How To Give Your Product Labels A Natural And Rustic Look
Natural, rustic brands are trending these days. Consumers and businesses alike are prioritizing green, eco-friendly causes, and want products that match their values. That’s why we’re covering just how to achieve a natural look for your products using labels.
Read on to learn how to choose design elements, label materials, and packaging for a natural, rustic brand look.
If you already have an established brand, you might skip steps 1 and 2. But if your brand design is up in the air or you’re considering a re-brand, it can help to go back to the basics.
Think Through Your Brand Values And Personality
Your overall brand identity should be consistent, from your product labels to your online designs. If you don’t have a naturalistic, rustic brand design already, thinking through your brand values and personality is your first step.
Your goal is to get crystal clear on what your brand stands for, so that you can create a visual identity to match.
This doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It’s as easy as "Who, What, and Why".
Brainstorm the following questions and write down your answers:
- Who: Who are your dream customers? How do you serve them? What’s important to them? What do they value? How would you want them to describe your brand?
- What: What is your business’s purpose? What’s the meaning behind your business’ name? What are your core values? What adjectives, moods, and colors best describe your brand?
- Why: Why did you start your business? Why do you do the work you do? Why do you stay motivated?
You’ll probably find that themes start to emerge as you answer these questions. Note down keywords that pop out at you. "Natural" and "rustic" may be on your list, but you may also have other keywords more unique to you, like "sustainable", "organic", "clean", "playful", "quirky", "delicate" and more. We’ll use these keywords in the next step.
Decide On Your Brand’s Design Elements
After step 1 you should have a list of keywords that summarize your brand. Now we’re going to use these keywords to pick out your brand design elements, namely your fonts, colors, and graphics.
First, collect some visual inspiration. Use your list of keywords to find fonts, colors, and graphics that appeal to you.
For example, say one of your keywords is "artistic." You’ll type " artistic fonts" into a search engine, save what you like, and then move onto " artistic colors" and " artistic graphics." Repeat this process for each of your keywords. Pinterest is an especially good tool to search and save images for inspiration.
Once you’ve got a feel for what sorts of looks you like, it’s time to pick your brand elements.
Here are some tips to pick natural fonts, colors, and graphics that match your brand:
- Fonts: Almost any font can be paired with a natural look, as long as it matches the rest of your brand personality. At minimum choose a heading and paragraph font. You can also choose to add a subheading and accent font for additional flair. Check out our article on choosing the perfect font for your label design here.
Colors: For a more natural look, you’ll want to gravitate towards colors commonly found in nature, like whites, greens, and blues. For a more rustic look, lean towards warm, wooden colors, like shades of brown, green, beige and milky white. Learn more about how to create a palette using color psychology here.
However, don’t think that means you can’t use any color! Pops of bolder colors can compliment your natural palette and create a unique look that stands out. See how Online Labels customer Wicked Velvet adds a pop of red to an otherwise rustic color palette.
- Graphics: Photography, illustrated graphics, and/or patterns can add style to your brand. Look for natural elements that relate to your product, like plants or ingredients included in your product. For example, see how Online Labels customer Lilac & Clover uses a leaf and flower pattern on their soap packaging.
Combine Your Brand Designs With Natural Packaging Materials
Now that you’ve clearly identified what your brand stands for and decided on your designs, you’re ready to create your labels and packaging!
You can create a label from scratch using your brand design elements, or customize a label template by substituting your own fonts, colors, and graphics. Choose from one of our free label templates or design your own using one of these 7 design sites you might not know about.
Here are our top 6 tips to give your product labels and packaging a natural, rustic feel:
- Choose an eco-friendly label material. Our Brown Kraft labels give a natural look that complements the organic, homemade, or eco-friendly properties of any product or brand. Our Recycled White labels are 100% recycled which can empower you and your customers to stay committed to your eco-friendly values.
- Label products as organic or natural. If either of these terms apply to your product, make sure to advertise it on the label! There are strict standards for a product to qualify as organic, but the term "natural" can be more flexible. Make sure to check your product against the USDA labeling requirements to see what you’re permitted to advertise.
- Use wood where you can. Wooden bottle caps, wooden jar lids, and wooden containers can all add an organic feel to your product. You can even print designs straight on wood, though this can be a more expensive option. Many wooden boxes also come in crate packaging with lids that slide open which can create a wonderfully rustic unboxing experience.
- Package products in cardboard or brown paper. Again, sticking to brown organic materials signals that you’re eco-friendly. Add your logo and labeling by imprinting directly on the material or sticking your label on top.
- Add a natural touch. Adding real pieces of nature can definitely add to your natural look! Consider adding a branch, pinecone, pressed flower, or other small natural decoration on top of your packaging for a unique surprise.
- Give origami styles a try. While they can look complex, origami-inspired box packaging designs are based on thoughtfully laid-out templates, making them an accessible option. Origami boxes can be a truly impressive work of art, making your customers feel more connected to the handmade elements of your brand.
Creating a natural, rustic vibe for your labels and packaging can attract customers who value green, eco-friendly, or handcrafted products. We hope these tips help you achieve a unique, natural look of your own! Remember to start with what your brand stands for and build your design from there.
Ready to find the perfect label for your next project? Visit our selection of Brown Kraft or Recycled White labels for natural labels you can be proud of! Or, if you already have labels you’re proud of, submit your creation to our Customer Ideas page and have a chance to be featured in a future article!