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Author Topic: The Cheap and Easy Label Thread - Going Pro on a Budget!?  (Read 1374 times)

Offline DeadGuild

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The Cheap and Easy Label Thread - Going Pro on a Budget!?
« on: December 14, 2018, 03:40:03 am »
Hi, I'm Sean, a father and Graphic Designer. Recently I made a beer label for someone in 3 hours using a cellphone and free internet sites. I wanted to share that process with you and maybe give some ideas for your own label.

If there's one thing I've learned about business it's that customers are the key. Treat them right and they come back again and again. When you get something you wanted, that feeling of happiness transfers to everything about the experience, and for that reason your brand should reflect who you are to those customers, so when they see your label they know what they'll be getting.

Best way to do that is to pick a theme, a symbol, an idea, and build a brand around it. Beer brewers understand this concept better than most! Squid ink, anchors and ropes! A slobbering dog chewing a bone! Five barrels stacked in hay! Whatever your symbol is, be sure to use it effectively.

My friend had a symbol for his brew, a hand with four knuckles with warts. It wasn't drawn very well so I drew it again:

As you can't see, it's much better now, trust me :)

With this version in hand I went to a free online font website to find fonts that were sufficiently warty looking. I found a few and copied the shapes down and arranged them and took a picture with the cellphone. If you have to put paper on the computer screen to trace letters go ahead and do that, just be sure to use glass or a soft pencil so you don't scratch your LED screen.

With this picture I can do a lot! I put it into a raster to vector conversion website to turn it into editable pieces. My first try did NOT go so well, as you can see:

To fix all that, I had to put tracing paper over the image and draw it all again with a black marker. The second photo had much better contrast so I was able to make some vector shapes with it using free vector editing software found on any search engine. When I had the image looking OK in black and white I scaled it to fit a bottle and printed it out, then wrapped it around the bottle and cut it to make the label. I drew on the bottle while it was still wrapped in paper to make sure I could align the seam of the label in a hidden place and have the art where I wanted it for the final.

Thanks to raster to vector editing software you can make nearly anything you like if you have the patience and a pair of scissors and tracing paper. Due to the rules of this board I can't recommend any specific one, but again any search engine should be able to help you find these free resources easily enough.

And of course, the actual beer is amazing, as if I had to say it.

If nothing else, going through this process may help you better understand what you need or help you show someone what you need to get your graphic design needs met. A good beer needs a good label, and it takes time and effort to make either!

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your brands, brewers!

Offline DeadGuild

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Re: The Cheap and Easy Label Thread - Going Pro on a Budget!?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 05:27:59 pm »
The client did let me redraw the label again using quick professional tools, but in total I spent less than 3 hours on this image by redrawing it and re-vectorizing it using the steps listed above and only about 6 drunkenly editing it the two following weekends during football games (go niners!). In beer, as in art, you get what you pay for. Your time is the most valuable thing you have, so maybe you can use your time and modern tools to work on your brand, too!

« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 05:31:05 pm by DeadGuild »