Create High-Impact Labels for your Cosmetics!
Best Practices and Resources for High-Impact Labels on your Cosmetic Bottles and Jars.
Your package has a lot of work to do! It’s the first impression many of your customers will have and no matter how fabulous and fantastic your product is, if the label doesn’t sell it, no one will buy. Creating a striking, memorable and compliant label is a big task, but if you follow some essential guidelines, you’ll get the results– and the sales, you want.
While working with an experienced label designer is often the best way to ensure artwork is ready for high-quality label printing, there are other options, including on-line design sites, and doing it yourself.
Five questions for you and your designer:
- How will people use your product?
As you design your label, consider the end-use of your product. Will it be used in the shower? Tossed in a gym bag? Taken to the barn? The beach? These may all affect your label choices.
- Where and how will your product be stored?
Do you need waterproof labels? Do they need to stand up to the heat of a glove compartment? Will they bounce around in the bottom of a backpack or purse? Will your labels need to stand up to harsh conditions or will they be placed lovingly on the nightstand in a controlled environment? Work with your label maker and designer to create a label that will stand up to how the product gets used.
- Who’s buying your product and where?
If you’ve got a luxurious eye cream in a stunning milk-white glass container, your label has to look expensive and exquisite. If you’re selling 16-ounce tubes of Aloe Vera Jelly, you’ll want a label and design that fits your distribution chain. Think surfers and snorkelers as they come in from the beach. In that case, you’ll probably want to silkscreen your labels.
- Do you need glasses to read the label?
Manage your type size and font so it’s easy to read by your target audience. Mature eyes need bigger type than teenage eyes so plan accordingly. Ideally, you’ll want your brand, the product name, and key words or images that convey the product’s promise.
- How does your brand get expressed on packages?
You’ll need to balance eye-catching and easy to read. Color, whitespace, type font– all these elements must balance on your label. If you’re working with smaller packaging, such as TSA-Approved travel sizes, maximizing your space is critical. It’s helpful, maybe brutally so, to remember you have just a few seconds to catch your customer’s eye and lure her away from a competitor’s product.
7 Steps to great labels:
- Choose your Label.
That’s an obvious ‘best practice’, but I put it first because it influences so many of your other decisions. Will you silk screen your label? Do you want clear ones, white ones, waterproof ones? What’s going to represent your brand in the best possible way? Are you working with a standard package, like a Cosmo or Boston Round? Or are you selling your products in a custom bottle with a tapered shoulder? You’ll find label resources at the end of this blog.
- Measure your container.
What’s that old adage? Measure twice, cut once? That’s at the heart of this best practice. You’ll need to know both the circumference and the height of the container. Your container supplier can give you these, and that’s what we recommend using. No need to break out the tape measure! When you go to look for the size label you’ll need, consider how much of a ‘gap’ you want on the back of the container. Your label supplier can provide the specifications before you order.
- Work in CMYK not RGB-colors
Okay. Here’s another set of anacronyms. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. An RGB # is used to tell computers what color to show on a screen. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black) and is used in printing. A CMYK # is used to tell the printing press (or your home-office printer) how much of each color to print to create the image. RGB and CMYK colors are close, but they are not exact, and you will not be happy with the outcome if you use RGB on your printed labels.
- Design constraints
Know the dimensions for bleeds, edges, cutouts or whatever other design elements you need. Your designer and label printer should be able to tell you exactly what you’ll need.
- Get the Right File Format or … What’s a Vector File?
Adobe Illustrator is our first software choice for designing custom labels. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, you’ll need to give your label printer high-quality artwork in the form of a Vector file. You’ll get the crisp, clean print on your labels you want and will give you the widest flexibility because most printers will have the software to work with them.
Your logo should be in a prominent position. When a logo is too small, too big, or overpowered by artwork, the consumer has to work to recognize that this product in their hands came from you. Put your logo are at the top or center of the label design. Use your brand voice on the copy that accompanies your logo.
- Follow the Rules
The FDA has strict guidelines on the claims you can make on your product label. If you’re distributing through Whole Foods or Amazon, make sure you understand their requirements. For good information on FDA guidelines, check out our blog.
Embrace your label designs. They’re as important as your product in getting those first sales and will help keep your customers coming back.