How To Design A Label

Have you just launched a new brand of hand-ground coffee that has a taste that no other coffee producer in your neighborhood can match and you need to package it in a way that everyone will appreciate? This blog post will describe how to design a label with tips.

Or, maybe you’re moving to a new house and you need a way to remember what boxes contain what items.

What makes these two situations similar would be the fact that with both you can massively benefit if you possess the modern-day version of the ancient craft of – label making.

The great thing about labels is that this small piece of printer paper allows you to briefly tell a story about your product and inform and attract the potential buyer.

How To Design A Label

There are different types of labels, of course, but what makes them all fall into the same category, so to speak, would be the fact that labels typically contain some sort of important information about the thing that they are stuck on.

In this article, we’re going to talk about labels in more detail and lead you through a step-by-step process of creating one. Since there are different types of labels, we will first briefly explain what these types are.

Next, we will go on to explain how to make labels for a product, because these are the most complex and you have the most options to work with in terms of design approach and creativity you can unleash, so to speak.

So, without further ado, here’s the deal.

The Different Types of Labels

how to design a label

Labels are present on pretty much any product you can see nowadays, from chewing gum packets to lawnmowers and air conditioners.

That said, there are other types of labels out there.

Each of these types serves a specific purpose and below, we’ve listed four main types of labels commonly used worldwide:

Address Labels

Typically seen on postal packages and other types of items that get shipped to and fro customers, address labels are one of the most common types of labels that are used all the time, usually whenever some items need to be sent to someplace.

One of the most important things about address labels is that they need to be limited in dimensions, so to speak, so as not to take up too much space.

That said, however small it may be, address labels still need to contain all the crucial pieces of information that may be relevant for sending and receiving the item in question.

For example, address labels need to contain the name of the sender, of the recipient, as well as the addresses of the two – hence the name of this type of label.

In case the label is custom-made by the manufacturer of the product that’s being sent somewhere, such address labels can also contain the brand logo of the product in question.

Also, these labels can be colored in a way that reflects the brand’s identity, so to speak. (For example, the label for a company selling beauty products based on natural ingredients can be colored green if the label on the product is also green.)

CTA Labels

CTA (call to action) labels are a special breed of label that serves the purpose of inciting the customer to do something with the product the label is on.

Typically, CTA messages are supposed to be short, because the goal is to quickly grab the attention of a potential customer. Of course, this is more of a guideline than a rule, as some CTA’s can be longer. It all depends on what sort of messages your customers are used to.

One of the examples of a great CTA on a product label would be the message ‘smell me’ that you may see on a small label attached to a perfume.

Usually, many beauty product manufacturers attach small labels to their products that you can smell, so you can have an idea of what the scent of that cosmetic product will be if you decide to buy it.

Product Labels

Representing by far the largest and the most complex type of labels, product labels are what you can see on a can of Pepsi or a bottle of Schweppes.

Of course, these labels aren’t just limited to beverages, but they are also used on virtually any product sold on a market. Even small-scale manufacturers of some products will make custom-made labels to go with their products.

The goal of a product label is to briefly explain to the potential buyer what the product is, how to use it, and why you should buy that particular product instead of some other belonging to the same category.

For example, the Booster energy drink has a label that says More energy, more fun! to let the potential buyer know that if they buy that drink, they will have more energy and, well, more fun.

Packaging Stickers & Name Tags

Once you’ve already stuck a brand-new label on the product that you want to sell, it’s time to ship it to whoever decided to buy it.

This is where packaging stickers come into play.

This special breed of labels is used to hold two pieces of a cardboard packaging box together, for example.

You may have seen these stickers in Japan, where they use only one small sticker to hold an entire package wrapped in special packaging paper.

The great thing about these stickers is that they represent another opportunity to market your brand, as nothing is stopping you from printing your business logo onto it.

Another form of brand-boosting label commonly used in meetings and different kinds of live promotional events (or even online ones) would be name tags.

As their name suggests, the purpose of a name tag is to have the name of the person wearing it printed on it, so that everyone around them knows how to address them.

Name tags are typically worn by waiters in restaurants, as well as by employees of a company that’s being represented at some sort of expo or some other similar corporate event.

Other than displaying the name of the person wearing them, name tags can also be used to print the company’s logo on them, which gives your business a couple of free promotion points, so to speak.

How To Design A Great Label

how to design a label
1. Choose Your Creative Tools

When it comes to designing your label on a computer, there are so many options out there that you’ll probably have a tough time choosing only one for the task at hand.

This can be virtually any program that allows you to edit text, images, and different designs and colorful patterns – depending on how you want your product label to look.

For example, you can use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Suite, Canva (a program where you can draw and edit designs that is similar to Photoshop), MediBang, or a similar program.

You can even use simpler products that aren’t mainly designed for visuals and design itself. For example, you can achieve decent results by just using Microsoft Word or a similar program that allows you to manipulate texts and images.

2. Mind the information you’re putting on a label

While a great visual design will have a lot to do with attracting the customer to your brand and the product at hand, you must not forget to include the most important pieces of information about the product the label is on.

For example, if you’re making custom-made soap, you may want to include on the label the name of the brand, the ingredients of the soap, what fragrance it is, and how to correctly store it, for example.

3. Take the container & the packaging into consideration

When designing the label for your product, it is hugely important to take into consideration the shape of the packaging the product comes in.

First off, you need to make sure that the label doesn’t go over some odd angle of the container your product comes in, because the label then may be hard to read or downright look weird.

For example, you may have seen those funny situations where a company pays the public transport department of a city to paint the buses so that a certain product is promoted.

So, sometimes the folks that are applying the paint on the buses forget that bus doors open and close frequently, which makes the message look funny from the outside. (Especially if there is a face painted on half on the door and the other half on the immobile part of the bus.)

4. Make good use of your brand logo

As we already hinted at in the passages above, a product label should aim to accomplish two main tasks:

  • Explain what’s inside the package or container that the product is in, and
  • Promote your brand, so that the customers remember it easily.

Now, if you’ve already made sure that your product label includes all the relevant pieces of information regarding the contents of the packaging, you can move on to figuring out the second part of the equation, so to speak.

To do this, a good starting point is to add your company logo to the label.

Also, you can further expand brand promotion by adding some fun colors that represent your brand, so that your potential customers know what manufacturer made the product even if they see it from afar.

5. Ensure the label is easy to read

Lebel by using large letters and fonts with letters that are easily discernable from one another, so to speak.

The thing is, in case your customers can’t read the name of the product or some other specifications about the product, they will be less likely to buy it.

A font that is not easy to read may make your brand come across as insecure, so to speak, and it may hamper your sales no matter how much money you shovel into your marketing campaign.

6. Use decorative elements

Now that you’ve ensured that your product label is easy to read and that it contains all the essential pieces of information about the product in question, as well as the brand as a whole, you can add some decorative elements to the design of your label.

Again, the important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t overdo it, because then the label may look too detailed.

This may come across as confusing to the potential customer, so you should steer clear from ‘overloading’ your label with unnecessary fluff that could do more harm than good in terms of the aesthetic appeal of the label.

For example, Red Bull is a well-known energy drink brand that’s managed to attract a huge worldwide audience by using simple but unique designs and drawings in their marketing campaigns. They also make animated commercials that look fairly simple but still manage to capture the attention of their customers and promote the brand.

7. Don’t be afraid to experiment

While following the general guidelines we laid out in the passages above will certainly help you make a decent label, creating one that is so memorable that it will promote your brand and tell the customer about the product is usually a challenge even for experienced designers.

This shouldn’t discourage you, however, as adding some personal touches to the label you’re making can be that pinch of magic that will make your label and your product stand out from the rest.

At the end of the day, everyone likes to see a funny and intelligent design on a label.

So, if you can make your potential customers feel good when they look at your product label, or you can make them laugh, or feel special, you’ll have a higher chance of selling the product and creating a memorable brand, too.

Conclusion

All things considered, design a label is a fairly straightforward process that can be quite difficult, even if you know all the exact steps for making it. On the other hand, the great news is that, if you have enough creativity, you can create a memorable label that will promote your brand and help your business grow.

So, as long as you pour your heart and soul into your label and make sure to follow the guidelines from above, we are certain you will be able to come up with something that your customers will find appealing. I hope that this blog post, “How To Design A Label” has helped you find a new way of expressing yourself through designing.

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