Choosing the right imagery for your product label

Product label design is an intricate process that requires many facets – correct text content and style, captivating colour, material quality and imagery. All of these need to work together to effectively translate your brand message and capture a loyal audience. For many, getting the imagery right is the biggest differentiator. Here’s a look at how that can be achieved.

7 Tips for choosing the right imagery for your product label

1. Correct image association

Your label image needs to communicate the essence of the brand, without creating unnecessary confusion or overwhelming the consumer. If you’re selling honey, an image related to bees, pots of honey or a bear, is a more likely association with your product than a lion in the savannah – for example. The image can be subtle, but it mustn’t be so subtle as to completely miss the mark.

2. Colour co-ordination

One of the biggest influencers on a consumer’s psychology is the colour, which makes correct colour choice for your product label imperative. It’s important to incorporate the brand’s colours into the product label to ensure consistency, and allow for easy brand recognition. The colour of your brand, too, should evoke the correct emotional connection, so make sure this is carefully analysed ahead of product packaging. The colour of the imagery should also contrast well with background and text colours.

3. Background patterns

To enhance your product imagery, use textures and patterns on the label. For a more luxurious item, such as bath salts, refined patterns with simple brush strokes or patterns will convey your message more effectively than any text.

4. Print quality

No matter how well-designed your product label, if the imagery is printed using inferior-quality material and technique, then it’s unlikely to create an impact. You can choose to use a slick gloss, matte surface or coating, but whatever your choice, partner with a reputable label manufacturer to get a quality finish.

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5. Check out competitors

Before the imagery design begins, find out where the product will be sold and take a look at the competing brands. Your product will need to be clearly differentiated from others on the market, sufficiently so that your imagery is the first to catch the eye of consumers. The way to do this is to determine your unique selling point (USP) and to cleverly leverage this USP through the imagery.

6. Match to the typography

While it’s important not to overwhelm the consumer with too much text, any product label will require a certain amount of copy to explain the product and outline ingredients. Make sure the imagery design works well alongside the typography, maintaining consistency in style and message. Often a customised typography is the most impactful option.

7. Consider the 3D version

The final step is analysing the product in situ to ensure the label imagery is getting the desired effect. A 3D mock-up of the product label on the shelf will allow you to identify any inconsistencies, or unusual effects, when the image is printed on the product. When the products are stacked next to and on top of each other, you need to check there is no impact on the complete visual.

Consumers are actually able to process visual imagery quicker and easier than they do words, which is why selecting the right imagery for your product label is key.

By incorporating the above-mentioned elements into your imagery choice, you’re more likely to reach your target demographic than by incorporating too much text on a label.


Download Infographic: Tips for choosing the right imagery for your product label


Rebsons Labels is a leading supplier of labels in South Africa and produce self-adhesive labels for local and international clientele from various industries. For the highest quality product labels including manufacturing of Self-Adhesive Labels, Food Labels, Pharmaceutical Labels and Printed Labels through either digital label printing or traditional label printing contact Rebsons Labels today to discuss your needs.


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