The importance of colour consistency in coffee packaging design

Josephine Walbank
May 25, 2022
The importance of colour consistency in coffee packaging design

Packaging is the first thing a customer sees, and through colour alone, they can identify a brand’s product.

The human eye is able to detect the slightest difference in colour, and studies have shown that such inconsistencies on packaging may affect perceptions of the product inside.

Notably, one study revealed customers decide on a purchase within 90 seconds of first interacting with a product. Furthermore, as much as 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone.

Colour consistency in custom printed coffee bags can help boost customer loyalty by reaffirming the perception of a quality product. Additionally, it can improve brand recognition while differentiating your product from competitors.

Read on to find out how important colour consistency in digital printing is for coffee packaging.

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White ceramic coffee cup on divide paper featuring red, yellow, and blue colour consistency cards.

What is colour consistency?

Colour consistency refers to ensuring the colours chosen for a brand are consistent across all marketing and branding channels.

This includes achieving identical hues, colour combinations, and vibrancy across all items a company creates.

Usually, a company will have a brand style guide: an instruction manual that outlines how the brand should be communicated.

This document contains the company’s visual identity, as well as guidelines for any internal or external communications. Generally, the guide will include specific descriptions of brand colours, palettes, and variations of a logo.

The brand guide will list what colours can be used on the packaging and will have a six digit colour number alongside each one. These help ensure the printer gets the exact shades during every print run.

Additionally, the guide will have a list of colour palettes which the packaging design will use. Usually, alongside these will be a list of illustrations and logo variations that can be used – each with exact specifications of which colours can be used.

Other elements, such as logo and typeface positioning, size, and spacing will be included in the guide.

Having a brand style guide can ensure colour consistency. Furthermore, it means roasters will not have to repeatedly communicate their colour specifications, lowering the risk of mistakes on the manufacturer’s side.

Lines of multilayer kraft paper coffee bags in various colours to show colour consistency on packages.

Why does colour consistency matter for coffee bags?

For coffee packaging, colour consistency is key to boosting brand recognition. Additionally, the role of a logo is to make the brand instantly recognisable.

Custom printed coffee bags colours can help customers remember the product they like, and make it easier to spot in over-saturated supermarket aisles or website pages. This, in turn, can encourage repeat sales.

Numerous academic studies reveal it is essential that a brand’s colours support the personality they want to portray, as brands can quickly become associated with specific colours.

For instance, the golden arches of fast-food giant McDonald’s are instantly recognisable anywhere in the world, as is the bright red colour of the soft drink brand Coca Cola.

When roasters use colours on coffee packaging effectively, it can help expand their brand presence across marketing channels in a subtle and quick way.

However, if the colours are inconsistent, customers may not recognise the brand. Alternatively, they may mistake it as a counterfeit, which can build negative consumer perceptions of the product.

With the number of counterfeit items on the rise, it is essential that a product’s packaging colours are accurate and consistent.

Inconsistent packaging can come across as careless and messy – traits that roasters want to avoid being associated with their coffee beans.

When customers buy coffee, they expect every cup to be consistent and tasty. By achieving colour consistency and a strong brand identity, roasters can meet these high standards.

Caucasian female hand holds green multilayer kraft paper coffee pouch on bright pink background.

How can roasters achieve colour consistency in coffee packaging?

To achieve colour consistency in coffee packaging, roasters must consider the design and printing processes.

First, during the design process, the bag specifications must adhere to the roaster’s brand guidelines. For those who do not currently have a brand style guide, it is recommended that they have one made.

The guide can act as a central reference point to which the marketing and design team can refer. Ultimately, this will help ensure complete consistency across all processes, and keep the process seamless.

Second, roasters should choose a distinct colour that sets them apart from competitors, as it can boost brand recognition.

For instance, featuring an unusual shade of purple across all marketing materials and packaging ensures customers associate it with the brand. Additionally, roasters can experiment with colour pairings, provided the core brand colour is consistent.

Roasters must clearly specify the colour palettes that can be used, and in what context they can be featured.

An effective example is the brand style guide for Levi’s Jeans. Inside are clear instructions on colour palettes and logo variations, and how they can and cannot be used.

The six digit colour number is an essential part of colour consistency, as it can be sent to printers to ensure they perfectly match the brand’s colour palette. These codes are particularly important in digital printing methods.

V60 brewing equipment with a hand coffee grinder on a red background alongside yellow kraft paper coffee bag with beans spilling out alongside kettle and yellow cup of coffee.

When it comes to printed materials, it is important for roasters to partner with a quality printing company who will guarantee precision and consistency.

Choosing a company that has invested in sophisticated digital printing technology, and understands the importance of achieving true colours can help boost brand recognition and trust.

If they have invested in equipment of this quality, roasters can be confident that they will respect the brand and attain complete consistency across your printed items.

At MTPak Coffee, our team of expert designers have decades’ of experience creating custom printed coffee bags that reflect brand identity and stand out on the shelf. We can help you select from a range of sustainable materials and additional components to design the perfect packaging for your needs.

We offer a choice of 100% compostable or recyclable packaging options such as kraft paper or rice paper. Both options are natural, biodegradable and compostable. Additional choices include PLA and LDPE coffee bags. All of our packaging options are fully customised using sustainable materials.

Furthermore, we use water-based (flexographic) inks, which are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC). This means that while they are highly resistant to abrasion, water, and heat, they are also compostable and easily removable for recycling, helping create a fully sustainable product.

They can be customised with any of our pouches to reflect the quality of your coffee, both on the inside and outside of your packaging.

For more information on digital printing on coffee packaging, contact our team.

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