Design is intelligence made visible – Alina Wheeler
When it comes to product labeling and packaging, their design has a great impact on the consumer. It determines how the consumer will perceive the product and the brand and helps them pick the right product. This makes designing an effective label a crucial part of the packaging design project.
Product labels do not simply provide product information to the consumers, they also help brands communicate with the consumers. Often, this communication takes place in subtle ways through colors, text, design, and other visual elements. Effective design of labels helps brands tell a story about the product. It shows the customers how the brands care and how the product can solve their pain points.
Present design trends focus on keeping the labels clean and readable. Brands now use colors more than before to distinguish between different SKUs.
Here are some amazing product label designs to inspire you.
Minimalist is a brand of skincare products with a lineup of products to address particular skincare issues. The idea behind their products is to provide consumers a range of no-nonsense products where they disclose all the ingredients in their products. Therefore, in their case, having a clean, simple, and readable label becomes the priority.
The brand uses simple white labels with black text to convey its message. The principal display panel consists of the brand name, the product name, and what the product does. Furthermore, their product name is simply the active ingredient of the product. The brand uses a single template for all its product labels which simplify artwork management.
Here, the brand wants to convey minimalism and transparency through its product packaging. This makes the clean design of the labels so effective. It also makes conscious consumers aware of what product they are buying, which subsequently helps build trust.
No Name is a Canadian brand known for its iconic yellow-colored product packaging with Helvetica typeface. The brand makes value-for-money grocery products. No Name does give their products any particular name but uses the generic name. No Name also has a "Simple Check" logo that indicates that the product does not have artificial colors, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, and other related products that are often considered as a health risk.
The brand targets consumers who are not particularly picky about the brand. Moreover, in the case of daily groceries, the product does not vary much across brands. Therefore, in this already saturated space, No Name decided to remove all branding entirely. The black text with yellow background creates high contrast labels that make it easily visible to consumers.
This type of product labeling is beneficial for both the consumer as well as the brand. Any consumer who's shopping in a hurry knows what they are buying as there is no fine print to read. The brand also does not have to spend a lot of time designing the labels.
Tin Wicks Candle Co. is a brand of handmade luxury artisan candles. The brand makes vegan candles and ships them in tin cans or amber glass jars. In these cases, the brand does not have to include any form of mandatory regulatory information on the labels, as with food or cosmetics, which gives them a lot of room to design. However, the brand makes use of plain labels with the company logo and the candle scent. Some of their products also feature minimal watercolor illustrations of flowers.
Despite the simplicity of the label design, the brand uses textured kraft paper for its labels to show that it is indeed a luxury product. The brand makes extensive use of brown and nude shades to give the product a rustic look.
Since the brand has an extensive range of products, the simple label design makes managing product labels much easier for the brand. The cleanliness and the readability of the labels make it consumer-friendly too.
Malmö Chokladfabrik is a Swedish chocolate brand. The recent redesign features bold typography and pastel duotone stripes. The brand makes strong use of color-coding as the stripes tell the consumer more about the flavor of the chocolate. The two colors also signify that the company is run by two brothers.
While the design is creative, it still makes space for regulatory information as well as product description. Malmö Chokladfabrik places itself between the mass market and the luxury product segment. So, even though their label has a premium outlook, it still describes the product in detail, inviting consumers to experiment with different flavors.
The brand also uses multiple typefaces through its labels which makes the packaging less boring. Malmö Chokladfabrik has numerous SKUs and being a food product, they also have to abide by numerous regulatory compliances. Labeling like these requires effective artwork management tools.
You & Oil is a skincare brand with the tagline "Nourishing Relationship." The product labels make strong use of color-coding. The sans serif fonts with pharmaceutical-inspired design keep things professional. The use of gradients makes the design more exciting. The colors used in the gradient determine the type of product. The brand wants its products to be available to all genders and therefore does not rely on a fixed illustration style. This design also helps the brand to widen its audience.
The use of gradients in the labeling shows transformation. The brand wanted to use this design to show consumers how using their product would transform their skin.
For a well-known brand like Nutella, changing labels can have devastating effects. However, an experiment also showed how people can recognize the product only from their wordmark. This information allowed the brand to completely change its product label design for a while. Nutella launched a new project, called Nutella Unica, where the labels were designed using algorithms. The labels still featured the well-known Nutella wordmark as well as all other regulatory information.
Seven million jars were sold during this project, where each had a unique design. Not only was this an effective marketing campaign, but it also boosted sales with the entire stock selling out in a month.
Label customization projects like this where there are seven million different labels are impossible without proper label management software.
While most mineral water bottles use clean transparent labels to show purity, 4 Life covers their entire bottle with labels that show how other animals interact with water. The blue stripes show ripples and they change their form around the illustration of animals. The brand takes the backseat as the label highlights the importance of water. The same SKU has different types of labels.
Eco-Conscious skincare brand Dermica makes bioplastic-based product packaging. Here, the brand aims to highlight this effort by removing all unnecessary visual elements from the packaging.
Dermica uses a minimal design with lots of empty spaces and extensively uses gradients. They also color-code their labels, making it easier for consumers to recognize the product.
Gotham Greens provides fresh green produce from their own farmlands. The brand's mission is resource conservation when it comes to agriculture.
The labels have a large leaf-shaped cutout in the center that illustrates the product in the packaging. Even though the brand uses transparent plastic boxes, the cutout in the label becomes the hero of the packaging, allowing customers to see the freshness of the product inside. The cutout shape also gives the product its identity.
The company logo and other regulatory text are positioned along the periphery of the labels. Creating labels like these requires a strong collaboration between the brand, the designers, and the label manufacturers.
At present, brands have an increased focus on making clean, easy-to-read labels. Consumers have become much more aware of what they buy, how it affects them, and how it affects the environment. Therefore, brands are now trying to use product labels to communicate with consumers.
Brands now use minimal designs and clean typography in their labels. Often the brand identity takes a backseat to give the product and its features more focus. Brands are also creating multiple labels for the same SKU. These changes in labeling design require extensive collaboration between designers, managers, printers, and other teams. Furthermore, these labeling projects also require proofing tools to verify the colors, fonts, size, and shape of the visual elements before they are approved.
Tell us the thought behind your product label design in the comments below!