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4 Science-Backed Ways to Create Eye-Catching Labels


Many brands struggle to find new and creative ways for their products to stand out on the shelf. Tapping into the subconscious mind of the customer, there are several psychological elements that can influence the decision to buy a product, or even notice it for that matter. It all starts with having the right product label design. Here’s how you can use design science to help your product stand out.

Font Type

Different font types can evoke different emotions. Decorative fonts (so long as they are legible) are great for brand and product names, while sans-serif fonts are best for the body copy of your label.

The type of font you choose for your label will depend on your product and brand personality. If you want to portray a simple elegance, maybe for a wine label or perfume label, use fonts that are orderly and classic with narrower lines. On the flip side, quirky and high-spirited fonts with lots of curves and maybe some embellishment comes across as playful and personable and could be used for beer labels or cannabis labels. For earthy and artisanal products, handwritten fonts can be effective in grabbing a customer’s attention. These warmer, more personal fonts would work well on candle labels and organic food labels.

Layout is important in product label design.

Layout Design Science

Spacing between letters and words can impact the way consumers feel about a product. One study, by researchers at Microsoft and MIT, found that participants who read content with a good layout felt more focused and had a stronger sense of clarity, as opposed to those who read the same content with a poorly designed layout.

Good layout design works because our eyes follow a natural pattern that breaks up phrases into scans and pauses when we read. Your eyes typically scan across a label between 7 to 9 words before needing to pause to process what you’re reading.

For your product label design, consider the layout. Rather than long lines of text, it’s scientifically better to break up the text into a series of shorter lines to create the natural pauses needed for visual processing. When customers are scanning shelves for a product, they’ll be significantly more likely to choose a label they can grasp.

Product label designs using the color red can grab a customer’s attention.

Color Psychology

The color of your label design can influence a customer’s purchasing decision, as it can evoke certain moods and feelings. For example, red has been known to increase metabolisms and stimulate appetites, so a food product might want to incorporate red into the label design. Red is also known for its ability to quickly grab people’s attention, so using red on any label is an easy way to make your product stand out.

Keeping in mind that your label likely won’t be one single color, especially when you factor in other elements like text and images, you’ll also want to think about mixing and matching colors. Using complementary colors will help make elements pop. For a more relaxed look that flows together, use analogous colors (any three colors next to each other on the color spectrum) in your product label design.

Applying color psychology to your label is an effective way to make your product stand out in the marketplace.

Visual Processing

You’ve likely heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to product label design. Research below has found that customers are more likely to process and remember text on your product label if it’s paired with images.

People process visuals quicker than words, so adding imagery to your product label design can help it get noticed. In fact, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Keep in mind that, according to the Social Science Research Network, 65 percent of the population are visual learners. Needless to say, an image on our label can go a long way.

Make Your Product Labels Stand Out

Blue Label is a full-service digital printing company that will work with you to create labels to help your product stand out. Our state-of-the-art HP Indigo digital printing presses and variety of finishing techniques allows us to find the best solution to provide you with labels that not only attract eyes, but also best suit the needs of your product.

If you need help designing your label, check out our Designer Directory to find the right partner for your product. Once you’re ready to start your next label project, contact us to talk to one of our experts about how we can bring your labels to life.