Nectarine U: Labels 101

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Here’s the quick and dirty on creating labels for your body care products — we’ve broken down the process into three simple steps! Thankfully, creating labels has never been easier, given the online short-run label companies and the “do it yourself” (DIY) options. Both options are great for entrepreneurs and small-business owners.  

Your label = Your image

A label serves many important functions, and a well-designed, effective label will:

  • Become your signature by communicating your product, store and/or brand image through your choice of graphics (e.g. logo) and color.
  • Give your customers confidence in your products.
  • Encourage repeat business by reminding customers of your brand each time they use the product.
  • Tell consumers who received your products as gifts where they can buy the products for themselves.
  • Work across a wide range of products, so that you can produce a minimum quantity for a low overall investment.
  • Be easy to produce using the options outlined below.

STEP 1: Your Logo

Logos can be text-only, utilizing distinctive, clear and readable fonts, or you can have an illustration or graphic attached to them. Your logo should be easily identifiable and legible on a small label. (HINT: A one-color logo is versatile and widens printing options.)

Don’t have a logo?  Here are a few good resources for finding a graphic designer:

  • A google search for a label designer in your area
  • Upwork: An online resource for hiring freelancers in a wide range of professions, including graphic design. You can set your budget, view portfolios and read reviews. The internet allows us to work remotely with talented professionals worldwide.
  • Talk to local businesses or printers to get references for designers they like

STEP 2: Choosing How to Print Your Labels

Are you opening a retail store with a large number of items, or creating a brand with a small, curated selection? Your answer may determine how you will print your labels.

  • Option 1:  DIY! It’s easy and fun to print your own labels, and it allows for the most flexibility. Use a company like Online Labels where you can purchase a variety of blank, sheet labels that you can print using your inkjet or laser printer. To create your own designs, they offer an online tool (Maestro Label Designer); you can also upload your pre-designed art to their templates.  You can design a label for each product and fragrance, or you can design one logo label per bottle/jar and hand write the name of the product on the logo label — this may sound unprofessional, but it offers a personalized and stylish artisanal look!
  • Option 2:  Printing the labels professionally through a local or online printer (see options below) is a good idea if you have a limited number of products, or if your business is more mature. (Professional printers have minimum orders, and your costs and inventory will rise with a large library of labels.) Although you may want to print a different label for each product, you can streamline and minimize costs by ordering a universal label with your logo and store address, which can be customized with an indelible pen (i.e. Sharpie).
  • With either option:  It’s always smart to have a simple, logo label handy that you can customize — this makes it easy to add in and test new products. The essence of our industry is to offer new and creative products regularly, and you don’t want label printing to come in the way of this important competitive advantage!
  • Silkscreening bottles: Silk-screening your bottles can be a great option, for smaller assortments, although it makes you less nimble in terms of introducing and testing new products.

STEP 3:  Working with a Designer

You’ve already made it to the third and final step! Determine your budget and scope of project.  Are you looking for a simple logo or do you also need label design? When searching for the right designer, follow these guidelines:

  • View online portfolios to see if the style of work “speaks” to your aesthetic and brand.
  • A designer with product packaging experience may be preferable.
  • Let them know what image you want to project.  Is your brand clean and modern, natural and organic, vintage, hipster, homespun or scientific?  It is fun to collect inspiration photos of products, packaging, and your brand image to show your designer.  Check out Nectarine’s Pinterest site for great ideas!
  • If they will be designing labels, provide bottle samples. We recommend choosing a few label sizes that work with as many of your bottles and jars as possible.
  • Tell your designer how and where you would like to print your labels, so they can work with existing label shapes (dies) and avoid unnecessary costs.  
  • Please note that, according to federal regulations, there is certain information that must be included on your labels. Look up these regulations to make sure you’re in compliance.

You’re ready to go! Run over to our Pinterest site to get some fabulous inspiration and then get creative — your customers will appreciate the thought you’ve put into your labels and packaging and this will help you build a loyal following. Happy designing!

P.S. Are you already a Nectarine customer? Go to our website and click the Info Source for more expert advice on labels.

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