Introduction For my Dissertation, I will be discussing and exploring how colour theory harmonised with minimal aesthetics can play an important role within label design on products and packaging. I will discuss the importance of colour and the psychological impact it has upon consumers as well as society as a whole. In terms of the design concept of minimalism, I will investigate and establish how the aesthetics of this certain notion upon label design can affect the consumers perception of a specific product or packaging. Furthermore, I will also explore how the design of labels can change the overall outlook of even the most simple and basic product as a whole. Additionally, this will lead my research and investigation into how this can affect the actual consumers and society and whether they are more likely to buy a product due to its pleasingly designed label.The main goal that I hope to explore and justify throughout my dissertation is how the colour and aesthetics of label design can have an impact upon consumer behaviour and whether it evokes them to buy the actual product regardless of the price (i.e. High Price: regarding the fact that it is a better quality product. Or Low Price: saving costs, disregarding the factor of quality). So, all in all, exploring whether design and colour plays more of an important role within consumerism or is money still the dominant influence?Furthermore, I will also discuss and explore how colour psychology has an evoking factor upon society and how this can have an effect upon consumerism and what we buy and don’t buy in stores due to the colours that we see within the labels of products and packaging. Adding on, I will also discuss the importance and power graphic design has, to communicate its message across a variety of products and services. And in relation to the main focus of this dissertation, I will attempt to discover how simple and effective use of graphic design on labels can change the whole visual outcome of a physical product rather than putting effort into the actual packaging itself to make it look appealing to consumers; is graphic design the ‘plastic surgery’ for products?Ultimately, what I aim to answer by the end of my final dissertation is the amount of importance and impact design has within consumerism as well as society. Do we really pay attention to the design aspects of products, labels and everyday objects? Or has design reached a new ‘height’ of subtleties whereby we are spontaneously reactive to its appealing or poor, visual aesthetics? Does colour really evoke our emotions or is it just a ‘gaffe’?The references and sources of information that I will use to guide and develop my knowledge of information and exploration of discussions will vary from books, to online materials, primary research methodologies and also exhibition and gallery visits. Chapter 1: Introduction to Colour, Minimalism & Label Design Chapter 1.1: Introduction to ColourToday we live in a world where we are surrounded by colour. A straight forward definition of colour taken from the Oxford dictionary is: “The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light.” (Author unknown, Date Published unknown, Colour | Definition of colour in English by Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford Dictionaries | English, http://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/colour). However, colour has limitless definitions to describe it, this is because each and every one of us perceives colour differently due to having unique eye receptors.Colour can be split into three categories, primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Primary colours include: red, yellow and blue. Secondary colours: green, orange and purple. (These colours are created by mixing the primary colours). Tertiary colours are produced by mixing primary and secondary colours together. For example, yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Basic Color Theory, Colormatters.com, http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory). Figure 1 displays the visual illustration for the above description. (Author unknown, November 11th 2014, The Colour Wheel – Colour Theory In Design, Ecolourprint.co.uk, http://www.ecolourprint.co.uk/blog/the-colour-wheel-using-colour-theory-in-design, accessed December 2017). Figure 1: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Colour Wheel (Source: Ecolourprint.co.uk, 2014) In terms of colour theory, colour can also be categorised under the following: harmonious colours, monochromatic colours and complementary colours. Harmonious colours are three colours on a colour wheel which are together. For example, yellow, yellow-green and green are a group of harmonious colours as they all look easy and pleasing to the eye when together, due to their similar hues. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Basic Color Theory, Colormatters.com, http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory). Monochromatic colours are colours that include more than one shade or tint. One example would be black and white, otherwise known as grayscale. As black and white are on the same singular spectrum with different shades from light to dark in between, they are an example of monochromatic colours. Another example would be different shades and tints of blue. In this case, dark blue, light blue and pastel blue are also an example of monochromatic colours as singularly, it is technically one colour but with various shades and tones. Complementary colours are two colours which are opposite each other on the colour wheel. An example would be, blue and orange or red and green. As stated in its actual categorised name, complementary colours are a pair of specific colours which strongly contrast together when placed or overlapped against each other. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Basic Color Theory, Colormatters.com, http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory).In today’s modern and digital era, there are two main colour models that are widely used. There is the additive colour model and there is also the subtractive colour model. The additive colour model consists of RGB (red, green and blue) which is used digitally and on screens. The subtractive colour model consists of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). CMYK is used for printing to produce ‘physical’ outcomes, for example posters, leaflets, books/book covers, etc. (Jongerius, H. & Newson A., 2017, p. 5, Breathing Colour: Gallery Guide/Booklet, The Design Museum, Jongeriuslab, G.F Smith).In relation to one of the notions and themes that I will discuss further within my dissertation, colour psychology is the point where our visual perception of colour can allow emotions and feelings come in to play. In more generic terms each and every single colour has their own meaning and sense of emotions. For example, to the majority of us as individuals, when we see the colour red we would instantly signify it to be a sign of danger or a warning, due to its vibrant and alerting nature. However, as I have stated at the beginning, that each and every one of us perceives colour differently due to having unique eye receptors, this manifests how we as individuals have our own interpretation of what a specific colour means and which emotions and feelings it evokes within us. This is due to our very own characteristics, personalities, beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, this also demonstrates how colour can affect our individual behaviours differently, thus allowing me to lead onto one of the main topics of discussion for this dissertation; how colour can have an effect upon consumer behaviourism. Chapter 1.2: Introduction to MinimalismThe word minimalism means ‘Deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design.'(Author unknown, Date published unknown, Minimalism | Definition of minimalism in English by Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford Dictionaries | English, http://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/minimalism). Minimalism is also known for being an art movement which was formed in America in the early 1960s. One of its main styles was the construction of using geometric shapes and clean lines, similar to the likes of the De-Stijl movement. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Minimalism Movement, Artists and Major Works, The Art Story, http://www.theartstory.org/movement-minimalism.htm).The Minimalism art movement also had an idea or a belief that their work took away the apparent elements from ‘generic’ art to form a unique and anew piece of art work which only allows a few and fortunate people to view the work and fully understand its true beauty and the concept behind it. (Author unknown, Date Published unknown, Minimalism – Art Term | Tate, Tate, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/minimalsim).In today’s society Minimalism is seen and used within a number of other various movements, themes and cultures. Examples range from architecture, user interface design, fashion, product design, interior design, photography, general lifestyle and well-being and also graphic design itself. Minimalism is now seen as a contemporary aesthetic and trend followed and used by many individuals and even brands themselves due to its visually modern, clean and engaging appeal. For example, in terms of fashion, some wrist watches and timepieces are now being designed with a minimalistic watch face/dial rather than the general designs that you see on common watches. The reason for this is to appeal to the ‘modern age’ of this generation or more appropriately known as ‘millennials’. Examples of brands that have taken this approach are, The 5th, Daniel Wellington, Movado, Kapten & Son, Nomad Watches and Larsson & Jennings. All these brands have designed minimalistic dials for their timepieces. Figure 2, displays an example of the Movado watch with its ‘flagship’ designed dial/watch face. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Movado | Museum Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Black Strap | Movado UK, Movado.co.uk, http://www.movado.co.uk/en/shop-watches/museum-classic-0606502.html#start=1, accessed December 2017). Figure 2: Movado’s famously designed minimalistic dial (Source: Movado.co.uk, 2017) In terms of graphic design itself, within this dissertation, I will discuss further and explore how minimalism plays an important role for aesthetics within label design, focusing particularly on juice bottles. Of course, minimalism isn’t just used on labels but also varies from book designs, to posters, leaflets, logo/icon designs and so on (in relation to graphic design). However, going back to the main topic for my dissertation I will investigate and discuss how minimal aesthetics can be used on juice bottle label designs to engage consumers and how this also affects their buying decisions and choices between the other brands/products. Chapter 1.3: Introduction to Label DesignLabels are pieces of print or paper that are either stuck or printed directly onto products or their packaging. For example, on juice bottles the labels can either be directly printed onto the actual bottle itself or they can also be stuck onto the bottle separately as ‘stickers’. The content that is contained within the label itself includes the brand (logo and/or name), the flavour(s) of the juice, the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, allergy information or other warnings, the ingredients, barcode, information on where to store the product, the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor, recycle icon (if it’s recyclable), the measurement of how much juice there is within the bottle and its weight (e.g. centilitres, litres, millilitres, etc.) and also the estimated sign or ‘e’ symbol (this is used if the measurement for the juice excluding the bottle itself is not a hundred percent accurate. It also means that the net weight stated meets with the requirements of the EU Directive). (Author unknown, Date Published unknown, Food labelling and packaging: Food labelling – what you must show – GOV.UK, Gov.uk, http://www.gov.uk/food-labelling-and-packaging/food-labelling-what-you-must-show). A short description about the juice/product may also be included on the label. For example, it may state that the ingredients are one hundred percent natural or it may include a short description about the brand or the juice itself which also allows the audience to ‘view’ the brand’s tone of voice and language. For example, Innocent juice drinks tend to have a sense of humour within their copywriting on their labels to engage with consumers and stand out from other juice drinks/brands.Going back to the main topic and content for my dissertation, in terms of visual design, as well as the design and quality of the packaging and the actual quality of the content of the product (in this case, the flavour of the juice), the design of the label is also important to engage and draw consumers attention. In more obvious and general terms, the labels for juice drinks as well as other products are evidently important as they hold all the key contents for the product such as the ingredients, allergy information, the branding and expiry date. Nevertheless, as the ‘packaging’ for juice drinks is only the bottle, the labels then also hold an important element for the design aspect of the packaging. Furthermore, if a consumer was to walk past a store shelf within the ‘juice drinks’ section their instant, spontaneous and natural reaction would be to look at the labels of the juice first as the label is the ‘face’ of the bottle. This is because of the fact that the front of the label contains all the vital information that the consumer needs to know such as the flavour(s) and also the brand. However, in order to draw the consumers attention from other bottles the label would need to be uniquely and pleasingly designed in order to stand out from the rest. This is where the role of colour psychology and (minimal) design aesthetics comeinto play.Conversely, in relation to the discussion behind my design research question, I will discuss and explore this further, whether the design of the label really has an impact on consumers and their buying decisions or is only the branding, the price and the quality/flavour of the juice important. Are the designs of labels really that important or does the brand name define the quality of the juice drink/product? Chapter 2: Colour and its relationship with Society As I have mentioned towards the end of Chapter 1.1, Colour Psychology is the point where our visual perception of colour can allow emotions and feelings come in to play. In more generic terms each and every single colour has their own meaning and sense of emotions. However, as each and every one of us perceives colour differently due to having unique eye receptors, this manifests how we as individuals have our own interpretation of what a specific colour means and which emotions and feelings it evokes within us. This is due to our very own characteristics, personalities, beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, this also demonstrates how colour can affect our individual behaviours differently. Taking this forward and into the discussion around my design research question, colour psychology can also have an effect upon consumers and their buying decisions between products on a store shelf (in this case juice bottles). The use of colour can play an important role within labels (and sometimes, the colour of the bottles themselves). This is because it can give the consumer an insight into what type of product it is just by focusing on the colour. For example, a juice bottle with a label that includes the colour green on it would assume to the individual that it is an ‘organic’ product, or that it contains ‘natural’ and ‘fresh’ ingredients. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Colour Psychology – The Ultimate Guide to Color Meanings, Colour Psychology, http://www.colorpsychology.org/).Furthermore, looking at secondary sourced materials and research, colour plays more of an important role than we think to engage consumers into making purchasing decisions and choices. “According to reports by the University of Miami and California Institute of Technology, packaging has been proven as a crucial factor in decision making. Aesthetic aspects like color…influence where a potential buyer is attracted to on the shelf.” (McCabe, J., 5th November 2014, How does product packaging influence consumer behaviour? – StartupNation, Startup Nation, http://startupnation.com/start-your-business/product-packaging-influence-consumer-behavior/). Therefore, this further denotes the importance of colour and its fitting role within label design and consumerism. Today, colour psychology is used as an effective tool by designers to reach out to their audience by visually communicating to them, through the use of emotions and their individual traits and beliefs in order to successfully and effectively sell their product. For example, one juice brand might have the colours red and green included within their labels. According to secondary resources and research the colour red induces feelings and emotions of excitement and energy whereas the colour green evokes sentiments of nature, freshness, trust and loyalty. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Colour Psychology – The Ultimate Guide to Color Meanings, Colour Psychology, http://www.colorpsychology.org/).In terms of design aesthetics and how colour can evoke and engage a consumer through visual perception, this is where the importance and concepts of colour theory takes its role. Using the example that I have given above within this given context, red and green are a useful and effective combination that could be used within a label design on a bottle as they are complementary colours. As they are complementary colours, when placed together on a same label they are able to draw attention to a consumer’s eye due to their contrasting yet balancing hues. In this case, demonstrating the effective and successful use of how colour psychology and colour theory can be used harmoniously. Given this context, it then allows us to discover how efficient use of colour on labels can again, advantageously draw consumers attention, therefore allowing the product itself to stand out from the rest.Additionally, using the example given above, by exploring the effects of colour psychology in more depth, if a consumer were to view this juice bottle and its label which includes the colours red and green, using secondary research the impression that the consumer would get from the bottle is that it contains natural and organic ingredients (from the colour green) yet it still has an exciting flavour which would satisfy the consumer’s taste buds (from the colour red). (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Colour Psychology – The Ultimate Guide to Color Meanings, Colour Psychology, http://www.colorpsychology.org/). This manifests the vital relationship that colour has with society and consumers.In contrary to popular belief, however, colour psychology may not always be the answer and a successful tool for designers and brands themselves to engage consumers into buying their product. This is because colour isn’t constantly seen as a vital and important factor within our day to day activities by society. It sure is important as it does play an important role in our sight and vision, nonetheless due to the fact that colour has become a part of our everyday lives, it is harder for us to recognise and appreciate its subtleties. As our eye receptors pick up colour in every single moment of our lives, we have become numbed to the true beauty of colour. It is then due to this very nature from most of our society, that colour psychology and colour itself cannot always be a successful and effective tool used by designers and brands to draw a consumer’s attention and interest into their product(s).Although, not every single individual is desensitised to the true beauty of colour and the many purposes it has. Even though the vision of colour can be seen as hidden subtlety within our sight, this can also work out as an advantage against my previous point. It is a fact that we do not notice colour but it has just become a natural and spontaneous reaction within our minds to recognise the colours we see and how they make us feel and react. As I mentioned earlier in chapter 1.1, we all have our own interpretation of what a specific colour means and which emotions and feelings it conjures within us. This is due to our very own characteristics, personalities, beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, this also demonstrates how colour can affect our individual behaviours differently. This is due to the fact that it depends on the specific time of day/point in time during our day to day lives that each and every single one of us can see colour differently. This is caused by the factors of light (artificial as well as natural), the current environment and atmosphere that we are in and also the current mood and well-being that we are in. In other terms this is also known as “synchronicity”. (Author unknown, February 7th 2017, How Packaging Influences Consumer Behaviour, JohnsByrne, http://www.johnsbyrne.com/blog/packaging-influences-consumer-behavior/). During last summer in 2017, I visited an exhibition, Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius at the Design Museum. Hella states that “The way we experience colour depends on the quality of light. However, the quality of light – especially daylight – changes throughout the day…Jongerius argues that the process of industrialisation have narrowed our experiences of colour”. (Jongerius, H. & Newson, A., 2017, p. 1, Breathing Colour: Gallery Guide/Booklet, The Design Museum, Jongeriuslab, G.F Smith). This quote further exemplifies how we objectify colour to be a piece of tool rather than an experience and emotion.In relation to my design research question, furthermore, this then illustrates how society and consumers, in this case, are able to rely on colour included within a label on a juice bottle (or even any other product) to give them an insight and first impressions on what they are being sold just by registering the colours that they see within their visual perception. Hence allowing colour to be seen as a ‘living’ and ‘sensory’ element within graphic design/label design. I will carry out a primary research investigation by conducting questionnaires, which will allow me to explore and discuss this topic further through the use of my data analysis and the results given. This will be included within ‘Chapter 4: Form over Function? Or Function over Form?’.In relation to how we can perceive colour due to our personal and different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, this further denotes of how each and every one of us has their own definition and emotion linked to a certain colour, for example, in terms of culture, the colour white symbolises feelings and emotions of purity, cleanliness and marriage within the Western culture. However, in some Eastern cultures, such as China, the colour white symbolises death and mourning. (Author unknown, Date published unknown, Symbolism of Color: Using Color for Meaning, Incredibleart.org, https://www.incredibleart.org/lessons/middle/color2.htm). Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that if an individual with an Eastern cultural background were to see a juice bottle which was coloured fully white that they would not pick it up because it reminds them of death. It then puts this context into a stereotypical scenario. However, stereotypes and broad cultural beliefs do not always define us as individuals. If colours are able to have their own unique traits, then so can humanity.