Selecting Colors for Your Labels
by lauren | Aug 23rd, 2010 | Leave a comment

Selecting the right color combinations for your custom labels is a very important ingredient to any label design.  Imagine you have created the perfect design for your labels, but then choose two clashing colors or make the background too dark, the whole design will be comprised.  Additionally, some colors and palettes are “in style”, so if you have a trendy product, it should reflect the times.  The first place to start when selecting colors is the Pantone color library.

Pantone creates almost every color imaginable, and their convenient numbering system ensures all printers use the exact same colors.  For example, if you have a specific red you need to use for your label, let’s say PMS 485, all printers will be able to produce the correct color as long as you tell them it is PMS 485.  Using Pantone colors is the easiest way to communicate your design to any custom label printer.

When thinking about the colors to use for your custom label, try to consider:

  • The product – what are you selling?  The colors should reflect what feelings the consumer should emote.  Additionally, the colors should compliment the product if the label will be directly placed over the product.
  • The packaging – consider the product’s packaging when selecting label tones.  A blue box would not work well with a blue label because there probably wouldn’t be enough contrast.
  • The industry or Market – if you are selling a “serious” product, you should opt for “serious” colors.  Typically, darker or muted tones work well for professional products, while bright yellow and oranges can be fun and light.
  • Trends – this may sound unusual, but every year Pantone puts out color trends.  These palettes can easily guide you towards the perfect color for your product or promotion.  Color trends generally reflect the trends of the times, like sustainability in recent times.

Selecting colors for your labels might seem like the least important aspect of the design, but in fact, it can be one of the most powerful tools to attracting new business.  The right colors can draw in a consumer and eventually lead to a sale.  Pantone offers thousands and thousands of colors, which can feel overwhelming, but doing some research of your product’s market and the current color palettes can easily narrow down to a few thoughtful choices.


Leave a Reply