Labelling is an essential part of product design. You could have the best food product in the world, but if the label on the can doesn't do its job properly, you won't get very far and could, in fact, find yourself in all kinds of legal trouble. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about designing and printing a custom label for your canned products.
Consider the legal requirements
Australian law requires that the labels on food product contain certain details. These details include:
- The expiry or use-by date of the product
- Details of any allergens in the product such as nuts
- The weight of the food contained in the packaging
- A break down of the ingredients used and their volumes
If the labels you design for your food product do not contain this information, it is likely that you will be required to remove the product from sale and could face investigation by the Food Standards Agency. It is also illegal for your labels to make any claim that you know to be untrue. For example, you could not print a claim that a food product reduces hair loss if you have no scientific evidence to back this claim up. The printer who is producing your labels may be able to offer you a template of the information which is required for your product.
Consider the implications of copyright law
Copyright laws are intended to protect the intellectual property of creative people. If your food product is competing against a well know brand, you may be tempted to closely copy the design of their label in the hope that shoppers will mistake your brands and buy your product instead. There have been famous cases in which copycat labelling has led to court battles and prosecutions. While there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from a leading competitor, you should be careful that you do not stray into the world of copyright infringement. In fact, it may be better to make your label look completely different so that it stands out and strengthens your brand image.
Consider the finish
Once you are certain that your label design does not break copyright law and that it also meets all of the legal requirements set out by the authorities, you can turn your attention to the finish. Modern labels are available in a wide range of finishes. You may wish to opt for a matte finish which creates a classic look or instead you may choose a gloss finish which will attract the eyes of customers.
For further advice about the design and printing of labels, you should contact a printing service today.