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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.

Labeling Solutions E-Book

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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.

 

Label Project Guide E-Book Download

 

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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.

Great Lakes Label Innovative Labeling Techniques E-Book Download

 

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How Likely Are Luxury Industrial Labels?
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How Likely Are Luxury Industrial Labels?

Luxury industrial labels sound like a contradiction. How can a rough and tumble label benefit from the creative side of luxury design? Does luxury have any place in this industry and will luxury trends permeate all areas of business?

neon ink actega sheet Label by Great Lakes Label 3

Luxury Industrial Labels Benefit From The Practical Uses of Innovative Labeling Techniques

If your label adheres to the back side of a fridge, how easy is it for customers to read that content? When looking for the make and model, shining a flashlight around the back is far easier than pulling out the whole appliance. Neon inks and foiling techniques both catch the light and make it easier for customers to access that information once the product is installed.

 

Tactile coatings also make braille possible and create an inclusive shopping experience. Again, this extends past the point of purchase. So, while it doesn’t offer luxury, a tactile coating provides inclusivity. Something many brands don’t offer.

Rainx industrial labels - Great Lakes Label

The Creative Side of Luxury Design

Most customer-facing industrial labels don’t use techniques. Often, simplicity and minimalism is king. So, why not stand out from the crowd? If your product goes above and beyond the competition, go above and beyond with design. This is even particularly important for small businesses. By making a bold statement with the quality of the label, it communicates the quality of the product itself.

 

A booklet-style label opens up to provide customers with more information. So, while it engages the senses with a tactile experience, it also provides more information on the product. This offers a chance to provide tutorials, or related content right there on the packaging.

 

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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Booklet-Style Labels Answer All Packaging Problems
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Booklet-Style Labels Answer All Packaging Problems

A booklet-style label is a label comprising of 4 sides:

    1. The cover, or the front of the label
    2. The left-hand panel, or the backside of the cover
    3. The right-hand panel
    4. The back, where the adhesive applies your label to the container

Naturally, by working with more pages, you have more design options. With more design options, you have more opportunities to delight and engage the customer. Through that, you increase your chances of them buying your item and becoming a repeat customer. This makes booklet-style labels the ideal solution for packaging.

Costa Farms booklet-style Label by Great Lakes Label

Booklet-Style Labels Provide Space For Labeling Requirements

From the nutritional information chart to GMO labeling requirements (and more), there is a lot of information to include on food labels. In other industries, these requirements may change to safety graphics for chemical products, cruelty-free logos for cosmetics, or growing location for horticulture growers. While the location of this information needs to remain the same, booklet-style labels provide more room for everything else.

Now, instructions, tips, and translations can easily fit inside the label. With more pages, new design concepts can be tested inside, or it can even act as an instant redeemable coupon to be peeled off and brought back to the point of purchase. The possibilities are endless.

 

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Engage Customers With Smart Packaging & Expanded Content

Smart packaging is an ever-growing trend where labels offer the customer something extra to enhance their experience, often using technology. This can include goodies like QR codes that link customers to helpful videos, NFC (near field communication) or RFID (radio frequency identification) labeling that takes customers straight to their app when their phone gets close to the label. Social media hashtags can also be used to enter contests, connect with the brand directly, or other customers. With booklet-style labels, you now have the space to design instructions in using this technology or even placing simple text-based information that customers will value.

Entice Your Customers To Pick Up Your Product To Increase Sales

Sensory marketing is a strategy to get customers to engage their senses with your product in order to connect with them on a deeper level and nurture a sale. Comforting textures, delightful sounds, and yes, engaging booklet pages aid in this goal. Once the customer picks up your product and opens your label, they are now more attached to the product. If you incorporate smart packaging content inside that label, consider it a win-win for both the customer and your brand.

Remember, the customer comes first. How can you create packaging that tells them everything they need to know, nurture a more personal connection with your brand and provide them with valuable content? Easy. Booklet-style 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.

Labeling Solutions E-Book

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