How to create your own eco-friendly product labels

Solutions when making your own packaging labels {Step by Step Guide}

This 101 guide is to help those ethical brands, social & eco-enterprises to take charge of their packaging and create their own eco-friendly product labels!

When making your own products to sell, there’s a definite level of creativity required, for sure. But we’re not all fully-fledged graphic designers, are we? To help you get to grips with your packaging and make sure your product labelling is on point, we’re going to look at:

  • How to make your own labels
  • Six key labelling things to remember

Don’t fall at the last creative hurdle – give your products the send-off they deserve with these top tips!

Why are product labels important for your business

Product labelling has been around since the 1800s, and nowadays, they come in loads of styles and formats to appeal to your audience. In fact, labelling your products the right way is a key component in your customer relations strategy. 

It’s not all about what the ingredients are and where everything comes from – they want to find out more about you and your brand too. Plus, according to some research, 90% of purchasing decisions are made just by looking at the front of a label. The look and feel of your brand and product label are far more than somewhere to put the name and barcode, so let’s explore the right way to go about producing them!

The guide for customisable & eco-friendly packaging ideas

The must-haves in your label

When designing your labels yourself or with the help of a professional printer, there are some things you should think over carefully:

  1. Your Branding – it should be crystal clear that the product is one of yours. This means using the right fonts, employing the correct tones and colours, and using your brand logo front and centre. 
  2. Contact information – this one is important in the case of compliments or complaints. Make sure you have your website address on there with your official company address in case of any issues.
  3. Label materials – these should ideally reflect your brand and ethos as well. For example, it should feel luxurious if you’re a luxury brand. It’s recommended to go with eco-friendly and recyclable materials such as adhesive-free or digitally printed labels though. As more and more companies make the change, it’s far easier to find the right brand feel on a ‘green’ label than you think. It’s a small thing, but it helps the environment and supports the worldwide climate change goals
  4. Signage – if the packaging and labels are recyclable, make sure to include familiar icons and symbols to tell your consumer that. Similarly, if it’s vegan or caters to other lifestyle and dietary requirements, include these to help reach your ideal target market.
  5. Label size – Are you going with one large label or two separate ones? One large label is cost-effective but needs more careful design so that the most important info (your brand and product name) is in the front to be seen first. However, two smaller labels per product may cost more, but you can be cleaner and more defined with the information. See which works best for yours by mocking up some samples.
  6. Barcodes – if selling in-store, barcodes are essential to keep track of inventory. Those little groups of lines help the stores keep track of what has sold and when for security and reordering purposes. So, depending on your distribution methods, you may need to leave space for one on your label.

Small business looking for sustainable packaging, compostable mailer and tissue? noissue!

How to make your own labels

1. Legal requirements on labels

Depending on the product, there are some necessities you need to include on your label. So, the first step is making sure you have all the correct and required product information for your distribution area – here are a few links to get started:

2. Materials and personalisation

Next, you should think about your brand and which type of label best suits your product:

  • Sticker labels are good for bottles
  • Printing directly on the packaging can save costs
  • Peel and reveal allows lots of information in a small space
  • Printed paper labels are a nice familiar standard
  • Personalised labels give a customised and friendly feel
  • Tag labels can add a boutique, homemade touch

3. The design

With the design, the old KISS technique is always a good choice: Keep It Simple & Stupid. Your brand and product name should be front and centre to make an impact. Then include all the other necessaries like nutrition or ingredients on the back. You could design it yourself if you’re feeling up to it, or you could hire a graphic designer to help. Alternatively, if you’re printing professionally, there are companies like axiom printing that have design included as an extra service. 

4. The production

Speaking of – production is another key consideration. Creating your labels by hand feeds well into the handmade marketplace idea, but a professional and consistent hand is needed. 

Stamps and cricut machines can help you maintain that but going with a professional labelling company might be an idea if there is loads of information you need to include. 

Oftentimes their processes are simple, easy, and affordable – and they’re well-practised at recreating the look and feel you want to. Contact some suppliers and get some samples to help you decide.

5. Order your labels

Placing an order or starting your own production line is the final step. It’s best to order or make more than you need to be as cost-effective and time-saving as you can. There’s nothing worse than running out of labels when you need to ship an order!

Packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year

Designing and making your own labels can be cost-effective and add to your overall brand look and feel, but don’t write off getting professional help when it’s not that much more expensive. At the end of the day, it’s all about efficiency and professionalism, so do your research, add in a bit of trial and error with some samples, and see what works best for you and your business always ensuring it is as green and eco-friendly as possible

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