Special Label Shapes
by lauren | Aug 20th, 2010 | Leave a comment

Well, its Friday, so that means we take some time out to hear from our graphic design team.  One topic that has been coming up a lot lately are special or custom label shapes.  Many products are using special shaped labels to deferentiate their product in the marketplace.  In some cases, a custom shape is required for a specific application, but in most cases, they just look cool from a design standpoint.

One complex die we recently worked on was for a beachwear company where the label looked as if a shark had taken a bite out of the side.  Another was a more simple logo cut-out used to seal a product.  Other custom dies have been created for rounded containers, where a straight label wouldn’t curve around the product.  The example above is a customized shape of a flower, which certainly stands out.  The wine didn’t end there, they also made a custom shape for their barcode label – very cool.

Regardless of why you want a custom shape, there are a few things to consider:

  • Most custom shapes will require a new die and there is usually a one-time die charge
  • Initial production time will be longer because a new die has to be made
  • Ask your printer if they have an existing die that is close to what you want – this may not work if it is a truly unique shape, but many printers have a large library of shapes and sizes and might something that will work for you
  • Check your size – and check again…Once a die is made, it is yours, so be sure to get a proof and check it against your product or packaging

Die charges can range anywhere from $150 to thousands of dollars depending on the complexity of the shape or how many cut-outs are needed.  From a design perspective, using a customized die is certainly a great way to draw someone’s attention in a unique way.  Many consumers are immune to popular design tactics, but using a special shape is a fairly unusual style choice that just might be the trick to bring in new business.  Ideally, a special label shape should be incorporated into the overall package design so it enhances the product.

If you think a custom die shape will help your label design, draw out some ideas and consult with a printing expert who can help “shape” your idea into a customized label that will suit your needs.

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