There are no hard and fast rules that you can follow in order to create a well designed product label. However, most of us recognize an appealing design when we see one. Why? Because there are certain elements that will make a label design attractive and compelling. This article will guide you through the main design elements of a product label and provide tips on how to use these elements to your advantage.
To grab the attention of someone who is casually walking the aisles of the supermarket you need to use color well. The color you choose for your label is dependent on a number of things. What color is your container? If you are using a clear container, then what color is the product? You need to make sure that the colors you choose for the label don’t clash in a negative way to lessen the visual appeal of the entire package. Luckily there are tools to help you choose colors that will work well together. Adobe Kuler (kuler.adobe.com), ColourLovers (www.colourlovers.com) and ColorBlender (www.colorblender.com) are tools that you can use to help choose attractive color combinations for your labels.
An eye catching graphic will also help draw attention to your product. With stock photography and illustrations so inexpensive these days you can find a graphic for your labels at places like iStockphoto.com or Photos.com for just a few dollars. You can then use these images on your product labels, just be sure to check the license agreement. In the case of iStockphoto you can use most images for up to 500,000 product labels without buying an extended license. A picture really can be worth 1,000 words on a product label as a compelling graphic draws the eye to your product.Visit cost effective product labeling for more details.
Color and graphics will help catch the eye but unless your label is easily readable at a glance then you will lose people. They say you have only 2-3 seconds to attract the attention of a shopper browsing the aisles of a grocery store which is enough time to read just a handful of words. You should have your brand or company name as well as two or three words describing the product in large enough type that it can be read from six feet away.
Speaking of type, your choice of fonts is a critical decision and deserves just as much attention as choosing color and graphics. Don’t choose one of the standard Windows fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial, and also avoid overused fonts such as Papyrus or Monotype Corsiva. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different – there are thousands of unique fonts available online – just go to fonts.com or 1001freefonts.com. The important point to remember is that you want good looking type that is easy to read.
Before you even begin the design process you need to consider the label material. Your design needs to “fit” the material. Common material choices include white, clear, or a cream textured paper. Clear material allows for a “no label look” that can be very striking if you have a colored container or product. Take a look at Palmolive original dish soap – this is a product that uses a clear label very well. A simple design with white ink, it really shows off the striking green liquid inside. White material gives you the most flexibility with design, because you can make white into any color you like, or you can just use the white background. For an old world look, a textured cream paper can be very effective and is popular with wineries where you want to convey a handcrafted image.
6. Label Finish
Whether you choose a glossy or matte finish to your labels is a judgment call depending on the kind of image you want to convey. A matte laminate can provide a more classic look that is very easy to read, whereas gloss will add some impact to the colors on the label and provide a shiny, reflective look. A good example of the matte look is the Honest Tea brand of bottled teas. In the highly competitive beverage market they have a more subdued look with a simple label that works really well with the matte finish. If you can’t decided between matte and glossy then do a small order of both and test it – see what people find most attractive.
7. Label Size
If you are using a round container then you most likely have a choice – do you want one large label or separate front and back labels? Front and back labels allow you to elegantly separate the front branding information from the ingredient and regulatory information but they can be more expensive than a large wrap around label. If you go with a wraparound label then it is important to keep a front “panel” with the vital branding information because that is what the consumers will see as they are browsing the aisles.