10 Guidelines for Designing Your Craft Beverage Packaging Label

10 Guidelines for Designing Your Craft Beverage Packaging Label

A lot goes into designing the perfect product packaging for your craft beverage. In today's crowded marketplace, it's important to create a label (or sleeve) - whether for can, bottle, growler/crowler or tap handle - that stands out from the competition. It should be attention-grabbing and memorable, so that consumers will be drawn to your product on the shelf and persuaded to give it a try!  

Below are some guidelines for starting the design process that will help make your beverage look just as great as it tastes.

  • Brand identity Your label should be a clear reflection of your brand identity, including your logo, colors, fonts and overall style. It should tie in with your website, social media and other marketing assets to create a consistent "look and feel."

    What is the story behind your craft beverage? Is it organic, locally sourced, or made with unique ingredients? Incorporating such aspects into the design can help personalize, differentiate and communicate the "why" behind your brand.
  • Target audience  Who are you trying to reach? Be sure the overall style and design elements will appeal to your target audience's demographics, interests, buying preferences and tastes. 

  • Product information Beyond the standard brand name, beverage type or style, and description, your label will need to include certain mandatory information such as alcohol content (if applicable), ingredients and nutritional information. These legal requirements vary by location, so be sure to educate yourself on the laws for your distribution area.
  • Keep it simple Don't overload your label with too much information. A simple layout will be more  effective at grabbing attention and communicating your brand message.

  • Visual appeal Your label should be visually appealing and easy to read, even from a distance. The graphics and text should be high-quality, clear and concise.

  • Color palette A limited, complementary color palette will help your label look cohesive and professional. Too many colors can be overwhelming and distracting.
  • Call to action Include messaging such as "Drink responsibly" or "Visit our website" to further engage customers with your brand. Consider using a QR code to direct them to a welcome/thank you message, additional product information or online ordering site.
  • Print quality  and production cost Take time to select the right printing professional for the job and request samples in advance to set expectations and avoid surprises or disappointments over the finished product. 

    The cost of printing labels can vary depending on the size, complexity, and print quality, so be sure to factor this in to your overall project budget and compare job quotes carefully.
And here are a couple other considerations when thinking about consumer buying behaviors and targting your ideal audience:
  • Seasonality. If your craft beverage is seasonal or a "limited release",  you might consider seasonal imagery or colors to create a "sense of occasion" or incentive to buy sooner than later for FOMO.

  • Sustainability. There is a growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging, and more and more beverage brands are committing to this goal when and where it makes good business sense. If this is important to your brand, consider the environmental impact of your product choices and research recyclable, biodegradable or otherwise reusable options.
With craft beverages' gain in popularity, designing an eye-catching, informative brand label is crucial for standing out from the growing crowd. So what design elements can best tell YOUR brand's unique story, values and product attributes?

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