Design Tips for Custom Labels and Stickers: Part Three
Date Posted: 04/08/2010 | By: Maureen
Design Tips: Part Three (15-24)
Design Tip #15 – Go with a theme.
If you have more than one product that needs custom labels, a theme is a great way to go. Let me use wineries as an example. One vineyard uses old-fashioned circus characters as their theme. Different varietals are the strong man, the ring master or the trapeze artist. Another vineyard uses the alphabet as their custom label theme.
Custom labels and stickers that will be displayed in some way (on a shelf, at a trade show etc) together really benefit from the theme idea. Although Lexi is our mascot, we get to have a lot of fun with the lizard theme for our custom stickers here at Leapin’ Lizard. What can you play up? How can you have some theme fun with your custom stickers? Ask some friends and customers; they’ll probab;y have some great, creative ideas for you!
Design Tip #16 – Design your custom labels and stickers with ‘stand alone’ power in mind.
If you are going to use your custom stickers as promos or give-aways, please think through how your custom label looks off your product. Does it have ‘stand alone’ power, or does it look weird when it’s all by its lonesome self? If so, you might want to consider designing special custom labels for that purpose.
Custom labels and stickers don’t have to be good for both on the product and off the product use. However, you want to protect your brand by making sure your custom labels can wow customers and potential customers whatever their use. Using your custom stickers as viral marketing via give-aways is an inexpensive way to get your brand ‘stuck’ everywhere, but that’s no good if they look ugly. Tweak your custom label design as needed to make it super-groovy as a stand alone, and you’re ready to rock and roll!
Design Tip #17 – Make me laugh.
Yesterday we printed tiny moose stickers for Clean Air Compost ( check out www.cleanaircompost.com to see the moose). They were so darned cute they made me laugh, not just once but every time I looked at them. I’m thinking of sticking one on my car’s dashboard so I have something to make me smile when I’m stuck in traffic. When our teen-aged daughter saw one she immediately stuck the tiny custom sticker on her cell phone because she liked them so much. Now that’s a powerful custom label!
Custom labels and stickers that can evoke an emotion like happiness are worth their weight in gold. We both wanted to take action and put the label where we would see it frequently. That’s a powerful reminder of your brand and product if you can get your custom labels to have the same effect. What emotions, if any, do your custom stickers evoke when people see them? Laughter and happiness are always a good goal!
Design Tip #18 – Test your options.
Don’t feel locked in on the design of your current custom labels. Change some things up and test whether your buyers like the new look. We recently printed some new custom labels for Horsetooth Hot Sauce, (www.horsetoothhotsauce.com) where they are testing out using a matte laminate. They have a great custom label design to begin with, but they aren’t afraid to test out a new look to see if they can make it even better.
Custom labels and stickers are made to be just that – custom. Keep trying new things with your custom stickers, in small quantities, to see if you can make your design more effective, more fun, more appealing. Give your buyers a choice and see which custom label option they prefer. If you have the opportunity, ask them why; what did they like and dislike about each option. Change it up!
Design Tip #29 – Check out what’s working in the marketplace.
Do a little ad hoc market research on what’s working and what trends are in the marketplace for custom stickers. Grab something you can record notes in and spend a few days really paying attention to custom labels. What colors, shapes, and fonts are hot? For example, lime green, orange and brown weren’t on the radar a few years ago, and now they’re all over the place. Are you seeing different uses for custom labels and stickers than before? What catches your eye
Design Tip #20 – Just about anything can be a custom sticker.
We have a lot of fun around here with our business cards, which are, of course, custom stickers. It’s amazing how people’s eyes light up when you hand them one of our custom label cards because they are so unique. They are memorable, we can change them the time because of the small quantities we can print, and they are sure to garner attention.
Custom labels and stickers really can be used in many ways. Think through your marketing materials, your packaging materials, your address labels- they can all be custom stickers. They go through trends with the marketplace. With the surge in custom everything (tee shirts, for example), custom labels have seen an upsurge. You want to make sure your custom stickers don’t look like you pulled them out of the attic, unless you’re going for the retro look. Hmm… Maybe they should look like you pulled them out of the attic given how hip it is to be retro in the marketplace right now. Spending a bit of time could pay big dividends for your custom labels.
Design Tip #21 – Talk to your printer early.
You’re cranking along on your custom label design and call your printer to place your order. You happily send off your artwork and are expecting to kick back and let the good times roll while waiting for them to work their label printing magic. Then (insert scary, horror flick soundtrack here) you get the dreaded phone call. Your artwork won’t work. You didn’t know you needed bleeds, margins and your fonts created into outlines! What’s all this?
Custom labels and stickers can be really, really easy to design, or a huge pain in the butt to fix if you’ve forgotten critical elements needed by your printer. Make it easy on everyone, and call your printer early to find out what their specs are for custom stickers. Most of us have it outlined on our websites as well, though I always like to talk to someone ‘live’ just to be sure we’re on the same page. Most printers will also have helpful hints, and can help you design your custom labels to meet print specifications as well. Remember, we’re friendly folk, we printer-types. We’re here to help you with your custom label printing; just don’t wait until it’s too late!
Design Tip #22 – Use a ‘spot’ of color for high impact.
If you really want to draw the eye toward a specific place on your custom labels, think about going minimalist with your use of colors. Imagine a white or clear background with only a small splash of color on your custom stickers. It really makes for a beautiful custom label, and has a very clean, crisp feel to it.
Custom labels and stickers that use colors sparingly work very well for beverages and skin care products. They give a sense that the products are refreshing and pure. Go ahead, get splashy with your custom label color!
Design Tip #23 – Shake it up every once in awhile.
I love the days when Google changes up their logo based on a holiday, person’s birthday (Seuss was fun!) or important date in history. They shake it up now and again, and it always gets my attention. Think about doing the same with your custom labels. Change the color or the shape for a holiday release or just to get folks attention.
Custom labels and stickers can take the shake! You probably have a loyal customer base who will enjoy the change. When you make a change to your custom labels, people will do a double take as well. When Pepsi recently changed their logo design, people were talking about it. Yes, talking about a logo for a soda. Maybe you’re not big enough for people to talk about when you change your custom labels, but your die-hard fans will definitely notice and think twice about you and your product. That’s a good thing!
Design Tip #24 – Use different fonts to capture the attention of you audience.
For example, a larger bolder font will bring attention to the highlights and benefits of your product, where a common font maybe used for the nutritional facts or directions. These few changes will make your custom designed labels even more eye catching while expressing the key facts or selling points that you would like your clients to see first and remember.