The Art of Craft Beer Label Design: A Nifty Guide (Infographic)

April 29, 2016 • By

 If you’re considering getting into the highly lucrative (and it certainly is highly lucrative) craft beer market, you are going to be in for a long, difficult ride. More than 22 million barrels are being produced each year in the America alone, and a whopping 19% of sales in the entire beer market come from craft beer.

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise: the craft beer market is insanely competitive.

It pays to keep this in mind, because if your hopes and dreams are to get the perfect craft beer from your tiny makeshift backyard brewery onto the supermarket shelves – sharing real estate with the best premium beers on the market – you’re in for a lot of meticulous planning and careful considerations. 

When creating and selling the perfect craft beer, flavour is – without a doubt – the most important aspect. But there are many other parts to the equation, which are equally as – if not more – important.

These include:

  • Branding
  • Product packaging (type of bottle, etc.)
  • Distribution
  • Pricing (premium or low-end?)

And, of course, the most important element of all: your labelling.

Why all the fuss over a beer label?

Think about it this way: when your beer hits the supermarket shelves, it’s going to be sitting on a shelf – surrounded by competing products – begging for attention. Initially, the only thing separating your beer from being chosen by the consumer (rather than another beer) is the label.

To put it simply: if you get the labelling wrong, your beer can will effectively become lost in an endless sea of competing products, and the consumer will most likely go for another beer that they find more attractive and appealing.

Therefore, your label needs to really ‘pop’. It needs to jump out and grab your customers’ attention. This is the only way it’ll get picked up over the competition.

And this is just the design part of the equation; there are also legal obligations to include specific information on your beer label.

The Legal implications of Beer Bottle Labelling

Regardless of the type of craft beer you decide to manufacture, you need to include specific information, such as: beer style (e.g. “India Pale Ale”), Volume (in pints/ml), Alcohol percentage (e.g. 7.2% ABV.), brand name (e.g. John Smiths), class designation (e.g. “lager” or “shout”).

While there are obviously practical reasons to include certain information on your beer label, these are also legal requirements, so don’t neglect them.

The law also states exactly how this information must be displayed; this is where things can get quite specific (e.g. alcohol content MUST be expressed to the nearest 0.1%).

It’s definitely worth looking over any local legal requirements in detail if you’re serious about designing a beer label that is guaranteed to get approved (note: you can view the basics below – keep reading)

Making Sense of Craft Beer Label Design (Infographic)

Everything above sound pretty daunting? Starting to doubt your commitment to the craft beer industry already?

Don’t panic just yet, as fortunately for you, we’ve found this simple, easy-to-follow infographic (from which effectively walks you through the process of designing the perfect craft beer label: