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5 Key Rules on How to Create an Effective Product Label

Designing a product label can be an intimidating thing. Follow these 5 rules on how to create an effective product label and create a label that beats all the competition.

Making a first impression is integral to creating a powerful message that turbo-charges your brand, but it’s easy to overdo it and mess up your image. The last thing you want to do is send people the wrong impression.

Designing a good label is much more than just a graphic. Realistically there’s a lot of practice and experience that goes into the design, and there’s a huge list of things you should do when you’re establishing your product label.

Here are our top 5 rules that you should follow when you’re designing your products custom label:

Spend plenty of time on your preliminary sketch

No matter what you’re doing, it’s important to start off small. Take the time to establish at least 20-30 different paper and pen drawings that establish a large variety of variations of your beginning ideas. If they don’t seem to work it’s important to start over with new sketches until you find the one that helps you establish your identity. A truly skilled designer or advertising professional will often spend as much or more time in the design step than actually making the label.

Balance and size are integral to good design

One of our brain’s interesting mechanisms is that we create scales in our head that help us perceive ideas. This means that some aspects are appealing and pleasing to the way that we receive information. When you’re developing your product label, you have to keep it balanced by enforcing that the “weight” of your finished product is equally balanced as your graphics, colour, and size. While you can tweak the rules as you see fit, your label will hopefully be seen by millions, so keeping it balanced is the way to go.

The same rules apply for logos. Logos MUST look good and be legible, no matter what size they are. Your logo instantly loses credibility when it’s not as defined when scaled down. It also needs to be designed in such a way that it looks great in larger formats like on billboards, posters, and on the web.

Use complementary colours

It’s tough to pick a colour scheme but it’s always best when you use complementary colours, and colours that aren’t too bright or graded. You also must ensure that your product label looks great in black and white, grayscale, and when made in just two colours.

The design has to fit the company

Make sure you effectively research your client and your audience before you begin your preliminary work. When you’re designing product labels, it should instantly provide background information to your client about the brand. Don’t fall into the trap of going after “recent trends”. Do what works for you by determining the best design style and work up a font that isn’t distracting and gets your message across so you can get a design that works the first time.

Be different and be recognisable

By all means break away from the norm and make yourself distinct with a product label, and definitely have fun establishing your design. However, there is a balance here. Research shows that anything that is more than 10% new is too much. It becomes too different and too “out there”. Take a few steps to stand out, but bear in mind it’s also about keeping it simple and working with the most important elements of advertising: size, style, colour, typography and originality.

Designing your product label can feel like a very daunting process. There are so many aspects to consider and directions that you can take your design. When you stick with these five key rules; spend plenty of time on the preliminary sketch, pay attention to the balance and size, use complementary colours, ensure the label fits the company image and be a little different; you will be off to a great start.

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