Custom labels on beer sitting on a ledge

The Ultimate Guide to Designing and Printing Your Own Custom Label Products

Brian Kroeker

December 19, 2022

Summary:

  • Custom labels can add branding and display important info for practically any product. They’re particularly useful for businesses that make food and beverage items, personal care products, candles, and e-commerce products.
  • Little Rock Printing™ makes printing custom labels easy by offering turnaround times of as little as 1 day, plus free proofs and the ability to save money by bundling multiple runs into the same order for bulk pricing.
  • Printing options for custom labels include paper-based and poly-based materials, with laminated and non-laminated versions available. Use our free Canva templates to create ideal labels for any of these options.
  • Examples of businesses that can benefit from custom labels include breweries, artisan shops, Etsy businesses and other independent sellers, restaurants and food delivery businesses, farmers market sellers, and apothecaries selling candles or personal care products.

Custom labels make your products pop—but to get truly unique ones, you’ll need to put some thought into designing and printing them. Little Rock Printing™ can help!

Read more:

We offer high-quality custom printing for a wide variety of products, and we’re happy to share our best design tips to help you get results you and your customers will love. Read on to learn the ins and outs of making custom labels for practically any purpose.

See Also:

Smiling woman holding product with custom label printed by Little Rock

Why Print Custom Labels with Little Rock Printing™?

Little Rock Printing™ takes a personalized approach to printing your design. Here’s how we go above and beyond to create labels you can’t find anywhere else:

Fast Turnaround Times

Little Rock Printing™ can print your custom label order in as quickly as 1 business day, since we print everything by hand in our own Calgary workshop! Working this way also helps us ensure quality control on every order before it goes out, so you can look forward to getting the right products at the right time.

Combine Orders to Save Money

No minimum order sizes for us, not even on custom label orders! And you can keep your orders cost-effective by bundling numerous designs into the same order—for example, order 10 designs with 100 copies each and pay the same price as a single run of 1,000!

Free Test Prints

We offer true samples, produced with the same process as our larger orders. Simply order a single copy of your design and enter the code “FREEPROOF” at checkout—we’ll send you a single copy of your order so you can see what it looks and feels like before purchasing the rest.

Four Steps to Designing Ideal Custom Labels

Step 1: Choose Your Materials.

It’s best to plan out the materials you’ll print your labels on before you start designing. Here’s how our two main options compare:

Paper-based labels on lip gloss products

Paper-Based Labels

Our paper-based white label stock is:

  • Thick and durable
  • Printed with strong adhesive to bond to different products
  • Ideal for products that need labels to last

Product Examples: multi-use items and food products that need freezer storage.

Poly-based labels on short-term food item packaging

Poly-Based Labels

Our poly-propylene (BOPP) labels are:

  • Cost-effective
  • Moisture and scratch-resistant
  • Ideal for short-term use

Example Products: Meal kits, makeup, or skincare products.

Step 2: Create Your Design in Canva

Little Rock Printing™ offers free Canva templates for custom labels that make designing them easy and fun! Choose from one of the following options to get started:

  • Circle Stickers: Perfect for round items like candles and makeup tins, or an excellent contrast for bottles and other types of packaging.
  • Rectangle Labels: Ideal for wrapping around bottles and cans, or for use on oblong product boxes.
  • Square Labels: Great for coasters and small boxes.
Creating a custom label using Little Rock's free Canva templates

Once you choose your template, you’ll be able to remove the stock elements from the design in Canva and add your own. To do this:

  • Click and delete any element you want to get rid of.
  • Use the Elements tab on the left of the screen to add visuals from Canva’s vast online library, or click Upload to add your own custom images.
  • Use the Text tab to select fonts for your design and replace the text in the template.
  • Customize any part of your design by clicking on it and choosing options from the toolbar at the top of the screen (color, transparency, border, etc.).
Adjusting the color profile on a custom label using Little Rock's free Canva templates

Step 3: Download Your Design

Once you’re happy with the way your label design looks in Canva, use these steps to download a print-ready version:

  • Go to “Share” in the upper right corner.
  • Select “Download” from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose “PDF Print” under “File Type.”
  • Include “Crop marks and bleeds.”
  • Choose “Flatten PDF”.
  • Opt for “CMYK” under “Colour Profile.”
  • Click the “Download” button.

Once you’ve chosen your printing options in the step below, you’ll be able to submit this design to us before finalizing your order.

Step 4: Choose Your Print Options & Submit Your Design

Before submitting your design, make sure that you’ve selected the right material type (see Step 1) and finish for your labels. Laminated labels cost slightly more, but offer an extra layer of protection for your design and help prevent moisture damage or fading. Gloss laminate gives your labels a sleek and smooth look, while matte laminate provides a more textured appearance.

After you’ve made your selections on our product page, you’ll be able to upload your design and complete your order. As soon as we receive it, we’ll get to work.

Awesome Custom Labels by Little Rock Printing™ Customers

Different brands and product types require different stylistic choices. Below are some examples of excellent custom labels from a variety of businesses to help inspire your design:

Custom labels on ginger beer cocktails by Skunkworks Distillery

Breweries

These labels that Skunkworks Distillery created for their Moonshine Mule Ginger Beer Cocktails are great because they make excellent use of white (blank) space to emphasize key information and limit the number of fonts and colours for a minimalist, easy-to-read look.

Custom labels on candles by Ellie Mae Studios

Artisan Shops

Independent retailer Ellie Mae Studios created attractive labels for a run of blueberry vanilla soy wax candles. The soft colours evoke the spirit of their product and use a matte laminate finish for a rustic, handmade feel.

Custom label on candle by Camp Four Company

Etsy & Independent Sellers

Our friends at the Camp Four Company used these bold labels to give their products a boost and make them stand out on their e-commerce site. These use a high-contrast design that attracts the eye while still being easy to read.

Custom label on charcuterie box by La Belle Graze

Food & Restaurant Packaging

From meal kits and take-out containers to pre-packaged deli items and more, custom labels help people remember whose food they’re eating and make sure essential information like ingredients or preparation instructions are clearly displayed for your customers. Look at this tasteful example from La Belle Graze, who offer custom charcuterie boards and boxes in Calgary!

Salted caramel sauce with custom label by Crème Cream Puffs

Farmer’s Market Products

Preserves look great in glass jars, and the right labels can take them one step further to create lasting impressions on people who walk by your booth! Keep your fonts clean and large to make them easy to read at a glance, and use colours that complement the natural look of your products, like this blue and white design for salted caramel sauce by Crème Cream Puffs.

Custom label for beard pomade by The Wild Stuff & Co.

Apothecary & Self-Care Products

From beard balm to bar soap, makeup, candles, and more, custom labels are essential for showing off your establishment’s unique wares. Let your customers know the key benefits of each item you sell while setting the tone for their experience—just like The Wild Stuff & Co has done with this rugged label for beard pomade.

Printing Labels that Do Justice to Your Brand

Great products deserve great labels—and with our assistance, getting them is easy! Just choose materials and print options that fit your products, create your design in Canva, and send it to Little Rock Printing™ so that we can handle the rest.

To keep learning, browse our FAQ below—and for specific questions about ordering from Little Rock Printing™, contact us and speak to a team member who will be happy to explain any part of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Custom Labels

What information should be on a custom label?

Here’s a list of information you might need to put on your label, depending on what it’s for:

  • The product title
  • The name of your brand
  • Your brand logo or an image representing the product
  • A brief description of the product or item
  • If the label is for a product, list the ingredients or components
  • Instructions on how to use, assemble, store, or care for the item
  • The manufacture, expiration, or best-before date, if applicable
  • For products, a barcode or QR code for scanning
  • The price of the item (if it’s for retail)
  • Your contact information (address, phone number, website)
  • The product or item’s country of origin
  • The batch or serial number for tracking and quality control
  • Any applicable warnings, allergens, or safety instructions
  • Any necessary regulatory information or certifications
  • Recycling instructions or environmental impact information
  • The quantity or size of the product

Can Little Rock Printing™ design my custom labels for me?

As a print shop, we don’t offer in-house design services at this time. But creating your own labels is easy in Canva, and following the steps in this guide will allow you to easily create professional-looking labels for your brand.

Where can I find custom label design templates?

Little Rock Printing™ provides free Canva templates for custom labels and stickers. Choose circle stickers, rectangle labels, or square labels to get a canvas that matches the type of product you need to print labels for, then add your own custom elements.

Can I add my own fonts and graphics to Canva?

All Canva accounts let you upload custom images for use in your design and provide a library of available fonts. If you want to upload a custom font package, you’ll need a Canva Pro account.

When will my custom labels be ready?

When you place your order with Little Rock Printing™, you’ll be asked to choose a delivery timeline of 1-5 business days. We guarantee your order will be ready by then!

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