A debut book offers a point-by-point breakdown of the art of visual marketing.
In her work, Lee relates a simple and telling story: she’s strolling by a grocery store and sees fresh fruits and vegetables stacked and arranged on a cardboard box. She continues walking and notices that quite a few customers keep moving as well. But when she tries the experiment of wrapping each fresh apple in a sprig of leaves, setting the vivid red against the bright green, the fruits sell out quickly. That kind of simple, straightforward approach to looking at visual marketing is the guiding principle of this book, in which Lee asserts that “of all visual elements including form, texture, color, and size, color influences at least 80% of your impression of something.” The volume is full of nuggets of interest—yellow works best for kids; too much red on a label connotes high calories; brown remains “especially effective in Asian countries where fermented condiments are widely enjoyed.” Readers learn that white walks a fine line between cheap and expensive, depending on the mix of pigments, however slight. “When expensive products like smartphones or cars are white, they look simple and clean,” she writes, “when cheap products like paper cups, disposable cutlery, umbrellas, and ribbons are white, they look low-quality.” The guide includes many highly detailed photos to illustrate Lee’s points about how colors work. She elaborates from these on all the complicated and often misunderstood ways in which vision affects the other senses—even taste, which, according to the author, is primed far more often by sight than people tend to realize. And throughout the book there are interesting tidbits from Lee’s experiences, such as the reflective qualities of various shades: “Next time you need an umbrella to block out the sun on a hot day, be sure to take a white one for a cooler shade.” All of this should appeal not only to marketers, but to anybody who’s ever noticed efficient and vibrant displays as well.
An engaging and eye-opening study of the ways in which the arrangements of colors shape buying decisions.