What Makes A Label? Four Tips For Aspiring Hobbyists

Many people have enjoyed crafting hobbies for centuries, but it's only in recent years that it's become simple and straightforward to get that hobby to pay for itself--and potentially supplement or even replace your existing income! With the advent of small-scale online marketplaces like Etsy and Folksy, not to mention the recent renewed interest in literal marketplaces and craft fairs, it's easier than ever before for an amateur to get into selling their wares. One of the most important things, however, is to make sure you don't look like an amateur: you need to finish, display and package your products as professionally as possible if you want to make a great impression and hit the ground running with your very own craft venture.

Label design is something people study for years to master, and it can be tricky to work out how to make your labels look 'professional' when you know you'll need to take them down to the print shop in only a few days. Thankfully, with these four simple tips you can make messy unprofessional labels a thing of the past.

  1. Design with your packaging in mind. Don't look at the label as being a little canvas entire in itself--think of it in context. Where on the packaging is it going to go, and what will it look like there? Where will it be curved or flat or need to be peeled back to open something? How does it fit into the packaging's recesses and contours? Let these questions inform your design and the finished product will be that much more slick.

  2. Use a uniform design across all of your labels. Professional setups have a brand identity--and you need to get developing one for yourself if you want your stall or shop's overall look to be one of professionality and competence. Come up with a small number of colours, patterns and design elements, and use them uniformly across all your labels.

  3. Learn a little basic colour theory, and choose your typeface well. Different kinds of type, texture and tone convey different things--and you need to be sure you're sending the right message. Educate yourself about colour theory and perhaps even colour therapy, and learn how to pick an accessible typeface.

  4. Don't forget about the environmental impact you could be having. It's important for all businesses--even hobbyist enterprises--to bear in mind the effect they could be having on the worlds around them. From a business standpoint, homemade goods are often bought by people who care about these principles--meaning that environmental friendliness could even be good for your image! Educate yourself on how to use paper in an eco-friendly way before picking a paper type to use for your labels and packaging.