The Many Wonderful Uses of Colored Stickers at Work

American manufacturing is enormous today, and this is a significant slice of the American GDP. Goods and products ranging from beef and wheat to books, furniture, hardware, computer parts, and even kids’ toys are manufactured across the United States every year, supporting many millions of American jobs. But it’s not enough to just make those things. Many support jobs exist to make sure those goods go from the factory to the consumer’s hands, and delivery and distribution jobs act as a fine way to do just that. This includes storing goods in a warehouse, hiring truck carrier companies to load up and deliver those goods, and delivering them to stores, where staff members may sort and organize those items for sale. Even a small shop will have hundreds of different items on its hands, and things can get pretty messy, and fast, unless some visual codes are used to sort things out. This is where colored price stickers come in, along with assorted color coding labels, adhesive label tape, and even custom adhesive labels. These colored price stickers don’t just look nice; they take advantage of how the human brain perceived colors and patterns to make inventory management much easier. Even humble little stickers, these colored price stickers, serve is a critical way to keep merchandise flowing.

C0olored Stickers and Their Psychology

It’s not an accident that all these colored price stickers and labels (often made in the U.S.) are so colorful. Printable circle labels, color coding dot stickers, and more are used since studies have proven that the human brain has an affinity for colors and patterns. Back in 2002, in particular, researchers found out that subjects in their tests performed 10% better on standardized pattern recognition tests when those tests were in color rather than plain black and white. Human eyes are quite capable of seeing color as well as black and white, and the human brain has many adaptation from prehistoric, pragmatic times. Back then, human beings needed color perception and depth perception to see predators, find wild game to hunt, fruits and nuts to pick, and more. It was life and death back then, and this made vision a serious priority for the human brain. Today, no one is being hunted by saber toothed tigers and hardly anyone is picking wild berries to eat, but the human brain still has the power to work with color just fine.

Today’s colored stickers make use of that natural affinity for colors and patterns. When a store’s staff has hundreds of books or similar items being unloaded from trucks, it may take a long time to sort them all if there aren’t some visual cues to work with. Thus, manufacturers and warehouse workers will apply colored stickers to the items or their shrinkwrap, and these colors may be coded for the item’s weight, category, price range, and any other necessary factor. Red, green, pink, yellow, blue, and more will be used as easy and catchy visual cues. Once a shop worker learns those color codes, he or she can easily pick up items and sort them where they belong.

Workers at a factory or a warehouse will apply those stickers before they load items into a truck or an airplane for delivery, and they may use circular or square stickers and put them onto the packaging or even the item’s bare surface in some cases. And if a cardboard box contains many items of the exact same category, the box itself may have colored stickers applied to it, too. After all, there are plenty of packages out there that need sorting like this; on an average day, for example, UPS handles some 15.8 million packages, and in 2016, 65 billion parcels were delivered around the world. That’s a lot, and imagine the chaos and confusion (and lost productivity) if those packages and boxes didn’t have colorful labels on them for sorting and inventory work. Different retailers may have their own set of color codes for their items based on categories of their choosing, and the store’s staff may even buy wholesale stickers to use for their own inventory management efforts.