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How to Design a Bottle Label

Updated: Aug 11, 2023


bottle label

Creating a bottle label design is a crucial aspect of product marketing. A well-designed label not only provides essential information about the product but also serves as a powerful tool in shaping customer perception and driving purchase decisions.

As a professional plastic bottle manufacturer, designing a bottle label is an important part of the packaging solution process. A well-designed label can help your product stand out on the shelves and communicate important information to consumers. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of designing a bottle label, including choosing the right label material, size, and shape, designing your label, ordering your labels, and applying them to your bottles, highlighting key considerations and providing real-world examples to illustrate the process. 


What should be on the bottle label?

Bottle label design is the process of creating a visual representation and layout for a product label. It involves the strategic layout of various elements including text, graphics, colors and other design elements to effectively communicate information about the product to the consumer.

A typical label design usually contains the following elements:

  • Product name or logo: The name or logo of the product should be clearly listed on the label so that consumers can accurately identify the product.

  • Specifications and sizes: If the product is available in different specifications and sizes, the label should contain the appropriate information, such as weight, volume, size, etc.

  • Ingredients or raw materials: Especially for products such as food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, the label should clearly list the ingredients or raw materials so that consumers can understand the composition of the product.

  • Net Volume or Weight: Indicates the amount or volume of product in the bottle. This is important for regulatory compliance and transparency.

  • Design elements: Use attractive visuals, colors, and fonts that are consistent with the brand image and complement the product's target market. Consider including design elements that communicate the purpose of the product or evoke desired emotions.

  • Usage and precautions: For products that require special usage or specific precautions, the label should provide appropriate guidance and hints to ensure safe and proper use.

  • Production date and expiration date: Especially for products such as perishable foods or medicines, the date of production and expiration date should be indicated on the label so that consumers can understand the freshness and expiration date of the product.

  • Manufacturer information: The label should contain the name, address and contact information of the manufacturer so that consumers can contact the manufacturer or provide feedback when needed.

  • Barcode or QR Code: Labels often contain the barcode or QR code of the product for sales and inventory management purposes, as well as providing consumers with easy access to the product.

  • Contact Information: Provide your company's contact information, including website, e-mail address and/or customer service phone number. This allows customers to use this information for inquiries or feedback.

  • Legal requirements: Ensure compliance with relevant labeling regulations and industry or region-specific requirements. This may include safety warnings, ingredient disclosures or specific labeling standards.

  • Safety Marks and Certifications: For products that require specific certifications or meet specific safety standards, labels should contain the appropriate certification marks to increase consumer trust in product quality and safety.


The Key Considerations in Bottle Label Design

Several factors can influence bottle label design. Here are some key considerations:

  1. target audience: understanding the demographics, preferences and needs of the target audience is essential to designing a label that appeals to them and communicates effectively with them.

  2. product category: different product categories may have specific label design requirements or industry regulations that need to be considered.

  3. Brand Identity: Label design should be aligned with the brand's overall identity, values and visual language to maintain consistency and reinforce brand recognition.

  4. packaging constraints: the size, shape and material of the product packaging will influence design choices, ensuring that the label is appropriate and complements the overall package design.

  5. Competitive and shelf impact: Label design should stand out on store shelves to differentiate the product from competitors, attract attention and engage consumers.


3 Compoments for Label Design


Product labels must have three main elements: a trim line, a bleed area, and a safety line. When doing a full-page or snap-to-edge design, it is necessary to slightly exceed the finished size of the pattern and then cut it to get a perfect snap-fit ​​effect. As shown below

1. Trim line: Cutting line, final finished size

2. Blead area: The bleed area is any area beyond the trim line. Extend the artwork into this area to avoid unnecessary gaps in the final label design

3. Safety zone: Considering the cutting error, important graphics and texts should not exceed this line


Designers and label manufacturers are a pair of good friends. The former is responsible for coming up with good designs and the latter is responsible for turning good designs into products. To efficiently turn dreams into reality, you need to work well with each other. If the label designer, such as the label did not take into account the printing specifications of the draft, will lead to the label factory to spend time to correct the design, reduce production efficiency and even reduce the quality of printing.



Color Modes in Bottle Label Design: CMYK and RGB


The correct use of color modes in bottle label design is one of the most important factors in ensuring that the final print or digital image presents accurate and vibrant colors. Common color modes include CMYK and RGB, which play different roles in different media and application scenarios.


CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is a common color mode used for printing. It creates colors based on the overlay of four color inks. In bottle label printing, CMYK is the preferred color mode because it provides a large color gamut and high color reproduction. This mode is suitable for traditional color printers and printing processes such as offset printing and flexible packaging printing. When designers use CMYK mode for bottle label design, they must ensure that the selected colors render well in this mode.


However, for digital media or screen displays, RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the dominant color mode.The RGB mode creates a variety of colors by combining the primary colors of red, green and blue. Electronic devices such as computer monitors, televisions and cell phone screens all use RGB mode to display images. Therefore, if the bottle label design will be displayed on digital media or used for online promotion, then RGB mode is more suitable.


When working on a bottle label design, the designer should know and understand the characteristics of the chosen color mode and select the appropriate mode for the end-use environment.


To smoothly convert the color mode of an image or design file, designers can use professional graphic software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, which provide easy ways to switch and convert color modes and preview how the design will look in different modes.


Additionally, designers need to be aware that some degree of color deviation may occur during color mode conversion. Because CMYK mode has a narrower color gamut, some of the more vibrant and saturated colors may change when converting to RGB mode. Therefore, before proceeding with color mode conversion, designers should back up the original files and conduct thorough testing and inspection to ensure that the converted colors meet expectations.


Choosing the Right Image Resolution

For bottle labels, high-resolution images are generally recommended. High-resolution images ensure label designs, text and graphics are clear, sharp and visually appealing when printed or displayed on the bottle.


High resolution images have higher pixels per inch (PPI) or dots per inch (DPI). The higher the pixel density, the more detailed the label design and the smoother the edges. It ensures legible text and vivid images.


On the other hand, low-resolution images can suffer from pixelation, jagged edges, and poor overall image quality when printed or displayed on a bottle. Lack of detail and clarity can reduce the attractiveness of a label design and affect the visual expression of a brand.


Therefore, it is recommended to use high-resolution images for bottle labels to obtain the best printing quality. High resolution images are typically at least 300 PPI or DPI in resolution to ensure labels look sharp and professional.


When making or finding images for bottle labels, it is recommended to use original high-resolution photos or vector graphics. These images can be resized or adjusted without noticeable loss of quality. Avoid low-quality or small-sized images, as they may appear blurry or distorted when enlarged for printing.


Printing techniques for bottle labels

Four-color offset printing:

Four-color offset printing is one of the most commonly used techniques in label printing. This method uses four ink colors - cyan, magenta, yellow and black - to create colorful and crisp, detailed patterns. It offers excellent color accuracy and consistency, making it perfect for intricate designs and artwork.


Digital Printing:

Digital printing has revolutionized the labeling industry by providing flexibility, speed and cost-effectiveness. With digital printing, labels can be created directly from digital files without the need for plate making or minimum print run requirements. It offers fast lead times, customization and variable data printing for small production runs, personalized labels and promotional campaigns.


Foil stamping inks:

Foil stamping inks add a touch of elegance and luxury to bottle labels. The technology uses metallic or holographic foils to cover the label, creating a light-reflecting and attractive effect. Foil stamping inks can be used to highlight brand logos, text or specific design elements to add a premium feel to a product.


Spot colors

Spot colors are inks that are used through a single print run, either solid or mixed, to produce a specific color effect. In printing, spot color inks are often used to match and reproduce brand logos, specific color requirements or particular design elements.


Embossing:

To add tactility to bottle labels, embossing techniques can be used. Embossing creates raised or recessed areas on the label that add a unique texture to the visual effect. These techniques provide a distinctive tactile sensation that enhances visual appeal and creates a memorable sensory experience for consumers.


Finishes for Bottle Label

In bottle labeling design, coating treatments (finishes) are an important way to enhance the visual effect and tactile sensation. Here are a few common ways to apply finishes:


Foil Blocking: Foil blocking is a technique of applying metallic colors or plating to bottle labels using metallic foil. The metallic foil is bonded to the surface of the bottle label by heat or pressure, creating a glossy and luxurious effect. Foil stamping can be used on brand logos, text or other design elements to make them stand out and catch the eye on the bottle label.


Embossing: Embossing is a process whereby a design or text is raised on the surface of a bottle label by applying pressure. This technique adds texture and tactility to the bottle label, giving the design element a three-dimensional feel. Letterpress is often used to highlight brand logos, text or other important design features to add visual appeal and tactile experience.


Screen Printing (Spot UV): Screen printing is a method of applying a high-gloss UV coating to specific areas. By applying a special UV coating to a bottle label, a glossy effect can be created to make a design element or specific area more distinct and eye-catching. Screen printing is often used to enhance the texture of bottle labels, highlight brand messages or specific graphic details.


All of these coating treatments can enhance the overall texture and visual effect of a bottle label. Hot stamping creates a metallic sheen, letterpress adds tactility and dimension, and screen printing adds shiny highlights. By skillfully combining these coating treatments, it is possible to create unique, eye-catching bottle label designs that capture consumer attention and enhance brand image.



Choosing The Right Materials for Bottle Labels

There are many kinds of materials for labels, and you need to choose the right material according to the specific use scenario and requirements. For example, cosmetic labels that need to be water and oil resistant can choose PE material; cosmetic labels that need to be high-grade and smooth can choose BOPP material; cosmetic labels that need to have special effects can choose metal foil material and so on. Common types of bottle labels are as follows


Consider the Environment and storage conditions of the bottles

According to the bottle storage needs to choose the right label, different products storage requirements, environmental conditions are very different, and the storage environment and temperature will affect the adhesion of the label, such as whether the label is used for outdoor, high temperature, humidity, or contains ultraviolet light. According to the different storage environment to choose the appropriate label can be.

Consider the surfers


Familiarize yourself with the product material

Because labels are adhesive, it is important to decide on the adhesive surface of your product. Such as glass, metal, cardboard and plastic. Self-adhesive labels are roughly divided into paper and film self-adhesive labels. Paper labels are mainly used for liquid laundry products and popular personal care products.



To Know The Materials of bottle labels

1. Copperplate paper self-adhesive (semi-matte): cost-effective, smooth paper with semi-gloss, strong color reproduction, is the most widely used materials, conventional drugs, food, beverages, packaging and other products can be used;

2. PP white pearl synthetic paper (can be divided into glossy and matte): good printability, glossy effect printing color is very bright and vivid, soft texture, strong tensile strength, waterproof and a certain degree of resistance to chemical corrosion, environmental protection (raw materials production process will not have an impact on the environment), suitable for small-diameter products labeling will not buckle, widely used in chemical stickers, cosmetic labels, alcohol labels, food PET bottle labels, daily chemical industry stickers and so on. Labels, cosmetics labels, food PET bottle labels, daily chemical industry stickers and other high-grade products labeling, the price will be slightly more expensive than coated paper;

3.PP transparent material: there are some products need to show the product, do not want to be covered by the label, such as beverages, retail and other bottled products, you need to use transparent materials, material effects and PP white synthetic paper is almost the same, but printing because of the material itself is transparent, the color printed on the color will be more transparent, and easy to come with the color of the bottle on the body of the product reaction to become a new color, so the application of transparent materials The test of the design is relatively high, to have a good label design in order to present a good display effect;

4. PP surface laser material: this material itself comes with a coating on different reflective surfaces showing colorful effects, metallic texture, printing color pattern is very bright, printed on the color will also come with a metallic effect, is to do the DIP personality products preferred materials, but the diameter of the product is too small is not recommended to avoid blistering.

5.A variety of self-adhesive material surface material, can be matched with different glue options, mainly water glue, hot melt adhesive, oil glue, wire glue, tire glue, etc., the specific how to choose according to the shape of different products, size, viscosity requirements of the label to the combination.


Selection of labeling materials should pay attention to

  1. For cylindrical bottles, especially those with a diameter of less than 30MM, the material should be carefully selected.

  2. If the label size is too large or too small, attention should be paid to the actual test.

  3. If the object to be labeled has an irregular or even spherical surface, there are special considerations for the type of label material, thickness and adhesive.

  4. Some rough surfaces, such as corrugated boxes, can affect labeling, as can the varnish on the surface of the corrugated box.

  5. Labeling by automatic labeling machines and, if necessary, labeling tests.

  6. Even if the label is labeled as room temperature, it is necessary to consider whether the export experiences high temperatures during transportation and use.

  7. Excessive water or oil can affect the properties of the adhesive, so attention should be paid to the environment and temperature at which the label is applied.

  8. Plasticizers can sometimes leach from the surface of soft PVC, so special attention should be paid to the selection of a suitable adhesive.



Types of Bottle Label

The types of labels used for bottles and other packaging are very diverse, here are some of the common types:

  1. Pressure-sensitive labels: these labels have an adhesive backing that adheres to the bottle when pressure is applied. They are suitable for bottles made of various materials such as glass, plastic, and metal. Pressure-sensitive labels can be printed with vibrant colors, textures and finishes in eye-catching designs.

  2. Shrink-sleeve labels: These labels are made of plastic or polyester material that shrinks tightly around the bottle when heated. Heat-shrink labels are able to provide 360-degree coverage, allowing for more intricate designs and detailed graphics. They are commonly used for beverages, personal care products and food packaging.

  3. Wrap-around labels: These labels are applied directly to the bottle, covering most of the surface. Suitable for cylindrical bottles, they can be printed with product information, brand elements and promotional messages. Wrap-around labels are often used in industries such as water bottles, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

  4. Paper labels: Paper labels are commonly used for a variety of bottled products such as wine, beer, pharmaceuticals and household chemicals. They can be printed on different paper types and finishes such as matte, glossy or textured. Paper labels offer flexibility in design, size and shape.

  5. Direct print labels (DPL): In some cases, bottles may have graphics or information printed directly on their surface without the use of a separate label. This method is common in the beverage industry, where branding elements on bottles may be printed directly on the bottle through screen printing or digital printing.

  6. Hang tags: Hang tags are labels that are attached to the neck of the bottle with a string or ribbon. They are often used on wine bottles, spirits or specialty products. Hang tags can provide additional information such as product details, tasting notes or serving suggestions.

This is just a selection of bottle packaging label types, in fact there are many other variants depending on the requirements of the product, the industry and the brand objectives. The type of label chosen will depend on factors such as bottle material, application method, design complexity and budget.



Steps to Design a Good Bottle Label

Designing product bottle labels needs to take into account the shape and size of the bottle as well as the characteristics and positioning of the product it contains. Here are some steps and suggestions for designing product bottle labels:


Research the target market and competitors:

find out the needs and preferences of your potential customers, as well as the label designs of your competitors. This will help you determine your own design direction.



Determining Your quantity needs for order

Labels are widely used, convenient, can be customized according to user needs of various sizes, shapes, various industries can be customized, a variety of materials to choose from. Labels can be customized, a variety of materials to choose from. Moq: Single type quantity starting from 500 pieces, The common quantity is 500 pieces, 1000 pieces, multiples of 1000 pieces, If you need less than 100 pieces of the following quantities are suitable for making digital stickers. Determining your own quantity requirements is one of the main factors in developing a reliable purchasing program so that cost efficiency and production schedules are maintained. Ordering in bulk can significantly reduce production costs, saving time and money


Defining the Label's Size and Shape based on the bottle

Labels can be customized in different shapes and sizes, measure the area covered by the bottle and label before designing the label. The size of the label needs to be designed according to the actual needs, to avoid the size is too large or too small, affecting the label fit and aesthetics. When we are not sure whether the label size is appropriate, be sure to determine the size in the customization, to prevent the product is done but can not be used, in order to avoid waste, but also to save costs. To combine the shape of the bottle surface, such as flat and curved surface, to determine the size of the label paper specifications, so as not to be too large printing equipment does not support and waste, too small to meet the demand. In addition, if the product surface has a certain curvature (for example, the surface of small diameter bottles), it is necessary to label with good fit.



Determine the brand identity:

Integrate core elements such as the brand logo, name and slogan into the label design. The brand identity should be clear, recognizable and consistent with the brand image.


Define key information:

Identify the key information that needs to be presented on the label, such as the product name, ingredients, purpose, and usage. Ensure that this information is clear and readable and will not confuse consumers.


Choose appropriate fonts and typography:

Choose fonts that are easy to read and consistent with the product positioning. Consider font size, color and style to ensure that the information is clearly visible. Arrange the layout of text and images so that the entire label l


ooks balanced and harmonious.


Consider the color scheme:

Choose a color scheme that matches the product features and brand image. Colors can convey different emotions and feelings, so choosing the right colors can enhance the appeal and recognition of the label.


Add graphics and illustrations:

Use graphics and illustrations to enhance the visual appeal of the label. These graphics can be associated with product features, brand stories or target markets. Make sure the graphics are clear and consistent with the overall style of the label.


Consider materials and printing techniques:

Choose materials and printing techniques that are appropriate for the surface of the bottle. Consider the texture and reflectivity of the bottle material to ensure the quality and durability of the label on the bottle.



Highlight important information:

Place key information in an easily noticeable location on the label. Use different fonts, colors or graphic elements to highlight the key points and catch the consumer's eye.


Keep it simple and clear:

Streamline the text and images on the label as much as possible. Avoid overcrowding and cluttering information so that consumers can quickly understand the key features and value of the product.



Test and improve:

Test and gather feedback before finalizing the label design. Involve others in evaluating the label's readability, visual appeal, and messaging, and make any necessary improvements based on the feedback.

Keep in mind that an effective product label should convey the brand image, attract attention on the shelf, clearly communicate the necessary information, and comply with legal requirements. Creating a visually appealing and informative label enhances a product's overall appeal and consumer trust.



Applying your Bottle Labels

The labels on the bottles and jars are of different shapes and sizes, how exactly do you get them on the bottles?

In addition to manual labeling, printers, in the actual bottle packaging production process using labeling machine labeling. Labeling machine is a product can be in the circumference of the surface, conical surface, the plane automatically attached self-adhesive labels, self-adhesive film equipment.

Labeling machine work process, the product in a uniform conveyor belt to the labeling machine forward, the machine's fixtures will be evenly separated between the products of a fixed distance, the machine's drive wheel clearance drag labeling belt movement, labeling belt from the reel was pulled out, when the conveyor belt on the infrared sensors to the product, the drive wheel will be driven by the labeling belt forward to send a label, the label will be affixed in the conveyor belt through the product The label will be pasted on the product passing on the conveyor belt. In this process the speed of the labeling belt and the conveyor belt should be matched, and the label will be more firmly pasted on the product after being pressed by the brushes or rolled by the product itself on the conveyor belt.

Labeling machine according to different products, label shape, packaging can be subdivided into dozens of types, which are most widely used vertical labeling machine, horizontal labeling machine, and sleeve labeling machine.



Best Bottle Design Tools and Web

When it comes to designing bottle labels, there are several tools and websites available that can assist you in creating professional and visually appealing designs. Here are some of the best tools and websites for bottle design:


Adobe Spark is a design tool that has a user-friendly interface and a variety of templates for creating custom bottle labels. It allows you to add your own text, images, and more, offering a great deal of customization.


Canva is another popular tool for creating bottle labels. It offers a wide range of templates, and its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to use, even for beginners.


Avery Design & Print offers a free online bottle label design tool that includes many pre-designed templates. You can also upload your own design, and the tool is specifically made for printing on Avery products.


Gimp is a free and open-source graphics editor that can be used to create bottle labels. It's a more complex tool than some of the others listed here, but it offers a high level of customization.


Label Design Studio is a paid tool that specializes in label design. It includes a wide range of templates and design options, and it's easy to use.


Online Labels offers a free label design software called Maestro Label Designer. It includes design and text tools, clipart, and more


Zebra Designer is a robust tool for designing and printing labels. It's suited for businesses and individuals who need to create barcode labels, but it can also be used for other types of labels.


PicMonkey is an online design tool that can be used to create bottle labels. It's not free, but it offers a wide range of design options and is easy to use.


Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator is a powerful graphic design software that allows you to create vector-based designs. It provides a wide range of tools and features for creating intricate and high-quality bottle label designs.

GIMP: GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source image editing software that provides many advanced features similar to Adobe Photoshop. It can be used to create and edit bottle label designs with great flexibility.


Labeley: Labeley is an online label generator that allows you to create custom bottle labels quickly and easily. It provides various templates, shapes, fonts, and colors to choose from, making it convenient for beginners.


DesignCrowd: DesignCrowd is a crowdsourcing platform where you can hire professional designers to create custom bottle label designs for you. You can post your project with specific requirements and receive design submissions from multiple designers.


99designs: 99designs is another popular platform that connects businesses with freelance designers. You can launch a design contest for your bottle labels, and designers from around the world will compete to create the best design according to your brief.


Freepik: Freepik is a website that offers a vast collection of free and premium graphic resources, including bottle label templates, images, icons, and vectors. It can be a valuable resource for finding inspiration and design elements for your bottle labels.



Bottle Label Design FAQ


Q: What are some of the popular design trends in product Bottle Label design at this time?

A: There are several popular design trends in product Bottle Label design. Some popular trends include simple and clean designs, retro or nostalgic style aesthetics, bold font typography, unique cut-out shapes, and environmentally sustainable packaging design.


Q: What are the legal requirements to consider for product Bottle Labeling design?

A: Legal requirements for product Bottle Label design vary by country and industry. Some common considerations include providing accurate and clear product information, including ingredients, allergens, nutritional values, and any necessary health and safety warnings. It is important to research and comply with the specific regulations and guidelines that apply to your product and target market.


Q: How do I ensure that the information on my product Bottle Labels is clear and easy to read?

A: To ensure legibility, use clear, easy-to-read fonts, even at smaller sizes. Avoid overly decorative or complex fonts. Make sure there is sufficient contrast between the text and background colors. Choose a font size that is appropriate for the size of the Bottle Label and consider the viewing distance of the product on the shelf.


Q: Can I incorporate technology into my product Bottle Label design?

A: Yes, you can incorporate technology into your product Bottle Label design. Some examples include the use of QR codes or augmented reality (AR) elements that provide additional product information or an interactive experience when scanned or viewed with a smartphone or other device.


Q: What are the best ways to test and refine product Bottle Label designs?

A: The best way to test and refine your product Bottle Labeling design is to gather feedback from your target audience or conduct focus groups. You can also create prototypes and evaluate their visual appeal, readability, and overall effectiveness. Refine the design incrementally based on feedback and testing to ensure it resonates with the intended audience.


Q: What factors make a Bottle Label attractive?

A: Several factors come together to make an appealing Bottle Label design, including visually appealing graphics, a consistent color scheme, well-balanced typographic fonts, and attention to detail. The Bottle Label design should also be consistent with the brand image and effectively communicate the product's unique selling points.


Q: How do I print my own Bottle Labels?

A: To print your own Bottle Labels, you'll need the proper Bottle Label printing equipment, such as a Bottle Label printer or a high-quality color printer. Make sure to use Bottle Label paper or material that is compatible with your printer. Design your Bottle Labels using software such as Adobe Illustrator or Canva, then print and cut them according to the instructions provided by the printer and Bottle Label paper manufacturer.


Q: What information should I put on the Bottle Label?

A: Bottle Labels should include the product name, brand identity or logo, product ingredients, directions for use, any necessary warnings or precautions, contact information for the manufacturer or distributor, and relevant certifications or quality marks.


For more Bottle Label design resources, please refer to:

You can get more Bottle Label design resources by checking out design blogs, packaging design books, Bottle Label design galleries, industry-specific regulations and guidelines, or seeking advice from professional designers or packaging consultants.



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