Creating Customer Beer Labels
Not all craft brewers realize this, but they are following a proud American tradition. People have been brewing beer for centuries. It was only after the end of the Civil War that they started applying labels. In the intervening 150 years, those labels have come a long way.
In addition to offering information about the contents of the bottle, today’s labels are also used for advertising. They feature not just simple text, but also company logos, graphics, slogans, and more. Crafting the perfect label is an ideal way to let consumers know that the bottle’s content contains a trademark craft beer.
Below is a six-step guide on creating a modern and appealing custom beer labels that stands out there:
Step One: Determine the Brand’s Personality
Before getting into the fun stuff, brewers need to define their brands. Think about what makes their beer stand out from a branding perspective. It will help to define the intended audience, and knowing the audience makes it easier to design an effective label.
Start by answering these three questions:
- What kind of beer is it?
- Who is most likely to buy it?
- How will consumers be purchasing the beer?
Answering these three questions will make it easier to pin down a good labeling strategy. It can even help brewers figure out whether to package their products in bottles or cans.
Step Two: Choose a Color Scheme
Colors help to communicate the brand’s personality. Use the basics of color science to form an emotional connection. It’s also important to choose colors that complement the company’s logo.
As a rule, green bottles are best paired with black and white labels. Red is also a good complement to the green glass. Brown bottles look good with just about any color scheme. Most brewers choose warm colors. Sticking with this tradition can make it easier for customers to identify the product as a delicious adult beverage. Alternative color schemes look more modern. It’s all a matter of branding.
Step Three: Find the Right Shape and Size
Some craft beers feature wrap-around labels. Others have separate labels for the front, back, and neck. Craft brewers can even choose custom, die-cut labels; however, they do cost more to manufacture. Those on a budget may want to stick with standard dimensions.
There are three standard dimensions for beer labels:
- 2.75” x 4.25”
- 3.25” x 4”
- 5” x 2”
They’re designed to fit different bottle sizes. Keep in mind that different bottles also have unique shapes, which may need to be accommodated.
Step Four: Find a Font
Fonts can say as much about a brand’s personality as colors. Serif and script fonts are associated with more traditional brands. Sans-serif fonts look more modern. Don’t get too crazy with the font. If it’s hard to read, that makes it less likely that customers will recognize the brand and remember it.
Step Five: Consider Imagery
Most traditional labels feature little more than the brand name and the company’s logo. Craft beer brewers often go out of their way to get more creative. Just try to make sure the imagery reflects the unique flavor of the beer and the intended audience.
Younger audiences often prefer experimental flavors. Complement these flavors by using more visually complex designs. Older, classier customers tend to prefer the basics. Stick with minimalist labels and avoid things like cartoon mascots at all costs.
Step Six: Come up with Meaningful Text
The text on a label isn’t the first thing customers notice. That’s usually the imagery. It’s still important when it comes to reaching target audiences. Make sure to include, at a minimum, the type of beer and some of the keywords that could be used to describe it. It’s also a good idea to include a blurb about what sets the brew apart.
Don’t forget the fine print. There are a lot of legal requirements surrounding beer sales. Every label should include the alcohol content, net contents, beer class and type, and the manufacturer’s name and address.
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