Since the 19th century, laws have regulated what food labels can and can’t say. But the history of labels stretches much further back, and labels serve a much greater purpose than just offering nutrition information.
Knowing how to make product labels can make all the difference between selling products and struggling to make sales. Many customers still use label design as an important part of choosing which products to buy, even if they don’t realize it. Whether you’re selling things online or in stores, the label has a huge impact.
Not sure how to design labels that will sell? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn all about how to make your own product labels!
1. Consider Material
Before you start the label design process, it’s helpful to think about what material it will be printed on. A matte label and a glossy label can look very different. The material also might restrict which color choices you can use and more.
2. Look at Your Container
In addition to label material, you should also carefully consider the containers your product will go in. The label design needs to take the container design into account. Ideally, the design will work with the container, not against it.
The label needs to do more than just fit on the container. It also needs to sync with the design. For example, if you have a smooth, curvy container like a wine bottle, you might want the label to reflect that with a flowing design. Or you might want to contrast it with a sharp, angular look instead.
No matter which design you use, make sure you intentionally consider the container it will appear on.
3. Use Storytelling Strategies
Your label might be more effective if it’s a compelling part of your brand story.
You might not be able to tell a long, or complete, story on a label. But, you can definitely give the more essential parts or an enticing piece.
Just a sentence or two is enough to talk about the company’s history, the story of the founders, or how you developed the product. People love being part of a story they believe in and will be more likely to make the purchase.
If you’re not sure what your brand story is, you might want to invest in a creative agency to help you develop it – visit a1future.com for more information.
4. Work With the Right Size
As you design, having an idea of the final label size will help you come out with a great label.
Small products obviously need smaller labels. But, the type of your container or the label placement can also affect the size you’ll work with. You want the label design to fit well with the size.
For smaller labels, you’ll need to sacrifice some content to make it easier to read. With larger labels, you can fit more information.
However, you may still want to use blank space to make the label more attractive. Most people don’t like to look at product labels which are cluttered with too much information.
5. Work With Color
Depending on how you get the label printed, you might be restricted to black and white. But most of the time you’ll be able to use color on your label.
Color is one of the most important and eye-catching aspects of a label. You’ll need to decide how to use it to your advantage. For example, all your labels might use the colors of your brand. Or, you can label different versions of your products with different colors to make them easy to keep track of.
Most important is that your colors are easy to read, even by customers who are far away. Using metallic or holographic colors might look pretty, but will it affect readability?
Color psychology can also help you design labels well. Different colors help evoke different feelings. For example, blue often inspires trust, while orange implies excitement and adventure.
6. Choose Images Carefully
If you choose to use images, you’ll want to be selective with your decisions.
Stock photography can serve as a stand-in but isn’t really a good long-term solution. You’ll want to use original images to show your brand invests in quality. You might want to hire a professional graphic designer or buy original photography for your labels.
However, images aren’t always essential for your labels. If you’re working with a smaller label, they can make it look too busy. Using a simple logo, design, or text often works much better.
7. Decide on Bleed
Label “bleed” refers to whether the image carries past the label’s edge. You’ll need to decide whether you want a distinct border around the label or not.
Using bleed can give a very different effect, although it’s not the most common choice. If you want a creative or artistic look, adding bleed to your label might be a good way to achieve it.
8. Check the Competition
Does the label stand out among your competitors?
Chances are, your product will be on the shelf alongside the competition. You don’t want a label that looks too much like the rest – it should catch the eye of shoppers instead.
Check what the competitors use, so your label doesn’t look too similar.
9. Think About Presentation
If you know the way your products will be displayed, you can consider the presentation when you design your label. For example, if you’re mostly selling online, you need to make sure the labels will look good online. If you’re mostly selling in stores, do you know how the products will be displayed, or what the lighting will look like?
How to Make Product Labels and Sell More Products
If you have a clear idea of your brand story and vision, knowing how to make product labels becomes much easier. With just a little bit of marketing and design knowledge, you can make great product labels that sell and sell.
Interested in taking your graphic design knowledge further after you make your product labels? Don’t miss our guide to graphic design careers.