When it comes to designing a product label – there are a whole host of factors to consider. You’ll want to start with your label budget – once you have a grasp on how much you have set aside for labels, you can start to think about design and material choices. It’s critical to understand your customer and think through the supply chain and distribution process as you design a functional and appealing label. 


Before you can get started on designing and producing labels for your product, you must first determine your labeling budget. Label finishes, special sizing, and print run sizes are all factors determining your total cost. If you’re hiring a designer or buying art for your labels, those costs need to be factored into consideration. 


When discussing your label options with the labeling production business you’ve decided to work with, you’ll need to be able to identify what material(s) your labels will need to adhere to – and how permanently you need those labels to stick (or if you need them to be removable). From plastic surfaces, to tires, aluminum, and glass – the sky’s the limit. Identifying the types of surfaces to which your label will need to stick will help your label production company to advise you on adhesive, substrate, and label finish choices. 

You may also have unique considerations, such as the need for pressure sensitive labels, wet labeling, wraps, or heavy duty labels. 

Understanding Your Customer

Once you’ve determined a budget that will accommodate the type of label you need and the amount of labels you need, it’s time to think about creating labels that will appeal to your audience. The purpose of any label is to earn the attention of your customer, and ultimately drive the purchaser to close the sale. As such, there are three critical components to your label:

  1. Grab shoppers’ attention with a catchy and likeable & memorable design
  2. Tell consumers what they need to know about the product (what is it called, what problem does it solve for the customer, and what are the ingredients or expiration dates as necessary?) 
  3. Leave an impression (make sure it’s easy to remember the product’s name and the brand)

Effectively including these elements in your design will require that you understand your customer. This is a good time to survey your customers or test label designs in order to gain insight into what works, and what doesn’t. 

Understanding Your Supply Chain and Distribution

The last, and perhaps least exciting part of designing your labels, is to consider your supply chain and distribution process. It’s important to consider how your product will be produced, shipped, stored, and ultimately land in your customer’s hands. If that process includes wet or freezing environments, is particularly rough on the packaging, or requires your product to be shelved a particular way, you’ll want to consider that in your design and label material choices.

Looking for more information on labeling your products? This blog is an excerpt from our “Startup’s Guide to Labeling,” a comprehensive guide to designing, sourcing, and applying labels to your products. 

Find the free white paper download here.