The surprising effects of color on your mind and mood

by Tricia Sime

Can a simple shift in color really create more awareness around a product?

Mother Nature has done it for years. Fruit ripens on the tree and changes colors to let you know when it’s ripe and at its peak flavor. Animals change colors for camouflage in order to mask their location, identity, and movement. This allows prey to avoid predators, and for predators to sneak up on prey.

We make all sorts of color choices, every day. Red means stop, green says go, and blue tells us it’s cold. Back in 2008, we were pioneers of thermochromic color indicating inks and it forever changed the consumer’s perception of what was acceptable as a ‘frosty cold one’. Today those icy blue mountains are still delivering a satisfying user experience and also tell you who’s got the coldest beer cooler in town. Color indicating inks can shift perceptions and set new standards within a category.

Colorful solutions that protect and engage

Color indicating inks can help answer questions about real-life experiences with your brand. Color changing inks can quickly help customers visually identify the shelf life of a product, increase safety awareness around a product, and identify an altered state of the product.  Color changing inks can offer a user-friendly layer of overt or covert security and are much more affordable than some other security options out there.

Thermochromic inks change color in response to temperature fluctuations. This can be an environmental change with a low or high-temperature activation or a human touch temperature activation. Thermochromic inks can ensure the proper temperature and enhance the customers’ experience with your product.

Thermochromic ink activation methods include:

  • Irreversible thermochromic ink: moves from invisible to a color at a set temperature and the color will remain unchanged at all temperatures
  • Reversible thermochromic ink: color can shift with temperatures in several ways
  • Color to invisible: can be used to reveal a message or image beneath
  • Color to color: used to create a visual change
  • Invisible to color: allows you to start with the aesthetics of your original brand image and then reveal a visual change with color
  • Memory thermochromic ink: color will shift twice with temperatures, appearing, then fading at a set point and then reappearing back to its original state at a second temperature

Photochromic Inks change color when exposed to ultraviolet light, usually from the sunlight, UV or black light. The inks are effectively colorless indoors and turn into vibrant color when exposed to the outdoors or black light. When brought back inside the inks become clear again. Photochromic behavior can be either Reversible or Irreversible. Photochromic inks can offer a covert level of security.

Attract attention beyond the use of temperature and light

We can also use moisture, chemical, time, or pressure as a way of altering the state of the ink to indicate a change.

  • Hydrochromic: creates an irreversible change when exposed to water, great for warranty and security on a product
  • Chemical:  the interaction of two stable components to create a new trigger
  • Time: creates a color change over a set period of time
  • Pressure: etching or scratching can alter a change, can be used for security or create a customer interaction with a product

We are continually developing new innovative platforms that help you find the right solutions for your needs. Color changing inks are available for offset, flexo, and gravure. We will work with you to create an experience that can help protect your brand with overt or covert technologies, cultivate change in a category, and increase consumer intelligence and interaction with your brand.

Ready to make a change? Let’s talk.  If you are interested in getting our Innovation Spotlights direct to your inbox, click here and scroll down to add your name to the list!

2018