can see the connection between the two in the Mondrian-style fashion designed by the costume designer Ives Saint Laurent without understanding the Mondrian painting. The viewer of the wind may just think of it as a large grid pattern. Past visual perception experience and knowledge cultivation can help people to correctly observe the object in front of them, and it can also hinder the correct observation, depending on the level and level of the viewer's perception experience and knowledge cultivation, as well as its observations. How is the relationship?

The design is presented to people in a visual form. The stimulus it gives to humans is visual stimulation. The visual stimuli of a design work can cause people's various sensations, including hearing, taste, smell, touch, and temperature sensation, speed sensation, and motion sensation. For example, streamlined shapes often give people a feeling of softness and movement, while straight-line shapes give people a firm and stable feeling (soft, strong is tactile, sports, and stability are sports feelings). The successful packaging design is not necessarily the luxury of a pile of gold, but the accurate expression of commercial content. The series of packaging used in a bakery uses very ordinary kraft paper, and the cross in the middle of the word “A” skillfully combines together the shovels of baking bread to form a picture based on this sign. It is simple and straightforward. No Chinese. Similarly, corrugated paper can be successfully used as a packaging for daily necessities, and even jeans, belts, ties and shirts can be packaged directly with corrugated papers. The packaging forms and tastes work hard. People do not think that they are “low-grade” because they are corrugated packaging.

Determine the theme, grasp the creative packaging graphics

"Theme" plays two roles in graphic creativity. It is both the starting point of graphic creativity and the end of graphic creativity.

In the process of creative image creation, we must first proceed from the topic, study and classify the characteristics of the topic itself, and carry out combing in order, that is, we must first find the creative point. This is a process of divergent thinking. In this process, with the goal, the theme can be carried out. As the sun's rays expand outwards indefinitely, each expansion can be a flash point. In this flash and flash collision, creative sparks always shine. Therefore, the theme is the core starting point of graphic creativity.

After clarifying the theme of the idea to be expressed and finding the creative point, you can develop and develop the idea of ​​creativity without worrying about deviating from the channel. From a literary point of view, the topic is the central idea of ​​the article. An article is written once more and then re-explored. Without the theme or deviating from the theme, it loses its original meaning. The same is true for graphic creativity. The theme is the core of the entire graphic creativity. All graphic creative activities are centered on this core. In the creative process of graphics, various methods and means can be used as long as the theme can be expressed. This theme can be a figurative thing, such as a circle, a triangle, a leaf, a bird, a white cloud, a green tree, a chair or more complicated, such as a scene or a specific space. It can also be an abstract concept, sister "rejoice", "anger", "sadness", "happy" and so on. But no matter what, the theme must be there. A graphic idea without a theme is like a body without a soul. It is completely unaware of what you want to do, what you want to express, and "creativity" for "creativity."

Starting from the topic, around the theme system, after the expansion of divergent thinking, we can get a lot of ideas and form a lot of drafts. These drafts may have wonderful or just general, then what kind of wonderful, What kind of needs to eliminate? In the end what kind of program can be more appropriate to show the theme, which program is more creative and operational? This needs to return to the theme level, that is, the so-called "subject return". This is a kind of divergence of creative ideas that people need to open their minds, diverge, and grasp the center.
Return to theme. Otherwise, even if your creativity is wonderful again, if you can't effectively communicate the content of the topics you want to express, the effectiveness is equal to zero.

The theme is always the core of graphic creativity. Articles without a central idea cannot be called articles, and graphic ideas without a theme cannot be called graphic ideas. Graphic creativity needs divergent expansion of thinking, but no matter how it expands, how it works, it always changes, and always reverts to the origin—theme, test your ideas, and stand up to the creative talents Stand out and become an outstanding design. If you just blindly diverge and do not converge, your ideas will lose direction and become meaningless. Like a kite that is released, kites can fly everywhere with the wind, but no matter how high the fly, how long the line is, the thread is always on your hands, and the kite will eventually return to the ground. Broken kites are not far from flying.

Packaging design needs to be created. The main creative methods are the following three:

1. Reorganize the various constituent elements involved, break through the original structural model, and create a new image. For example, “Wang Lian Candy” uses the image of firecrackers as a form of packaging, and uses the folk-loving New Year pictures as decorative effects, colorful, dragon dance and lion dance, and it is very lively and expresses the festive atmosphere accurately.

2. By means of collage, synthesis, and transplantation, things that seem irrelevant are combined to form a new image. For example, Suntory wine packaging, in order to promote its products, specifically designed a gift packaging, a special "leather jacket" set on the bottle, constitute a fun package shape, intriguing, it is put it down and played well Advertising effectiveness.

3. Through exaggeration, deformation and other methods, highlight a certain nature of the design object, function or change its color and shape, to form a new image. Exaggeration can be an exaggeration of the whole, or it can be a partial exaggeration; deformation can be a simple change of quantity or a change of quality. Exaggeration and distortion can not only create new images, but also create unique and interesting images.


Although packaging design is limited by rationality, rules, and social needs, it cannot be as strong as a purely artistic work, but it is only a degree of difference. The designer's goal is not to create something that is stereotyped, lifeless, or completely mechanical. Although designers often refrain from self-expression for the needs of others, it is precisely him, including his own experience, his personality, that his work is in fact consciously or unconsciously, and undoubtedly expressed. Values ​​and personal prejudices also include his own emotions and hobbies as well as his understanding of design languages. It can be said that all excellent and creative designs are based on the designer's emotional experience of the external world and the design itself. Therefore, different designers, in their long-term design process, will form a complete set of personalized design language. In the selection and matching of colors, in the form and style of creation, it will show obvious personal characteristics.

(Author/Zhou Xu Yu Yonghai)

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