The Do’s and Don’ts of Custom Beer Labels

We hate to nag, but when it comes to custom beer labels, there are factors to consider. Are we properly representing our brand? Are we giving our product optimum visibility? Do our bottles sing louder than their neighbors? Are we following all the legal requirements? (Yep, those exist.) These simple do’s and don’ts will help you stay on point.


Do this. Don’t do that. Sounds naggy. It’s not. It’s actually super important and could help your sales soar. Your custom beer labels deserve the very best treatment, and four generations in the printing business have taught us pretty much everything we need to know about making your product stand out on the shelf. And, because we’re feeling generous, we’d like to share it with you. Here it goes:

Do: Add decorative effects to your custom beer labels.

We’ve preached about the benefits of embossed printing and hot foil stamping before, but it’s definitely worth a second mention, and here’s why: it adds a quality, craft effect that appeals to many a shopper. The added texture of the label makes it super touchable, and once hands get involved; the likelihood of a purchase increases significantly (and so does the spending allowance). And decoration isn’t just for premium or special edition beers, cost effective solutions, like using metallized material with white ink to create a foil effect, let you create a standout container at a fraction of the cost.

via Instagram Hill Farmstead Brewery

Don’t: Violate the ABLA.

The Alcoholic Beverage Label Act, enacted in November of 1988, requires a government warning of potential health risks to be printed on the labels of any and every alcoholic beverage sold. You do not want to find yourself on the business end of a mega fine (we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars), so do yourself a favor and be sure to apply the proper warning. Them’s the rules. A great place for resources on beer label regulations is the Alchohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Labelling resource page. We’re hear to help, but didn’t go to law school, so make sure you consult a legal professional.

via Instagram 18th Street Brewery 

Do: Add some depth to the shelf.

There are endless material options available, don’t settle for something that doesn’t stand out. From textured stocks to give your product a premium look and feel, to metallics that shimmer under the lights, to high performance films that can withstand the elements, there are materials for every brand. Make sure your package is top shelf by picking a material that sets you apart from the competition.

via Instagram Rockmill Brewery 

Don’t: Wait too long to find your designer.

Your label is the face of your product and your product IS your brand, so design should be front-and-center in your strategy development. Once you have your design in place, you’ll know better what kind of effects to apply to your custom beer labels (see above re: embossing and hot foil placement). Click here to browse our network of Approved Label Designers.

Do: Go green.

Into the environment? Your customer probably is, too. They’re buying craft beers, which means ingredients are kind of a big deal. And if they’re buying local, it’s highly likely that matters of the earth are of at least some importance, so shout it from the rooftops (and on your custom label) and bring on that shelf appeal by listing out the environmental benefits of your product. And side note: good on you for doing your part.

Don’t: Pick the wrong digital printer.

Who’s the right digital printer? Hi. We’re Blue Label. How can we be of service? We can’t wait to work with you. Contact us today to get started.

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