Before any of your product labels get printed, you should be careful to avoid the top seven problems in product label design. Before, I list them, let’s look as this topic in a different way.
If you plan to design the product labels yourself, then this information will be most useful. However, I suggest you need the very best graphic designers to design your product labels. Your product label design will impact your sales especially if you look to sell your products in great volume. It is the label that often gets noticed before the product.
In no particular order, here are the top seven errors in product label design that we have seen over many years.
- Fonts – We suggest you stick to the more common fonts, because if you choose a font that is not commonly used, there is a possibility we will not have it. Instead, when your file is opened, you will get an error message. The best way to avoid this is to always embed your fonts, convert to curves or create outlines before sending the file to us.
- Bleed – If you want your colour to print all the way to the edge of your label, then you need to include bleed. This is typically 3mm beyond every edge. For example, if you want to print a 60mm x 100mm oval label, then you would create artwork that is 66mm x 106mm so that every edge has the artwork extending 3mm beyond the border of every edge of your label. Also, you should leave some space around the edge of your label that has no text. We need this because during die-cutting, digital cutting or laser cutting, the label material can drift ever so slightly (up to 1mm), so you need to make allowances in your artwork.
- RGB vs CMYK – Most digital colour printers today print as CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-K = Black) or four colour process. However, your computer monitors display colour as RGB (Red-Green-Blue). This means if you create your file as RGB, the colour is going to look different when printed on a CMYK printer, so it is recommended to create your artwork as CMYK. You can sometimes request a printed proof if colour is important to you.
- Low File Resolution – Sometimes we receive files of a picture or image that was on a website. Unfortunately, in most cases the files on websites are very low in resolution, usually as low as 72 dpi making it appear quite blurry. If we print a file at that resolution it is going to look terrible. We recommend a resolution of at least 300 dpi to get the best results. The best files to send us are PDF, TIFF or EPS files.
- Spelling and Typographical Errors – We see this regularly. Often, we receive the phone call that goes like this. “Have you printed our labels yet? We need to make a change.” Actually, we do sometimes catch mistakes but this is not our role. You must check your product label design carefully. You can save yourself disappointment and expense by spending extra time ensuring all text is correct.
- Incorrectly Sized Artwork – We often receive artwork where the size is different from the size of the requested label. This may be intentional but unless we have instructions we don’t know how to handle the artwork. Possibly, extra white space is needed or maybe we need to crop the label to make to fit the desired size. If your artwork is a different size than the requested label size, then detailed instructions are needed.
- Missing Important Information – Even though this is something we do not check on your behalf, our website contains a lot of information on this topic. The design of product labels is about much more than logos, fonts and colour. An effective product label design will include room for ingredients, use by dates, volume, contact details and other items of importance.
Our team of graphic designers do spend a lot of time fixing artwork that is wrong or not up to standard. We are available to help. In fact, we often prefer to do the artwork ourselves so we know that it will be right from a printing perspective.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your questions answered or to create your product label from your brief and images and information provided.