As a graphic designer or marketer, you may find yourself in need of custom labels for products and marketing materials. Creating your own labels can help give your products an edge in the marketplace and enhance your overall branding strategy. Consumers will often see your labels before nearly any other design related to your company so label design is a great opportunity to make a solid first impression. Knowing the right tools and methods, along with some important rules and field-tested tips will ensure your company labels look professional and effectively grab your potential consumer’s attention.
Choosing Label Design Applications:
Perhaps the most commonly used application for creating labels is Adobe Illustrator. This professional design program allows you to create scalable vector graphics that can be resized to fit on any surface without loss of quality. Adobe Illustrator works by plotting points and lines on a canvas that can be reduced to a mathematical formula and replicated on various scales. This differs greatly from standard raster image types most often used by Adobe Photoshop and other applications. If your label will contain photo-realistic images and graphics, you will want to have access to Photoshop as well, as it’s better for details like those found in common photography. Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop together is a great way to create scalable label designs for any product. If you need a free alternative to Photoshop or want to make your labels in open-source software, try GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) for your vector or raster designs.
How To Best Make Label Backgrounds:
One of the best ways to get started making your label is to find a stock graphic online with free commercial usage rights. Freepik is a popular source for these types of graphics. Download or create a basic vector background that reflects the tone of your product and company. Many backgrounds are available on this site and others contain embellished borders, drop-shadows, and textured canvas areas that can give you a great head-start on your label.
Label Fonts and Typography:
If you already have WordPress hosting then you may be familiar with plugins like WP Typography that can allow you to import fonts and another typographical styling to your interfaces. Use the same fonts and typography that you generate for your website on your label to give your company a coherent and uniform branding. Make sure all the fonts on your label are well legible, as many consumers want to read even the smaller print before making a purchase or consuming products. Limit your font variety to no more than three fonts per label to avoid looking out of sorts and unorganized.
Matching Colors for Labels:
Another important aspect of your label is the coloring. All colors found on your product label should match or at least be compatible with the colors on your website and printed marketing materials. This will help keep your branding recognizable and make it appear that your product line is well established. WordPress hosting users can use the TinyMCE Color Picker tool to select the best colors for their site and labels. The colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel are usually great matches, so if you get stuck just match two colors like Yellow and Purple or Green and Red.
Content for Labels:
Don’t forget to add all the content to your label that consumers will be looking for as they shop. This includes ingredients and allergy information, contact information for your company, as well as branding and a short marketing pitch. Try to sum up why your product is a great choice for two or three sentences that engage the potential consumer without confusing them. Some humor may be appropriate depending on your product type. Use a sharp and easy to read font for the smaller text on your labels like your company address and any copyright information so that users can quickly decipher this information.
Creating your own labels is rewarding and gives your products a custom and professional feel. Make sure to use colors that complement not only each-other but the general color schemes used on your website and other marketing papers. Select fonts that reflect the mood and tone of your company but make sure they are easy to read while on the go such as for someone who is shopping in a store or glancing at your product on a shelf.
Add in all relevant information to your label so you don’t leave consumers confused, but keep your product description and sales pitches to a minimum to avoid frustrating potential customers. Consider combining design applications like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to make the most of your canvas and incorporate vector and raster images and graphics. Tools like typography plugins for WordPress and Color Selectors that you may already be using for your websites can also be used to make sure your labels look great and conform to your company branding and style guides.