October 4, 2012
Seeing the fluorescent orange top to the “Speedy Haircare” jar (designed in 2008 by Dsignwrks) I am again reminded how radical a branding color, “safety” orange can be. A truly functional color for situations where high visibility is a must… in the woods during hunting season or on the shelves during market week.
It’s slightly unusual to see Day-Glo colors on food packaging, since their vividness is bracing, but not necessarily appetizing. These astringently bright colors are more often associated with detergents, than edible goods.
In this case, however, an effort was made to tie the colors to specific flavors—orange and lemon.
Of course, there are some great fluorescent food packages. One of my favorites is the Ivin’s Spiced Wafers box—radical as a color branding statement, but presumably cost-effective since it’s printed in only 2 colors.
Lately, I’ve been noticing fluorescent orange in the cereal aisle…
… which, I guess, just goes to show that children are not put off by colors that adults might deem unnatural or unappetizing.
In 1977 there were these two album covers which relied on fluorescent orange (and, to a lesser extent, fluorescent green) for impact:
In those days fluorescent colors were being rediscovered and celebrated. The fluorescent color manufacturer, Day-Glo was pretty much the subject of X-Ray Spex’s song, “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo” sung by Poly Styrene. (Or was nuclear war the subject of that song?)
(The video, after the fold…)
See also: Specificity in Punk Package Design