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Archive for category: Design Tips

Top 10 Packaging Design Sites to Follow
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Top 10 Packaging Design Sites to Follow

These packaging design sites offer news, inspiration, and information on all things label and packaging design. Not only is it informational about the industry, but it also helps with coming up with your own designs. Essentially, use this list to keep an eye on the pulse of the ever-changing packaging and label industries.

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Why These Packaging Design Sites?

So, what were the criteria used to choose these ten sites (not in any particular order)? These websites have a focus on design, labels, and/or packaging. They offer unique perspectives, industry insider interviews, and/or frequently updated imagery of design concepts. As a result, you can’t visit these sites without feeling more informed about the industry and inspired by incredible works.

 

Brand Experience Magazine10. Brand Experience Magazine

Brand Experience Magazine is a fantastic resource for news and information on the latest packaging trends as well as interviews with packaging insiders. It’s also ideal for anyone working on luxury packaging. It also offers a hard copy magazine in case you prefer getting your information off-screen. Brand Experience Magazine is updated often, and with thorough, high-quality articles.

 

Behance

9. Behance

This is an Adobe hosted website for all things design. Although it doesn’t focus solely on packaging, there is an easily searchable way to find a plethora of user-generated packaging design content. Plus, as seen in the screenshot, Adobe frequently posts live streams featuring professional designers. These live streams focus on showcasing on-the-spot design improv and a simultaneous Q&A session (plus prizes). So, this site is perfect for getting new inspiration and getting a sense of the latest trends through viewing a variety of designs.

 

Designspiration

8. Designspiration

The title speaks for itself. This website offers design inspiration of all kinds, including label and packaging design. This site is a fantastic resource for researching art styles and getting inspiration for label design motifs. It is also easy to use the search qualifications and narrow in on the kind of content you’re looking for. So, since this website frequently updates on a regular basis, you’ll find a plethora of content.

 

Lovely Package7. Lovely Package

Lovely Package focusses on highlighting one packaging design at a time. So, it not only features high-quality images of products, but it also features a write-up about the designer and the packaging. Although the website isn’t updated often when it is the content is on-trend and innovative. Again, this is a fantastic place to better understand current trends and to learn more about how other brands are designing their products.

 

Packaging UQAM

6. Packaging UQAM

UQAM stands for Université du Québec à Montréal, which translates in English to University of Quebec in Montreal. So, obviously this website focusses on students at University of Quebec in Montreal who are studying packaging. These designs are all concept works, and each post has high-quality images of the design as well as a write-up discussing the students’ visions for their work. Again, this is a fantastic resource for inspiration, however, it is not updated on a frequent basis. That said, when it is, it’s worth the time it takes to read about the latest projects.

 

Packaging of The World

5. Packaging of The World

Packaging of The World is a great mix of highly curated content, and frequent postings. This site solely focusses on packaging and label designs and it also in that sense focusses on innovation. It features images of the products and a brief write-up of the designer’s intentions for their work. As a result, it’s a great way to see how their vision came to life, whether that be blatant or subtle. Get a behind the scenes look as well as inspiration for your next design.

 

Labels & Labeling

4. Labels & Labeling

Labels & Labeling is a news source for, you guessed it, all things labeling. While this source doesn’t often offer inspiration, it does offer news and information on the latest technology. This is a fantastic way to get to know how your labels are created and what it takes to create high-quality labels. They also have a print version of their magazine in case you prefer doing your reading offline. It even offers the latest information on industry developments.

 

Label & Narrow Web

3. Label & Narrow Web

This is another print magazine and web-oriented news source which provides technical information on label printing systems. It also doesn’t offer as much content on the design inspiration front, however, does offer valuable insight into the latest industry trends and developments. So, since Label & Narrow Web is updated frequently and the monthly magazine it’s hard to miss industry insider news. This is a fantastic resource.

 

Label Gator label automation site2. Label Gator

Label Gator is our horticulture labeling system brand which focusses on providing plant label design and automation information. The blog focusses on trends, technology, and even information on our automation systems. We also share news about the latest tradeshows we attend so you can come to meet with us in person. If you want more information specfically about plant labels, this one is for you!

 

Packaging World screenshot - packaging design sites

1. Packaging World

Lastly, Packaging World is a news source that offers information on the latest packaging trends, brands’ design experiences, and industry news. It’s updated often and creates an ideal resource for all things packaging. The website also features an intuitive website layout that makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

 

Learn more about how we can bring your wildest label design concepts and durability requirements to life. While techniques are important and exciting, there’s so much more to your label. Download our Label Project Guide e-book.

 

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Customer Spotlight: Massey Fish Co.
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Customer Spotlight: Massey Fish Co.

Massey Fish Company is a Michigan-based seafood brand which catches fish daily on the straights of Mackinac. This six-generation family-owned business plays into their community-oriented role to provide a more personal approach to business and packaging design. Now, Massey Fish Company is available in various local, national, and even international markets. As a result, these products are not just high-quality. They’re also accessible.

 

Massey Fish Labels by Great Lakes Label

More About Massey Fish Company’s Packaging

These labels feature the same recognizable design, but also feature variable data. So, one label design effectively works for a variety of products. As a result, the branding is established and re-enforced to be instantly recognizable. Even the prominence of the bright blue color scheme makes it stand out. Plus, it emphasizes the blue of the straights they fish on.

The local bridge motif is a fantastic way to build a connection with Michigan-based customers. It establishes the brand’s location (in relation to the well known Mackinac Bridge). It also communicates the brand’s focus on local customers and its sense of community. As a result, the imagery asserts that the fish are caught locally.

Obviously, this allows versatility despite the singular design. Fresh fish packaging, as well as paté containers, use them. Plus, it saves time during the application process.

 

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

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Label Things We’re Thankful For
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Label Things We’re Thankful For

It’s Thanksgiving, so we’re discussing all things labeling that we’re thankful for, especially when it comes to building authentic connections between brands and shoppers. As a result, shoppers get more value out of products and brands outshine their competition. So, as you read this, consider the ways your labels give you an advantage. Also, consider the ways in which your competition is outshining you with these methods. Some are simple and even free! There’s no reason you can’t adopt them moving into the new year.

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Why We’re Thankful

As we mentioned, good label design is win-win for both the customers and the brand. That’s why this post reshares some of the most impactful ways to beat out your competition. Thoughtful and value-oriented design can mean something different for each industry and even each brand. So, the next time you’re designing or redesigning a label, consider the added value you can create.

Wine Traders' Labels - Moya Bordeaux, Gaby, Gaby Cuvee, DuParkInnovative Labeling Techniques

Innovative labeling techniques range from simple foiling to tactile coatings, and even holographic patterns. They enhance fonts, create lifelike graphics, but also add a luxury element to a design. As a result, techniques are extremely versatile in enhancing any branding. Regardless of how they’re used, they communicate that an immense amount of care went into creating the product. Plus, they create haptic interest and the more shoppers pick up your items, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

 

Pomagranate resealable Label by Great Lakes Label

Resealable Labels Produce Fresh Products

Whether you’re trying to keep produce fresh, or wet wipes moist, effective resealable labels are key. A label that reduces its tack over time means air gets into the package and ruins the product. So, ensure each and every use is like the very first time. Plus, ensure the pull tab offers ease in opening. You want your product to be accessible too after all. Again, creating a quality resealable label adds value to the product and provides customers with a greater sense of satisfaction in using the product.

 

Costa Farms Label by Great Lakes Label

Expanded Content

Booklet-style labels offer more pages to provide customers with information on the product and other added values. Labeling design space often feels limited as space is usually small. However, once panels open up to reveal more space, brief tutorials, translations, content links, and more can be provided. So, instead of trying to cram as much information on a front-facing label, it now is intelligently segmented. As a result, this makes it easier for customers to digest the information as well. Now there’s no need to skimp out on details. You can provide each customer with greater value.

 

Labeling Technology

In the same regard, link to more content using NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, or even simple URLs. Now content space is digitally limitless, and so are the means of engagement. From video tutorials, to blog posts, or even branded apps, provide customers with value throughout the lifecycle of the item they’ve purchased.  QR codes and URLs are even free to add! So brands just need to carve out a small space to include the graphic or text. That’s a simple investment when you consider the customer payoff. You’ll help customers find more value in your item, create a greater sense of brand loyalty, and even outshine your competition in-store.

 

wetstick label - great lakes label - strong label stocks for photo ready packaging

Durable Label Stocks

If your product is bound to get wet, even through condensation, ensure it will withstand moisture. The WetStick label uses such a strong adhesive chemistry that it can even be applied underwater! So, no more peeling or disintegrating labels. Again, it’s all about providing value and care. Show customers you’re committed to giving them the best experience possible when they use your products. It’s a simple touch that goes a long way.

 

Authenticity in Design

This is much more intangible but also makes all the difference. Is your brand trying to mimic others in your industry or simply working to keep up with the latest trends? You might find your labels falling flat if that’s the case. As a result of mimicking, you’re not finding authentic value for your items and for your customers. Once you figure out what sets your brand apart, maximize it. Lean into humor, sophistication, or local flare. Enhance that with the content you share on your label or the art style you use. Once you create labels from that authentic voice, shoppers will take notice and the right demographic will appreciate what your brand stands for.

 

moya wine label - wine traders - great lakes label

Developments in Sustainability

Sustainability is critical. That’s why FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and recyclable label stocks are becoming more and more popular. Again, this aligns with shoppers’ values and provides them with added benefits. Little changes like the label stock you use end up creating a massive overall impact. Once simple change at a time. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of foiling, it still excites shoppers to see positive changes made.

 

spectrophotometer - thankful for color management

Accuracy & Consistency in Label Printing

Color management is a crucial component to printing professional grade labels, but also for building trust with shoppers. In fact, customers are far less likely to buy an item from the shelf if the group of products features inconsistent color. We use a spectrophotometer which digitally tests color for consistency. So, everytime you print, you can count on it matching every single other batch of labels.

 

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

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3 Ways to Design Labeling Easter Eggs
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3 Ways to Design Labeling Easter Eggs

Labeling Easter eggs are semi-hidden features that allow customers to connect dots, reveal a design element, or further engage with a brand. So, it’s there purely to create a story, or to delight shoppers. However simple it may seem, it still has the potential to be a powerful labeling design tool for building a loyal following.

 

Labeling Easter Eggs Improve Shopper Engagement

People like feeling like an insider, and solving a puzzle, or spotting something others don’t catch. When you incorporate Easter eggs, shoppers will be more inclined to spend time with your item in-store and physically engage with it. Then, this increases their chances of purchasing the product.

Don Anselmo face labeling easter eggs with tactile coating- Label by Great Lakes Label1. Use Inks & Coatings to Reveal Details

Transparent coatings add texture to a product and reveal their design in the light. So, when shoppers walk by the item, it glistens, revealing itself. Another way to add a shimmering reveal is by using neon inks, glow in the dark inks or ice white inks.

Shipwreck wine label - Great Lakes Label2. Incorporate Hidden Designs

Of course, hidden designs are easiest to incorporate by shrinking the motif down for a patterned background. However, if one of your labels features a pirate ship, incorporate it into your next design by having a massive sea creature crush it in its grip. Not only does this make for a unique Easter egg, but it incorporates storytelling and a touch of humor into your label design.

 

3. Use Labeling Technology to Link Customers to Fun, Lighthearted Content

Or take the customer off the label and use hidden NFC technology, a QR code, or even a simple QR code to link them to bonus content. This content could include behind the scenes video, a humorous blog tutorial for using your product, or a game app specifically designed for your products.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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Promotional Beauty Labels Differ From Others
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Promotional Beauty Labels Differ From Others

Promotional beauty labels differ from other industries’ promotional labels in a few ways. First, typically, the size of the label tends to be smaller for cosmetics and some other beauty products than, say, food or beverage items. They also get tucked away in a store, so customers aren’t immediately drawn in upon entering the store. Also, it’s not typically industry standard to include cartoonish graphics for holidays or events the way it is in other sectors.

promotional beauty labels - THYK hair label with motion coat - Great Lakes LabelPromotional Beauty Labels That Pop

Some beauty labels will use elegant, subtle graphics around seasonal holidays. So, to stand out, do something drastic. For Valentines, create a velvety, vibrant red label that makes shoppers reach out and touch the packaging. The more haptic techniques are used, the more successful the promotional label, after all.

 

Or take your current design up a notch and use holographic techniques such as Cast & Cure or Motion Coat to take the design to another level. So, it doesn’t require an entirely new redesign to spice things up, just creativity. Again, these techniques create a sensory experience that shoppers won’t be able to resist.

Peony hand soap label with mirafoil - Great Lakes LabelMore Subtle Promotion

Foiling is a simple way to elevate your design.  It glistens in the light and creates luxury appeal. So, what are some other ways to make subtle changes with a big impact?

Labeling Technology

Use labeling technology such as NFC technology, a QR code, or even a simple URL to connect customers to added value. This doesn’t drastically change the label design but also increases engagement. Then, share promotional content such as seasonal tutorials, ever-changing social media accounts, or apps.

Booklet-Style Labels

Another way to add value is to add pages to your label with booklet-style labeling. Now, promotional content and added value are provided behind your standard design. Plus, this technique again engages shoppers’ senses when they open up the panels.

 

Learn how to use even more marketing strategies to create labels that will delight customers! Download our e-book, The Marketing Guide here.

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Get Inspired: Cinematic Label Designs
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Get Inspired: Cinematic Label Designs

Help customers make nostalgic connections, or even engage their curiosity, with cinematic label designs. Technology and innovative labeling techniques have both advanced in a way that allows designers to create labels that truly engage the senses. So, then customers will associate the positive memories they have with your cinematic references to your brand as well. Win-win.

Neomatcha Design by Chiara Hafen
Neomatcha Design by Chiara Hafen

Neomatcha by Chiara Hafen Nods to Cinema

Sci-fi lovers everywhere will easily get drawn into this neon, out of this world matcha, don’t you think? The art style, the vibrant coloring (achieved with inks like this ice white ink), and even the minimalism elsewhere on the package draw the eye and engage the imagination. Then, the neon is re-enforced on the container label with a neon green font. So, consider how subtle touches leave a lasting impact.

 

Vlad Waxula Grooming Co. design by Sergio Katsevich
Vlad Waxula Grooming Co. design by Sergio Katsevich

Cinematic References in Vlad Waxula Grooming Co. Design by Sergio Katsevich

We all know Dracula, and the various mediums the character pops up in. However, the fanned label clearly references the movie depictions of the character. The simple black and white scheme also creates a timeless, or even perhaps vintage look. So, while the font is modern and simple, the overall look creates a vintage movie vibe.

 

Assassin's Creed cinematic Energy Drink design by Aly Bassam
Assassin’s Creed Energy Drink design by Aly Bassam

Assassin’s Creed Concept by Aly Bassam and Creative Partnerships

Try diving into creative collaborations on a big or even a small scale. You don’t need to partner with a blockbuster movie to get the rights to feature their characters. No, instead, if you’re a small brand, look local. Attend local film festivals and share locally produced shorts by using labeling technology. As a result, customers will want to pick up your product to connect with the link provided. It’s the same concept as brands that feature unique art on each label.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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Unique Ways to Add Spook to Your Label Design
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Unique Ways to Add Spook to Your Label Design

Add spook to your promotional Halloween label for next year. Or, use these principles to add festive spirit to other holiday label designs. A little effort to enhance a promotional design goes a long way.

Spooky Graphics to Add Spook to Label DesignCreepy Imagery

Of course, when designing a new promotional label to excite customers, use imagery that associates with the event. In this case, a whole Halloween scene creates a truly immersive experience. Or, subtle inclusions of a graphic like an eyeball over the dots of eyes keeps the design process much more simple. This way also makes the branding much more recognizable which is key for smaller brands.

 

Halloween Juice Label Design

Add Spook With Tactile Labeling Techniques

Have you ever been to a Halloween house of horrors where part of the fun is sticking your hands blindly into bowls of sticky, goopy, and wet substances? Well, consider your label a space to create a similar experience. The above labels are simple samples to show you various techniques in action. The orange juice is a minimalistic standard label, while the green juice uses a zombie pattern that’s lifted with embossing and given a glossy, shiny texture with a tactile coating. This concept engages the senses in a haptic way that makes customers want to reach out and touch it.

 

Halloween Easter Eggs (So To Speak)

Alternatively, add a subtle element to your standard design that makes customers take a second look. Our example of this is the red juice which features a little splatter of blood. Since it blends in with the juice itself, it will make shoppers take a second look. Plus, if foiling or a tactile coating is used overtop of the graphic, it would create an even more realistic look.

 

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

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Customer Spotlight: Ferris Coffee & Nut
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Customer Spotlight: Ferris Coffee & Nut

Ferris Coffe & Nut is a high-quality brand located right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When it comes to handcrafted branding, they excel. Learn all about their growing business and packaging excellence.

Ferris Coffee and Nut Label - Misty ValleyFerris Coffee & Nut Label Design

This family-owned business dates back to  1924, and the labels appropriately reflect the down to earth, indie tone. The minimalistic nature and emphasis on the hand-drawn aspects fuse well together. This isn’t a coffee company that puts on airs. As a result, Ferris effectively communicates the fun and approachable nature of their products, all while demonstrating how seriously they take quality.

The Community Impact

ArtPrize is the biggest public art event in the world which also happens to take place right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To celebrate, Ferris joins the festivities and create delicious flavors which represent the festival that year. Again, the approachable take to quality isn’t just a branded claim, it’s a value-driven business guide.

 

 

Learn more about how we can bring your wildest label design concepts and durability requirements to life. While techniques are important and exciting, there’s so much more to your label. Download our Label Project Guide e-book.

 

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Should You Double up on Labeling Technology For One Label?
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Should You Double up on Labeling Technology For One Label?

One label often feels like it’s not enough space to contain all the required copy, eye-catching graphics, and innovative labeling techniques as it is. However, there’s a lot of value to using multiple forms of labeling technology to connect customers to valuable digital content. This technology includes NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, hashtags, and even simple URLs. It may seem as though there’s not enough space to include more than one form of connectivity, however, the value it offers your customers make the design effort worth it.

 

One Label - R&D Wine Brand With Labeling Technology - QR Code

When Only Using One Label, Cut The Fat & Optimize Authentic Connection

Take a good hard look at your design. QR codes, URLs, and hashtags don’t take up too much space. So, if you’re having difficulty finding room for two of those options, you are likely packing too much information and graphics into your design. Unless, of course, minimalism is your goal. In that case, find ways to blend the digital connections in with other copy. However, for those with busy design, it’s time to make space for the digital age.

Shenandoah double sided label - Great Lakes LabelPromotional Labels & Booklet-Style Labels Expand Content

Only have space for one label? Layer it up. By using peelable promotional labels, the digital content printed on the backside has the potential to be continuously updated. So, keep the cover the same, yet create seasonality with your packaging. Alternatively, booklet-style labels open up to reveal even more content space. This provides even more value for customers and engages their senses in a haptic marketing sense.

A/B Testing

Also, consider testing all designs to gauge which form of technological connection is best for your demographic. By creating several designs and testing with unbiased customers, you get an accurate picture of how to best design using the space available.

 

Learn how to use marketing strategies to create labels that will delight customers! Download our e-book, The Marketing Guide here.

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Designing Labels For Kids’ Products
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Designing Labels For Kids’ Products

This BrandPackaging article discusses the fine points of designing labels for kids. So, when designing for kids, find ways to express that through your choices. After all, what excites kids is different than teens, and adults.

Mooville Label by Great Lakes Label - example of designing labels for kids in mindDesigning Labels With Both Kids and Parents in Mind

Kids and adults want different things out of a label. However, if you have a wide demographic, strike a balance to cast a wide net. As seen above, Moo-Ville does this brilliantly with their use of color, character graphics, and informative copy.

Pictures

The type of images you use to communicate a lot. Cartoon characters often denote a younger demographic is in mind for the product. Realistic imagery often communicates a more adult approach. That said, pastels and neons say two different things. So does a pencil drawing and a big bubbly character.

Label Copy

Often, kids will read fun copy like jokes, or links to apps. So, use labeling technology to offer more value for kids. Adults instead look for nutritional information or other details that communicate health value. Regardless of if the product is targeting adults, that information is crucial. When parents shop for their kids, that’s what they’ll be hoping to see. Again, strike a balance between child and adult oriented.

Demographic Age Matters

What’s appropriate and exciting for young children appears to be immature for teenagers. Consider which age group you’re targeting. Looking for kids of all ages to enjoy your product? Conduct A/B testing to find an appropriate middle ground. Or, release promotional versions of the same product with different app links, copy, and graphic design. Appeal to both groups using the same product and different labels.

Learn more about how we can bring your wildest label design concepts and durability requirements to life. While techniques are important and exciting, there’s so much more to your label. Download our Label Project Guide e-book.

 

Label Project Guide E-Book Download

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