Less Color, Content, Design Can Make Custom Labels Stand Out
In our rush to create the most brilliant, impactful, dramatic custom labels in the universe, we sometimes forget that less can be more. Less color (think black-and-white), less content, simpler design all can make your product stand out when stacked up against all others.
Do you think this less-is-more concept applies to your product(s)? Make a determination starting with what I like to call the “Armadillo” test, a true story about a Yellow Pages ad. Years ago, in a galaxy seemingly far, far away, a YP ad salesperson proudly presented his then-revolutionary full-color pages featuring different advertisers. All the ads contained multiple colors in stark contrast to the chiefly one color (mostly black) ads that had been YP’s mainstay for many years.
As he enthusiastically showed off his multi-color palette, I gently placed a quarter-page black-and-white ad slick for the Armadillo restaurant chain on one corner of a full-color page and asked: “What do you notice first?” Our black-and-white ad, of course, because it stood out prominently from the rest of the color-heavy page.
Simplify Your Label Look
Now, think about colors, content and design of your custom labels and stickers vis a vis your competition on store shelves, on the internet, and anywhere else you can imagine. Ask yourself:
1. Would fewer colors or even just a black-and-white label make my product pop against the others? 2. Would a label with spartan verbiage and lots of white space make a statement when viewed alongside products that have crammed content into every conceivable nook and cranny? 3. Would a simple, bold design make the product more memorable than its bells-and-whistles competitors seemingly more interested in winning design contests than selling products?
There are no right or wrong answers here. It’s a matter of relativity—what do the lion’s share of labels highlight in terms of color, content and design and how do you stand out relative to them?
Then view your ideal scenario aligned with realistic requirements. Ask yourself:
1. How will my color scheme impact label printing prices and turnaround? With digital label printing, you’re generally looking at similar pricing and turnaround regardless—as digital processes accommodate many colors and combinations. If you’re looking at offset printing, check it out first.
2. What absolutely must be included in label content, either for regulatory compliance or in the interest of full and accurate disclosures to consumers? It’s entirely possible that you will decide that more content is needed to allay consumer concerns about quantity and quality of ingredients—and sacrifice coveted white space to this “higher” cause.
3. What design elements will make you look different while maintaining expectations consumers have when buying your product? Remember the movie “Schindler’s List” that was filmed in black-and-white except for the yellow candle flame and little girl’s red coat seen briefly? If you offer a flamboyant product generally depicted in a colorful way, such as hot sauce, you may find that going all black with white type and a touch of color in a chili pepper or other graphic may make you appear “classily colorful,” yet refined—a statement also, perhaps, about the quality of your product.
Experiment with Different Combinations through Digital Printing
With digital printing of custom labels, you can select from a wide range of label colors and finishes, in tandem with a huge array of ink color possibilities. See what you can do to stand out from the crowd.
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