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Make Significant Packaging Changes Using Storytelling Principles

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.


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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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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Get Inspired: Stars and Stripes

Get Inspired: Stars and Stripes

To celebrate Independence Day, we’re taking a look at stars and stripes in label design. So, see how to incorporate these simple motifs with flare. This subtly patriotic aesthetic makes the label suitable year-round. So, take inspiration from the holiday in a way that enhances your product. Although fun promotional labels help sell products, this focus is on the more practical nature of the symbols.

Hopswatch label with font stripesHopswatch With Font Stripes Designed by Anna Haggerty

This beer label heavily relies on matching Pantone colors with seasonal flavors. So, the font’s bold, slim design makes the whole concept pop. Although actual stripes aren’t involved, the font still replicates a striped look from a distance. Or, at a first glance, the label looks simplistic and color oriented.


The elements series wine labelThe Elements Wine Label Designed By Dana Mevorach

This design celebrates environmental elements with an extremely simplistic way. As a result, the lines illustrate hills, rain, sunlight and levels of ground. Plus, the lines offer a distinct look making it easy to identify each item with a glance. However, on an option to illuminate the white lines is to foil them. Although the concept is strong, the innovative labeling technique enhances the label.


Kid Friendly First Aid Labels Designed By Brigid Eduarte 

Now for stars. This concept makes first aid items bright and approachable for all demographics. In the case of this hydrogen peroxide label, the stars mimic the bubbling nature of the product. Again, color plays a major role in creating an approachable label. However, the practical requirements of the labeling are still there. So, this packaging design offers a balanced mix of professional label design and creative, eye-catching techniques.


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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Black is The New Black in Packaging Design

Black is The New Black in Packaging Design

This article from Brand Packaging suggests that black is making a comeback as a prominent color choice in packaging design. With Halloween quickly approaching, this trend is growing just in time for businesses to take advantage of striking looks in promotional labeling. Looking to incorporate this new scheme into your standard product line? Here are our tips for finding label design success.

Chateau Du Parc Wine Label with bronze foiling and black embossing
Chateau Du Parc Wine Label

Don’t Go Overboard If It Doesn’t Fit Your Brand

We’ve previously looked at how light packaging is ideal for health food products. So, if your brand success relies on your established color scheme, avoid switching it out for darker tones. Instead, incorporate darker colors on a secondary label, such as around the bottle neck. Or, incorporate a new image where the black only serves to make the bright colors pop. Keep it subtle.


Take Advantage of Innovative Labeling Techniques

If your product is able to take advantage of the trend, such as the above wine label, innovative techniques will take it to the next level. As seen above, simply adding embossing over your black label creates sensory interest that will entice customers into picking up your product. Once the product is in their hands, they will be more likely to buy it as well. Accenting with bronze, silver or gold foiling is a classic way to create a luxurious look.


Mixing Matte Black With Glossy Black

Are you creating a single color label? Mixing matte with glossy (or a tactile screen) is a fantastic way for your label to remain legible. The two textures contrast each other so much in the light that it creates a compelling aesthetic. This technique can often be found in beauty product packaging design. It’s simple but elegant.


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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Great Lakes Label’s Video Portfolio

Great Lakes Label’s Video Portfolio

This video portfolio highlights some of Great Lakes Label’s clientele and label samples. You can also check out our work by clicking here. As you can see in the below image, this video even highlights our research and design work. As a result, it covers the various uses of innovative labeling techniques. This even includes embossing, foiling, and motion coat.

THYK hair label with motion coat - Great Lakes Label Collage for Website for video portfolio
THYK R&D Label by Great Lakes Label featuring Motion Coat


Innovative Labeling Techniques in Great Lakes Label’s Video Portfolio

There are a variety of innovative labeling techniques found in the video portfolio. This is because every technique offers something different in creating a captivating label. So, it creates a different aesthetic and a different experience for the in-store customer.

One of these examples is the above THYK R&D label which uses the holographic technique, Motion Coat. We guarantee your competition isn’t using MotionCoat, so consider it instead of others. This is because they either don’t know about it, or they ignore the potential of the technique. Brands incorporate foiling, especially when conveying luxury. However, Motion Coat is an undiscovered gem. Not only does it catch the light, but it creates a unique, and bumpy texture customers will want to get their hands on.

Here are other techniques that are shown in the below video portfolio:

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Both pictures and videos are included in this video portfolio. Here’s why.

This video portfolio has a mixture of picture and video content because it better showcases how the product will look when customers are holding it in their hands. While pictures are worth a thousand words, sometimes they don’t do labeling techniques justice. With this video, you can look at the shine, depth, and even the texture of the products shown just like you’re there in-store holding it. Are you interested in what you see? Contact us to receive a package of samples personalized for your labeling needs.


Great Lakes Label’s Video Portfolio

This is a video portfolio of labels created by Great Lakes Label.

Brands Shown in Video

Horticulture Labels

  • Bloem – Plant Containers
  • Bonnie Plants – Plants
  • Costa Farms – Plants

Food Labels

  • Heinz – Mayo
  • Johnsonville – Condiments and Spreads
  • Andrulis – Artisan Cheese and Dairy Products
  • Koeze Cream-Nut – Peanut Butter and Nut Products
  • Michigan Bee – Honey
  • Meijer – Trail Mixes, Nut Mixes
  • Silver Spring – Sauces and Condiments
  • Country Dairy – Milk and Dairy Products
  • Moo-ville Creamery – Milk and Dairy Products
  • Heath – Bird Food and Outdoor Products
  • National Geographic – Pet Food

Health & Beauty Labels

  • Meijer – Pharmacy

Industrial Labels

  • Bissell – Cleaning and Household Products
  • Rain-X – Automotive Cleaning Wipes

Wine, Beer & Beverage Labels

  • Perrin Brewery – Beer
  • McClary’s – Drinking Vinegar/Shrubs
  • Destiladora de Agave Azul – Tequila
  • Wine Trader’s – Wine (Gaby Cuvee Bordeaux, Plot 88 Bordeaux, Chateau Moya Bordeaux)

Original Great Lakes Label Designs

  • Great Lakes Label R&D Designs
    • Beer
    • Wine
    • Health & Beauty


Why Our Portfolio Matters

At Great Lakes Label, we’re always updating our portfolio web page with new clients and samples of what we do. This video highlights how our products look on the grocery store shelf, but also the wide range of industries we serve. We have experience in all industries and a wide range of products. We understand how your specific labeling needs change from year to year. On top of that, we can deliver a quality product to withstand any condition. Industrial labels on appliances need heat resistance, beer labels need moisture resistance.

wetstick label - great lakes label
Great Lakes Label’s WetStick Label with Superior Adhesive Chemistry

A Few of Our Capabilities For Creating A Durable Label

  • Heat Resistance
  • Moisture Resistance That Passes All Ice Bucket Tests – Our WetStick Label Can Even Be Applied Underwater
  • UV Coatings That Eliminate Fade
  • Permanent, as well as Removable, Adhesive Solutions
  • Booklet-Style Labeling For Expanded Content
Bissell Cast & Cure - Great Lakes Label
Great Lakes Label’s R&D Bissell Labels Using Cast & Cure Holographic Techniques

And, Why Our R&D Work Matters

We are always testing new innovative labeling techniques. We always ensure they look good on our research and design labels. This is first, for sheer curiosity, but also because we care about perfecting all our labeling solutions. By the time you decide to use Motion Coat on your label, it’s ready. We’ve worked out all the kinks and know the ins and outs of what is possible for your aesthetic. Great Lakes Label is a beta testing site for some of our suppliers. This allows us to also get a first look at up and coming trends. We are on the cutting edge of the flexographic label printing industry.

Meijer R&D Trail Mix & Nuts Bag Labels
Great Lakes Label’s Research & Design Labels For Meijer Trail Mix & Nuts Bag Labels

Our Work Says A Lot About Us

If you haven’t already noticed, we take your labeling needs seriously. We guarantee a professional grade product every time. A label that meets all requirements for your industry. We also guarantee a durable label that can withstand any condition. To us, it’s important that your label captures the attention and imagination of your customers. The grocery aisle is a competitive arena with many, many options for them to choose from. We offer solutions to make your product stand out. On top of this, we offer an in-house design team to make your wildest dreams a reality.


Learn even more about how to incorporate these techniques into your label design. So, download our e-book, The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques. It even covers all the innovative techniques mentioned. It also teaches you what “sensory marketing” is and how it is impacting your sales.

Great Lakes Label Innovative Labeling Techniques E-Book Download

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