Designing beer labels today means coming up against numerous rivals. No matter where you market your products or which demographic you most want to target, chances are there are others going after those same customers. Between small breweries with strong appeal and large brands using their ample resources to create that same kind of charm, the market is saturated, and you need bold, clever and clearly branded ideas to stand out from the pack.
Crossing borders, building appeal
One of the main purposes of your label is to define your brand in the customer eye. One of the most interesting possibilities of graphic design is to shape perception when you expand your geographic reach and pursue a new market. For an example of this process, Packaging News recently profiled Shipyard's attempts to enter the U.K. space and play up its American craft beer character.
The source noted that when it came time to design a British label for the brand, the agency responsible set out to specifically use designs that hearken back to the brand's U.S. roots while differentiating the three main varieties – India pale ale, American pale ale and Rye pale ale. All the ingredients of a strong beer brand design were present – a distinct identity, clear differences between the separate offerings within the range and an appeal to consumers' preferences.
The role of labels
The general role of beer labels is to act as all-purpose billboards for a brand's appeal. If your packaging is nondescript, you may have a hard time convincing potential buyers that your product is worth choosing over their existing go-tos. North Carolina news source Charlotte Five pointed out that in a region with over 30 local breweries, packaging design plays a huge role in setting some brewers ahead of others.
What kinds of information does your label have to convey? Everything from central ingredients to the provenance of your brewery to general entertainment value can come from a well-designed label. This means that if you stick for too long with a bland design, you could be encouraging shoppers to go with other brands that grab their attention more readily.
Of course, even the best graphic design can fail to come across effectively if the printing quality of your labels is poor. Having powerful in-house equipment such as the Primera LX900 Color Label Printer is one way to prevent this possibility. You can learn about that printer and more in our U.S. web store or our equivalent Canadian page, ensuring you have what it takes to project your brand's appeal.