The expert checklist for your next label project
Our Hally Labels team of label experts produces billions of labels each year and along the way we have gathered a vast body of knowledge across all industries and challenges which we're ready to share with you. We’ve put this expert label checklist together to help guide you on some of the key considerations for your next labelling project. Of course, we are here to help personally with your label queries at any time.
For us as industry veterans, there is no doubt that a label is a lot more than ‘just a sticker’. You will know that the label is often the first impression consumers have of your brand and it is always a key communication tool. We think of it as a mini billboard for your product. What will make the next consumer choose your brand over all of the others? We think a carefully considered label is a key component of your go-to-market effort.
Using our 55 years of label expertise we have created an eight-point checklist for label construction. These aren’t design tips (we happily leave that part to the design experts) but instead are key considerations when developing the whole label product. We love helping our clients achieve their goals with beautiful and functional labels and we hope you find this checklist useful.
1. Size selection
When deciding on the appropriate size for your label, it is entirely up to you how big or small you'd like to make it. Work out where it will be positioned on the product to create maximum impact. The amount of content required on the label is also an important factor.
Having said it’s your call, it is really important that the label fits the container, particularly those that are unusually shaped. Some containers even have a label panel area where a section of the container is slightly narrowed or indented. Placing the label within this panel is ideal because it prevents label scuffing throughout the supply chain. A label that is too large may also create challenges with application which can affect the impression you are trying to create (no one likes a creased label).
You’re welcome to check the size with us before getting too far into your artwork process – we can help you choose a label size that maximises production efficiencies. Sometimes a few millimetres here or there can make a big difference.
2. Shape is important too
The shape of the label and the bottle or container must work cohesively. Consider how they will fit together. Take particular care with tapered containers, which can be tricky for label application.
You may want your label to complement the shape of the container, or you may have a particular shape in mind to suit your branding. Also think about how much of the actual product you want to be able to see. Do you want to obscure the product underneath, or have it shine through?
You will also need to consider how your label is applied (by hand or through an automatic application machine) - some machines have limitations.
3. Materials matter
Different base materials provide a variety of qualities and characteristics that help a label perform its function whilst achieving your desired brand look.
Considerations can include your brand, the product category, the container type and its colour, the colour of the product inside, how you are applying your label, the environment in which it is being applied…to name just a few!
The label material can often give clues to the consumer about your brand positioning. For example, a textured and uncoated material gives us premium and sophisticated clues whereas a natural kraft material might suggest a natural or organic product. The choices are vast, whether glossy paper, clear film, textured and uncoated paper, metallised, or truly unique like black vellum or crimson-flocked felt.
It’s also important to consider the end of life for your packaging – will it be recycled, composted, reused, or sent to landfill? This will help us select the best option to meet your sustainability goals.
4. Consistent colour
Colours convey messages, create associations, and add brilliance to labels. Colour also plays a key role in logos and highlighting specific design elements.
The way colours appear across your labels, advertising, and marketing materials is critical to consumer recognition of your products and brand. Ensuring standardisation and consistency of colour means the colour you ask for and expect is the colour that’s printed, each and every time.
Your artwork can be printed in CMYK, PMS spot colours, or a combination. Understanding whether your labels will be printed digitally or conventionally (flexo) will also help you choose the right colour system. Not sure what all that means? We’d be happy to explain – dial us up or drop us a line.
5. Graphics and imagery
Images are processed 60,000 times faster than text, creating instant emotional connections that communicate effectively and efficiently for your brand. Illustrations, icons, photography or just your logo; your choices will depend on the personality of your product, your brand, and your audience. Ensure each image is high quality for crisp print– the typical resolution is 300ppi.
6. Enhancing with embellishments
Embellishments and effects elevate your label design, adding the finishing touch to enhance the presentation of your brand. We have the capabilities to print a wide range of embellishments and effects via both our flexo and digital offset technology.
From foiling, embossing or debossing, high builds and silk screens, textured coatings, specialty inks and much more, these different embellishments tell different stories. An embossed label adds a textured, prestigious effect; a rough sandpaper coating can create a tactile story; and foil achieves a premium, luxurious effect. Combining embellishments together can create different results that add to the unique look of your brand. Learn more on our blog 21 stunning label embellishments and effects to incorporate in four simple steps.
Your Account Manager can detail the technical requirements and cost impacts on your label – think about embellishments as an investment in creating the right brand position.
Want to know and see more? The Hally Labels Signature Collection is a portfolio of our capabilities, materials, embellishments and innovations. Embellishments and special effects have been carefully selected to enhance these labels and inspire your creativity. We are confident you will find inspiration within the pages.
7. The finishing touches
How your label is finished is also an important design consideration in order to achieve the desired look. Adding a matt or gloss coating (or a combination of both) to finish your label is something that can add impact and protection to your label. Laminating can add extra protection and longevity to the life of the label – gloss and matt are standard but we also offer scuff-free, soft-feel and rough-touch options. Specialty coatings (either all over or as a spot) can add visual and tactile appeal, with options including sandpaper, Naseby Ice, soft-touch, daylight, glow-in-the-dark and much more.
8. Communication is key
It’s all in the details! The more information you give us, the better we can help you achieve a world-class result. Your timeline for receiving labels is also really important so we can ensure we meet your expectations. There are several stages to printing a label; from ordering, art proofs and approvals, purchasing tooling to the actual printing and finishing processes; so we encourage you to begin the process early. No need for concern though, our quick-turnaround, streamlined option called Hally Express means we’re quoting, proofing and delivering your labels FAST.
And don’t be afraid to reach out early on – our team of label experts love getting involved in our client’s projects from the start. This ensures the best outcomes where all options can be considered thoroughly both from a branding and manufacturing perspective. And there are no silly questions, we’re happy to educate first time label buyers.
The pressure to ensure your brand stands out in a crowded market has never been greater, and yet there are so many choices available to ensure an eye-catching label. We hope our Hally Labels expert label checklist will help you deliver a label to remember! Our team of label experts are standing by to help you with your next label project – talk to us at any time.