What Will Labels Be Like in 100 Years?

What Will Labels Be Like in 100 Years?

A lot changes in 100 years. Just take a look at the history of labels thus far. So, take a look ahead and consider the way trends change to outperform your competition. After all, it’s impossible to stay ahead of competitors label design if your packaging is two steps behind.


What We Know For Sure About The Next 100 Years

Nothing, but chances are labels will still be around. Although there is a push for raw goods both in the food and beauty industries, regulated information still requires communication. Chances are, that communication will take place through labels.


Bissell Cast & Cure - Great Lakes Label - 100 years time

Innovative Labeling Techniques

Not only will innovative techniques become much more common as time goes on, but so will design realism. So, imagine a label designed to replicate the night’s sky. As of right now, Cast & Cure is the ideal technique for creating a shimmering light over a dark background. By today’s standards, this is an impressive feat. However, with the development of the darkest black material, vantablack, it’s a matter of time before more realistic spacescapes come to fruition. Imagine holographic stars that literally pop off the label and a milky way galaxy replica that seemingly goes on and on. Not only will a simple label offer hyper-realistic looking objects, but they have the potential to fully transport you to new lands.


Labeling 101 Resource Center blog button Great Lakes Label - high quality


Technological Developments

Technology is developing at such a pace that it makes it impossible to fathom where we’ll be in 100 years. Instead, certain principles are likely to remain the same. Currently, labeling technology such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and NFC (Near Field Communication) link customers to helpful online content. Even simple QR codes or hashtags work to offer shoppers more than they pay for. Even those who don’t ultimately purchase the product have access to the material offered.

What sort of material does labeling technology offer?

  • Community involvement
  • E-books
  • Web pages
  • Blogs
  • Video tutorials
  • Recipes
  • Helpful apps to further engagement with the product when in use

How does this material impact the end user?

Not only does this create a more personal connection between the brand and the customer, but it also ensures the customer is more likely to find success in using the product. Or, it provides an opportunity for the shopper to become an advocate for the brand. Word of mouth is a crucial element for brand trust, after all.

moya wine label - wine traders - great lakes label

Sustainability & Packaging Material Changes

Many companies have already put momentum behind sustainable packaging alternatives, and vow to eliminate waste within the next ten years. As our climate continues to change, so will the commitment to environmentally friendly labeling options. For example, there are currently many green label stock options such as Avery Dennison’s Clean Flake, and Wausau’s plethora of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified options.

There are various other materials in the creation process to offer more impactful alternatives to tree oriented paper. For example, there are mushroom and milk alternatives making waves. The goal is to completely eliminate the current paper production process with something that leaves a smaller footprint.


Empathy is King

Customers want to be heard, supported, and provided goods and services that enhance their lives. Every development improves the shopping experience for customers, however, brands will continue to grow more competitive with going above and beyond to serve value. Perhaps, with the growth of artificial intelligence, what’s being hailed as the third industrial revolution, a more hands-on approach will popularize. Currently, online AI communication is already a standard practice. As a result, life is brought to the lifeless, and a relationship is strengthened. Perhaps as time goes on, this relationship will develop with physical at-home AI options.



Again, as technology develops, at-home ease continues to develop. So, the e-commerce may not just be commonplace, but essential in a 100 years time. Meaning, label design will focus specifically on the unpacking experience for customers, and shopping from home for good and essentials will become the primary way for customers to meet their needs.


Design Principles Are Classic For a Reason

No matter how the stock, shopping experience, and technology changes, the principles of design will remain the same. So, titles still need to fit the label face. Colors have to compliment the whole scheme. Even balance and white space consideration are crucial for both minimalistic labels and designs chocked full of design content.

Consider that designs develop into something so minimalistic that they become one-inch squared, water dissolvable, black and white labels. Especially for produce, they’re there to communicate the bare minimum, eliminate waste, and ensure ease of removal for customers. These labels will still require the text to fit proportionally into the one-inch square and the ink still needs to last, or color match any branded black tones.


Human Touches Persist

Even, or rather especially, because of AI developments, human touches are important. Shoppers want to feel as though there are real people behind your brand who empathize with their needs and care about the value your product offers. Whether this is shown through the content you create for your labels, the online persona, or the hand-drawn touches, these elements are critical. As technology develops in unforeseen ways, humanity becomes more and more crucial. Even now it becomes hard to envision customers as living breathing people when you can’t interact with them the same we could 100 years ago. As time pushes on, never lose sight of the responsibility of compassion and how that often translates into trust and outreach.


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

Great Lakes Label Innovative Labeling Techniques E-Book Download


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