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Product Label Design: Our Best Design Tips, Tricks, and Insights

Product Label Design: Our Best Design Tips, Tricks, and Insights
Are you a perfectionist that wants top-notch product label design? If so, then check out these tips, tricks, and insights to create stunning labels!

33% of consumer decisions are based on packaging. Why? Because first impressions are hard to shake, which means your brand only has a few seconds to attract a potential customer's attention.

Much like the outfit you select for an important job interview; product labels communicate a lot. Is your brand serious or sassy? Do you prefer bold colours or a simple approach?

Product labels tell the consumer what it is that you're selling to them. As savvy marketers know, you're never just selling corn chips or luxury skin cream. You're selling an experience or a feeling.

Our brains take a product label and estimate what experience this product will provide. Can your brand be trusted, will it fill a void in the customer's life, and is it a product that is visually appealing?

Product label design dictates that all-important first impression. That's high stakes when you start the product label design process. We've assembled some great product label design tips to take that worry off your shoulders! 

Do Your Homework 

Before you make any big moves, take the time to construct some buyer personas. These are carefully detailed biographies that outline your ideal buyer's lifestyle, motivations, financial situation, and personality.

If you're targeting a few different demographics, construct a buyer persona for each demographic you're targeting. In this way, you'll be able to tap into your buyers' deep psychology and motivations.

Start with the basic questions. What are their age, gender, and location? What do they do for work, and what is their education level? What is their relationship status, and what does their lifestyle look like?

This is the equivalent of an actor creating a backstory for their character. These details may seem irrelevant if you're trying to sell someone a swimsuit. But all these tiny details add up to value systems, psychological triggers, and values around spending money.

Once you've ironed out these details, consider their values. For instance, if you're targeting a younger demographic, your company's commitment to eco-friendly packaging and recycling might matter when choosing which company to buy from.

Finding Your Niche

Product Label Design

If you truly know the demographic, you know what will tip their scales to purchase from you instead of a competitor.

However, it's not just enough to know why they would buy from you. You also need to know why they won't buy from a competitor. What elements of a competitor's packaging, marketing, and values do they dislike?

Once you've sketched out their consumer likes, dislikes, and value systems, you know what to shoot for. More importantly, you also know what to avoid.

One of the most crucial parts of constructing a buyer's persona is doing market research. What are similar companies doing in your industry?

This helps you identify what potential customers expect from a company in the industry. After all, it's important to know what the rules are before you start breaking them.

After you've assembled all of this market research, buyer persona work, and psychological information, it's time to move onto the nuts and bolts of product labelling.

Size Matters

How big is your product? This helps dictate how big the product labels should be. You'll need to have some give and take when deciding how much product should be showing.

If the label is too big, none of the actual products will be visible. This works for some products, but if a visual appeal is a big part of your marketing strategy, then it might not work.

It's also important to consider how much product label information you need to convey. Is a minimalistic approach a good idea, or do you need to write your entire brand's story outside the product?

This is a good time to fall back on the market research that you completed in step one when making these decisions. What's the industry standard for product label sizes?

Go Big or Go Home

Remember when we said that you aren't just selling a product? No matter how mundane or practical your offerings maybe, you're still selling an experience. You don't have to go with a boring, safe option. 

One of the best product label examples is the pasta brand Alla Luigi. As a down-home Italian pasta company, they prioritize a homemade feel that evokes nostalgia from old Italy. Their product offerings emphasize hand-made, natural pasta with no dyes, preservatives, or additives.

Their brand goal? To evoke that 'just like Nonna used to make the experience. That nostalgic quality, meant to evoke the good old days, is represented in their packaging. 

Pasta is packed into transparent packaging for easy purchasing. Another perk? The packaging material is completely recyclable.

The product label design is where Alla Luigi really stands out, though. The label includes the name of the pasta, the company name in Italy's colours, and a black-and-white family photo.

This gives the brand an authentic, trustworthy feel. It makes them stand out from more corporate pasta companies by highlighting their connections to family and Italy.

If you examine their product label choices, they certainly aren't noisy or disruptive. But these simple choices align to create one identifiable mood: nostalgia.

And if you're craving some down-home Italian pasta, that's exactly what you're looking for.

Craft Your Copy 

Product Label Design

Product labels aren't the place to publish the great American novel. Instead, it's time to get in and get out as painlessly and possible. However, at the prospect of boiling down your product pitch, company values, and understanding of your target demographic into a few words, you might panic.

No worries! Start at a birds'-eye level by interrogating your concept with a few good questions.

What do you find exciting about your product, and what do customers find exciting about it? If you're writing from a place of passion, this can help identify the fun highlights that are worth emphasizing in your product label copy.

Next, it's time to brainstorm the benefits of your product. What does it do, and what experience does it provide for your customers? What want or need in their lives does it fulfil? 

Of course, you won't be able to list all of these benefits in your product labels. Instead, you can use this behind-the-scenes work to inform choices like colour, text, font, placement, size, and more.

Doing Your Research

Once you've outlined all the benefits of your product, it's time to emphasize why people should buy from your company. If you and your competitor sold identical products at identical price points, why should consumers still buy from you?

The last question helps you identify value adds. What little perks or promotions does your product have that make it a great deal for the consumer? For instance, your soft drink might have a few more ounces per can than your primary competition.

When doing all this backstory work for product label design, it's crucial to let yourself run free. In this way, you'll be able to approach the final copy with ease. 

Don't Skimp on Quality Assurance

Product Label Design

Once you send your product out into the world, it's representative of your brand. For many people, it will be the only piece of branded content they get to see. 

That's why errors are so high-stakes. A convoluted run-on sentence on the back of the bottle, or an embarrassing typo at the front, can give your product a bad name before you're truly off the ground.

Invest your dollars in copy edits. When you snag a typo that could have turned your product into a joke, you'll thank yourself.

It's also crucial to apply the quality assurance review process to graphics too. Take the time to get plenty of people to review it.

What path does their eye naturally follow across the product label? What do they think of when they see your graphics? Are they visually overwhelmed, or is there too much blank space?

Before you hand your product over to the world, it's crucial to give it a fighting chance. While you're taking the time to craft a high-quality product label design, your competitors are doing the same thing.

The stakes are high, but when you're armed with the right research and can-do enthusiasm, your label will shine as one in a million.

Embracing the Art of Product Label Design

Just like any other art form, the thousands of calculations involved in product label design will come slowly at first. Art is a combination of numbers, marketing, visual appeal, psychology, and more.

The biggest challenge? You have to communicate all of these data points without actually saying them. Subtlety is the name of the game when it comes to product labels. 

Suppose you're new to the product label design game, no worries! Everyone starts somewhere, and we're here to help you. With a well-developed knowledge of materials, products, and industries, we've helped countless companies label their dreams. Contact us today so we can do the same for you!

 

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