I love supporting fellow small businesses, so for this article I invited Jes Moreta, Co-Founder of Long Story Short Design and Print, to write about why product labels are so important and to give you tips on making your products look beautiful.
So, what's all the fuss about product labels?
Well, I am glad you asked! Before we get to that point though, let me digress.
These days, it can sometimes feel like everyone has started a little side hustle, and I hear so often from my clients how they feel their market is saturated.
But to me, a busy market with lots of players can be an amazing place to grow a small business.
It is free advertising as there are products similar to yours everywhere. In my (very humble!) opinion, there is HUGE potential in a situation such as this. Marketing 101: create a problem then create a product to fix this problem. But, in a market with a lot of players – the hard work has already been done for you. You don’t need to convince anyone to buy a skin cleanser, you just need to convince them to buy yours!
Consider this: a fruit market with hundreds of fruit stalls. All the stalls are the same right? They might all sell oranges, apples, watermelons and mangos in summer. Individually they can’t really influence market prices. But what if one of them spent some money to get a bit of a facelift? What if they started to bring in passionfruit and guavas, commissioned amazing signage and started a loyalty program, or even renamed their strawberries to make them sound exotic and exciting. They could put up their prices substantially, and I bet they would still have customers lining up.
What do fruit markets have to do with your small product business? Competition is fierce, but as we said before – this isn’t a bad thing at all. An exciting, attractive label that jumps off the shelves and screams ‘Buy me!’ to your customers will change everything. At Long Story Short Design and Print, we deal with hundreds of small businesses a day. The most successful businesses aren’t the ones with the most unique product, they’re the ones that have a beautiful product, and they know how to show that off. Beautiful packaging is everything.
So what does that actually mean?
1. Design a good logo
A lot of people think having a logo means some big fancy graphic, it actually doesn’t. A simple logo can be manipulated and edited, it can be different colours and on different backgrounds. It should be able to look good anywhere – on your products, digitally, blown up for posters and banners. Ultimately you should be able to do anything to your logo (except change the font of course!) and it would still be recognisable. The more colours and graphics you have in your logo, the harder it is to achieve this.
2. Make sure the text is legible
This is a big one. It is REALLY important to make sure your text is legible. This doesn’t just mean larger text – it means less of it. Of course there are lots of things you need to include (particular to comply with cosmetic label regulations), but less is best. The more text you need, the harder it is to work a design, and probably the smaller the font size needs to be. While sometimes necessary, this is something that really should be avoided.
3. Don’t be scared of colour!
Ask your designer to create a beautiful colour palette for you and use it across your branding. Black and white is so 2017, it is 2019, get electrifying! There are so many on-trend colour schemes at the moment, and no, you don’t have to be the same as everyone else. A good designer should be able to help you achieve a colour palette that complements your products and your brand.
4. Be picky with fonts
Trust your designer. You DON’T need five different fonts. This will make your label look messy and complicated, and buyers will just look away.
5. Tell a story
This is my favourite one. And it is a tricky one to get right, as you need more than just your product label. But your label is everything in actually pulling this off. Tell your story, and tell it all over your brand. As much as I detest too much information on a label, don’t be shy of including a simple sentence linking in your brand story. You could use images and colour as part of your brand story, it isn’t just about text.
6. Be creative
You might laugh at this one. But these days, with the advent of digital printing, the world is at your fingertips when it comes to labels. Digital printing means you can print just one label if you want. You could design a distinct look for each product or utilise a different illustration or image for each product. Of course, you want it all to tie in to your brand, but gone are the days where all your products need to look the same.
These days, having an amazing-looking product is as easy as sending a quick email. When I first started my very first side hustle eight years ago, a candle business started in my mum’s kitchen, everyone was using print-it-yourself labels. Which, don’t get me wrong, are a great starting point.
But I remember the very first time I saw another candle maker with these really pretty black (anyone who has ever printed their own labels knows how amazing this is) labels with beautiful floral elements. I was literally BLOWN AWAY. It took her product, which was basically the same as mine, to a whole new level and even I wanted to buy it.
Back then, it wasn’t so easy to organise professional printing, unless you had magical design skills yourself, you had to find a designer you connected with, then fork out hundreds if not thousands of dollars for labels in crazy quantities.
All that has changed now though. Long Story Short Design and Print offers affordable label design from only $50 plus a small run print policy with a required minimum of only 10 labels. We’ve lowered the barriers to entry for so many small product businesses wanting to get their branding looking amazing. We manage the whole process from beginning to end, and you don’t have to sell your left kidney to have amazing looking products.
There are so many label options, from foiling, to specialty metallic, mirror and textured vinyls. There are print techniques such as cut outs and white ink. You can quite literally get the labels of your dreams that look like they belong on the shelves of a high-end department store.
Visit our website to find out more about how we can help you.