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8 Easy Steps for Choosing Your Craft Beer Labels

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There are many important decisions to make when considering your craft beer labels. Designing a well received label requires significant background information about your product, thorough research of its intended market, and a clear goal for what that label should represent. Here are eight steps you should take to ensure that your new label helps you achieve your goals:

  1. Know Your Product - Before you can even begin considering your craft beer label, you must first know your product intimately. What kinds of distinguishing features does it have? How does it compare to other similar products on the market? What do you most want to highlight about it? 
  2. Set a Goal - Once you have reviewed the market and determined the things that make your product different from all the others, it is time to set a goal for your label. What kind of association do you want customers to make with your label? Should they remember a particular symbol or slogan? How much information will the label give the customer? Decide what functions you want your labels to have. 
  3. Branding - Branding is tied closely with the previous step. Obviously, if your brand already has a well known logo or slogan, you will want that to be easily identifiable by both old and new customers. Your brand should represent your overall philosophy as a craft brewer, and each individual product should showcase your commitment to that philosophy through its unique features. 
  4. Packaging - Naturally, choosing a label will depend especially on the type of packaging you are using and making sure that the bottles or cans you choose are of high quality. Examine your bottles for inconsistencies that may affect the way a label adheres. If you happen to find inconsistencies, make sure to contact your distributor right away. 
  5. Materials - Deciding on labeling materials is the next part of the process. There are many different types of labels and adhesives to choose from. While pressure sensitive adhesives on a label with a white background are common, there are also clear vinyl labels and recycled cardboard options. These have a unique look and texture that will make your product stand out on the shelf. 
  6. Choosing a Design - It's finally time for considering your craft beer label. What colors do you want to use? What images will you put on the label? How big will the text need to be to be easily legible at a distance? Will your label cover a large surface or just a small area on the front of the package? Even after you have decided on the images and text, you may want to review several different designers' portfolios to see a variety of different art styles that can add flavor to your design. 
  7. Volume - Once the artwork is done, the materials are set and its time to go to print, you will have to determine how many labels you will need. This number can be affected by the amount of product you are able to produce, but also the shelf life of the adhesive. Keep in mind that things like pressures sensitive adhesives can break down if they are left to sit for too long. Plus, paper labels sitting in storage are subject to damage from humidity. 
  8. Choosing a Printer - Now is the time to choose your printer. You will want to find a printer before making your label as the printer can help create your perfect label. Usually you can receive samples at no cost from the supplier if they are eager to earn your business. Make sure you do not print large quantities until equipment company approves the label and the client approves the run off.

Get the free eBook  The Craft Brewer's Guide to Labeling Equipment