sheri nutter illustration + design

which way for whimsy?
sun burn butter

Product Labels

January 24, 2013 by Sheri Nutter

Got a cool product, but no capital for expensive labeling systems? We have a solution!

Everyone knows professionally design product labels can set your cottage industry products apart. Most small business owners do not have the capital to invest in large batches of commercially produced labels, but here at sheri nutter illustration + design, we can get your labels designed, and the artwork in to your hands for less than you might think. You can then print small batches of labels as you need them.

Does your product really need a professionally designed label?

The answer is: uh, yeah. You can make the best bees-wax lip balm in the universe, but if your label looks like you designed it yourself in MS Paint, your customers will not be enticed to try it. Hey, you wouldn’t want lip balm made by a graphic designer would you? Trust me, you wouldn’t. So why would you trust yourself (the lip balm expert) to make a super looking product label? Investing in your products’ physical appearance is just another way to show your customers that you care about what you do. My job is to get them to want to buy the product (based on how totally awesome it looks), and your job is to bring them back with a killer product!

So what DOES a “totally awesome” look like?

sun burn butter

The label is only good however, if it “fits” your product, appeals to your target audience, and truly reflects who you are. If the designer you are working with doesn’t factor in your personality, the product itself, the products demographics, then run screaming to Google and keep looking!

Okay, you’ve convinced me, so how do I proceed?

You have a great idea for a product, or a talent for making amazing hand crafted soap, or a fine tasting brew. You chose a really great name.  Don’t stop there! Protect your investment by giving a chance to compete against all the other products out there. Start by finding a designer (even if it isn’t me) who is willing to take the time to listen to you about the vision you have for your product. Check out the some work the designer has previously done, to see if their style suits you.

I like your work, how much?

Well every client’s needs are different, but my custom illustrations start at $100 and go up from there. But not up too much, really. I charge $30 for an honest hour. I can get a lot done in an hour. : )

Here is an example of a logo that would cost about $100. Small graphic, name and tagline. This was a for a client who sells a cool gadget that allows you to grow lettuce in your kitchen year ’round. He wanted to project a professional image, yet didn’t want it to feel slick and corporate. His target audience was “green” restaurants – and eco-minded people with gourmet kitchens.  

kitchen crop

A mid-range project would be slightly more graphically in-depth, costing between $150 and $200. This client has a small bakery/sandwich shop in a trendy little community, with a large focus on green and organic. They wanted to stand out from the fast food places all around them. Note how how the design looks great as a stamp? They had a stamp made they were able to use on all their to-go bags ( cost: about $40. How cool is that? You can get a lot of mileage from a stamp!)

curst n greens

The micro-brewery label is an example of a more expensive label, many colors, lots of fading. A label like this would cost about $300. Actually, this label is for sale is the logo store.

blue tick

It helps to have an idea of what you would like see – the more details you can provide the designer, the better the launching pad. But if you are drawing a blank, a good designer can ask a few well targeted questions (like: who is your audience? how is YOUR product unique? are you green? do you envision a mascot? do you like clean design? are you whimsical? you know, just good stuff like that) Be prepared to answer those questions as best you can. As a designer I know I love clients who give me long answers (as opposed to ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘go fly a kite’) –   It really helps to figure out how best to represent you and your product visually!

So what are you waiting for, it doesn’t cost anything to talk to me. : ) 

Gourmet soup company: An example of a “package” deal…. main logo, sticker, and tags. About $245

ni mi


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