Imagine having one of the best wines in Napa Valley, but the label is so bad no one ever buys the wine. Every consumer has used a product that tasted great, cleaned as promised, delivered in quality and performance, but the label, or packaging looked awful. If your label looks bad, or performs poorly, you are hurting your brand at the point of sale. Today’s labels have to be eye-catching, engaging, meticulous in graphic design, performance and appeal because there is more competition on the shelf than ever before.
All too often companies focus on product internals at the expense of externals. A top quality performing product should be the priority of capital investment, research and development, but if it’s presented in such a way that detracts from sales there is a problem. A bad label can kill a great product.
Today, anyone with a laptop can design artwork, labels and packaging, but just because you have the ability to do so doesn’t mean it is good. It’s hard to tell a client that their spouse’s graphic design is hard to reproduce in a label, match colors, etc., but printing and packaging companies worth their work owe it to the client to be honest and act in their best interest. The client has the final say, but advising a client with integrity is better than setting them up for failure. Labels and packaging have to be functional but they are also graphic art.
Artwork and graphics is not only about the ability to print on a specific surface, or match a color, but also about shelf appeal and a brand narrative. Keep in mind the story may not be the one you think you are telling because of your label design, graphics, color, etc. artwork look and feel. In other words, your design could be working against the best of intentions.
Great digital designers create websites for mobile viewing first because the majority of people are going to be viewing a particular site on a mobile device first. Label design is similar. Make sure your design, layout and colors are designed for the label size and shape instead of designing for a computer screen and trying to work backwards. It can look great on the laptop but in the transfer to the label size objects, or fonts can be off dimensionally, poor resolution, or blurry.
Also, too many details, or copy can kill a label, or packaging. Whitespace is a good thing when it is balanced with layout, color and design. The right amount of whitespace can draw the eye to the logo, or story you want to tell.
Working with a reputable and professional label printing company can help you avoid these kinds of mistakes. Images in label artwork are another potential snare. Usually high-resolution images look better than low resolution ones. Vector files (.ai, .cdr, .fh, .eps) are preferred to raster files (.jpg, .gif, .tif, .bmp) because you don’t run as much risk on definition and resolution as you do with pixelated files.
Printing companies with a professional pre-press department/team can accurately assess your proposed artwork and the printability on the substrate of the label. This can save valuable time so you are not submitting artwork that just won’t print, or look great only to have it going back and forth between the printing company and your graphic artist for changes.
At Century Printing & Packaging we have been printing labels that stick, but have great eye appeal and consistently tell your brand story. We don’t mind telling you your label sucks if it means we can help you produce something that is more appealing and a higher quality. We do labels and packaging so trust us to work with you like a partner instead of a job number.
Ben Waldrop, President Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651