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How to Design Labels that Maximize Sales

design labelsIn the second decade of the 21st century, labels must not only function, but they must dazzle on social media, cut through all the shelf space noise, and provide an easy way to track the product from the manufacturer to the consumer. To ensure that a label boosts its brand’s return on investment (ROI), its designers must learn how not only to create attractive logos and lettering but also how to design labels that maximize sales. Therefore, label design elements must not only be aesthetically pleasing, but help drive sales as well.

Design Stickers that Sizzle on Instagram and Mobile

Today’s leading-edge brands, says Fast Company’s Rina Raphael, must design stickers, decals and labels that become instant Instagram stars. In other words, they must design labels—especially the front part—to “stand out on a 2 x 3-inch screen.”

Instead of the last decade’s badges that virtue-signal non-GMO or vegan content, today’s decal design must take a starring role in the brand’s social media posts. This priority reversal means that text must exit stage left to make room for graphics. Like the equally trendy Marie Kondo’s philosophy, clutter’s out when it comes to decal design.

Brands who want to inform consumers about their product’s content (think trendy kombucha), therefore, should design stickers with that information on the label’s backside. Informative posts on social media  too, can augment the information on the label to satisfy consumers who want a deeper dive into the ingredients’ benefits.

Decal Design that Aligns with the Brand and Product

Part of a product’s shelf—and Instagram–appeal is its decal or label’s alignment with both the brand and the product inside. Wine bottle labels, for instance, often vary by color, such as aqua or lime green to indicate a summery white or deep burgundies, rusts, or forest greens to signal consumers that a rich Cabernet lies inside.

By keeping the logo and fonts consistent, a designer can design stickers, decals and labels that alert customers to the brand name yet vary them by color to evoke consumers’ desire for the product. Similarly, a brand can design signs that harmonize with those of the label to point consumers toward the in-store display.

Authenticity and Alignment

Authenticity and alignment in a decal design extend to lettering choices as well, as ForbesSteve Olenski points out. A folksy font on a bottle of laxative pills might not go over so well, while the same font might be perfect on yogurt carton.

In fact, yogurt maker Chobani, for instance, has changed its product labels’ font to a friendlier, folksier—and highly Instagrammable look, while Ex-Lax and Senokot’s labels’ fonts look TV-doctor serious. When a company can design stickers that align with their brand and product while maintaining authenticity to what lies inside the package, they will be more likely to succeed.

Design Signs and Labels that Provide Insight into the Customer Base

With today’s deep data analysis capabilities, a company needs to take advantage of every opportunity it can to analyze its target customers—their demographics, location, and buying habits. With occasional offers to receive rebates or promotional merchandise on labels and hangtags, companies can do just that.

If a manufacturer wants to see who is buying its products, it can create special labels with forms consumers can fill out to receive a reward for buying a given product or number of products. When the customer has the required documentation (UPC codes, receipts, etc.), they can send it into the manufacturer.

That gives the manufacturer a treasure trove of information about who buys their products. They can use that information to target personalized campaigns, create customer personas, and create new offers and products tailored to their target customers’ needs.

To coordinate with these labels, the company should also design signs to make an attractive display for stores to promote the campaign for each store to go along with the promotional labels or hangtags, it can attract more customers to take part in the campaign.

Make Labels Easy to Read

It goes without saying that the front label should not only be attractive but also easy to read, even from a distance. Combined with a distinctive logo, an easy-to-read front label is an attention-getter.

Yet how about the back of the label, where most manufacturers include more details about their products? Resist the temptation to use jargon or difficult-to-read technical terms.

Before submitting the label text to the printer, run it through a readability checker and tweak it to make sure that customers can understand the information on it. In addition to including the required information, make the text persuasive—and close the sale.

Don’t Clutter It Up with Too Much Text

A label—even the informative sections—must be attractive. Edit the label text until it has plenty of white space to make reading easier on customers’ eyes.

Most label manufacturers have a graphic designer on staff to make the arrangement of the text more attractive. Take advantage of their expertise to create a label that doesn’t only convey all the information consumers need but also pairs well with the shape of the item, the brand logo, and the item’s color.

Choose a Label Design that Speaks to the Target Audience

Clothing and shoes aren’t the only items that change styles over the years. Following current design trends helps boost buyer appeal, particularly if the product’s main appeal is to millennials or teens.

Again, a label maker’s design staff can lend advice about current trends to create a label that will appeal to the target market. Design trends vary by not only age but also by other demographics as well, such as regional and ethnic differences. Consider labels for cosmetic products, and how label needs to be properly targeted to reach individual customers.

Getting Off To The Right Start

For instance, pasta makers often use the colors of the Italian flag on their labels, while makers of other ethnic foods mix English characters with those of their native language. Those who want to appeal to rural farm communities often use Old West fonts along with photos of farm animals to create a folksy appeal.

Whatever the product, it pays to think as much about the label design as the product itself. The right label can help a fine product get off to a great start.

Whether you need to maximize the ROI on your labels or design signs for your displays, the Nova Custom Printing team is here to help you get the most from your investment. Get the jump on your competitors with labels that attract—and keep—customers. Get in touch with us today.

saved me for a last minute print, thanks nova!

Tamara Farrell Avatar Tamara Farrell
April 16, 2024

Great partners on a last minute project - turned out beautiful and the team was so helpful! Would recommend!

Maggie Dunn Avatar Maggie Dunn
April 16, 2024

The decals and signage were great quality. We had a couple of unforeseen issues, and Michael helped us to accommodate all the last-minute changes we had to make.

Bruna Tironi Avatar Bruna Tironi
April 9, 2024