How to Design Your Own Product Label (6 Simple Steps)

Having a well-crafted product label can significantly affect your product's success. Since consumers tend to make quick judgments based on appearances alone, with packaging accounting for one-third of purchase decisions, it can be challenging for your product to stand out.

 However, you don't necessarily need a graphic designer to create top-notch product labels. Instead, follow the steps below to create labels and packaging that will capture customers' attention and encourage them to buy.

1. Think About Your Target Customers

Knowing your intended audience can simplify the process of designing labels. Reflect on their purchasing behavior by considering the following:

  • What are their age, gender, ethnicity, location, occupation, lifestyle, education level, and/or relationship status? Are there any other defining characteristics?
  • What makes them choose your product instead of others? What values do they hold?
  • What are other brands in your field doing?
  • What do they dislike about competitors' packaging or marketing?
  • What colors do they tend to prefer?


2. Select the Right Label Size

How do you determine the appropriate amount of packaging for your product? Before making a decision, ask yourself:

  • Is there an industry standard?
  • Which is more visually significant, the packaging or the product?
  • Is there sufficient space on the product to convey all necessary information?
  • What kind of appearance do you want? Do you prefer a label that wraps the
  • container entirely or a small, simple label?


3. Choose Your Label Material Carefully

Take Usage into Account

If your product is meant for use in the shower or bathroom, for example, it is essential to use a waterproof label.

Do Something Distinctive

Your label material is an opportunity to enhance your packaging or choose a more attention-grabbing option. Textured brown kraft labels, metallic foil labels, or holographic labels can add depth to your product and attract more potential customers. If you do not want a fully metallic label, consider using cold-foil stamping to add metallic elements to specific areas of your label.

Match the Container

If you are using a clear glass or plastic container or have an unusual package, make the most of it. Clear labels can give your packaging a "no label" appearance and highlight its uniqueness.

If you are using a colored or transparent material, it is worth noting that most printers cannot print white because they lack a white ink or toner cartridge. This means that white is interpreted as the absence of color, and your print may appear semi-transparent. As a result, the material or surface color may be visible through your design.


4. Choose a Label Template

Make sure to use the template provided by your label company, as label configurations can vary between providers. Even small differences in diecuts or perforations could result in noticeable mismatches when you apply your label.

5. Prepare Your Design on Canvas

When designing for print, it's important to consider factors that might affect the final product. Here are some tips:

Consider folds and overlaps when designing wrap-around labels, and avoid placing important designs and text in those areas.

Create a safe zone and bleed area around the label outline to ensure that important elements aren't cut off during printing. The safe zone is the interior section that's likely to remain within the label diecut, while the bleed area acts as a buffer to prevent unprinted edges if the label sheets shift during printing.

Test your printer's non-printable margins if you're designing labels that are very close to the edge. Most printers can't print all the way to the edge of a sheet, so you might need to account for a non-printable margin.


6. Design Your Product Label

To create a product label that aligns with your brand, it should be unique and evoke the desired feelings in your customers. Here are some tips to achieve this:

Use graphics and images that represent your product's characteristics to help customers associate your product with what they find important. You can include a picture of your product, a close-up of the texture, or an illustrative symbol to represent the flavor.

Graphics such as patterns, backgrounds, and brush strokes can help differentiate your product on the shelf and make the decision process easier for customers. Choose designs that match the nature of your product, such as a refined design for luxury items, utilitarian for necessities, and playful and colorful for younger audiences.

The colors you use for your product label are crucial in how your product is perceived in the market. It affects purchasing decisions and emotional ties to the product. To maintain brand consistency, incorporate your brand's colors in the label design, and avoid using too many different colors or fonts. Also, keep your packaging design uniform when creating variations of a product, using different color schemes for different scents or flavors while maintaining consistency for brand recognition.