Flawless Ethical Label Design
First things first you’ll need to know what kind of bottle/container you’re using and what type of labelling will adhere to it.
Do you want people to be able to see through to the contents?
Can the label be easily removed so the bottle can be re-used as a storage container for example?
The weight and size of the product will have a big impact in terms of delivery to customers. Is it easy enough to courier?
Could your product be more economical by being a shape that packs more efficiently? If you have an ethical product and label you might also want to consider using an ethically produced bottle/container.
How do you want your label to look and function on the bottle?
Is there specific information that you must include such as legal requirements?
Does the information need to be displayed at a certain size?
If so it may be best working out what size of area this will take up and then allocate the rest of your space to the look and design. Consider the entirety of your bottle as an area for print, everything including the lid can be used to promote your brand and communicate with your customer. The more creative the better we say.
How will your bottle be displayed on a supermarket shelf? What information is likely to be seen at eye-level? Research or speak with your design team about what you should be putting here. You need to inform your customers and make it easy for them to select your product from the shelf, as well as catch their eye.
Whether we admit to being seduced by branding, we’ve all been there in the supermarket blinded by the sheer amount on the shelves and sometimes opt for what we know to save us time and energy making an informed decision. Once you have decided on the content of your bottle you could get samples from your manufacturer to test different ways of positioning a label on your bottle. Create a template design and experiment with the layouts. Send off your favourite ones to your label manufacturer for sampling and testing too. Don’t be surprised if things aren’t 100% first time. A huge part of any design process is prototyping and testing. With our labelling projects we usually do about 2 sample runs in order to get to a refined design.
Q: Why you shouldn’t go wild with colours?
A: We advise 4 process colours for digital printing, if requiring PMS colours for corporate logos it works out more expensive. Be aware for large coverage of solid colours such as dark blue etc. as these are better produced as a PMS colour.
Q: At what point does a print run go from digital to litho and how does that impact the artwork set up?
A: For digitally printed packaging, volumes of up to around 2k are acceptable, but be aware that substrate is limited to a maximum of 450microns thickness, and the flat size must fall between 350 x 660mm maximum.
Q: Potential pitfalls if you don’t run a print check?
A: We always advise a digital mock up or a wet proof (more expensive) as this will show exact sizing, making up of pack or label and colour results prior to the main production run.
Q: Should you get a hard copy proof?
A: Always ask for a hard copy proof to check for size, layout and content (but not necessarily for colour matching).
Q: Vector VS pixels which is easier to work with?
A: We always advise print ready artwork to be supplied as a high resolution PDF with minimum 3mm bleed, and all fonts and images intact.
Q: Benefits of using a print template or working with a professional designer?
A: Both are acceptable but we would always prefer to consult with the designer before a project to discuss the proposed artwork, required material and style of pack/label.
Q: Any funny stories about what really isn’t possible?
A: Printing on to plastic, linen, wood have all been requested before – not impossible but once people look at the cost it usually focusses their creative thoughts to something a little more traditional. We can produce on to many different substrates but any project should involve designer, printer and client before going ahead.
Some time ago we had an initial enquiry from a business in the US interested in ethical waterproof labels for their cosmetics range. We discovered that one of our WFTO suppliers in the Philippines does in fact have the capacity to produce waterproof paper. With a bit of testing and refining as well as a great design this labelling could be perfect not only for cosmetics bottles but also for food bottling as it’s waterproof qualities mean it will stay robust and the ink will keep it’s hold in steamy environments.