How A Label Was Designed

How A Label Was Designed

What’s in a label? More than you might think. The packaging shape and materials need to be considered, along with where and how the item to be labeled will be displayed.

Of course, the label should be pretty, or at least interesting to look at. It needs to be eye-catching and informative as well, while clearly portraying the brand associated with the item in question.

And if you’re in Canada, don’t forget the french translation. (The french translation has foiled many an otherwise perfect label design.)

With so many elements to consider, designing a label can be a serious undertaking.

We’ve designed a few labels in our day here at Hot Soup Creative. Most recently, we worked with Calgary-based Tearrific to design a new logo and a set of 23 unique labels for their range of hand-blended teas.

We sat down with Justine, a member of the design team that built out the final concept, to discuss the process that Hot Soup underwent with Tearrific to create the new labels, from the first idea to the final product.

What was the first thing you did, after meeting with Tearrific?

The first thing we did was to create mood boards. We create mood boards to communicate the ideas that are stuck in our head. By collecting different images, text, textures, colours we began to form a theme for the design and were able to explain this theme to the client.

After that, we created 10 examples, so that Tearrific could look through them and choose the one they liked best. Clients can’t always describe exactly what they’re looking for, but they’re usually pretty good at picking out what they like and don’t like.

What was the next step, after choosing a concept?

Once Tearrific chose the concept that spoke to them, we created variations based on that concept, to home in on a final design they really liked.

Once we had that design, we built it out for all the other flavours, making sure that the formatting matched up, despite different numbers of ingredients, and other variations.

tea label mango tango tearrific

How did you move from the final designs to the physical, printed labels?

Once we were happy with the designs, we printed out some examples and laid them out, to see what they would look like in real life. On the screen, things are a lot bigger, so it’s helpful to be able to see the physical labels, in their real-life dimensions.

Then we sent the finished files to Tearrific for their approval, and made some last-minute changes before sending them off to the print company that we work with.

What were some of the challenges that this project presented?

We designed these labels from scratch, so all of the elements were our own original artwork. That meant we were working with massive file sizes, as the art files piled up. The client was also very involved in the process. This is a good thing, but it meant that there was a lot of back and forth, and a lot of changes were made in the process.

What was your favourite aspect of the project?

With all the changes that we made throughout the process, working so closely with Tearrific, it felt really good to come out with a final product that they were happy with.


-Your Creative Team