Labels aren’t always a luxury; they are often there for a reason. Labels hold the key to facts about how to use items or how much they weigh. They hold barcode numbers, or give us the sell by date of foods. They can also carry a product’s brand. In this way (and from a marketing perspective), a product’s success or failure can sometimes depend on a label!
So what must we consider when using a label to brand our products? Is a trendy label more eye-catching than a traditional label? Can labels ‘fool’ us into thinking something is more luxury than it is low budget?
When creating a product label, there are many considerations you must take into account, in particular the style of branding you wish to create, and how you wish to be perceived.
Instrumental in your label creation is your label design, and the first step is to decide who will be creating your label. Will you be creating the artwork yourself using a graphics package such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, or CorelDraw? Or will you be employing an agency to do it for you? If you do want to design the label yourself, remember that to create the perfect brand you may need some technical expertise on how to supply files for print, so it may be wise to get outside advice to stop your product label looking inferior to competitors.
Font is an important aspect in choosing the style of your label. There are many different free fonts, and there are some that you must pay for before use. Some typical font styles for traditional products include Clarendon, Garamond, Optima or Avant Garde, and more modern styles include Akashi, Aldo, Dax Bold and Impact. Ultimately, the font is the first thing many consumers see as they read your brand name so getting this right is important.
Label durability often comes down to the material that the label is made from, and also adds to the look and feel of a product. Some of the most exclusive product labels are designed and printed on foil wrappers, such as Lindt chocolate http://www.lindt.co.uk/ , with its elegant feel and expensive taste. Or choose a recycled thicker label, in a material like corrugated cardboard, for a more traditional vintage feel, with an urban twist, like brands such as Ted Baker http://www.tedbaker.com/ .
Colours such as red denote emotions such as anger and danger, so be aware that colour can have a detrimental (or positive) effect on your brand. Colours like green have a more environmentally friendly feel so again this could be a great way of subtly positioning your brand as environmentally aware without actually saying those words!
The Innocent Drinks Company is famous for its funky labelling on its smoothie bottles. But in 2013 they went one further. Their “Big Knit” project was developed to raise money for Age UK. Members of the public knitted hats for their smoothie bottles and from each bottle sold, 25p is donated to Age UK. This was a fantastic campaign to get noticed but also give money to a good cause! http://thebigknit.co.uk/ .
So think outside the box, but stay true to your roots and brand. Brands such as Tiffany are known for the simplicity and timeless elegance of their packaging which reflects the quality of their products. There is nothing wrong with being traditional and nothing wrong with being trendy. But there is certainly something wrong if it compromises your brand identity, so make sure when it comes to labelling a brand, you give it some real food for thought.