10 Quick Label Design Tips

August 17, 2014

Whether you’re designing a label for wine bottles, craft beer, barbecue sauce or your secret salsa recipe, the following 10 quick label design tips will help your product command attention, differentiate itself from the competition, and promote the unique flavor of your brand.

1.  Start with a free label template

Make sure your label artwork is print-ready by downloading a free label layout template, which has no design elements but includes helpful guides for safe area, cut lines, and bleed lines in addition to being pre-formatted in the correct size and resolution.

2.  Incorporate unique colors

One of the best ways to differentiate your product from competitors is to incorporate unique colors. This can prove challenging when customers associate certain colors with specific product types – most hot sauce labels feature some combination of red, orange and yellow, for example. Still, finding even a subtle way to feature an attention-getting color that lends your product a unique look is important.

3.  Choose cool typography

Your choice of font can go a long way toward commanding attention and influencing customer perception, so craft cool typography that’s easy to read and aesthetically unmatched by competitors.

4.  Add appealing graphics and illustrations

Tantalize taste buds by featuring graphics, photos or illustrations of product ingredients or symbols that influence emotion. Graphics can also be great ways to differentiate your product and promote your brand image. Free Photo Bottle, Wine, Label, Glass, Red - Free Image on Pixabay - 366994 - G_2014-07-21_08-23-10-Optimized

5.  Go big or small – not both

Big labels are attention-getting, while small labels can help promote a brand image customers identify with. Again, you want to be different, so avoid the “typical” label size for your products.

6.  Add a “free die cut”

Die-cut labels can lend cool custom looks, but die cuts can be cost-prohibitive.  Instead of paying for a new die, you can create a label design to be printed on transparent label stock, then simply shape your design however you’d like.

7.  Consider your theme

Know the theme of your label design so you can craft a cohesive piece in which all design elements are included in accordance with a pre-defined theme. Convey your message visually! Free Photo Beer, Beer Bottles - Free Image on Pixabay - 376084 - Google Chrome_2014-07-21_08-23-15-Optimized

8.  Include interactive features

QR codes can send customers to your website, motivate instant app downloads, and reveal cool video commercials that help generate brand identity and customer loyalty. You can do even more with augmented reality, such as interactive product demonstrations on smartphones and tablets.

9.  Don’t forget the legal stuff

FDA regulations and other laws dictate some information must be included on product labels; this is especially true for food labels that must include ingredients and nutritional information. Do your homework and find out what rules apply so your labels are complaint with the law.

10.  Get another set of eyes on it

Get feedback from your target customer base, fellow designers, and others to make sure your design is indeed attention-getting, that it promotes your brand image, and that it’s unique in the marketplace. Armed with these label design tips, you should be able to craft a compelling label that’s not only attractive but also one that helps sell products. What’s your favorite label design tip?

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.