Jump to content

A little advice about Label Design Process Please


Pop Larkin

Recommended Posts

Hi All
I'm starting a very small rum and whiskey distillery is South West England and Ive finally reached the stage where I need to get a label design for my products.
As I have zero idea about the process of getting a label designed, I was wondering if there was anyone out there that has been thr
ough the process and could give me some advice as to how it all works and the best way to go about it?
I'm sure the best way is to approach a design company, but what do you need to know before approaching them (apart from the legal requirements that need too be on the label)? I realize this must seem a little rudimentary but just want to get my ducks in a row so I don't look stupid 🙂

Thanks for any help
Sim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Look for a label designer with examples of spirits labels in their portfolio. Make sure these are actual labels used in commerce, rather than concept pieces. You want to be sure your designer knows how to get your labels through the approval process, whatever that may be in the UK. If your designer has never designed a spirits label before, find another. 

2. Pick out several labels for commonly available spirits that you like. Try to write up a description of what you like about these labels. The style, the colors, the typography, the paper stock. Likewise, find labels you don't like, and write up what you dislike about them. This is the beginning of your "design brief" - a written description of the design goals for your label. If you can produce a design brief, it will make the process of designing your labels much easier. Designers often have nightmare stories about working with "amateur" clients who don't know anything about design or the design process. The more you do to get yourself past the amateur stage, the better. 

3. Find your printing company. Ask for samples of spirits labels they have printed. As with the designer, if they have no experience in this area, move on. Be very careful to ask if they actually printed the labels themselves. Many printing companies will take on all jobs that come in the door, but then outsource to a specialist printer. You wind up paying more in that scenario. So make sure they actually do what they say they do. Looking through their samples, ask about special processes, such as spot varnish, dome varnish, embossing, foil stamping, and die cutting. Ask about the range of papers they have available. Also ask them for names of designers. They may try to sell you on their in-house design, but this probably won't lead to the best results.

4. After you have reviewed portfolios from several designers, pick out the one that fits with your design goals. Are they excited about working on your labels? Ask for their price quote for the job. Typically, this should specify a certain number of "comps" or initial designs; a final design; and a certain (reasonable) number of revisions. Meaning, during the process, you must make a decision; if you vacillate, expect to be charged more. These scenarios should be spelled out in the design contract.

5. Make sure your contract specifies ownership of the files (or not). Some designers will charge more to "buy out" ownership of the files. The reasoning is that you are purchasing the end product. You might compare this to software, where you buy the finished program, but pay more for the source code.

 

  • Thumbs up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Jedd Haas Has some excellent advice. All I would add is when you are finding a label printer ask if they have any suggestions on designers. They have likely worked with a lot of them. Its insane what some designers charge, but that doesn't neccessary mean they can give you a "better" design, especially if you have a pretty good idea of what you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also add: Keep your labels simple yet elegant. Go to a liquor store and spend some time just looking at the over all the products. Look wide, look close up. You'll soon notice a few labels stand out. These are more than likely, the big brands you are used to. You'll also notice that these labels are all very classic and they never change. So choose you labels carefully, you may be using them for a very long time. Also, your labels define your brand and so all other marketing & advertising and corporate image all have to interconnect to give your brand a unified and professional feel. (Even if you have to bootstrap a lot of it.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Glenlyon said:

I would also add: Keep your labels simple yet elegant. Go to a liquor store and spend some time just looking at the over all the products. Look wide, look close up. You'll soon notice a few labels stand out. These are more than likely, the big brands you are used to. You'll also notice that these labels are all very classic and they never change. So choose you labels carefully, you may be using them for a very long time. Also, your labels define your brand and so all other marketing & advertising and corporate image all have to interconnect to give your brand a unified and professional feel. (Even if you have to bootstrap a lot of it.)

You have made some great suggestions. I would also add, can you tell what the product/distillery is from a distance, say across a bar or room? Simple design seems to stand out better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

1 minute ago, kkbodine said:

I would also add, can you tell what the product/distillery is from a distance, say across a bar or room?

Great point. We went with a very minimalist look that does stand out from a distance because it's a calm spot for the eye to rest (thank you art school) in a sea of activity. We gave them an elegant feel with the judicious use of gold foil, bold colours very simple imagery. When our liquor stores line them up they are easily recognizable as a branded block. We also get a lot of positive reviews. You can check out my packaging on my instagram acct:  @bruinwooddistillery 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone !!

I have been kicking the idea of branding for my own product around for a lot of years now. When I lived in Nashville Id go to the big liquor stores and photograph the "craft" section to get an idea of what stands out as you surgest.
I have been playing with a design myself but , as with everything I do, I'm not 100% happy with it. Its simple and elegant so ticks all the criteria you suggest, but I just doubt myself and that's the reason I was wanting to approach a designer. Maybe I can get a professional opinion on what I already have started.

once again, many thanks for the input. Very much appreciate the help
Sim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...