How to Design the Perfect Product Label for Anything
When it comes to influencing purchasing decisions, few things are as important as a product label. Of course, a great product and smart marketing campaign are essential but with 70% of shoppers making their purchasing decisions in-store, it’s clear that a good product label can be the difference between success and failure.
Product labels vary greatly and what works for one type of product may not for another, therefore if you’re a designer who’s tasked with designing the label for a new product, you need to know exactly how to go about it and what research you need to do before getting started on the design.
Below are two of the most vital pieces of research you need to do to come up with the perfect product label design.
Who is your ideal customer?
The most fundamental thing you need to know to design the perfect product label is who the ideal customer for the product is. The reason this is so important is because different people respond to different visual cues so to design a label that’s appealing to your ideal customer, you need to know exactly who that is.
Some of the key things to find out about the consumers of the product whose label you’re designing are –
- Age – Is the product aimed at younger or older consumers? This is a big once since tastes can vary a lot amongst different generations.
- Gender – Is the product aimed primarily at males or females? Even if the product appears gender neutral, there might still be one sex who buys it more.
- Values – The values of the product’s customers is another vital piece of information to find out and is especially useful when thinking about how to push the USP of the product through the label design.
- Education – Knowing the education level of your ideal customer is also key and will help inform your design decisions.
- Familiarity – If the product is by a brand that already has a lot of recognition amongst consumers then is another key thing you need to know.
Who are your competitors and what are they doing?
Researching competition is another key part of designing a product label. Knowing what competing brands are doing will help you to decide what aspects to include or omit in your own design.
Researching competitors that have a very similar customer to your own product is extremely useful, especially those that are very successful since it will give you a clearer idea of what type of design works well.
Choosing the right material
Depending on the company you’re working with, you may or may not have a say when it comes to the type of material that’s used for the product packaging labels. You will need to find out exactly what type of material will be used for the label before you start the design though, even if you don’t have any input where this is concerned.
The reason this is important is because you’ll need to adopt a design approach that’s appropriate for the material you’re working with.
For example, if you’re designing a metallic label that will be used as packaging for an alcoholic drink then you’ll take a different approach than you would for a glossy label used for an ice cream product.
Creating an information hierarchy
One of the most important practical decisions you need to make when designing a product label is what information to include and its prominence on the packaging.
The product name and logo will of course need to be displayed most prominently on the packaging. After that though, there’s a host of other information that needs to be included and it’s your job to decide where it will be placed, its size and how it will fit into the overall design.
Some of the most important pieces of information to include on the label are –
- Benefits of the product/USP
- Nutritional information
Creating the design
Once you’ve done your research it’s then time to start creating the design itself. Below are some of the most important decisions to make regarding the design.
- Colour scheme – Colours are extremely important when designing the product label. When thinking about what colours to use, you not only need to consider what impression you want to make but also to work with the pre-existing colours of the brand. You don’t necessarily have to use the same colours that are in the product logo but you do need to be mindful of them and make sure they don’t clash with the colours you use for the packaging. A good colour scheme will help the product to stand out from competing products and also catch the eye of consumers.
- Typography – When selecting typography to use on the product label, the two most important questions to ask yourself are – 1. Do the font choices represent the brand/product properly? 2. Are they clear and easy-to-read?
- Pictures/illustrations – Using photos and illustrations is a great way to get across the USP of the product. For example, if you were designing a product label for an orange juice product that your client wants to appeal to families, then you could use a picture or illustration of young children with the product as the main image on the label.
Designing the perfect product label may take a good amount of time and research but the impact it can have on the success of a product is enormous.
A great product label should not only differentiate the product from competitors but it should also attract new customers and directly influence purchasing decisions.
In short – a great product label will lead to more sales and more customers!
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