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Product Labels: A Guide To Labeling


Between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores, the consumer industry is vast and forever growing. To make your product stand out, it is crucial to choose a well-designed product label that will catch the eye of anyone walking by. It is an essential tool in representing your business and the perfect way to convince consumers to buy.

With so many important decisions to make, it is easy to feel overwhelmed in the design process. Thankfully, by following a few simple pieces of advice and information, creating the product labels of your dreams will soon become a reality.

Why Do Label Designs Matter?

The Food Industry Association estimates that an average grocery store can stock over 35,000 products at any one time. Amazon, the leading establishment in online retail, sells over 12 million different products on its website. When you consider these numbers, you gain a much better understanding of how many options consumers really have.

For a product to sell, it needs to stand out against the wide range of competitor products available on the market. And while the overall quality will ultimately dictate whether a customer chooses to remain loyal to your business, a strong packaging design with an eye-catching label is the first step in attracting attention and persuading customers to purchase your items.

Graphics, Fonts & Color Palette

Choosing the best color palette for your label design is one of the most critical elements to get right. It needs to align with your brand and the overall personality of your product. For example, eco-friendly products are best reflected with earthy tones of browns, greens, and blues. On the other hand, high-end alcoholic beverages maintain a clean and elegant look with softer, more subdued tones.

Once your final color selection has been made, you need to make sure they work well together. Specific colors and tones strongly complement each other, while others create too much contrast. If you are unsure what can work well together, refer to a color wheel, which simply explains the best matches.

When choosing the perfect font, you need to ensure you consider the overall style of your product and the readability of your chosen style. While a sophisticated cursive font is elegant and well-suited for high-end products, it can be difficult to read. Your target audience will largely influence your final decision.

And finally, custom graphics and images will help to elevate a label design to a standout level. Many people can confidently say they picked up a product simply because the packaging caught their attention. Investing in high-quality custom graphics and images will cost more, but the long-term payoff will make it a worthwhile investment.

Material Durability

Product labels are available in a range of different materials; each created to withstand various conditions and environments. The nature of your product and the conditions it will be exposed to will significantly dictate the best options for you.

Paper labels are ideal for products that are unlikely to be exposed to moisture or extreme conditions. At the same time, BOPP or polyester-based materials are suited for beverages and condiments that require water resistance and durability.

Appropriate Shape & Size

Selecting the correct size and shape of your label is nearly as important as choosing your colors. The type of packaging you are using is going to be the most significant influencing factor in your decision-making. For example, if your item is in a round container, you will need to decide between a full wrap label or separate front and back options.

Each option has positives and negatives, but a separate front and back label allows you to visually divide the branding and marketing information from the less exciting consumer info.

Alternatively, you can use a custom shape specifically designed for your products, allowing you to set yourself apart from your competitors. A common tip for custom labels is choosing an option that mirrors the product itself, like a cookie-shaped label for artisan cookies.

A Compelling Story

Everybody loves a good story. It can be used as an excellent marketing tool to make your brand and business more appealing to consumers. If your company has an interesting history, or your products and raw material sourcing have a unique origin story, consider including a brief summary on your product label.

Consumers regularly connect with brands and products that share a story that highlights and reflects an origin or principles they can relate to or mimic in their own lives.

Clear Information

All labels need to contain clear and concise information about the product, additional details about the manufacturing process, and contact info about the company or distributor. In many industries, this information is highly regulated, and omitting it from your products can lead to hefty fines and penalties.

Additionally, as eCommerce continues to grow with the soaring popularity of the internet, including an email address or scannable QR code that will take customers directly to your webpage and social media profiles is a beneficial addition.


To maintain a professional appearance, especially with products that are part of a series in the production line, maintaining a recognizable consistency with your labels is vital. While it doesn’t have to be identical, there need to be enough common factors that allow consumers to make the connection between your products.

This will assist in keeping your brand recognizable and easy to spot on shelves in grocery stores and retail shops.

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