Pro Design Tips for Professional Looking Labels

Whether it’s food labels, beverage labels or any other type of product, when it comes to designing the perfect product label there’s a lot to think about. You want eye-catching products that stand out from the competition, while being brand appropriate and appealing to your target market.

Besides the aesthetics of the labels, they also need to be functional. They need to clearly display all relevant product information and meet labelling requirements applicable to the product and your industry. They should also showcase your unique selling points or appealing features while building trust and authority in your product niche.

Getting the label design right can be the difference between drawing in new customers or having your products passed over in favour of the competition.

To help you get on the path to perfect label design, we’re going to have a look at some pro tips that will help you create the product labels that really pop.

Know your target market

If you want to create labels that appeal to your target market, you first need to identify and define your target market. This involves identifying your typical customer types by examining your existing customer base, looking at your competitors, and analysing your products to determine who they benefit or appeal to.

Once you have a sense of who your typical customers are you can start planning out design choices that appeal specifically to that market segment. Different demographics and different consumers will respond to different design styles. And an experienced graphic designer will help you to make the right design choices to appeal to your chosen market.

Create a brand story

It‘s important to remember that customers buy stories, not just products. Crafting a brand story can help to build trust and forge a connection with your customers.

The biggest and best brands create stories that customers buy into. Think of giant international brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, Disney, Apple and McDonald’s. They all have instantly recognisable brand stories that border on mythology. These stories engage consumers and make them feel like they are buying into something bigger than just a product.

While not on the scale of these world beating giants, your product labelling can help to convey your own brand story.

Display elements of your product that place your brand within a larger narrative context and help customers to link your products to other movements or stories. For example, organic or eco friendly branding can help place your products within those larger narratives.

Think about what story you want your branding to tell and how you can effectively work those elements into your labelling.

Be original

Be unique and memorable. Sure, that’s easier said than done. But creating unique and immediately recognisable labelling will help you stand out from the competition. However, it’s important to be unique while also working within the established confines of your brand and product niche.

Study your competitors’ designs, see what works for your industry and target market, but then create something unique to your brand and product.

Copying a popular design can undermine your brand credibility and dilute the impact your products make, since they may end up looking similar to existing products.

Worst case scenario: you could even land you in legal trouble if it can be shown that you’ve copied a competitor’s intellectual property.

Work with a professional graphic design team

Design is no simple business. There are plenty of complex elements that have to be carefully considered and balanced to create the perfect label design. And given that your labels will create the first impression on your customers, it’s vital that you don’t leave your design in the hands of amateurs.

Professional graphic designers understand how to incorporate all the important elements into a design to create a label that is eye-catching, appropriate and functional.

For example, design architecture is a crucial consideration of label design. Design architecture determines the impression that a label makes from a distance. A label needs to draw in the eye from a distance while resolving into clearly discernible units on closer inspection.

Your designer will focus on a range of other factors including:

  • Balancing colours
  • Using appropriate fonts
  • Ensuring appropriate use of white space
  • Ensuring readability
  • Selecting appropriate and high-quality imagery
  • Minimising clutter and text

Include all important information

Depending on your industry, there may be some labelling requirements that are required by law. These could be alcohol labelling requirements, food labelling standards, nutritional information, or ingredients.

Besides the legally required label elements, other important information could also be points of difference or unique selling points that help your products stand out from the competition.

Determine what is the most vital information to present, then think about what information is just “nice to have.” Ultimately, you will likely not be able to fit everything you want onto the label, so it will be helpful to be able to cull unnecessary info.

Quality printing and materials

Finally, you want to ensure materials and printing processes that are appropriate to your packaging and your product. For example, package labelling for some food and beverage products may need to be designed to withstand changes in temperature as well as wet conditions without peeling, tearing or fading.

Working with professional label manufacturers will ensure that you get the best quality printing and materials suited to your products.

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Francis Mathias

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