The Reddish-Yellow Rush

20 Mar 2012

Sarah C. Rich for Design Decoded:

It’s no accident that the brilliant colors of citrus fruit – bright yellow, radiant orange, pink grapefruit – are also the hues used to depict dreamy California landscapes in graphic design and illustration going back centuries. The agriculture of the Pacific coast has long been a medium for communicating a sense of place and a way of life to people in far less fruitful climes.

Art and meaning appear from unsuspected mediums.

That said, it strikes me that something has changed since the days of Airship Brand Sunkist oranges. It is not often that I recognize a story being told1 to me through packaging.2 Does this reflect a difference in technique or in attention span? Or, more likely, both (with one reflecting/causing the other)?

We all pretend that we cannot be advertised to, but there is more science to the craft than there is art. Recognizing that we are being manipulated may actually do nothing to prevent companies from doing so and eventually becomes a strategy for them to utilize; consumption is a much a disease of the mind as it is of the lungs.

  1. *Sold.

  2. Jones Soda seems to come to mind easiest: amateur photography meant to evoke any number of emotions, all with the intent of guiding your eyes away from the generic packaging of the traditional soda companies.