The label: it’s your all-important opportunity to seize attention, compel purchases, and win brand fans for the long run. It’s no wonder that just about every aspect of designing a craft beer label requires careful consideration. The size and shape of your label is no exception!
With beer cans or bottles, you don’t have a lot of real estate to play with. Here’s how to size and shape your label for maximum impact.
What label dimensions are recommended for bottles and cans?
First, the nitty-gritty! Here are the different styles and sizes of bottles and cans, and what label dimensions we recommend for each.
If the beer is bottled, it’s probably going to come in one of the following six-bottle types: growler, mini-growler, heritage, bomber, longneck, or stubby/Steine. Here’s some helpful information about each one, along with what we recommend for the height and width of their labels.
If the beer is canned, it’s likely going to come in one of three standard sizes: 12-oz, 16-oz, and 32-oz. Once again, here’s some basic information about each one, along with recommendations for label dimensions.
Partial or Full Wrap?
Now that you have a sense of what height and width your label should be, you need to choose between two label types: partial or full wrap.
Partial wraps come in two separate labels—one for the front, one for the back. While keeping these two labels equal in size is standard, it’s certainly not your only option. Make sure your applicator can handle front and back labels on one roll.
Full wraps are just what they sound like: labels that wrap around the whole can or bottle. Clearly, when you choose a full wrap, you need to set its width so that it wraps around the circumference of the bottle and doesn’t paste over top of itself. With full wrap, you get more real estate, but you should ensure the design is coherent along the entire label.
What shape to choose?
As you can see from the tables above showing recommended label dimensions for bottles and cans, rectangles and ovals are the standard shapes for beer. And perhaps one of those shapes perfectly suits the brand of your beer. But just know that these aren’t your only options.
Custom-die cutting enables you to basically create any shape you want for your bottle or can. It can be a good strategy for commanding attention in a crowded marketplace. However, just bear in mind that features like sharp, thin corners and cut-outs (shapes cut into the label) can be challenging to successfully print.
Of course, once you have a sense of how you’d want to size and shape your craft beer label, talking it through with an experienced label specialist is good practice. If you want to reach out to us to discuss your ideas, we’re always excited to have a conversation about the possibilities.