Labeling serves multiple functions that are critical to the eventual success or failure of any commodity. For starters, we all know the primary objective of a label is to communicate relevant information about the product and the company. This is, in part, dictated by the governmental regulations imposed on manufacturers, and partly because it’s crucial for the usability of the product. Secondly, labeling is one of the few opportunities for a company (or a brand) to communicate a thing or two about themselves and what makes their product special. This is done directly through the addition of words or phrases, or, this is done indirectly through subtle visuals and design sensibilities. But, just like a good label can benefit your interests, a poor label is damaging to your interests. We know that no brand would want to print a poor label; it’s just that a poor label is (quite often) a result of simple, avoidable mistakes. Let us explore these common labeling blunders.
We’re sure most are not surprised that legibility is a must for even an average label, let alone a great one. The fact is that legibility is an essential criterion for just about any text. This illegibility can be a result of a poor print quality, incorrect choice in label stock, or simply an inexperienced designer. As far as labeling blunders go, illegibility will always top the list.
Make sure you do the following to avoid illegibility:
- Hire a professional printer instead of doing print-at-home labeling. A professional quality printing press will print with significantly improved detail. Any professional also uses high quality inks which are less likely to run or bleed.
- Use the right label stock and coatings. For example, using an uncoated paper stock isn’t ideal for a product that can be exposed to moist or wet environments in transit. This can wreck the label and ruin legibility.
- Hire a good designer for the job. What does a “good designer” mean? Usually, someone with a little experience, enough to create an appealing portfolio, and with some background in designing printed documents will do. Most print companies, like Jet Label, either employ full-time graphic designers or can give you some local design agency names for a start.
Unavailability of Relevant Data
Nothing is more important than the coverage of all relevant data when you’re labeling a product. Most consumers are conscious of the constituents or ingredients that are present in the products they purchase, more so in the case of food products. If your product lacks relevant data pertaining to your product, it can lead to the consumer deeming your product unreliable.
Here are some tips to make sure you’ve got all the relevant data on your labels:
- Check the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) regulations to find recommendations for nutrition and ingredient data.
- Don’t forget to mention on your label if your product can claim one of the following: organic, natural, peanut-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, trans fat free, vegan, kosher, source of fibre, source of iron, source of calcium — and so on.
- Make sure your label says what’s in the package, front-and-centre! Don’t make consumers guess. This is especially true for opaque packaging.
Issues with Listed Facts
Adding relevant details pertaining to the makeup of the product is one thing, and being accurate and factually correct with this information is another. The facts that your custom label carries must stand the test of verification. Any publicity your brand attracts regarding the inaccuracy of the information your label carries can severely dent the image of your brand. For the bigger players out there, such a label printing blunder can potentially lead to a loss of millions of dollars.
A few ideas to help get you started with checking your label’s accuracy:
- Check with CFIA to make sure your facility and product can accurately and responsibly use the claims you make on your label.
- Keep your label up-to-date to reflect any changes to your product’s formula or ingredients.
Not Meeting Legal Requirements
If your product is mass-produced and meant for mass-consumption, you must adhere to governmental regulations that are applicable to your commodity. Before you start with the label printing process, you need to account for the applicable details you’re legally required to provide. This can include net contents, name, and place of your entity, list of applicable allergens, etc. Your label designer must be equipped to place these details properly while retaining the aesthetics of the label. Check the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s web site for more information.
Labeling certain commodities can be more complicated than others. For instance, Canada’s newly legalized recreational marijuana must be labeled with all the relevant legally-required information and must follow the government’s aesthetic regulations as well. And, that’s precisely why you need the services of an expert label company such as Jet Label. To learn more about our services, contact us.