The Meaning of Black

By CRAIG KUNCE

Black is the most authoritative, overpowering and elegant color. Black is also described as classy, conservative, dignified, serious, dramatic, oppressive, and powerful. Consumers associate black packaging with sophistication and expense. An important occasion is labeled as a black-tie affair. And an important person or dignitary is driven in a black limousine (Sutton & Whelan, 2004).

When Ben and Jerry’s gourmet ice cream wanted to appeal to an older audience that would pay their premium price, designers changed their packaging to a more sophisticated black and gold. The response was a success and they were able to “upgrade” their image with a simple change of their packaging.
Black adds visual weight to a product’s packaging. Consumers perceive a black package will weigh more than a lighter colored package. This is a positive aspect for products that wish to convey a sense of solidity and strength (Eiseman, 2000).