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If you are interested in the psychology of color (like us!), you’ve probably heard about the world’s most unappealing color. For those of you who haven’t… read on.

A team of Australian experts, at the behest of their government, spent three months trying to determine the world’s ugliest color. After detailed research into which colors generated the most negative reactions among the general public, the dubious honor goes to Pantone 448, also known as opaque couché – a sludgy brown/green color that was alternately described by respondents as ‘tar’, ‘sewage-tinted’ and even ‘death.’

Why were they searching for the world’s most unappealing color? In Australia, there was a landmark trial that has just gone through the courts, regarding the removal of all branded messaging from appearing on cigarette packaging (as in, no more camel in the desert or cowboy on his horse). Beginning December 1, 2016, all Aussie cigarettes will have new unbranded packaging, printed with what has been described as “the world’s most unappealing color – PMS 448.” The government is hoping this terrible color (along with warning statements and ghastly photos), will deter consumers from buying tobacco products.

We love that packaging design is being recognized as a powerful tool in influencing consumer behavior. Any time design is in the news, it boosts our profession and raises awareness (and that’s a very good thing for us and our clients)! What we don’t particularly love, is PMS 448.

Here at Arise, our reactions to seeing an entire screen filled with PMS 448 ranged from a prolonged “Ewwww” to a melancholy, “Reminds me of the diaper days.” We all agreed it is a color to avoid using on your marketing materials… unless you want to cause lots of frowning and disgust. That makes sense, given it’s the world’s most unappealing color.

Choosing just the right colors to attract your ideal client and entice engagement are what we do best. Want to talk color with us? Awesome.

**To learn more about using color in your marketing and sales materials, check out these great resources!

Color Graphics: The Power of Color in Graphic Design

Lynda.com’s Explore the psychology of color Graphic Design

Video Link: World’s “ugliest” color plays role in anti-smoking campaign