First impressions matter. If you’ve ever held a new Apple product or watched an unboxing video on YouTube, you’ll know that first impressions really matter for packaging design.
In a 2018 study by the Paper and Packaging Board, a whopping 72% of consumers agreed that packaging design influenced their purchase decisions.
Everything from the packaging material to the quality of label printing can make or break a customer’s perception of the product.
The psychology of first impressions
Although first impressions form quickly, there’s a lot to consider when designing a great label:
- Colour: Vibrant colours create excitement, while cooler tones convey calmness.
- Design complexity: Elegantly simple designs tend to convey luxury, while busy and bright labels create a perception of fun and frivolity.
- Font and text: A playful font might appeal to a younger audience, while a sophisticated serif font may resonate better with a more mature demographic.
- Language: Clear, concise, and informative text helps consumers understand the product’s purpose, use, and benefits.
However, there are no universal rules in design.
While red is an exciting colour on Coca-Cola’s iconic label, it can also alert consumers to dangerous chemicals in cleaning products. Similarly, minimal label designs make Black & Gold products appear affordable, while Tiffany & Co. uses simplicity to convey sophistication.
The best packaging and label design maximises the impact of the individual puzzle pieces and the interplay between them to evoke everything that makes the brand unique.
Packaging materials play into brand perception
Although we’re focusing on the role of label design, it’s a good idea to zoom out and consider how the thing labels are applied to – the packaging – contributes to the consumer experience.
In that 2018 study from earlier, consumers said they were far more likely to buy products in recyclable packaging.
- 68% were most likely to choose paper or cardboard packaging if given the choice.
- 71% were more likely to buy brands that package products in paper or cardboard.
- 63% said that paper and cardboard packaging makes a product seem premium.
Interestingly, most people were already aware of the benefits of paper and cardboard. Three in four (75%) agree it allows for more creative packaging designs than other materials.
In the context of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets, which Colemans are committed to, this mindset shift towards a preference for paper is great news.
If we can improve brand perception and get more creative with packaging design using sustainable materials, we think it’s a win-win.
This goes for label printing and packaging design. We can’t afford to negate the positive impact of recyclable materials with cheap plastic labels. That’s why Colemans Labels is constantly exploring new possibilities and technologies that push the boundaries of what labelling and packaging can achieve.
Colemans brings technological advancements in label printing to Darwin
As new technologies enter consumer markets and businesses seek better options to stand out, label printing is advancing at warp speed.
- High-resolution digital printing enables colour matching and printing precision, enabling businesses to showcase their brand with unparalleled clarity.
- Smart labels enable traceability and efficiency, safeguarding supply chains and keeping customers informed about their choices.
- Variable data printing means businesses can customise each label with unique information like QR codes, promotional messages, or special edition packaging.
- Cutting-edge materials allow for greater creativity in label printing, such as transparent windows to showcase the product, temperature-reactive labels, tactile elements and a wider range of spot treatments.
- Augmented reality (AR) features incorporated into packaging design create an immersive experience for consumers, bringing the brand to life in new and exciting ways.
Even standard, no-nonsense label printing has improved by leaps and bounds thanks to better technology and design.
Label printing quality and brand perception
Like the design elements above, label printing choices have a subconscious but significant effect on consumers’ decisions.
Thanks to Colemans Labels bringing innovations in label printing to Darwin, Top End businesses now have many more options to create unique packaging.
Quality is key
A well-crafted label is a tangible manifestation of a brand’s commitment to quality. That doesn’t necessarily mean your label needs gold leaf or holographic type. Instead, it means choosing materials that reflect your desired market positioning and value perception.
This technique involves pressing a desired design into the label’s surface, creating a raised, three-dimensional effect that elevates labels beyond the ordinary. Embossed labels enhance a product’s perceived quality. They’re often used for premium products like cosmetics, event invitations, craft food and drinks, personalised gifts and luxury goods.
Selectively applying special effects like metallic inks, spot foils, varnishes or holographic elements can highlight key information like product names or create an accent that draws attention. Spot treatments can also add a touch of luxury or exclusivity to labels, making them stand out from the competition.
Combining (for example) glossy and matte finishes, transparent and opaque layers, or even mixing spot treatments can add depth and dimension to labels. Mixed materials can also convey a sense of sophistication, making products appear more premium.
Fade-resistant UV coating acts like sunscreen on skin, protecting the label from fading and wear. As an added benefit, UV coating provides a luxurious finish. It’s often used on premium goods, food products, and pharmaceuticals where the label needs to withstand frequent handling or exposure to harsh environments.
Practical tips for attention-grabbing label design
There’s a lot to unpack in label design, from the psychology of font choices to possibilities in spot treatments.
While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details, the customer experience will always be the most important consideration for label printing and packaging design. At every step, consider how your choices improve the time someone spends looking at, handling, unpacking and showing off your product.
Understand your audience
Tailor label designs, label printing techniques and messaging to resonate with your target market.
Invest in quality materials
Durable, high-quality label printing reflects your brand’s commitment to quality and complements sustainable packaging.
Embrace professional design
Colemans’ experienced label designers have the skills, experience and tools to create visually appealing packaging that effectively communicates your brand.
Move with technology
Advancements in label printing technology can help you achieve a level of quality, detail and interactivity that aligns with your brand aspirations.
Choose Colemans Labels
We’re revolutionising packaging and labelling in Darwin, delivering better products and more sustainable solutions for our clients.
Contact your Colemans account manager or visit our Labels page to learn more about Colemans Labels.