Understanding Prepress – Flavor Colors

So you need to design a line of products instead of just an individual one-off design. Consider reserving one color in your design to use as the “Flavor” color. 

1: Flavor color definition.

“Ok” you hypothetically say in your head “but what is a flavor color?”

Well I’m glad you hypothetically asked.

A flavor color is an element of  a printed design that is swapped out within a product line to help visually differentiate between similar products at a glance. The goal of any product line is to promote brand familiarity and get buyers to form brand loyalties that extend to different products in the same product line. An easy example would be liking Ragu Chunky Style, and making a direct decision to then  purchase Ragu Meat Flavor based on you positive association with Chunky Style. 

2: Flavor color use cases.

To aid in this process, your job as a designer is to create similar but individualized designs for all of the products under the same brand. As easy way to do this is to use a spot color as a flavor color. Below is an example. For a Definition of spot color see my article on designing with spot colors.

Also a set of 3D renderings of what this design might look once printed and packaged.

In the world of print design, jobs are classified by their ink make up. A very common type of job is CMYK + two spot colors. One of these colors is dark enough to hold the UPC and any other regulatory text and can be re-used between all of the different products in the same brand. The other spot color is the flavor color and changes the background color , part of the logo, and some descriptive text. Below is another example.


Another set of 3D renderings of what this design might look once printed and packaged.

Following this template will allow you to create a unique design for the brand that has similarities across the range of products. The consumer will also be able to tell at a glance what iteration of the brand they are selecting, and to what family of products it belongs.