Article: When Are Green Pastures Not Actually Green?

An excerpt from http://www.sitepoint.com/cognitive-dissonancegreen-pastures-not-actually-green/, by @alexmwalker


As big coffee drinkers at SitePoint, we also churn through a crate of milk each week. Recently the milk company we use rebranded. Here’s the new label.


If it is possible for a brain to ‘wince’, mine did when I saw this. In fact, my brain still winces every time I see this milk bottle.

There’s no question that ‘Green Pastures’ is a perfectly respectable name for any dairy product. The phrase conjures visions of peaceful, contented cows grazing lazily in lush fields.

High-fives on the naming workshop, guys!

However, how they settled on the idea of using a dry, dusty brown to portray their ‘green pastures’ label – the color of droughts, deserts and sun-baked clay – is one of life’s great mysteries. It’s great to be brave in design, but you need to be careful you aren’t undermining your message.

While some people feel the sensation more acutely than others, most of us feel some sense of mental discomfort when we notice oddities like this. Psychologists call this discomfort ‘cognitive dissonance‘ – an idea that was first described by Leon Festinger.


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