The Importance of Color in Design

It could be argued that color is one of the most important choices one makes when choosing a packaging design.  Whether it’s done well or poorly, color evokes emotions.

It’s known that serving diners food on a blue plate will encourage them to eat less, while serving food on and orange or yellow plate will encourage them to eat more.  Colors like dark navy, hunter green, burgundy or black can evoke tradition, respect, or even somberness, and deeper purples can evoke royalty, status or class.  Pastel colors can often be associated with children, while reds can evoke desire, passion, authority, happiness, or conversely fear.

Color can be used well or poorly.  One opinion of color used poorly is below.

Of course, poor color choice is selective, but why was this design chosen specifically?

Green is a good color to promote a feeling of nature, or a feeling of money (especially in the US).  It is also a good color to be used to catch someone’s attention.  On the other hand, once their attention is caught, what part do we pay attention to?  Do we really see the apps over the overwhelming green of the background?

it is one writer’s opinion that if the above color was on packaging for a product, the packaging would not work.  While it does have a ‘wow’ factor, the green of the packaging, like the green in this picture, would seem to shout louder than the product.

However, it would be interesting to notice that if the same picture was in a different color, such as a similar color like teal, how the message of the product or applications might have stood out over the packaging.

Using Apple as an example, here is another example of color choices.

Both packages pictured above use colors to emphasize and brighten without overpowering.  The ‘natural’ and the ‘white’ state traditional while caring about the environment, while the colors used in the center add balance, freshness, and ‘likability.’  Although they don’t scream “Look at me” like the above example, they do say, “I’m trustworthy.”

Reusable Packaging: The Packaging is the Product

When we think of being “green” and environmentally-friendly, we think of the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.  TreeHugger showed some ways that companies are offering reusable packaging in a new way, in which the packaging is actually a part of the product itself.

With this product, lite2go by knoend, the clear packaging is actually the lampshade for the lamp:

Repurposed Packaging Lampshade

This design, created by Tom Ballhatchet, utilizes the box that the TV is packaged in as a stand for the TV with shelves for your DVD cases or Blu-Ray cases:

Repurposed Packaging TV Stand

With this laptop in a bag, HP won Wal-Mart’s Reduced Packaging Award for its Pavilion dv6929.  Instead of coming in a box with styrofoam inserts, this laptop comes in a reusable messenger bag (made from recycled fabric) with a few plastic bags inside to hold the parts.  With this design, HP was able to reduce the conventional packaging by 97 percent:

Repurposed Packaging Laptop Bag

Steve Haslip designed the HangerPak, so that the packaging that holds the product can also be used for the product; the package transforms into a hanger for the t-shirt inside:

Repurposed Packaging Cardboard Hanger

Although I’m not too keen on the idea of sitting on a cardboard chair, I do give props to David Graas for coming up with a line of flat packaging that can be put together into furniture:

Repurposed Packaging Cardboard Chair

These are all examples of how companies are encouraging customers to reduce waste by reusing the packaging of their products for other purposes.  By doing this and recycling when you are finished, you can be on your way to being more eco-friendly.

7 Resources For Planning Green Meetings

From lists to directories, to informational articles, the following 7 resources will help any planner make their next event more environmentally-friendly:Green Meeting Planning

  1. A 10-step checklist to a more environmentally-friendly destination event from Blue Green Meetings.
  2. Three reasons why green meetings are a good idea from the Association for Green Meetings and Events. Not only are green meetings good for the environment, but there are also economic and social benefits that come with it.
  3. Article: Green Meetings Are Free from Meeting Professionals International. Going green does not have to cost you a lot of money. By reducing and reusing, you can save money that you could invest in other green expenses.
  4. Information on environmentally-friendly cuisine from MeetingsNet.com Look for organic, local foods and foods that can be reused if not eaten at that meal.
  5. A list of GreenHotel.com members by state, so you can be sure the hotel you are using is truly environmentally-friendly.
  6. How to calculate your meeting’s carbon footprint from http://www.greeneventsource.com/. Being aware of your carbon footprint can help you see how much you are affecting the environment, where your problem areas are, and how you could improve.
  7. Green Environmentally-friendly BindersDon’t forget to use eco-friendly name badges, luggage tags, folders and ring bindersthat are reusable and recyclable! All of these eco-friendly products can be created to match and coordinate with each other and with your meeting or event. Then you can just send them back to us to recycle when you are finished.

Bonus Resource: The Meeting Planner Survival Guidefrom MeetingsNet.com

Anti-Litter Ad Campaign

Advertising agency, Colenso BBDO, which is located in Auckland, New Zealand, created this anti-litter ad campaign, “The Heart of the City: Rubbish”:

eco-friendly anti-litter ad campaign trash

Each day, the litter around the bus stop was collected and placed inside the bus stop.  This ad was intended to show how quickly litter can add up when people don’t put in the effort to recycle or throw their trash in the garbage can.  It may just seem like a big deal to litter one wrapper, but if everyone does it, it really adds up.  If we all come together and be more environmentally-friendly, we can really make a difference.  Who wants to look at trash all over the city anyway?  Let’s just hope people don’t start to think the bus stop is the new garbage can!

Wrap Without Waste

environmentally-friendly gift wrapWith growing environmental concerns, we are constantly hearing the phrase, “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” This is especially apparent with shopping bags and wasted wrapping. According to a study by the Clean Air Council, the United States generates an extra five million tons of waste in the winter holiday months, four of which come from gift wrapping, gift bags, and shopping bags. That is an enormous amount of waste that could be reduced by using reusable materials.

If you are looking to help the environment and reduce waste from gift wrapping, we found the BOBO Wrapping Scarf online, which can do both for you. Not only are these wrapping scarves classy and fashionable, but they are also good for the environment. They are reusable and typically made from already existing fabrics, rather than wasting and using raw materials. I thought this wrapping scarf was a great green alternative to gift wrapping. It is reusable, durable, and stylish. eco-friendly cloth bag

When you think about packaging any of your products, think of a reusable package that will last. At Sunrise, we make durable packaging, which you will not have to replace nearly as often, so you can help reduce waste. Many of our products are also made from recyclable, biodegradable or recycled materials, and we recycle all of our excess materials. So get out there, do your part to reduce waste, and help our environment.

Greenhouse environmental management – the green house provides businesses with tailored waste management programs to minimize their waste output and costs.

Answering Your Recycling Questions

Ever get confused by all of the different recycling rules? According to an article on MSNBC.com, the average American generates four and a half pounds of trash each day. 75 percent of this is actually recyclable. The article, inspired by Good Housekeeping magazine, tried to clear up some of the confusions about recycling, so that it would be much easier for people to properly recycle:

First off, make sure that you only use the bins or clear plastic bags approved by your recycling program. Otherwise, workers will not be able to tell what is recycling and what is garbage. Don’t waste your time by letting it end up in the garbage.

What materials can be recycled?

  • Paper. You can recycle most any kind of paper–magazines, junk mail, cardboard, envelopes (no need to rip out the plastic window), newspapers, etc. You don’t even need to worry about staples, paper clips, paper and cardboard recyclingor spirals in notebooks, because they will be filtered out. There are some paper items that cannot be recycled. Don’t bother with pizza boxes or other items that are food-stained, because the oils can ruin the whole batch. Plastic-coated paper plates, paper towels, napkins, etc. are not recyclable. Some brightly colored, dye-saturated papers are also not recyclable, because it can be difficult to bleach the color out.
  • plastic recyclingPlastic. Most bottles that have a neck smaller than the body can be recycled: beverage, cleaning products, shampoo, and some food jars). Make sure that the caps are removed. Aveda has a nationwide in-store program where you can recycle them. With plastics, pay attention to the recycling number on the bottom. This determines what kind of plastic it is and if it can be recycled. Read more on this.
  • aluminum metal and glass recyclingMetal. A large portion of metal items that are recycled are soda, juice, and other food cans that are rinsed, but only de-labeled if requested. Other items include: rinsed aluminum pie tins and foil, wire coat hangers, empty (non-punctured) aerosol cans, and other scrap metal. Be sure to not include batteries or any electronics!
  • Glass. Just like with metal and plastic, glass bottles can be recycled when they are rinsed and have the cap removed. Labels do not matter, because they will be burned off at the plant. Some places will not take certain colors of glass, especially blue, and treated glass cannot be recycled.

Now that you know more about recycling, don’t be afraid to use these tips! We can all work together to reduce waste and clean up for a better environment. Read more about recycling.

Eight Tips to Travel “Green” and Save Money

Both Jackie and I are taking vacations soon, so Jackie found a list of ways to travel Green.

Want to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment while you travel, but think it is much too expensive to pay carbon offset fees or buy expensive, recycled suitcases: Think again. Sarah Schlichter provided “Eight ways green travel can save you money“.

  1. environmentally-friendly luggage tags and bag tagsPack light.The more bags you pack and the heavier that they are, will increase the amount of fuel needed, whether you are driving or flying. By packing less, you will reduce the amount of carbon emissions and save money on gas if you are driving. The fewer bags you pack while flying will reduce your baggage fees. Don’t forget to use eco-friendly bag tags.
  2. Borrow guidebooks.Not only will borrowing guidebooks/maps from a friend or the library save you money on purchasing them, but you are reducing waste and reusing resources.
  3. Buy reusable travel-size bottles.Instead of buying new travel-sized bottles of all your toiletries each time you go on a trip, buy one set of travel-sized bottles that you can reuse and refill with your own shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, etc. Not only are you saving money by buying your items in bulk, but you are reducing the amount of travel-sized bottles that will be thrown in a landfill.
  4. Don’t rent a car. Not only are they expensive to rent, but they release carbon emissions. Try walking, biking, or using public transportation instead. It’s cheaper, healthier, and better for the environment.
  5. If you must, rent a small car or a hybrid. Smaller cars are more fuel-efficient, which means less money spent on gas and less carbon emissions released.
  6. check your tires before roadtripsPrepare your car. If you are taking a road trip, make sure that your car is prepared, so that you are as fuel-efficient as you can be. Take all the extra things you don’t need out of your trunk, check your tires, and make sure your engine is tuned up.
  7. Buy local. Wherever you are, buy local food and goods. Visit farmer’s markets and buy souvenirs from local artisans. By not having to be shipped in, they could be cheaper and have a smaller carbon footprint.
  8. eco-friendly reusable water bottleBring your own reusable water bottle. According to the Sierra Club, billions of plastic water bottles end up in the landfills every year. From there, they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. You can reduce waste tremendously by using a water bottle that you can simply just wash and reuse. Plus, it’s free to fill your bottle with water! If you are in an area with bad water, buy a large jug of purified water to keep in your room. It is cheaper to buy in bulk, and it uses less packaging.

Whether you are going on a business trip or a vacation like Jackie and me, these are some helpful tips to save money and be environmentally-friendly at the same time. For business trips, give your company an added touch with matching

UPS and Sunrise Packaging Are Going Green

Performing their tasks in an environmentally-friendly manner is nothing new for UPS, but they are raising the profile of their environmental platform with their campaign, “Decision Green“. Since we, at Sunrise, also strive to be good stewards of the environment, we are happy to work with and ship our products to you through UPS.

ups environmentally-friendly shippingUPS has always been ahead of the game in what it means to be environmentally-friendly. In fact, they were the first in their industry to use electric-powered vehicles in New York City in the 1930s. Today, UPS has the industry’s largest private alternative fuel fleet with over 1,700 vehicles. They also use technology for optimized routing. With this, in 2007, they eliminated 30 million miles, cut fuel use by 3 million gallons, and reduced emissions by 32,000 metric tons.

green UPS paperless invoiceUPS does more to be environmentally-friendly than just reduce fuel use and gas emissions. They come up with new technologies and processes to save time and resources. They developed the UPS Paperless Invoice, which is the electronic way to send commercial invoices to reduce paper usage on international shipments. They also have the DIAD tracking device that saves 89 million sheets of paper, or 7,760 trees, per year. When they do decide to ups logo eco-friendlyuse paper, they do it in a responsible way. By using 100% recycled, bleach-free paper in their UPS Express Reusable Envelope, they are able to cut waste when sending documents back and forth.

By improving efficiencies and using renewable or alternative resources, UPS is doing their part to help the environment. Sunrise is proud to ship your products with a company that has the same environmental concerns that we have. Read more about our green efforts.

Going Green: Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

Since today is Earth Day, we thought we would focus on the growing “green” trend.  Sunrise Packaging, like many companies and individuals, has been talking a lot about this ambiguous, yet wildly popular, phenomenon dubbed “green”. Sunpack and others have new “green” products and everyone is asking how they can make small everyday changes to become more “green”. Is this new environmentally-friendly mindset simply the result of high gas prices or is it a permanent societal change?

environmentally-friendly economy costsExperts will give you mixed answers because it is difficult to predict. Threats to our environment are real and it is possible that people are making lifestyle changes that will be permanent. On the other hand, we have seen this kind of trend before, again coinciding with high gas prices. When the prices went down, the environmentally friendly fad passed and Americans went back to driving their gas-guzzlers as much as they ever did.

Back in the 1970’s the prices for oil and gas rose and so did concern for the environment. These concerns lead to the development of Earth Day and government subsidies for alternative energy. By the 1980’s gas prices were down, Ronald Reagan cut the subsidies and concerns for the environment took a nose-dive. Is it possible that we are experiencing the same cycle today?reduce reuse recycle replenish restore earth day

Biologists and experts can provide endless evidence to attest to the fact that the planet is in trouble. For some, this is enough to convince them that the “green” wave is not just a fad, but rather a lasting change. Others will say that the planet has been in danger for a long time and there are still a lot of people who could not care less because they cannot SEE the damage. They are only changing their ways because of the economy or the gas prices.

Whether they change their ways for the environment or for their wallets, people are changing their everyday choices and actions to reflect a more environmentally friendly stance. Many people are making seemingly permanent lifestyle changes – changing their driving habits, the brands and products that they are loyal to, where they buy their food, etc. Such lifestyle changes, if maintained could indicate that this “green” mentality is not just a fad.

Even if “green” is a fad or a trend, many permanent changes may result from its existence. Interest in the environment faded in the 1980’s but we still recognize and celebrate Earth Day. The changes that will last into the next generations will be those that are implemented in ours. While the notion of “green” may be just a passing trend, it is likely that the government will make political and economical changes that will stick. This will likely come in the form of legislation.

“Going green” is motivating people to help the environment. Many experts believe that this trend will only gain momentum and grow, providing a brilliant opportunity for marketers to connect with their consumers and for consumers to positively affect their environment. Only time will tell if the eco-friendly movement will be a passing fad or a lasting change.

8 Green Ways to Increase Profits

Wherever you go, you are constantly hearing about companies becoming more environmentally-friendly, but what does it mean for you? While “going green” is certainly good for the environment, it is also a smart business practice. Not only does it attract attention, but it also cuts costs and increases the profitability of your company. In the March/April 2009 issue of Enterprise Minnesota, Sarah Olson pointed out eight ways to green profits:

  1. Discover what green means to you. environmentally-friendly earth and moneyFigure out which sustainable practices fit in with the flow and personality of your company. Some hire an outside consultant to analyze which solutions are best for the company.
  2. Get educated. Learn what it means to be green. Customers can tell if you know what you are talking about, and with green knowledge, they may turn to you for advice.
  3. Set a green standard. Eco-friendly options are all around us. By starting out early with green alternatives, you could be the example and set the standard of what it means to be environmentally-friendly for your industry. Not only do consumers notice this about your company, but you are helping get other companies become more environmentally-friendly.
  4. Go lean to go green. By leaning your practices, you can reduce your costs and increase your profits. Analyze your company to figure out energy and material inefficiencies. From there, figure out ways to clean up these practices to increase efficiency and profitability, while reducing costs and waste.
  5. Seek out incentives. Many utility companies offer deals for reducing energy consumption and waste generation, because they have to keep up with national energy regulations. For example, Xcel Energy refunds up to 50 percent on the cost of a lighting retrofit or upgrade. Others may offer grants or favorable-rate loans to businesses with energy efficiencies improvements. Ask your utility provider what kind of incentives they offer.
  6. Increase loyalty and attract customers. More than ever, people are looking to do business with green companies. According to a survey done by Cone Inc. and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, 59 percent of young adults were “concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption”, and 39 percent of those were consuming more environmentally-friendly products. According to 68 percent, “If a company had a strong reputation for environmental commitment, it positively influenced their decision to buy the product or service.” By going green, you could both keep your existing customers, as well as attract new ones.
  7. Reduce your carbon footprint. Not only does reducing your energy consumption help the environment, but it will lower your energy bill significantly. To top it off, being aware of your carbon emissions gives you a good reputation with those looking to do business with a green company.
  8. Build a greener mousetrap. Take a jumpstart in taking advantage of the increasing demand for green products. You can do this by creating a new process of making a product or the packaging more environmentally-friendly. It could reduce waste in materials used for packaging, fewer distribution trucks would be needed for shipping, and less money would be spent on energy. Aside from all of these cost-cutting benefits, it is a great marketing tool to increase sales and demand.

think green recycling

Going green is a practice that is here to stay. By implementing these practices for your company, you could lower your costs and increase your profitability, all while helping out the environment. Read more about our green efforts.