8 Best Practices to Design Custom Labels

When designing labels for your product, you’re going to want something that attracts consumers and makes them want to buy the product. This is why it’s always best to get an experienced professional to handle your label design. Nevertheless, budget constraints may come in your way and you might want to design a simple label on your own. In such cases, here are some best practices to design custom labels so you can ensure that your label comes out perfectly:

Source:  Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

1.) Consider the container – The product container and the label need to blend together physically to create an aesthetically-pleasing look overall. This means you’ll need to carefully measure the container so you can determine the correct size of your label before getting started with the design. If you’re just designing the label artwork without considering the size or shape you want it to be, you’ll end up with ill-fitting design layouts that do not bring out the optimal qualities of the design.

2.) Use high quality images – The quality of images you use will determine the quality of your custom label design. Since a high-quality label design will have a huge impact on how consumers determine the quality of your product, this is a priority. If you’re getting your images from the internet, remember that those normally have low resolutions. Make sure you find something that has at least 300 dpi or dots per inch, which will ensure that the label looks crisp and clear as opposed to blurred when it’s printed. Don’t forget that your label printer can make a huge difference in the quality of your label as well. So you need to focus on both aspects to really bring out the aesthetics of your label design.

3.) Make the logo prominent – One of the goals of creating a custom label is to establish your brand identity and to brand your product. So naturally, you’re going to need something that prominently displays your brand logo. If you’re only thinking about the artwork, you’re going to end up with a logo that’s barely noticeable. Place the logo towards the top or centre, so that customers can easily notice it when they look at the label.

Source:  Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

4.) Look at the big picture – When designing a custom label, it’s easy to just focus on the label on its own. In order to come up with something that truly stands out, you need to look at the big picture and consider how the label will look when it’s displayed on the shelf. You’re going to need something that is appropriate for the category yet still stands out from other brands. You should also ensure that the artwork won’t be hidden when it’s displayed on the shelf. Think about how the labels of soft drinks have been designed to prominently display the brand and flavor names towards the top of the container. This ensures that those details are still prominently visible when placed inside “visi-coolers”, popularly used in convenience stores.

5.) Use vector instead of raster – You have two types of graphics to choose from – vector and raster. In case of label designs, vector graphics are much more preferable as you can easily enlarge or reduce them without the risk of losing image quality. Try to go for vector graphics to ensure that your design process goes smoothly instead of being delayed by inferior-quality graphics.

6.) Avoid overcrowding elements – Consumers have plenty of choices on the shelves, so having a label that contains too much text and graphic elements can be confusing and frustrating for them. Beyond the essentials, try not to overcrowd the label with too many design elements. Product name and brand name are a must and in addition to that, you can add the serving size and a benefit or feature claim. Follow the “less is more” rule when it comes to choosing design elements to add to your label.

7.) Consider functionality in addition to aesthetics – When designing custom labels, you may only think about how it looks and completely forget about the functionality. For example, some products aren’t too appealing so you might need your label to cover that up. This means you’re going to need a label that covers up the entire container. Similarly, some products may look very appealing and adding a label might obstruct the view. Smaller and thinner labels may do justice to this type of product.

8.) Don’t forget the labeling regulations – While you’re busy thinking about the best label artwork, you might end up missing out on some important rules. Certain products may have a much stricter labeling regulation, so make sure you consider which regulations would be applicable for your product. For example, if you’re selling food products, you would need to include a nutrition fact table in your label design.

So you have some of the basic rules and best practices to help you design the perfect custom label for your product. Even if you do decide to work with a professional designer, these tips can help you work seamlessly with the designer in communicating your design needs. 


About the Author

NNeeraj Kumawat is a marketing consultant at Maverick Label, a custom label printing company and a passionate writer. He shares his ideas on finance, business, money management etc. He loves travelling and reading travel books in the free time.  You can find him on Twitter, Facebook

What Makes the EDGE 850 Different from Competitors?

1.)    White toner - The ability to print using white toner opens a whole range of markets and potential applications for commercial printers and private brand owners. Ideal for printing on dark or colored substrates, transparent films, and textured stocks.

2.)    Narrow width media – Print roll widths ranging from 3” to 8.5” wide.

3.)    Substrate versatility – The EDGE 850 has the highest level of substrate flexibility in the short run digital marketspace. Our Certified Media Library includes a large variety of unique substrates that have been rigorously tested to ensure reliability and consistency, optimal print quality and provide the ease of use that will perform to the customers' highest expectations

4.)    Ability to get media tested for specialty applications and workflow integration – We will work with the customer to create specific solutions based on their needs whether it is for a specialty application or implementing our technology with existing workflows.

5.)    Toner based printer - Polymer based toner which makes the labels waterproof. In most cases, lamination is not required for most labels.

Substrate Versatility for Wine Labels

Admit it, we’ve all chose a bottle of wine based on a beautiful label. The line between labels, packaging and product are blurring and when your product is competing with hundreds of others for a customer's attention, everything is hinging on the overall visual appeal in order to stand out from the rest.

When shelf appeal matters, you want to ensure you put your best face forward. The substrate being used in combination with the graphic being printed, make for the visual face of that brand - giving the potential customer a sense of what is in that bottle.

iSys Label provides a variety of certified substrates for the wine label industry. Whether you’re using Estate #8, Classic Linen or Cherry Wood - we have a wine label solution for you.

The versatility of substrates capable of running on the APEX 1290 and EDGE 850 allows for a more diverse product offering and further differentiation from competitors products. By using Certified Media and one of these digital label printers, you will help your package and brand stand apart from the others and receive the competitive edge it deserves. 

Drum and Gallon Label Printing

Are you looking for a BS5609-compliant label printer?

iSys Label offers two compliant printers - the EDGE 850, a roll to roll system, and the EDGE 850 MP, a roll to cut printer for individual labels on demand.

For more information visit the product page here or email sales@isys-group.com

Custom Water Bottle Labels Using the EDGE 850 Digital Label Printer

Promotional water bottle label printing just got easier with iSys Label’s EDGE 850 short run digital label printer. 

Over the past couple of years, entrepreneurs have been using the EDGE 850 as a low-cost method for entry into the short run digital label market, using it to print personalized water bottle labels for local businesses, community events, corporate functions, parties and weddings, just to name a few.

Water bottle labels printed on the EDGE 850 are full color and the perfect compliment for any occasion. By utilizing the EDGE 850 to print promotional water bottle labels, users will be able to see their ROI immediately being able to print on demand. The only items users need to begin are an EDGE 850 and a couple rolls of die-cut paper or polyester label stock, and you are in business. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

“Signature” Wine Label Printing Using the APEX 1290

Wine label printing just got easier with iSys Label’s short run digital label printers. With a wide variety of approved substrates for beverage industry, the APEX 1290 digital label printer provide the utmost in versatility, providing different options for customers looking for quick turn-around times, low to moderate quantities of labels,  and variable information.

Using the APEX 1290, there are two different options for printing beverage labels,  each with its own benefits. The first print method is full graphic label printing with the addition of variable information, all done in a single pass. The second is signature printing, which is the ability to overprint wine labels previously printed by an offset or flexographic machine.

Ideal for companies with multiple SKU’s, signature printing is best explained as a two stage printing process. Stage one is printing all of the static elements of the customized label such as the brand or winery name including foil stamping and embossing. Stage two is overprinting using the APEX 1290 for the dynamic elements of the label design including variable data, images, and text. By utilizing this printing process, end users will be lowering their cost per copy and are capable of printing the exact quantities of labels they need on demand. This ensures maximum print efficiency and minimizes inventory and spoilage of pre-printed labels not used for that year’s production.

Here are a couple videos to elaborate on how this can be done.

How Many Labels Are There On An EDGE 850 Roll?

Are you trying to estimate the overall cost per label? Have you ever wondered how many labels you would approximately have on a roll? Are you wondering about the quantity rolls needed for a certain job?

With these simple calculations, you will be able to get an approximate quantity of labels per roll.

What We Know About the Roll

*Length of Material on the Roll = 450 Feet = 5400 inches per roll

Size of Label = 8 inches wide x 3 inches high

Gap Size = 0.125 inches

Width of Roll = 8.125 inches

Core Size = 3 inches

Max. Roll Outside Diameter for the EDGE 850 = 8 inch OD


Step 1

Add the height of the label plus the gap.

3 inches + 0.125 inches = 3.125 inches


Step 2

Divide the Length of the Roll by the overall height of the label.

5400 inches/3.125 inches = 1728 labels per roll


There are 1728 labels per roll.


Please note: In most cases, the industry uses +/- 10% as a general rule of thumb.  While the calculation above is the “best case scenario” for labels per roll, you must take into account the potential wastage during setup, proofing, alignment, etc. Therefore using the +/- 10% scenario, you’re more likely quantity of labels per roll is actually 1555 labels.

*Length of material on a roll depends on the thickness of material being used. For example, a wine label material will be thicker than a matte paper, and therefore will have less material on a roll. For the purpose for this example, we used 450 feet of material and that creates an OD of 8 inches, which is the maximum OD that can fit in the EDGE 850 printer.

Part 2: The Brand Owner - Integrating Digital Label Printing

The second group of users who benefit from digital label printing are brand owners. This demographic consists of companies who are looking to bring label production in-house to reduce the overall costs and wait times caused when outsourcing labels for their products. In most cases, users have multiple SKU’s that require a variety of variable data printed. These users benefit by being able to print their labels on demand, in quantities that are more acceptable for their production needs. There is no need to order 20,000 labels when there is only an immediate need for only 100 or 1000.

Labeled Products

Labeled Products

The APEX 1290 and EDGE 850 digital label printers have the ability to produce professional-grade short run labels with brilliant and consistent color, from the first label to the last. This digital printer has a wide degree of substrate flexibility and rolls can be purchased from appointed converters throughout the world. For companies that require precise colors to be used with their branding, the Harlequin® RIP allows for complete color management and is capable of producing approximately 82% of the Pantone® color gamut.

These platforms were designed to be highly configurable and allow users to pair it up with offline finishing systems or be used as a standalone roll to roll printer - making it a complete digital label printing solution. This printer can purchased or leased from distributors throughout the world, contact us for more information.

Part 1: The Printer/Converter - Integrating Digital Label Printing

It is no secret that there is an increasing demand for short run digital label technology. With the rise in private labels, there has been a corresponding demand in the need for shorter runs, higher degrees of personalization and reduced turnaround times. Digital label printing has carved out its niche in the print and packaging market and defined its place for those who are weighing the transition to digital label printing.

For the converter, an understanding has been established that digital printing is not going to replace the existing technology, but rather, compliment the current resources in the production workflow. More information has come available and users are now able to determine the crossover points for jobs currently being done on conventional presses. This is the largest benefit for the converter, as they will be able to reduce their costs and see a quicker return on investment by offsetting jobs that were previously done by larger printers. By adding digital technology to the product fold, converters/printers will have the added benefit of being able to:

  • Digitally job cost within seconds, and give quotes based on the pricing model chosen
  • Accept smaller jobs and produce a higher profit based on reduced setup costs, quantities needed, and turnaround times
  • Increase label creativity by using offline options such as UV coating, lamination, foil stamping and slitting options to name a few
  • Offer the ability for start-ups/small businesses an easier way to enter the market with more personalized branding approach at a cost-effective rate

The APEX 1290 and EDGE 850 digital label printers have the ability to produce professional-grade short run labels with brilliant and consistent color, from the first label to the last. This digital printer has a wide degree of substrate flexibility and rolls can be purchased from appointed converters throughout the world. For companies that require precise colors to be used with their branding, the Harlequin® RIP allows for complete color management and is capable of producing approximately 82% of the Pantone® color gamut.

These platforms were designed to be highly configurable and allow users to pair it up with offline finishing systems or be used as a standalone roll to roll printer - making it a complete digital label printing solution. This printer can purchased or leased from distributors throughout the world, contact us for more information.

“Go Digital” with iSys Label’s Short Run Label Printers

Short Run Digital Label Roll

Short Run Digital Label Roll

It’s very rare to find a product in any market that doesn’t require a label these days. The dynamics of the label and packaging industry are evolving and iSys Label is changing the rules with the APEX 1290 and EDGE 850 digital label printers.

Customer’s demands are turning to shorter runs, faster turnaround and greater variability in their labels, branding and packaging. As a result, production houses and brand owners are finding the need to be more responsive to the changes in the market. It’s never been easier to go digital. By incorporating digital print technology into the existing workflow, independent brand owners and print providers are able to leverage the advantages of both while entering the digital label and packaging market with a low capital investment.

The APEX 1290 and EDGE 850 are digital label printing solutions that provide high resolution graphics, photos and barcodes on an array of die-cut, kiss-cut and continuous roll substrates for any market or industry. Users are capable of printing upwards of 2,000 full color labels in minutes and have them ready for the applicator or shipped to the customer the same day. Ideal for in-plant printing or production environments, the iSys Label digital printers make light work out of any label job.

Let iSys Label help you realize the value digital label printing can offer.