Why Colored Stickers Are Used on Packaged Goods

The human mind loves patterns, consistency, and habits to make work easier and more productive. In the workplace, this involves finding creative and effective ways to sort and organize a vast number of items for inventory work. A work site may get slowed way down if everything is cluttered and difficult to sort or find, and cardboard boxes of wholesale items don’t always make it clear what’s inside. So, some custom colored adhesive dots, other custom adhesive labels, adhesive label tape, and more will be used to mark boxes and packaged goods at the work site. This might be done by a delivery truck’s crew, a warehouse staff, and most often, the dock crew at a retailer such as a bookstore or a toy store and the like. Color coding stickers and colored adhesive dots appeal to the human brain’s affinity for color, vision, and patterns, making these colored adhesive dots effective for keeping work organized in an intuitive way. Workers will greatly appreciate this so that they can rapidly and neatly sort many thousands of items based on price, department, time of arrival, and much more.

The Human Mind and Visual Cues

Many functions of the human body, mind, and senses were developed during pragmatic, pre-historic times when primitive human societies needed to find ways to survive. Being natural predators, human beings have a strong visual component, and we can see many colors and see in fine detail. In pre agricultural times, people (mainly women) often foraged for wild berries, fruits, roots, and more, and it was critical to tell apart edible food vs something poisonous or harmful. That, and people had to be on the lookout for predators or anything else unusual in the environment.

Today, no one is regularly picking berries or watching out for predators, but the human mind and body remember that lifestyle, and that natural affinity can be used to our advantage in the modern world. For one thing, the human mind likes patterns and color, and tests have confirmed this. Back in 2002, for example, researchers asked test volunteers to perform pattern recognition tests. Those tests were done in both black and white and in color, and subjects performed 10% better when color was involved. Similarly, studies find that color increases brand recognition by nearly 80%, and some color combinations are easily associated with certain industries or ideas. Fast food restaurants and brands, for example, often use white, yellow, and red, sometimes with light blue as well. Finally, the human mind is a rational one that’s always looking for patterns and familiarity, such a the tendency to find a human face in nearly anything (eyes, nose, mouth) and patterns on both natural and man-made objects and remember those patterns.

Patterns and Colors for Packages

All of this natural affinity for color and pattern can be put to good use in a store’s stock room or at a warehouse, and there’s plenty of items to go through and organize with colored adhesive dots and labels. On a typical day, UPS will handle a staggering 15.8 million packages, and around the world, some 65 billion parcels were shipped in 2016. All of those items might easily get mixed up and sorted wrongly unless some visual cues are used, so warehouse and dock workers at stores may use some colored adhesive dots and stickers or label tape on items based on their type, weight, date of arrival, price, or any other factor needed. This allows other staff members to easily sort all of these items by the necessary categories, and just as easily retrieve whatever they need. A bookstore employee who needs to get some books for the science fiction/fantasy section, for example, can get all the color coded boxes of books for that genre. Maybe all the boxes with sci fi/fantasy books have red label stickers, while self-help books have yellow and romances have light blue.

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