Label design: 7 factors to consider during the development process

Label design

The label on the product packaging is more than just a canvas for the realization of creative ideas. Even the most creative label design may not work if the following 7 factors are not considered in its development.

What should be taken into consideration for the label to work and sell? What types of labels can be? Read about it in the new Moloko Blog article.

1. Exploring the shelf

Label design always starts with shelf research. What do competitive products look like? What do they attract customers with? What are colors used?

Such research helps to determine what the category of product that needs to be packaged looks like. What combination of colors, fonts, and design elements the audience already associates with the product?

When we know what a category looks like, we can look for creative solutions so that our product looks harmonious on the shelf and still stands out from the competition.

2. Attention to packaging

The choice of the label directly depends on the packaging of the product. Label design cannot begin until a specific packaging has been approved.

You can choose the most common shapes of packaging or containers (beer cans, 750 ml wine bottles, etc.). In these situations, the designer can determine the size of the label and its other characteristics independently. If non-standard or complex packaging (bottles, boxes, jars, etc.) is planned, it will be necessary to provide designers with the most accurate information.

3. Consider branding — it is profitable

We always recommend starting work on label design only after the logo and corporate identity of the brand have been fully developed. Otherwise, there are risks that:

  • one successful label will dictate the corporate identity of the whole company;
  • as the brand grows and develops, the ready-made label will have to be redesigned.

In any case, there will be time costs for the search for new creative solutions, and along with them — additional costs.

Does your brand already have a corporate identity? We know how to develop a corporate identity that will solve the problems of your business.

Contact us:

Packaging design for Birtea tea

4. Getting to know typography

Even before the label concept is developed, it is important to know exactly which printing house is going to print it. Each printing house has its capabilities: its machines, print runs, list of services, and, of course, its prices.

For example, it is important to know in advance that matting, foiling, or the use of non-standard colors in printing may require additional costs.

Another important point is that each machine in any printing house has its settings, so it’s worth getting your hands on color profiles before starting work. This will help you make suggestions about what the result will look like. A label design may look perfect on the monitor screen, but when it is printed — due to the nature of the machine settings — some colors may be distorted, which will completely overturn the result of the work.

All of these details are important to know so that you do not run into unforeseen costs and unnecessary difficulties when sending labels to printing.

5. Competently collect and post information about the product

When working on a label project, the designer must gracefully balance its visual component and the tasks that this label is supposed to solve.

It is important to understand that the label is another convenient tool for increasing sales, and therefore it is important to treat its content with due diligence.

Let’s talk about it in more detail:

General information. One of these tasks is to convey to the consumer the most important information about the product. The volume and content of the text on the label directly depend on the specific product: nutritional value, composition, alcohol content, manufacturer’s address, etc. It is important that before starting work, the designer knows the exact volume of the text block to understand how to place it.

Packaging for the line of cosmetics Masstige «Pure Balance»

Badges, stickers, and awards. Stickers with information must be placed on the labels of some products. Already at the concept stage, you should gather complete information about the badges, the placement of which is required by your legislation. If the product has any awards, this should also be shown on the label.

A good trick is to post information about the benefits of the product on stickers. Bright and visible stickers attract the buyer’s eye and evoke strong associations with a quality mark.

If the designer has complete information about the badges and stickers at the concept stage, he gets the opportunity to place them as organically as possible on the label without cluttering them.

Redesign of the Zolotaya kaplya sauces

Barcode. It just has to be on the label. It is necessary to plan a place for a barcode so that it harmoniously fits into the label design. This will help not to look for extreme ways to cram it in the future.

6. Consider the price category

When developing a label design, the price category of the product should be taken into account. An expensive label on a product from the budget range, at best, will not justify the money invested, at worst — it will make the buyer doubt. By choosing an inexpensive product, a person will have more confidence in a simple and clear design. But the design with a reference to premium quality will make the consumer think about whether the manufacturer saved on the quality of the product by spending the entire budget on the packaging.

7. Conducting color proofs and testing the label design on the shelf

We already mentioned that printers can’t guarantee the accuracy of color transfer when printing. That’s why we recommend printing several test labels in potentially «problematic» colors. Test different shades and choose the ones that best suit your application.

A great solution for those who want to test the label is to put it on the packaging and «try on» the product on the store shelf. Critically evaluate the visual component of the product and answer the following questions:

  • How does the packaged product look in the window?
  • How does the product «feel» among the competitors? Does it stand out?
  • Is the product visible from a distance?
  • Does the product speak about itself according to its positioning? 

To get more objective information about the label and its place on the shelf, you can conduct focus-grouped.

Our agency conducts focus groups at the request of our clients. The information we receive through surveys is always very useful for our customers.

Types of labels

There are several common types of labels.

Consumers associate the very concept of a label with the front label. Its main tasks are to attract the attention of the consumer, stand out on the shelf and talk about the benefits of the product.

The back label is required for technical information, barcodes, product composition, certification marks, etc. If the consumer became interested in the product and took it in his hand, then it is the back label that should encourage him to send it to the basket. That’s why it is important to state the information necessary for the buyer as clearly as possible.

The lid label is another field for communicating product information and attracting attention. Depending on the size of the container, this label can hold even more graphic elements than the front label.

The «neck» label, or collar label, is often placed on the bottleneck by manufacturers.  Its purpose is to complement and reinforce the design of the front label.

The quality mark is placed on the packaging to inform the consumer whether the product has been opened or not opened before. It has a very small area, but some designers manage to place corporate identity elements on it.

Create a bright label design with us

Creating a label is a creative process with many limiting factors. To develop a label that will meet the objectives, both the client and the specialists of the creative agency need to be fully involved.

We always start work on a label by filling out a brief, and then take the project through the strategic and creative stages. We always invite clients to design sessions. No one knows the product better than its manufacturer, and therefore close collaboration always guarantees a quality result.