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Customer Spotlight: Del Monte
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Customer Spotlight: Del Monte

Del Monte not only offers fresh, healthy snacks but also works hard to provide added value to customers through recipes.  Their brand’s primary value is to offer healthy, easy alternatives. As a result, everything they do stands apart from their competition.

Del Monte Vegetable NoodlesHere’s Why Del Monte Excels at Showcasing Their Products Through Label and Packaging Design

First, Del Monte uses packaging that shows off the produce. The product photography is bright and vibrant. It also shows the fruits and vegetables in tasty recipes on occasion. So, the powerful imagery inspires shoppers to make a healthy snack choice. The fact that their noodle packaging uses a clamshell container to display the noodles is a testament to that. The labels make the noodles the focus, even though they don’t take up much room. The vibrant colors and interesting plating do that on their own.

Del Monte

A wholesome new way to start your day. Find them with the Fruit Cup® snacks at your local grocery store or online: http://po.st/AccxRr

They also create packaging with versatility and practicality in mind. Their fruit and oats containers, like many other of their containers, are ideal to bring to work. However, these containers are also microwavable, making it easy for shoppers to throw the product into their lunch bag, heat it up at lunch, and recycle afterward. So, it not only considers ease of use but other values their customers hold dear such as sustainable alternatives. Del Monte is a prime example of how brands can infuse core values into everything they do while also maintaining customer satisfaction and maintain an established brand aesthetic. They’re willing to try new ideas and find fantastic new ways to innovate the food industry. While the packaging may not immediately seem like an important part of the process, it impacts so much of the customers’ experience, like the ease of heating up their food.

 

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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Should You Reprint a Failed Promotional Label?
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Should You Reprint a Failed Promotional Label?

It there any point to considering a label reprint after an unsuccessful run? When is it time to go back to the drawing board to update the label design, and when is it best to throw in the towel? After all, there’s an opportunity in making updates, but it costs money. It must be done with consideration.

Heineken Label by Great Lakes Label - appropriate for reprintWhy Did it Fail?

First, consider why the promotion failed. If the label design was a major factor, then redesign is possible. If the failure occurred due to the product itself, then a redesign is not going to help the situation. To determine the reasoning, conduct surveyed research or A/B testing.

 

Test to Learn The Success Rate of a Reprint

How does A/B testing help the situation? Determining which design elements sell better makes smarter choices about how to move forward. If the testing is proving that sales aren’t reaching the level you’re looking for at any point in the testing process, the issue could be elsewhere. So, at that point, determining how brand values are expressed in both the product and the packaging design are crucial.

 

Consider a Redesign

What changes will produce a successful response? Is that even an option? For some, the answer is no. However, if there are simple design changes that will make a big difference, the reprint can make up for the lack of previous success. In fact, failures often act as a positive catalyst for examining how to express brand values overall.

Alternatively adding external value with labeling technology or added panels like the booklet-style label changes everything. When introducing added value that delights customers, it automatically increases product desirability. So, the reprint isn’t producing the same label and hoping for different results. It’s going back to the drawing board, considering customer needs, filling that gap, and then reprinting the promotional label.

 

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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Mixing Brand Aesthetics For Labels in Product Collaborations
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Mixing Brand Aesthetics For Labels in Product Collaborations

Mixing brand aesthetics is a complicated design task when the looks clash. Color schemes, graphics styles, and fonts all interplay in collaborations. There are, however, simple ways to make the label design look far more cohesive.

Nature Valley Yoplait 7-11 Label Printed by Great Lakes Label - mixing brand aestheticsIt’s Your Product, So Keep Your Branding When Mixing Brand Aesthetics

Simplicity is a fantastic way to ensure both aesthetics mix well. So, incorporating fonts from your logo in other copy, or colors from your logo, offer a baseline to refer to. Some logos and color schemes will match pretty well, which is great! It makes it a lot easier in that case. However, other collaborations will not be so fortunate. In that case, increase whitespace between the logos or imagery from your collaborator’s brand. It gives some rest for the eye and makes it easier to infuse some neutral colors around their portion of the label if applicable.

 

Find Commonalities

What do your two brands have in common? Try working from there. Are there similar colors, font styles, or graphics used? Work from there.

When there aren’t many commonalities, consider what colors, fonts, and graphics your brand uses that compliments elements in theirs? Although this isn’t a direct similarity, it provides a place to start with what elements mesh well. It just takes one spark of an idea to better weave the branding together seamlessly.

 

Draw The Eye Using Innovative Labeling Techniques

Innovative labeling techniques such as foiling and embossing create separation from the different design elements on your label. Plus, when they catch the light, techniques draw the eye to your product and to specific areas they’re applied to. It’s creative control over dividing contrasting elements on one label and also mixing it together. With holographic styles like Motion Coat or Cast & Cure, contrasting colors appear to fit in more with the technique used.

 

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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Mix Playfulness With Practicality For Candy Labels
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Mix Playfulness With Practicality For Candy Labels

Candy labels require a sense of flair, fun and light-hearted joy. It’s on brand with the service the candy itself offers. So, while your design shouldn’t take itself too seriously, here are some simple ways to add practicality to your label. After all, the more value you provide customers, the more they’ll enjoy your product.

candy labels on jugs

Candy Labels That Shine

Use innovative labeling techniques like foiling or tactile coatings to bring out elements of your design. Make it easy for shoppers to recognize flavor variations, product titles, and graphics. While this may seem to only accentuate the fun aspects to design, it does also provide practicality. When shoppers search in a long grocery aisle lineup, techniques glisten in the light and make it easy to spot your items. It also provides efficiency in communication variations or differentiating your brand from your competition.

Use Technology to Link To Recipes

Use NFC (Near Field Communication), hashtags, or QR codes to link customers to recipes that incorporate your items. While hashtags are useful in building a social media-based community, NFC and QR codes are more efficient at linking customers straight to content on your website. So, not only does this provide value, but it drives traffic to your site.

Expand Content Space to Offer More Value

Use booklet-style labels to expand the space available on your container. So, instead of linking customers through technology, you have the option of providing a simple recipe inside the front label. Plus, there’s room to offer inspirational imagery or use the cover as a peel-off coupon. This is particularly helpful for seasonal and promotional labels if there are seasonal offerings connected to your brand that need space to promote.

 

Learn about how innovative labeling techniques can bring your spooky design to life! Download our e-book, The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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Get Inspired: Warmth in Label Design
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Get Inspired: Warmth in Label Design

Warmth in label design means warm colors, yes, but it also includes a more abstract concept of nostalgia and understanding or compassion. As fall quickly approaches, these warm tones and concepts fit perfectly for promotional label designs. Consider both how the colors and time of year (it’s back to school season after all) impact nostalgia also.

 

Pure. nostalgic warmth designed by Calista Maas and Chanre Bosch
Pure. by Chanre Bosch and Calista Maas

Pure. Labels With Nostalgic Warmth Designed by Chanre Bosch and Calista Maas

As mentioned, it’s back-to-school season, so these cartoonish and gamified labels evoke that youthful sense of play and curiosity. The warm tones also evoke a cozy sense of comfort. As a result, it’s virtually impossible to look at this packaging without feeling happy.

 

milk paint label
Milk Paint by Dawn Steinbock

Milk Paint Label Designed by Dawn Steinbock

Powdered paint is an antique-style method, so it’s fitting the label reflects the history of the product. The sepia tones add that warmth through color, but the fact that it’s not a wrap-around label also allows the warmth of the yellow paint to shine through. Again, the vintage design style provides a sense of nostalgia that offers shoppers warm and fuzzy memories to pop into their minds.

 

La Sera Wine label designed by Gustav Karlsson
La Sera Wine by Gustav Karlsson

La Sera Wine Label Designed by Gustav Karlsson

Minimalism doesn’t have to have a cold effect. These warm tones create beautiful warmth for the bottle purely as mixing warm and cool tones in the color wheel. However, the colors are reminiscent of sunsets, sunrises, and fires. Very warm and cozy, nostalgia-inducing moments indeed. This design goes to show you that you don’t have to work double time to create nostalgia. It’s all about implications and making connections.

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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How to Label Product Photography For Ugly Food
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How to Label Product Photography For Ugly Food

Ugly food makes for challenging product photography. How do you capture something that tastes wonderful yet looks bland, or worse yet, downright gross? In the grocery aisle, unappetizing images make it easy for customers to pass by, so it’s crucial to ensure your product looks good. Or, find a way to work around the expectations of product photography for your product. A creative compromise could simply be more effective than sticking to what is standard. As a result of choosing a new direction, your product may just stand out against your competition on the shelf.

Digital label -Italiano dressing - great lakes label - ugly food exampleHelpful blogs on related topics:

 

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“Ugly Food” is Objective

What looks appetizing to one person, may not to another. Or, what seems perfectly normal to some, may also appear disgusting to others. Your brand’s biases also come into play. Make sure you test your labels or even try A/B testing to learn what it is exactly that is turning shoppers away. If the results are negative every single time, consider a creative approach or a strategic compromise. There are still ways to promote your product on the label, however, it does require a new perspective. When rerouting like this, it helps to consider the values of your brand, and this product, offer customers.

Avoid Picturing It Completely

When in doubt, scrap the product photography. Let’s say, for example, you’re working with an unpleasant looking brown soup. If it’s not testing well, and if it’s turning people away, then the picture needs to go. Some soup companies take this route, using a classic, pictureless design that creates a welcoming sense of nostalgia. Many shoppers don’t need to see a picture of the soup to envision it anyway. So, the nostalgia establishes the home cooked feel, the nostalgic memories, and the brand’s longtime presence in grocery stores to make up for a lack of an unappetizing picture. What does your brand offer that can be communicated in place of the photography?

Hint At It With Images of The Ingredients

One option, often seen with smoothies, is to show pictures of the fruits and vegetables used inside. Again, this establishes brand values and communicates that good, wholesome ingredients are incorporated into the product. Frequently, minimalistic and transparent labels are used to show off the product as well. So, no product photography is needed to allow customers to look straight at the juice inside. Ugly food isn’t a hindrance in this case since it serves a valuable purpose. Almost like the uglier it is the better it is for you.

Dress The Product Up a Little

Let’s go back to the soup for a second. Okay, so you really want to show the actual product on your label. Maybe the portion of the soup could be smaller, with a cute herb sprig, in a cute bowl, surrounded by delicious looking bread. Make the rest of the image so cozy and welcoming that the ugly product itself looks welcoming as well. Subconscious connections are made in milliseconds, so take advantage of every inch of space in your image. Once shoppers emotions are engaged, the positive feeling will inspire them to try your brand’s item.

Meijer R&D Trail Mix & Nuts Bag LabelsInnovative Labeling Techniques

Guide eyes away from the unappetizing elements by highlighting tasty elements. Consider horned melon for a second. The green innards, the yellow/brownish spikes, and the wrinkly texture of the skin are somewhat unappetizing to look at. However, it’s all about how you show it off. Use foiling to make the green shine inside. Or, use a tactile coating so the shoppers actually want to reach out and touch the pre-historic looking peel. Then emboss the horns so they stand out. Engage the senses in new and interesting ways to captivate your customers, but also to appeal to their tastes.

Subway Snapchat label with pull tab Great Lakes Label 3

Labeling Technology

Use NFC (Near Field Communication), hashtags, or QR codes to link customers to useful recipes. So, while the product may not spark an interest right away, the desire to try something new in the kitchen will. Even the fact that the brand clearly creates value beyond the grocery aisle helps. Hashtags also provide shoppers with a link to the community of people who follow your brand and use your products.

 

Coffee tri-panel label by Great Lakes Label

Booklet-Style Labels Offer Flexibility

Bury pictures to the inside of the label instead of featuring it front and center. Shoppers still see the product, but there’s more control over the first impression of it. Plus, it engages customers enough to open it up and once the item is in their hands, they’re more likely to make a purchase. This also provides an opportunity to offer even more value in your label design on the inside panels.

Embrace The Ick Factor

Kids packaging and promotional Halloween packaging both benefit from gross looking food.  There’s an appeal to the shock of it. Alternatively, the “tastes good, looks gross” approach keeps things honest and infuses humor into label design. Of course, this route is ideal for laid-back brands whose humor is part of their added value. Still, it’s useful to consider how humor diffuses the situation and makes shoppers want to learn more.

 

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

 

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Customer Spotlight: President’s Choice
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Customer Spotlight: President’s Choice

President’s Choice is a Canadian food brand which aims to offer customers quality products they can count on. The vibrant labels for these veggie noodles not only highlight the tasty ways they can be used, but also compliment the colors of the product itself. It’s not just inspiring, it’s mouthwatering. So, these food labels are purely for the customers’ needs, not the brand’s ego.

All President's Choice Veggie Noodles by Great Lakes Label

President’s Choice Sees Food’s Larger Impact

Food has the power to bring people together. The #EatTogether campaign makes their product more than tasty treats, but a reason to connect. Even this International Food Day video shows customers that they care about creating products everyone can enjoy. Diversity is, after all, part of what makes Canada great.

International Food Day

Explore the meaning and importance of eating together through the eyes of a child in a classroom.

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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How Do You Scale Down a Label For Mini Products?
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How Do You Scale Down a Label For Mini Products?

When products scale down, so do the labels. The problem is that all content offered on the bigger product should be on the mini product also. However, with less room, there’s less opportunity to do so, right? Well, not if you get creative.

All Label Gator booklet stlye labels large and scale down sizes printed by Great Lakes LabelScale Down All Design Elements

First, consider scaling down all copy and graphics. So, the whitespace is eliminated, but all other important content is simply reduced in size. That said, depending on the scale, this may not be an option. Afterall, all copy must be legible, and graphics are only helpful if you can see them.

Coffee tri-panel label by Great Lakes LabelExpand Your Content With Booklet-Style Labels

One way around the issue of scaling is to add more pages. Booklet-style labels expand your content allowing you to provide more information, just not all within view in the grocery aisle. Even when text is minimized, it should fit much better on several panels than it would on one.

Link to More Content With Labeling Technology

Another option is to link content through your label. So, any required copy and graphics stay, but fun info about the company or further information about the product are elsewhere online. Then, use simple URLs, QR codes, and even hashtags to connect customers to this content. This is also beneficial as it directs customers to your website where they can learn even more about your products and shop.

Secondary Labels Work too

Do you have space remaining on the back of your packaging? Add a label. This still provides more space to include information, even if it’s on a side, back, or bottom surface of the product. Already have a secondary label? Add a third.

 

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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Keep Your Eyes on Indie Brands
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Keep Your Eyes on Indie Brands

Big brands have a lot to learn from indie brands. There’s a level of creativity and play that isn’t often found in larger brands. Plus, it’s important to keep track of upcoming trends within your industry by looking at up and comers.

What do we mean by “indie brands?”

Indie is short for independent, so brands without parent companies are likely indie. However, indie tends to also mean small scale. So, local craft breweries, mom and pop shops, or new beauty brands all qualify. Keeping an eye on indie brands also help you keep an eye on your competition to better serve your customers.

The Investment in Quality Design and Innovative Techniques

Indie brands are much less afraid to mix up their designs and incorporate creative elements. So, they often highlight details with foiling or tactile techniques. The art tends to also have a more personal feel. It breathes life and humanity into a brand. This is even pretty crucial in customers building personal relationships with brands. Craft breweries (like the above Perrin examples) try out various fonts, styles and label stock textures. The brand is apparent, while experimentation also reigns.

A Focus on Customer Needs

A major aspect of indie brand label design is the clear focus on the customer. Again, the human touch makes the brand feel more approachable. However, on top of that, there tends to be more of a social media personality and hashtag inclusion on the label. While many big brands incorporate the online world into their packaging concept, smaller brands use it in ways that benefit the customers.

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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Make Significant Packaging Changes Using Storytelling Principles
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Make Significant Packaging Changes Using Storytelling Principles

As sustainability, authenticity, and brand values grow in packaging design, major changes are ultimately going to occur to your label design. Especially for large, traditional brands, this is an intimidating journey. Find success with design changes by relying on storytelling principles. You’re telling a story with your design anyway, so by incorporating these guidelines, you only increase your chance of a successful launch.

The Storytelling Principles Already You Know

There are three simple parts of a story to consider. These are great building blocks for starting to get a sense for how you want to release the new design changes.  So, start here as a baseline.

moya wine label - wine traders - great lakes labelBeginning

First, start at the start. How did this change come about? Are you changing your whole focus to be a more environmentally friendly brand with sustainable packaging materials? Well, then consider the reasons why this is an important decision for the brand, and the various reasons why it brings value to customers. Incorporate transparency into the marketing campaign too. Shoppers don’t expect a perfect company, but they want a brand to take ownership of shortcomings and provide clarity on progress.

Middle

Now that things are in motion, how will you gather information about what customers really think about it? Whether that’s a simple label redesign or a full-scale change in brand values, everyone has an opinion. Before a new direction is fully committed to, gather feedback about the baby steps and sample tests. Conduct A/B tests, or gather direct feedback from focus groups and surveys. For established and traditional brands, this step is crucial. Change is scary. Make sure you ease loyal shoppers into the new direction by confirming that most people are on board with the changes made.

 

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End

After all of the options are tested and data is gathered, it’s time to commit. Before you get to the release, double check that the labels provide the most possible value to the customers. Also, consider how this new direction stacks up against your competition. If there’s any way to go farther to outperform your competition in creating entertaining, inspiring, and value-packed labels, do it.

 

The Principles You May Not Know, But Work

These are a few of the rules storytellers live by. This goes above and beyond the beginning, middle, and end considerations and focusses on various points in the journey. So, now it’s time to consider the option of a slow release brand change. Instead of one day completely rebranding, this change comes in parts. So, say you’re a beauty brand going cruelty-free and designing a whole new aesthetic to celebrate. It’s perfectly fine to start by simply adding a leaping bunny logo, then change the label design to reflect more natural elements, and, finally, change your products’ containers. At each step, consider different label stocks and innovative techniques. As the brand aesthetic progresses, so may other needs for your packaging.

Meijer R&D Trail Mix & Nuts Bag LabelsThe Rule of 3

Have you ever noticed the magic rule of three? There are three acts to a movie, and trilogies are far more common for series of films. Often there are even three parts to a joke which uses examples, the most ridiculous being the last.

Consider the ways your new packaging could be released in three parts. Are you releasing three new products? Do you want to scatter the various release of new packaging into groups of three? Or, should the design elements be released as a whole, but in increments of three? First, the logo, then the packaging, then the label. Of course, whatever you do, leave the biggest, most exciting surprise for last.

Don’t Introduce New Characters at The End

Even with twist endings, characters who show up at the end of a film still pop up in subtle ways throughout the film. You may not notice it, but they’re there. If this rule isn’t followed, the ending feels lackluster and even boring.

So, when releasing a major redesign, don’t introduce major design elements near the end of the campaign. Adding innovative techniques near the end is a fine way to enhance the developing rebrand. However, releasing new labels and packaging before a logo redesign is a nonsensical order. The logo is crucial for setting a tone. Although it’s important to share the most exciting aspect for last, those exciting releases should be enhancing the label with labeling techniques, sharing valuable content through labeling technology, or personal touches (perhaps promotional in nature) with booklet-style labeling. They go the extra mile in an unexpected way, while also building on the previously released changes.

Don’t Waste Time, Jump Right Into The Action

Stories shouldn’t start with the hero waking up, hitting snooze, waking up again, hitting snooze, waking up for real this time, making breakfast, checking their phone, brushing their teeth, getting ready for work, walking out the door, getting in the car and heading to work before a big inciting incident like a car crash happens. No, it starts with a simple set up so the audience understands this person is headed to work, then we see the crash that changes their life. When details are included like the first example, it’s often boring and self-indulgent.

Where label copy is concerned, don’t meander around the point. Consider the brand values, the new message you’re communicating, and additional certifications or regulations and get right to it. Share the certification logos, communicate a new brand value with a simple hashtag conveying the message, or use impactful imagery to communicate a new direction. Also, consider providing more information about the rebrand on the inside of a booklet-style label, or online which is linked using labeling technology. Then, if shoppers want more details, they’re offered, but they don’t detract from all the hard work put into the new design.

El Grullense Tequila using storytelling principlesCommunicate An Idea With as Little Words as Possible

Not even talented actors make wordy dialogue sound good. Dialogue with too many questions is another major storytelling faux pas. Nobody wants to hear the main character ramble on about their lunch meeting in a romcom. No, the character just needs to rush back to their desk, boxed up food in hand to see a missed call and say a short quip about the meeting.

Shoppers are smart. It’s a major reason why minimalism has been a major label design trend for so long. They don’t want to read a lengthy explanation or study overly complicated imagery to understand what’s going on. Instead, communicate complex ideas with compelling imagery and choose your words carefully. A luxury, handcrafted tequila line with 3D style labels showing an image of the business’ property, and also includes beautiful, calligraphy style graphics, make this message understandable with a glance.

 

Learn about how innovative labeling techniques can bring your spooky design to life! Download our e-book, The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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