Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on January 11th, 2022

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The Power Of Pareidolia In Packaging

Packaging Materials | Packaging Design

In a sea of a million products, each of which features packaging designed to capture the consumer's attention, it is often quite challenging to implement a packaging design that can truly stand out from the crowd.


With popular packaging trends such as vintage packaging and augmented reality packaging, companies everywhere are trying to find a diamond in the rough.


And that particular gemstone is the ever-illusive packaging trend or ploy that will capture the imagination and, more importantly, the money of potential buyers.


And while applications of new packaging trends such as interactive packaging or minimalist packaging have proven to drive massive sales at their inception, they are generally not as effective for other businesses after the initial wave of awe.


So, in the ongoing quest to provide you with truly valuable insights on how to get ahead of the curve, and more importantly, your competitors, I am particularly excited to present you with the topic of today's article.


And that topic is pareidolia.


In this article, I will provide you with the proper pronunciation and understanding of this word. I will also discuss its meaning and how a select few have used the magic of pareidolia in their packaging design to drive profitable lead generation for their business. 


And we shall explore how you can do the same. Come with me, and we will enter a world beyond imagination!


What Is Pareidolia?


What Is Pareidolia?


Aside from being a rarely used and complicated word to pronounce, pareidolia is a genuinely fascinating psychological phenomenon.


How to pronounce pareidolia.


Pareidolia is a form of apophenia, a more common word used to describe perceiving patterns within random data. 


Common examples of this phenomenon include seeing the likeness of a person on a piece of bread or an image of a face on the surface of a rock, countertop, tree bark or other textured surfaces.


It should also be noted that there is a higher probability for children to experience pareidolia than adults, which may be due to their natural inclination towards using their imagination.


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pareidolia packaging


How Can Pareidolia Be Used To Improve Sales With Packaging?


While you probably find this information interesting, I am sure that you are wondering what any of this has to do with product packaging.


And, the simple answer is everything.


When I first started thinking about how pareidolia could be leveraged within quality packaging design, I had assumed no one had thought of this before.


How wrong I was!




Design: Loonatiks Design 

 Project Type: Commercial Work

 Client: Figalian Land Company

 Location: Greece

 Packaging Contents: Olive Oil

 Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass Bottles

 Printing Process: Digital printing, Blind embossing


Figalian Land asked us to design a label for their Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When we asked them the reason they wake up every day and do what they do, the answer was "We want anyone who buys our olive oil to feel just how we were feeling as kids, playing around the olive trees and get that taste of innocence.


We named the product after the word Pareidolia. Pareidolia // Ancient Greek παρα (para, "alongside, concurrent") // εἴδωλον (eídōlon, "image") a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists .


Pareidolia can cause people to interpret random images, or patterns of light and shadow, as faces, something kids do often with their imagination. Our design solution was to give the definition of the word, on the label and to emboss an olive tree trunk, in this way, the consumer can travel back in time and play with his imagination, just as he was doing at a young age.


Pretty amazing packaging design, huh? And it pays to! The company sells a ton of its world-class olive oil and, the packaging design has played a significant part in that success.


And while the company listed above has used pareidolia to enhance their packaging and drive revenue, there are not many companies currently using this technique.


Furthermore, consumers love pareidolia, and they will go out of their way to share examples of it on social media! 


So, by leveraging pareidolia in your packaging, you may increase the probability of people creating user-generated content for you!


This may come in the form of photos or videos of your products being shared organically on social media networks such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Pinterest, and more!


Who doesn't love free advertising? Am I right!?


It all just goes to show you that pareidolia is a powerful and largely un-tapped piece of packaging magic that you can employ to increase sales and delight customers!


How Can Pareidolia In Packaging Increase Sales For Your Business?


While the story above is rather enchanting, you are probably wondering, how can you leverage the power of pareidolia in your packaging to enhance your brand and sell more products?


Truth be told, this is where your imagination needs to come into play. With pareidolia, the possibilities are endless.


And the only limitations are those of your own imagination!


Now, while we do not offer packaging design consultations, the free resource linked below will help you to optimize your packaging design for better performance!


Free Infographic for optimal packaging design

About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.