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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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Come See Us at PLMA 2018 in Chicago!
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Come See Us at PLMA 2018 in Chicago!

PLMA 2018 is well on its way! Visit us in Chicago to learn all about our private labeling, food labeling, and even labeling automation options.

plma 2018 - private label manufacturers association logo

Booth F4103

November 11th – 13th

PLMA at Rosemont Convention Center

Chicago, IL

 

What to Expect at PLMA 2018

We’ll be offering produce and horticultural labeling information and even various samples. Not only will this cover innovative techniques and technologies, but also label application solutions. So stop by to ask us questions, or grab some samples of our work!

With anti-packaging becoming a more prominent trend, our sustainable label stock options offer an ideal alternative. As a result, this stock meets customers needs and values. It also helps that these stocks include high-quality wine stocks!

 

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

Great Lakes Label Innovative Labeling Techniques E-Book Download

 

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All About Over-Labeling & Design Solutions
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All About Over-Labeling & Design Solutions

Over-labeling is the process of applying a label overtop of a previously applied label. The back of the top label uses a coating that blocks out the label underneath. As a result, customers only see what’s been applied on top. So, it not only solves outdated labels or labels with errors, but it also creates a professional look.

Over-labeling Great Lakes Label 15How Over-Labeling Provides Cost-Saving Flexibility

Human error is bound to happen. So, it’s great to have a simple solution that corrects typos, errors with graphics, or any other nuisance. No need to remove labels either!

Maybe a top label gets applied to only a portion of the bottom label. Say, a price change occurs. Instead of completely redesigning and re-applying the label, simply apply a small black and white label overtop. So, this solution saves money in reproduction.

Also, apply seasonal labels over evergreen products with ease. Instead of starting from scratch with new packaging, make promotional labels work with what you already have. Even conduct A/B testing with current

Over-Labeling

Uploaded by Great Lakes Label, LLC on 2018-07-13.

Not Just For Horticulture

This technique may be more typical in horticulture, however, any industry can use over-labeling to its advantage. This technique isn’t an ideal fit for widespread releases, but it does make sense for testing, and for smaller scale adjustments. So, if you’re business is a small business with a single location, or you’re testing a new wine label at the vineyard, save money. Test onsite and make minor corrections instead of paying for a new batch of labels. Remember, this technique also saves time where removing labels and reapplying is concerned. Also, consider how applicators make the process much faster and easier than hand labeling.

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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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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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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Your Label Shouldn’t Appeal To Everyone
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Your Label Shouldn’t Appeal To Everyone

The appeal of a label doesn’t rely on all shoppers’ interest, only the right demographics. In fact, don’t bother trying to attract all shoppers to your product. It’s a waste of time, energy and money. Instead, make your label more fitting for the right customers who will appreciate the brand values you offer. Afterall, other brands are a better fit for uninterested shoppers anyway.

Broad Appeal Is Overrated

First, there’s no possible way to appeal to everyone. However, if there was, would you want to? Instead of being seen as the best option for a group of people, you’d likely be seen as an average option for everyone. That doesn’t inspire brand loyalty or encourage a relationship between the brand and the customer. It likely would end up meaning that shoppers seek your brand when their three other industry favorites are out of stock. Be the brand that becomes your demographic’s number one favorite. The beloved brand. Be the sold-out brand.

 

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Get a Firm Perspective on Your Demographics

Before you focus on your demographic, consider who they are. What needs do you fill, and for whom does that solution help most? Make specific choices, and even create a buyer persona. Or, in other words, create a fictional character, name and all, and describe who they are, what they like, and what they need. Consider how your product currently meets their needs. Also, consider how your product and brand will develop to better meet their needs. Consider interviewing customers you currently have or send out surveys to gather details you’re not privy to. These surveys should ask about who they are, their personal habits and lifestyles, as well as why they like your product.

But Don’t Overdo It

While it’s important to know who you’re targeting, don’t spend time on who you want to detract. Don’t conduct surveys on who dislikes your product and why. It’s a waste of time. By putting your energy into cultivating value for your demographics, you’ll naturally detract the wrong people for your brand anyway. It’s important to take a look at reasons why your product and label design isn’t best serving your buyer persona, but considering those outside of your demographics is a waste of time.

Create Laser Focussed Design To Attract The Right People

So, once you know who you’re targeting, create a design that appeals to them. Again, sending out surveys and A/B testing design options is a fantastic way to get unbiased feedback without diving into clichés.

Enhance Designs With Innovative Techniques

Coffee tri-panel label by Great Lakes LabelBooklet-Style Labeling

 

Peony hand soap label with mirafoil - Great Lakes LabelKeep it Simple With Foiling

Create Content Specifically Matching Your Demographic’s Needs

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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Go Viral With Your Label Design
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Go Viral With Your Label Design

Everyone wants to go viral these days. It’s understandable considering how influential a viral marketing campaign is. So, create labels that break boundaries and offer your customers value at the same time. It may just be easier than it sounds.

First, A Disclaimer

You can’t predict whether or not you’ll go viral. You can only perform certain steps to give your brand the best shot. So, while we have tried and true options, they don’t necessarily mean that they’ll make your business erupt with business. As they say, or more specifically, as Seneca once said…

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Now, Set Your Goals

This may seem counterproductive since you can’t determine how successful a campaign will be, but what is your definition of success? Is it a number of Instagram views? A number of product purchases? Or, are you looking to increase your follower count and convert strangers into loyal fans? Whatever it may be, these numbers help you get a bearing on how the campaign is going and whether or not to do more to reach that goal.

Do What’s Always Been Done Before, But in a Brand New Way

If you take a look at viral label design campaigns in the past, you’ll notice that they’re not revolutionary, but they’re exciting and valuable.  The Pepsi emoji labels used personalization just like other brands have, but it also created a unique, on-brand, and fun experience for customers. Don’t be afraid to move forward with a concept that has roots in other concepts. Just don’t copy. Instead, make sure the idea is so good that it’s worth the comparison.

 

Lake Day Chardonnay Sample R&D Label Designed By Great Lakes Label

Lake Day Chardonnay R&D digitally printed wine label designed by Great Lakes LabelTest, Test, Test

How do you know your design has the potential to go viral? A/B test. By getting feedback on the design early on, there’s less risk and more data-backed information driving the campaign forward.

Go Above and Beyond

Don’t just create a pretty label. Create a useful label that has the potential to be transformed or repurposed. Create a label that reveals something to the customer using labeling technology. Or, create a label that allows customers to stop and celebrate life in some way.

 

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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Unconventional Ideas For Label Engagement
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Unconventional Ideas For Label Engagement

So, you want to enhance what you offer for label engagement. Do something unique and unpredictable. Entice customers into picking up your product in the grocery store aisle by doing something your competition isn’t. Provide them with a value they can’t get anywhere else.

10. Link To Music Recommendations

Like a secret menu or a speakeasy bar, link to an unmentioned musical recommendation using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. No matter what your product is, it’s likely that music can be enjoyed while your customer uses the product. So, partner with musicians local to the area your product is shipping to. Or, generally, create a promotion for recognizing underground artists in the most underground way.

 

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9. Show a New Way To Re-Use The Packaging On Each Label

Create a small graphic that promotes sustainability by highlighting a new way to repurpose the product. Or, re-enforce brand humor by making the solution completely ridiculous each time. Still, this particularly makes sense when using sustainable labeling stocks. Instead of walking the walk, first, talk the talk.

 

8. Use Techniques to Create a Magic Eye Style Design

Or any visual trick, really. Start with a smart concept that requires a second look. Then, enhance it with foiling, a tactile coating, Motion Coat, and even Cast & Cure. This is a sure-fire way to get people picking up your product to take a closer look. It even creates a nostalgic positive association that then, in turn, is associated with your brand. With texture, the haptic aspect of the design also creates positive, subconscious associations.

 

7. Link To Something Random, Yet Related to The Brand

Some brands lean into random, irreverent humor to their advantage. If you’re a craft beer brand, linking to information on how beer is made, beer memes, viral videos featuring beer, or pictures of hops are all worth surprising your customers with. Better still, instead of getting permission to use random user-generated content, create your own. Faux memes, faux viral videos, behind the scenes pictures, cartoon panel style jokes, etc. Offer something completely personal and unique that customers won’t see anywhere else. Better still, your product will be in it every single time.

 

6. Include Funny & Peculiar Reviews

Did you get a strange or goofy review? Share it! When you include silly product reviews you reveal that you’re a laidback brand with a sense of humor. Plus, it shows customers that you’re connected to the community and, for better or worse, their feedback will be heard. In fact, it may provide encouragement for customers to leave more reviews.

glitter actega sheet Label by Great Lakes Label - increasing label engagement

5. Interesting, Outlandish Textures Promote Label Engagement

Increase label engagement on a tactile level by including unconventional textures. Glitter, Grit Coat, Motion Coat, and even Tactile Screen offer unique textures customers will want to pick up and touch. So, add sand castles, glitter dresses, and shining plant details that benefit from such techniques.

 

4. The Opposite of a Vintage Resurgance

Be a trendsetter. Instead of doing a vintage resurgence and re-using past designs, create packaging you anticipate for the future. Get outrageous. The more humor, the better. Will materials be sustainable? Will the shape of the packaging change? Does the label itself also fold into a bow? Of course, abide by regulations, but instead of looking back, take a step forward.

 

3. Profile The End Users

Sometimes owners write their bio for the product’s label. Or, sometimes the company’s team members show up to provide a more personal touch. While these are great ideas, why not take it a step further? What’s more personal than highlighting the stories your customers have to tell? Consider how these stories are displayed. Should they be written out on the label, or linked using a QR code for blog content on your website? It’s even simple enough to get these stories. Either request them through the use of a hashtag, an email or a direct social media message. Community content is right there at your fingertips, so go get it!

 

2. Origami Booklet-Style Labels

The booklet-style label peels for a reason. While it offers extended content space, it also offers the ability to be repurposed into something beautiful. Include a simple guide for turning the cover into an origami animal. This is especially perfect for kids’ products. Once they’re done playing with toy dough, they can then turn the label into a boat for their dough fisherman. Instead of giving customers easy content, gamify the process and let them get creative with it. The hands-on approach is fun and laid back. So, don’t take things so seriously. Allow some space for play.

 

1. A Global Chain of Giving

Can you add a link to your label that provides customers the opportunity to buy the product again, but this time, for someone they care about? Maybe it’s a coffee for a colleague, lipstick for a friend, or golf balls for a family member. Give people the opportunity to pass on some generosity. A simpler method is to create a chain of compliments using a hashtag, or by linking to a post on social media people can peruse at their leisure. Even strangers will complement other strangers when prompted. All they need is the idea to join in by complimenting someone else in the comments after checking out their profile. Use your label engagement for good.

 

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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Create A Consistent Brand Voice on Labels
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Create A Consistent Brand Voice on Labels

A brand voice consists of the tone, language, and messages used online and off. This is one part of the larger picture for your brand and even your label design. So, set aside color schemes, innovative labeling techniques, and product photography for now. We’re solely focused on communication.

inconsistent brand voice on website, social media and label - stout beer bottle label sampleAn Inconsistent Brand Voice Negatively Impacts Business

Imagine a brand uses casual and colloquial language on social media, a formal and minimalistic language on the label, then lengthy and overly-descriptive language on their website. It would be confusing. As though a completely different person wrote for each source. Or, as though the business is fluid and unfocused. It works against the brand, implying a lack of direction for their values and sense of identity.

 

Quick, Simple Ways To Ensure Consistency

Create a brand rulebook or guideline. Make it clear and distinct. Maybe you’re a down-to-earth craft beer company using wordplay, colloquialisms and is fast and loose with adverbs. Or, maybe you’re a pharmaceutical brand and to ensure customer confidence, only professional and to-the-point language is used. You can see how the two examples shouldn’t mix. Ultimately these rules impact and work together with imagery, reinforcing the brand with visual components.

 

Keywords Create Focus

Don’t know where to start? Consider the keywords that reflect your brand and focus your writing on them. On social media, these keywords work double duty as hashtags If you’re a yarn and craft brand, your keywords will likely be words like, “yarn,” “craft,” “knitting,” and “crochet.” So, a casual, gentle, and personal tone naturally emerge. Then, ensure those hashtags consistently show up on your labels, website pages, and social media posts. It’s a subtle, simple and impactful way to create consistency.

 

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: Prairie City Bakery
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Customer Spotlight: Prairie City Bakery

Prairie City Bakery’s mission is to “wow” customers with simplified baking. It’s clear that everything they do is with the customer in mind, and providing them with a high quality, handcrafted-style product. They began with only muffin tops and now Prairie City Bakery offers more than 70 products. A fast-growing company.

Prairie City Bakery Cookie Label by Great Lakes Label 1

Prairie City Bakery Labels & Packaging Design

Although the product says super-sized, be aware, the image is not to scale. What’s lovely about the design is that the wavy edges create an imperfect, handcrafted look. It’s a lot like a cookie, don’t you think? The color scheme is bold which makes the product as a whole stand out. On top of that, the label also features a lot of information. It uses the small space it has to create a big impact.

 

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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