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7 Beer Label Trends You Need to Know About

7 Beer Label Trends You Need to Know About
Do you have a killer brew you're excited to put on the market, but aren't sure how to package it? Learn the 7 beer label trends you need to know about here.

When it comes to getting your product in front of customers, there's a lot of logistics and planning along the way. But what about getting them to buy your product?

Don't underestimate the value of a well-designed beer label. It makes you stand out from the competition and gives your customers an idea of what your product is going to be about. 

Not to mention, a large portion of your production costs likely go to packaging. So wouldn't it make sense to get the most bang for your buck on your beer labels?

If you're looking for tips and tricks on how to package your beer, you've come to the right place. We've put together a handy guide to seven beer label trends that is sure to help your product fly off the shelves. Read on for more!

1. Maximalism Is Back

While there's a lot to be said about a clean and simple minimalist design, that trend is on the way out.

Consumers are bored with minimalist designs and are looking for eye-catching, vibrant designs. Sometimes these beer label designs may even seem a little "busy."

Maximalism embraces over-the-top. Vivid colors, lots of lines and shapes, and very little negative space are part of the core of the maximalist design ethos.

Maximalism also gives the designer or artist ultimate creative freedom. They are no longer constrained to a limited color palette and one clean sans serif font.

Now the trend is to embrace the weird and the wild. And it's certainly a good way to make your products stand out from the crowd.

Under the maximalist umbrella, there are a couple of notable beer label design trends to keep an eye on.

The first is color blocking. This is taking large vibrant shapes of color and layering them over each other to create new shapes.

While color-blocking is not new, maximalism takes it from plain geometric shapes in simple colors into more organic forms and textures.

Another is hand-drawn fonts and patterns/designs. This gives a lot of life and movement to a beer label design that is sure to hold shoppers' attention. 

Maximalism embraces conflicting colors, patterns, and even styles, so don't be afraid to mix it up. 

2. Retro Designs 


Retro designs from almost every era are poised to be the next big thing in beer label design.

These pair well with the maximalist design above, but can also stand on their own in a simpler design scheme.

The first major trend in retro designs is bringing back the 1960's psychedelia. Rounded, flowing fonts and vibrant contrasting colors are the hallmarks of 60's graphic design. 

Intricate illustrations and happy, vibrant characters also fit in well with the '60s aesthetic.

And if the "groovy" hippie-inspired aesthetic is not a good fit, the '60s are also well-known for the "Mod" movement and the pop art of Andy Warhol.  

Another emerging retro design trend for beer packaging is rubber hose characters.

This refers to a style of animation pioneered in the 1920s, where characters' limbs appear to be made of rubber. Think "Steamboat Willie," or more recently, "Cuphead."

Another trend that stretches the definition of "retro" is bringing it back to the year 1999 with Y2K Aesthetics.

If you want beer branding that stands out from the rest, this is certainly a way to do it. Holographic printing, pastel colors, and a different take on "retro-futurism" are hallmarks of this design style.

3. Sustainable Packaging And Raw Materials

Stepping away from the visual design side of beer packaging, let's take a look at some material choices.

Customers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and environmentally-friendly products.

Additionally, the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, making traditional packaging such as aluminum cans scarce. This makes recycled goods a lot more appealing from a cost and availability standpoint.

While beer cans have been ubiquitous for decades, many beer companies have moved towards glass bottles for a more upscale customer experience.

Glass is much more readily available and easier to manufacture. So while it may have been more expensive beer packaging in the past, it is becoming a more attractive option in the face of aluminum shortages.

Not to mention, glass bottles are much more collectible and attractive as display pieces. 

Another thing to consider is how the labels themselves are printed. White bleached paper is not as sustainably produced as unbleached kraft-style paper. And natural inks can lend a "homey" feel to a printed label, as well.

This could be an appealing part of your beer label design. Customers are attracted to products that appear more handmade and artisanal. Pair kraft paper labels with woodblock designs for the ultimate craft brew design.

4. Clear Labels

While they may not be as natural and artisanal as kraft paper labels, clear labels open up a world of interesting design options.

And they are poised to be a major trend in beer label design for 2022. The appeal is in the idea that there is no "label" on the bottle. 

This allows the text and design to float on the bottle itself, without breaking up the visual lines of the bottle with a chunk of paper.

One thing to keep in mind when designing for clear labels is that printing costs can be higher. Clear labels themselves are more expensive to produce than adhesive paper.

Clear labels also need to be printed on a layer of white ink before applying the color. This is to ensure that the colors are vibrant enough to contrast against the bottle. 

While costs for these labels can be higher, they definitely offer a different shopping experience for your customers and will stand out on the shelves.

5. Sensory Label Design


Sensory label design takes beer labels beyond visuals and gives them a tactile dimension.

This includes all sorts of details that go into printing a beer label, from the paper stock to embossing and even adding textures. 

Sensory label design encourages shoppers to touch the product. Holding a product instead of viewing it on a shelf increases the likelihood they will buy it.

The first part of a sensory design is the medium it is printed on in the first place. Do you want a glossy, matte, or satin label? What is the stock of the paper? Is it made of cotton, wood pulp, or some other material?

Next is adding texture to the label. This can be done via processes such as embossing, which raises the texture, or engraving which presses it inwards.

If you want to get beyond touch, you could also experiment with sound and scent. A specially-shaped bottle or can pop tab could create a distinctive sound, for example. Or a scratch and sniff label would be a novel gimmick.

There is a lot of possibilities for sensory label design. If you want custom beer labels that really stand out from the crowd, consider incorporating some sensory elements. 

6. Digital Printing For Small/Exclusive Batches

This trend leans more into the process side of beer label production. It is best-suited to smaller breweries or companies that want to release more exclusive, limited products.

Most beer labels are still screen-printed. This is an expensive and time-consuming process, although the results are extremely high-quality.

However, digital printing has begun to close the gap. No longer does it look faded or blurry. It is becoming a viable alternative to screen printing.

Digital printing for beer labels opens up the possibility of doing more limited-run and collectible releases. It lowers the cost and turnaround time needed, making it more viable to do smaller runs of product.

Digital printing also allows for embossing and adding things such as foil and other interesting materials to the printing, without the astronomical costs that screen-printing adds.

7. Graphic Novel-Inspired Beer Labels

This trend does not necessarily refer to just the art style of the beer label. It is about the label itself telling a story.

Much like a comic book, this uses the beer label as a medium to show a character-driven story. 

While it doesn't necessarily have to include comic panels, most beer labels in this style will use the entire label to show a scene or action sequence.

This is a great way to utilize a company mascot, and also embrace the inherent sequence of a six-pack. Put a different panel of art on each can or bottle, and you've made an engaging and collectible piece of art.

Printing Custom Beer Labels

Regardless of the design trends that you choose to embrace, make sure that your beer labels are appealing and distinct. It's a crowded market out there, so you want to use every advantage to stand out. 

If you are looking for high-quality custom beer labels for your product, you need an experienced and specialized printer to get the best labels possible. Don't waste time and money on badly-printed labels!

We offer many printing services and options, as well as experienced technical assistance. 

We can help you through every step of the label printing process to bring your vision to life. Please contact us at to get started today!

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