Concepting, creating, and printing food product labels and packaging can be cumbersome. But never fear! We created these food packaging design tips and handy-dandy checklist to make it simpler and less stressful.

Every Food Label Must Include…

  • how to create food product labelsStatement of identity (name of food)
  • Net quantity of contents
  • Ingredients (listed in order)
  • Signature line (name and address of manufacturer, distributor, or packer)
  • Nutritional information (facts panel)
  • Allergen declarations
  • Safe handling instructions (refrigerated, expiration date, etc.)

Items Needed Before Design Stage

In addition to the items above, it’s important to know the following information and have all necessary files ready before you begin the design process. By being prepared, you ensure accuracy in your packaging and keep design costs down.

  • Barcode
  • Food product photo (so your graphic designer and copywriter know what they are working with)
  • EPS logo file
  • A printing company you trust
  • Product copy (e.g., serving suggestions, sales-y language, etc.)
  • Any images you want on the label including certification icons
  • A brand style guide so you have a consistent set of fonts and colors for all of your marketing

Your Goals

Tell your branding and graphic design experts all they need to know about your brand and product, so they create packaging that properly meets your needs.

1. What is your retail price range?

2. Who is your target market?

3. Where do you hope to sell your food product in the next 2-3 years?

4. Do you have plans to expand your line of offerings? Do you want the packaging to be easily replicated for future products?

Packaging Needs

You may need to meet with your printer before knowing the answer to some of these questions.

5. Will your packaging be (select those that apply):

  • Clear packaging with opaque label
  • Clear packaging with clear label
  • Opaque packaging with opaque label
  • Printed cardboard sleeve
  • Printed film
  • Hang from a hook
  • Sit in a box
  • Standalone
  • Recyclable

6. How much of the actual product do you want to see through the packaging?

7. If you’ve chosen a label, what type of paper would you like? Glossy? Watercolor?

8. What should the exact dimensions of the final packaging be?

9. Any specific design requests or examples of other design to use as inspiration?

10. Does the final product need to be reviewed by an attorney or compliance specialist?

11. Are you looking for premium packaging, standard packaging, or basic packaging?

12. Is the sophistication of the design more important than price?

13. How much do you want to spend per package? This will ultimately direct the design process.

Get Ready to Sign Off!

You will review proofs of your food packaging design several times before it goes to print. Most graphic designers/marketing agencies require you “sign off” on a job before files go to the printer. This final approval ensures you study the pieces very carefully before spending the money on printing. Ultimately, it prevents errors.

Thank you to our friend Amy Goldsmith of AEG Design Co. for assisting with this blog post and sharing her food packaging design tips. We forever bow down to her branding and design talents!

Sara Lancaster

About Sara Lancaster

Sara is The Condiment Marketing Co.’s founder and creative director. She oversees client relationships, strategic marketing plans, as well as a bit of copywriting and social media management.