We finally made it through March, which is right in the middle of what we like to call our “busy season.” Lately, it seems like the past year has been our busy season, but in truth March proved to be a record month. Around springtime is when most makers start ordering labels for their summer products like seasonal brews (both beer and coffee), candles, SPF lipbalm, even popsicles. We are achieving and exceeding our production goals, though we definitely feel the growing pains, too. The Frontier Label team is working around the clock and even on the weekends to make sure your labels are perfect. To say we are tired is an understatement, but we’re also inspired and motivated by the makers. By you!
We have seen some amazing designs come through. Logos have been freshened up, colors are groundbreaking, and the bar is set high for this summer. We’re not giving away any secrets, but what we can do is offer some advice if you are still wondering how to spruce up your labels for the summer release.
THROW IT BACK
Out with the new, in with the old? We’re not sure about that, but we do know this: a classic never dies. Retro and vintage design trends are experiencing an upswing in 2019. The words “vintage” and “retro” recall memories of bygone times, but invoke separate and distinct feelings. Vintage design tends to recall elegance and authenticity, making us think of timeless quality, while retro design makes us feel nostalgic for a more innocent time. Homages to the past are almost always a crowd-pleaser, and with the right execution can knock it out of the park (hello, A Star is Born).
By giving your summer products a vintage look, either with your packaging or your label, you communicate that your product is reliable, something your customers can trust. Recalling classic design for your product can be a simple way to set your brand apart from everything else on the shelf. 99designs says that “In today’s market where new, improved packaging keeps coming out at a rapid pace, creating the most advanced packaging simply does not cut it anymore.”
If fun is what you’re aiming for, freshen up your product look with a retro design. Remember the good old 8-bit video games you used to play as a kid? Lately, remade and remastered versions of classic games are coming back to life because people want to relive the joy and whimsy they felt when flying a spaceship through an asteroid field, or by driving a go kart down a rainbow road.
Pixel-based graphics have come a long way, but that 8-bit look still holds a place in our collective hearts. You don’t even need to use pixels to recreate this look. In a vector-based graphics program, choose solid, bold colors, polygonal shapes, and sharp, defined edges to transport your customers back to the land of platforms and princesses.
COLOR OF THE YEAR
Every year, Pantone® releases their choice for color of the year, a color they predict will permeate the design world from fashion to product packaging. For 2019, they chose Living Coral as the color that would invoke the most feeling and capture the heart of the culture. Pantone describes Living Coral as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” Living Coral is vibrant and organic, like a sunset on the beach after a day of swimming and sunbathing.
Incorporate the Color of the Year into your label design for some playful and subtle trendiness. Your entire label doesn’t have to be coral–unless you want it to be. Use a color-blocking pattern and pair coral with some complementary colors. Make your product name pop by designing it in Living Coral, while leaving everything else around it soft and understated.
Get inspired! Play around with color palette sites like Color Hunt to figure out the color scheme you want for your summer look.
Square, circle, rectangle, oval. Tried and true shapes that never let us down. However, our eyes tend to slide past uniform shapes or patterns, and instead are attracted to even the tiniest details that differentiate from the norm. You can utilize this nuance to your advantage with a custom label shape!
If you typically use a square label for your coffee bags, why not try a hexagon for that summer blonde roast? Since you’ve got a whole line of beach-themed candles, try out a sunburst-shaped label for the scent name. A sticker shaped like a pair of lips would be a cute addition to that SPF packed lip balm you’re releasing soon.
The good news is that we have a wide selection of custom shapes like those for you to choose from. They’re listed on the website here–just click on the heart shape ♥ to open up the catalog. If you’re looking for something specific and don’t see it, you do have the option to create a brand new shape of your own imagining. You supply us the dieline, we take care of the rest.
The competition will be hot this summer, but so will your brand. Whether you use only one of these design tips or go for the hat trick, you can’t go wrong. At the very least, we hope you feel inspired and motivated to push through this hectic season and exceed the goals you’ve set for yourself this year. We’re rooting for you, makers! As always, #sticktoyourpassion.