You shouldn’t judge a product by its label – but people do. It’s part of the human psyche, and it’s why most people put more weight on purchasing decisions based on visuals versus logic. It’s the reason why people buy on emotion and justify with logic. If you sell retail products, your label can play a major role in how well they move off the shelves. The following tips will help you design and print more powerful product labels that convince customers to buy.

Heinz Culinary Ketchup by Ardagh Group
Heinz Culinary Ketchup by Ardagh Group

1. Match your brand

Your product labels should match your brand image and colors. Your logo should be prominently featured, and typography should be in line with what your brand stands for. Visuals, your layout, and your label text, or copy, should all match your other marketing materials. Are you bold, innovative, premium quality, discount or powerful? Make sure your label visually conveys it.

2. Command attention

Your labels should also be designed to get noticed. Contrasting colors, unique images, bold typefaces and other design techniques should be employed to get customers to notice you against a sea of competing products. Consider how your label shape and size relate to the rest of the packaging; a small label might be more effective because it shows off your product, while a large label could be a way to draw attention to a smaller product.

3. Differentiate yourself from competitors

Your labels need to showcase your products as being different from and better than your competitors’. Don’t try to mimic competitors: design a label that’s distinctly different. Employ copy that highlights the differences – the benefits – of buying your product versus others. Make it clear, at-a-glance, that you’re the better choice.

Birds and Bees by B&B Studio
Birds and Bees by B&B Studio

4. Vivid, memorable images

Whether you have a logo, a layout technique, contrasting colors or a unique mascot, make sure your label images are vivid and memorable. You want potential customers thinking about your brand after they’ve seen your label. If you have a unique and memorable (especially rhyming) slogan or tag line, be sure to highlight it in your design to help your brand find a prominent spot in customers’ minds.

5. Powerful typography

Never underestimate the power typography can have in your label design. Typography alone can convey emotion and set the tone for the type of product you offer: genuine, original, creative, fun, premium or generic. When your typography is distinctly different from your competitors’, your brand will likewise be regarded as different. Use typography to also position your products as being better.

What tips do you have for powerful product labels?