Product Labels Must Be Simple And Legal

  1. Product labels

Marketing today has never been so diverse, so complex and so far-reaching. You can communicate with your customers in so many ways. But when it comes to product labels, the overriding principle remains the same. It’s the KISS principle. Keep it simple, stupid.

The obvious starting point is to have a top quality product in the first place and then to design a product label which is simple and effective. Assuming that the quality of the goods you produce is top class, what you then need to develop is a memorable, and easy to recognise product label which also presents the true facts about your product.

One of the problems with the product label which is too busy, which has too much information and which goes for way out and exotic colours and shapes, is that it is not eye-catching. Contrary to what you would expect, it is lost in the maze of information laden products and containers laid out on the shelves.

The best designers will tell you that simplicity is always preferable to being too busy. If you can describe your company or your product in a single word or better still, a single image, so much the better. The best designers will work with the producer and get to the core of what it is they are trying to market. Then, with this vital information on hand, the designer will come up with a variety of possibilities all of which aim to grab the attention of the potential customer.

How do these product labels do that? By being simple. By being direct. By conveying the meaning in as few words as possible. And, of course, it’s like a rolling snowball – it gathers speed and momentum as it moves downhill. Once you establish a simple but effective product label design, it builds its own momentum. Consumers recognise it easily and quickly. Success breeds success. Sales increase because of the ease of finding your product.

Whatever else you do with the design and printing of your product label, keep it simple.

The second consideration is that you must design your labels within the constraints of the law. The following link from the Australian government gives you these guidelines.

Here is a quick five point summary of what you need to do to comply with the law when designing your product labels.

  1. You must not provide false, misleading or deceptive conduct to consumers as explained in detail in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
  2. Mandatory consumer information as outlined in this act must also be provided.
  3. You must abide by industry specific regulations such as the Food Standards Code.
  4. If you sell chemicals or plastics, then you must abide by Department of Industry’s Chemicals Industry Business Checklist.
  5. If your products are imported, then you must not make misleading claims about where the products have come from. The Australian Competition and Consumer
    Commission has a webpage that explains exactly how your country of origin labelling needs to be done.

In summary, by all means keep your product labels as simple as possible but not to the extent that you overlook important legal requirements as set down by the federal government in terms of product labelling. Next week, I will look into these labelling laws in more detail.

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