On this page, you'll find all of our label design resources, tailored to help both beginners and experts alike create successful label designs. You can jump to a specific section below, or just scroll through the whole thing.
→ Introduction to Making Complex Designs
Learn why BottleMark recommends using offline programs to create labels.
→ Design Tips
Learn the do's and don'ts of label design.
→ Inkscape Design Screencasts
In this series of videos, we show you the most important Inkscape tricks for bottle cap design, from cropping photos to creating circular text. The tools are helpful for label design, too!
For design help, requests, or inquiries, contact Haley E. R. Cooper. And you can always ask us to design something for you.
Our online design tool allows you to upload an image, resize it, and reposition it, but if you want to add text or multiple images to your label—and you probably do!—you'll need to use an offline design program and export the final design as a single image. You can use any drawing program that outputs in PNG, JPG, or GIF to create designs for BottleMark custom labels. And pretty much every drawing program will! You may already have Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or Illustrator—even Powerpoint can work.
Our favorite? Inkscape. It's a free and powerful vector drawing program that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. While Inkscape offers many sophisticated features, it won't take you long to master the tricks you need to create a great label. We've got screencasts below to help you, as well as Inkscape SVG templates. So give it a go!
We can print anything you want on a label, but some designs look better than others. Here are a few pointers on successful label design:
What the printing is like: Our labels start off white and come out of the printer with a vibrant matte finish. Take advantage of our awesome inks by using rich colors and photographic details in your labels.
Extend to the "bleed line". To ensure that no unwanted white appears on your label, we recommend extending your background colors beyond the label size to the bleed size: 4.25"x3.5". But don't put any important images or text in the bleed zone--the bleed zone will be left behind on the sheet when you peel off your label!
Design inside the "safe zone." Anything inside the safe zone we guarantee will print on your label. Any text or graphics positioned outside the "safe zone" has a small chance of getting left behind on the sheet. So don't risk it!
A label isn't huge. You can get a lot of detail and information on a label, but don't overwhelm it. Study the pros: the simpler, the better! Go font crazy on the big text, but keep small text in a simple font with high color contrast. We don't recommend going under 8-pt. text. You don't want your friends to break out their magnifying glasses, now do you?
Get the right resolution! Since bottle caps are so small, it's hard to upload a file that has a blurry result, but a blurry label is easy to make! Use high-quality graphics and files only. When designing, export your file at least at 300dpi or at a minimum size of 1275x1050 (bleed included).
High-contrast colors. Be bold with your colors. If you have many layers to your design, make sure that the background and the foreground graphics have a strong dark-to-light color contrast. Watch out especially for royal blue-on-black; both of those are dark colors! You definitely want lots of color contrast on small elements.
Bold text. When it comes to text, the bolder the font, the bigger the size, the better. You don't want your text to end up illegible! Make sure text contrasts with the background: dark colors against light colors. Pay special attention to contrast if you're working with text on a photo background. If text is the most important part of your label, use solid backgrounds to make your text "pop." All varieties of fonts can work, but avoid thin and super-frilly fonts at small sizes. Don't go under 8-point font. That's not nice.
Transparent elements: Unlike with our bottle caps, we print our labels without any white ink. All labels start white, so anything that is white or "transparent" in your design will use the original white color of the label paper.