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What Size and Shape Should My Product Labels Be?

It’s a common question without a simple answer.

Standard Product Label Size -- Only In A Perfect World

Sadly, there is no such thing as a “standard size” label for any product. It is driven by a variety of factors that only you have the required knowledge of.

For example, depending on what your product is, there may (or may not) be various regulatory needs – which normally don’t dictate the label size itself, but they can define various “content” that needs to be included in the product label design. At Wizard Labels, we are label printing specialists – not product consultants – and therefore we can’t tell you what needs to be included in your label design. There is an entire industry of people who specialize in packaging regulations. We just focus on printing the custom labels once you’ve arrived at the required results.

Product Label Design Tips

Similarly, what (if any) images do you want to use in your custom label design? This can affect how much space you need on the label, and there are also multiple approaches to the layout itself. Some folks like a front label with lots of lovely “buy me” images and a back label with all the boring explanatory text – whereas some other customers prefer a single larger label designed to wrap around the product. These are decisions that we can’t make for you – other than to show you how each approach can affect the cost of your product labels (which we’re always happy to do).

Once again, a little preparatory experimentation is always worthwhile. Make sure you have the product container in hand, and then take a blank sheet of paper and a pair of scissors. Cut out and try various sizes until you arrive at one you think will work for your product. Now you’re in a position to tell your designer what size they need to work with (which is the first question they’ll need answered before beginning any label design).  Also be very careful to stay well within the "flat" areas of the container, as demonstrated here:

Custom Label Size Tips

Never guess at the size or shape because label printing without proper testing can be an expensive mistake. Similarly, never buy containers without seeing a physical sample first. Some customers have learned the hard way that what they saw in a photo online was no replacement for holding one and making sure it worked the way they expected. Yes, it can take time – but rushing any project this important is a recipe for disaster.

One other tip – wherever possible try to find a size that we already have in the drop-down list on the Instant Online Quoter. It’s always cheaper to use an existing product label size – even if it means adjusting your requirements slightly. If that’s not possible, contact us and we can investigate having a custom size added to the list.

Keep this in mind when consulting the drop-down size list on the website. It’s critical to understand that a 2” x 3” label is not necessarily the same as a 3” x 2” label, and may not work on your product (for very complicated and technical reasons that we'll explore later in a post about Unwind Directions). As a broad rule-of-thumb, for most product label designs you should assume that the dimensions are "height x width" (i.e. 3" x 2" represents a product label 3" high and 2" wide).

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