Labels are the face of your product. In some ways, they’re more important than the product itself. Studies in the food industry alone have shown that labelling influences customers of all ages, genders, and economic standings. So how do you make sure customers aren’t strolling past your item in the store (or scrolling past your listing on a website)? You need to have an attractive and functional label.
Unlike logos, labels combine a lot of different design elements. Labels are a composite design of multiple elements that all need to come together flawlessly lest the whole effort be ruined. Crafting an excellent logo likely looks deceptively simple. At a glance, labels may just seem like “pictures” that mark products, but the level of care that needs to go into them is tremendous. Throw your product onto store shelves with a weak label and you’ll have an uphill battle to recover from the negative impact.
You walk a fine line when designing a label. It needs to be bold, energetic and on brand. Yet at the same time, it needs to be substantially different from competing labels. And when competing brands are also trying to be bold, energetic and on brand, you need to pull out all the creative stops to ensure your label makes a mark. Remember that even a spot-on label will be ineffective if another company has already crafted a very similar label.
A label is what should, at a glance, differentiate your product from the competition. Unless you’re a pioneer in your field, odds are you’ve got a few competitors out there with similar products. Your product may be the best, but not all customers are going to take the time to really parse the differences while they’re shopping. You need a recognizable label that will instantly sway them to your side.
A good label needs to fulfill two functions: it has to be attractive to the customer, and it has to be informative. Leaning too heavily on one aspect at the expense of the other can cost you sales. A flashy, intriguing label may be great, but if it doesn’t communicate any information about the product, then customers may become frustrated and pass it by for a more clearly labelled product. At the same time, cramming an in depth description of your product’s components and advantages onto a label won’t win you any favors, either.
The key is elegance in design. To design the perfect label you need to decide on the key elements you’re trying to get across, be that style, information, or product usage. Then you need to come up with the most concise and efficient way possible to convey those messages for your label. At the end of the day, you’re going to be taking a hatchet to your design, trying to make it more concise, not the other way around. So let’s take a closer look at how to come up with a truly stunning label design that you’ll be using for years to come!
Stay tuned for more discussions about tips and tricks for designing labels that will make you stand out in the crowd.