Label Design: Make Your Packaging Fizz | Kendrick Kidd | Skillshare

Label Design: Make Your Packaging Fizz

Kendrick Kidd, Package Designer & Digital Illustrator

Label Design: Make Your Packaging Fizz

Kendrick Kidd, Package Designer & Digital Illustrator

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16 Lessons (1h 3m)
    • 1. Product, package or label?

    • 2. Homework

    • 3. Client input

    • 4. Concepting, sketching and editing

    • 5. Presenting your ideas

    • 6. Define your design area

    • 7. Mandatories

    • 8. Unique & Repeating Elements

    • 9. Hierarchy & Graphic Framework

    • 10. Color Use

    • 11. Vessel Substrates

    • 12. Carriers

    • 13. Label testing

    • 14. Creating your digital vessel and applying the label
    • 15. Refinement

    • 16. Explore Design on Skillshare

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About This Class


Imagine a shelf at your local Whole Foods. There are dozens of craft items, a riot of colors, clamoring for consumer attention. What separates one Pinot Grigio from another? Why does the consumer reach for one pale ale - and not the one six inches to the right? 

In this class, we'll learn how to design killer packaging. I'll teach you how I work with clients and their brand to achieve beautiful design, and how you can create an exterior for a product that seamlessly weaves together logo, brand and product identity. 


What You'll Learn

  • Concepting. We'll find a common thread. How do we connect the dots between several discrete branding elements?
  • Package Elements. We'll identify the elements of a packaged product: what needs to be on there and why.
  • Space Allocation. We'll organize all of the information on your packaging in a way that's fluid and fun.
  • Hierarchy. We'll learn how to spotlight certain design elements and what you want to stand out on the grocery shelves. We'll also develop an understanding of how regulatory information (those disclaimers and charts that so often mar bad packaging) can be made beautiful. 
  • Color & Material. Finally, we'll make your packaging stand out with bold colors and the correct material. It's all about texture and touch!
  • Dimension. Your package will be 3-D... so we need to design it that way! I will help you format your design to fit the needs of the dimension it serves.


What You'll Make

You will design your own packaging for a beer can using Adobe Illustrator. I will walk you through tips and tricks to make the process of package design easier and more efficient. This class is perfect for those familiar with basic branding concepts and a rudimentary understanding of Adobe Illustrator.

By the end of this class, you'll have a firm understanding of how the elements of design are critical to your product... and why they translate to superior package design. You're gonna put these together to make that pale ale on the grocery store shelf stand out above all the others.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kendrick Kidd

Package Designer & Digital Illustrator


I'm an illustrator and brand designer based in sunny Jacksonville, FL. My packaging work - for Yellow Jacket BBQ sauce - recently garnered a regional Gold "Addy" from the American Advertising Federation.

My work history is expansive - spanning apparel (Billabong), skateboards (Real Skateboards), logo design (Invitation) and, of course, beer packaging.

See full profile

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1. Product, package or label?: Hey guys. In this session, we're going to be talking a little bit about products, packages and labeling, and the differences between the three. So, I'll go ahead and start with products. Products are basically what a business manufactures for us to consume. So, things like bread and crackers and frozen pizza, that sort of thing, those are all examples of products. So, packaging are basically the vessels and the casings and the boxes that house the product for distribution. So, once a company manufactures a product, it has to find a safe way for it to get from the plant that it's being manufactured at to the retailers. The way they do that is with package design. Packaging is basically the reason why we don't have things like furry bread or sour milk when we buy it from a retail store. So, label design is, or labeling is basically any graphics that appear on the outside of the package that let us know what's on the inside. It's also a way for businesses to stand out from one another on retail shelves. There's no doubt in my mind that throughout this project guide I will definitely misuse package design and labeling design. But I still think it's a good idea to at least have an understanding of the industry lexicon, so that when you are talking to a client about a project, you can be sure what it is that they're asking for and what you need to deliver for the project. 2. Homework: So, now that we know the differences between products, labels, and packages. We're going to go on a field trip to your local grocery store. So, basically what I want you to do is take a little bit of time walking up and down the aisles and just checking out the different packaging and labels for different food segments. You'll probably notice some trends as you walk through. Like for instance, I know that whenever I go to the frozen food section it seems like they always use photographs of the actual food itself on the packages. But then when you go over to like say the juice boxes, it's always brightly colored illustrations. So, you'll probably be able to pick out some trends as you're walking through. I want you to kind of think about what sticking out within these different food segments and why that's happening? Is that the size of the elements that they're using? Is it the colors? Is it the vessel itself? The package? It's just a good thing to be aware of, why something is working, and why something isn't? So, now that you've wandered through the aisles for a little bit and I'm sure the employees are going to be looking at you weird by now. Before you leave the store you need to make it make your way over to the beer cooler. This is really going to come into play when we start our design project for the class. When you're there, make sure you check out the domestic section, the craft section, and the imports. There's definitely some similarities between all of them but there's also some subtle differences too. So, see if you can kind of pick them out while you're there and be sure to jot down a few notes before you leave. 3. Client input: Now that we've done a bit of due diligence for packaging and labels, it's time to talk about client input. Now, for the purposes of this class, this portion should be pretty easy since you are the client. So, you literally get to determine the creative parameters for your project. But in the future, it's always a good idea to have a good game plan in place before your client meetings. More often than not before you start any creative project, you usually get an email from your potential client giving you a high line view of what the work is about. But before you meet with them, it's a good idea to sit down and write a list of potential questions about the creative and technical specs, so that you can make sure you cover all your bases during your meeting. Things like existing brand, standards, color palettes, and also guidelines are a good thing to find out about. I also think it's a really good idea to listen to your client in the meeting. I know that sounds pretty obvious, but I think as creatives, a lot of times we can get ahead of ourselves with our ideas before we've even met with our client. When you're having this meeting, this is your opportunity to really listen to them, and pick out creative themes that happen throughout the conversation. It's also a good idea to jot down a few notes while you're having that meeting. You're obviously not going to be able to remember every single little detail as you're having the conversation, and a lot of times the creative ideas come out of those details. So, having good notes from your meeting is really, really important. 4. Concepting, sketching and editing: So, now that we have our notes from our client meeting, it's time to start concepting for our project. Basically, what I like to do when I'm concepting is I take some of those key points from my notes from the client and I start doing free writing. I'm not really thumbnailing anything at this point, it's like a word association. I'll take those key ideas and then just have a sketchbook and then write down everything I possibly can that relates to those key ideas. Sometimes you can wander off on tangents, which is not a bad thing, sometimes the tangents can come into play when you're coming up with supporting graphics for your main idea. Once you've exhausted your wordplay, its time to go back through your list and edit things against, basically your goal for the project. At this point, I like to pick a few of my favorites and start to thumbnail sketches to see how they work out visually. Some will come really easily and some require a little bit more work. Sometimes I even like to sketch it like a rough shape of the container that I'm trying to design for and try and contain my sketches within that shape just to see how things work out. Usually when you're doing these kind of things for brewery's, it's not a one off deal. So, I think it's important to weigh your idea against a series. Is it going to be able to scale beyond just a single can? Can you carry that theme out to three or four cans? I think some of the best ideas that you can come up with are scalable ideas and even if the client's not asking for it, it's still good to keep that thought in the back of your head and and weigh out your ideas against it. 5. Presenting your ideas: So, now that you've got your sketching done, it's time to prepare document to send over to your client for review. When you do this, it's important to kind of keep in mind that we're just looking to do something quick and dirty for presentation purposes. Different clients are going to have different levels of understanding when it comes to sketches. If you're dealing with an art director, they should be able to visualize what it is that you're talking about or showing them. But you know, if it's somebody who's not familiar with the creative process, it might require a little bit more explanation. So, what we're going to set up today is basically like a baseline for presenting. We're going take each one of our sketches and lay it out on a page with a style example and a really brief description of what the idea is. It should be very, very quick and dirty and nothing like crazy fancy masterpieces. Just literally we're setting up a rhythm for presenting like multiple ideas. The first thing that we want to do is scan our sketches in. Then once we have them scanned into the computer, we're going to go ahead and take them into Photoshop and clean them up a bit. So, this one looks a little bit washed out, so what I'd like to do is go into curves and just pump it up a little bit, so it looks like a little illustration, click OK and Save it out. So, now that we have our sketch taken care of, I'm going go ahead and open up InDesign and create a new document for. Whatever reason, I like to use 11 by 17 landscape. So, we've got our document set up and I'm just going to go ahead and drop a rule down the center here and that's going to separate our style example from our sketch. Now, I'm going to go ahead and import the sketch I tweaked in Photoshop. So, I went ahead and wrote in like a few loose notes around the sketch just to kind of let the client know what it is that they're looking at because it is pretty rough, but you'll see I've kind of marked skyline Bold City Brewery up around the top band, a prompt which is sitting in the hand of the mad manthee and like some squiggly water lines and whatnot. So that should be enough to kind of let them know what's going on within the sketch. Over on this side, I am going to import style example. So in this case, I'm importing one of the existing Bold City cans just because I have it in the series. You don't necessarily have to have a style example that matches. I guess the product type that you're working on. So, even if it's illustration example or design example that you've done for someone else, as long as the style is the same as how you envision the execution, it's fine to include that. It doesn't have to be on a beer can, this is just kind of how it's worked out for this particular project. So, now I'm going to go ahead and mark what it is that we're looking at. So, this is going to be style example and this is going to be sketch. I'm going to go ahead and change this to different fonts just because. So, this is really all I'm talking about for setting up a concept document. We just want to give them an idea of what it is that they're looking at. I think you can do sketches that are a little bit more detailed than the ones that I'm showing here but in some cases, it's not really necessary. So, now that we've got our document set up, we're going to go ahead and export it as a PDF and we're ready to send it off to the client. 6. Define your design area: So, hopefully by now, you've chosen a concept that you're really really happy with and you're ready to start designing your label. One of the first things that we're going to want to do before we start designing is define our design area. Now, this is going to be a little bit different for bottles and it will be for cans. Even though we're doing a can for this project, I'm going to go ahead and talk about bottles first. So, for bottles, there's four main areas that you're probably potentially going to be designing for. You're going to have the front label, the back label, the neck label, and the crown. Now, before you go crazy with die cuts from like sizes and that sort of thing, it's probably a good idea to talk to your brewer a little bit to see if they have any existing guidelines that they're working with. The reason you want to do that is sometimes labeling machines can have limitations to them and also budgets can have limitations. So before you start moving all your information and graphics around and to four different places, it's a good idea to have that conversation up front and figuring out what what spaces you are going to be designing for. Now, for can labels, it actually gets a little bit simpler. Cans, you basically just have one canvas and the space is a flat space that basically wraps around the entire can. So, we don't have four different spaces with four different sizes that we're dealing with. It's literally one flat space. So, I've uploaded a document that I want you guys to check out. It basically defines your design areas, your safe areas, your bleed areas and it also shows you where the can tapers in at the top, which is also important to keep in mind when you're designing. So, why don't we go ahead and take a look at that now and I'll walk you through some of the specifics. All right guys, hopefully you have your document open and we're just going to run through this real quick to take a look at the different areas and just breakdown where design is going to be living. So, right here we have our design area. This is basically the space that we're working with. I just pulled up the safe area in the cyan, the cyan dotted line, and this is basically letting us know anything that anything that's important basically needs to live within the safe area. Sometimes things can shift a little bit on press and basically they they give us this area to design within to make sure that none of those important elements like government mornings or the name of the label falls kind of outside of that shifting area. So, the yellow dotted line is our bleed area which basically works just like a printed piece. Pretty self-explanatory. The gray sawed area is basically the the top of the can where it actually starts to taper in. So, you just want to be mindful of any design elements that you might have to go over into that area that it is going to be bending towards the can. Last but not least we have our overlap area. So, basically, when this stuff gets printed on the can, it doesn't seem up perfectly on the back. The way they kind of handle it is they end up overlapping the printed area over on top of itself. So, like if you've ever picked up a can and inspected it, you'll see where that overprinting happens on the overlap. It's nothing to be too concerned about, you just want to make sure that if you do have design elements that are falling outside the safe area, that you will have to keep in mind that overlap space. So, yes. That's about it. I guess we're ready to get started on our design. 7. Mandatories: Mandatory elements are something that you're going to have to accommodate for when you're designing your beer label. The government mandates that certain things appear on all alcoholic beverage packages, or labels, rather. So, you're going to want to at least allocate some set space for those elements because they have to be on the can. It's also part of what makes a can look like a can. If they didn't have the mandatory elements, it would kind of look weird anyway. So, I guess in that way, it kind of works out. A few things that you'll want to include, the brand name of the beer absolutely, the classification of the beer. So, whether or not, it's a lager, or a pilsner, or India paleo, that has to be on the label, so you can't just name your beer like fire ale. It has to be the proper name. The proper name has to appear with the brand name on the beer. You're also going to have to include the name of the brewery, and the address, and the Surgeon General's Warning. That's little government warning at the bottom that says, "Don't be an idiot and operate heavy machinery when you're drinking, or drink beer when you're pregnant." That sort of thing. Pretty obvious stuff, but it absolutely has to be on the label. When you're allocating space for that, you're going to want to make sure that the point size on your type is at least, I think like eight and a half points. I usually end up using a sans-serif just because it reproduces a little bit better on a can. Sometimes, the tiny little serifs, where it gets kind of thin, it tends to like, I don't know, it kind of bleeds out on cans, so I just like to use a sans. So, yeah you're going to want to make sure that you have space allocated for all of these things. I'm going to go ahead and upload a document from the TTB, which is the Tax and Trade Bureau that regulates the labels. So, you can kind of look back through the elements and make sure you have everything that needs to be on there. 8. Unique & Repeating Elements: Even though we're designing a single can, I mentioned a little bit earlier that I want you guys to purchase as if you were doing a series, just because it's very rare that you're going to get approached by a very for just one single can. I'm not saying it's not possible, but more often than not, it's a series of cans. So, in this lesson, we're going to talk a little bit more about a unique and repeating graphics and discuss the role that they play when you're setting up a series. So, I prepared document that we're going to go ahead and run through and just talk about the elements. So, this is one level design and a series of three that I did for Bold City Brewery. Basically what I'm going to do is I'm going to run through and isolate a few of the elements and talk about whether or not there are unique and appealing. If I go ahead and muskoff my unique elements, you can see that a lot of the can is made up of repeating elements. So, things like the regulatory stuff like the government warning, and the name, and location of the brewery, the barcode, logos, even the stripes across the top and all of the details on the left hand side. These are all things that are repeated across each one of the cans in the series that helps unify them. The color schemes changed on each one depending on the color scheme of the front label. But other than that, it pretty much stay the same. Basically what it does is it just gives some continuity across multiple pieces and help them read as a group. So, if I turn off the repeating elements and mask it off so that we can just see the unique, the unique are basically the front label, the APV, which changes depending on the alcohol content of the beer and the beer description. So, these were the only things that changed on each can in the series. So, you can see how the system works. You're definitely going to have some uniques. You're definitely going to have some repeating, but this gives you an idea of what is going to change across each one of the cans and how the unique and repeating elements work to create a series. 9. Hierarchy & Graphic Framework: So now, that we've talked about our unique and repeating elements, we are going to discuss hierarchy and graphic framework. We will start with hierarchy. So basically, hierarchy is in what order your elements communicate. There is a lot of different ways to establish hierarchy: one is by the size, other is by placement, and then you can also do it with color. In the case of the Killer Whale can, the largest element is basically our front label, whereas it is telling people that this is Killer Whale cream ale. So, that is the number one thing we want to communicate on the shelf, is what beer it is that they are buying or let them know that if they are looking for it, here it is. You will also notice, up at the top of the can, we have got Bold City Brewery repeated three times. Part of the reason why we do that is, depending on the direction that you're looking at the can, the hierarchy speaks I guess differently. So, if you are looking at the front of the can Bold City Brewer, even though it is at the top, it is still secondary to the Killer Whale label. Now, once the can turns to one of the back panel views Bold City Brewery, since it is at the top and it is in white, it actually has a little bit more dominance than some of the other elements. So, that is the kind of stuff that you want to consider when you are trying to establish some hierarchy is when people are looking at the can, and they are getting either a full frontal or a full side view, what are they going to be seeing and what do we want to say to them. So when it comes to graphic framework, we are going to talk about it in the context of the single can and kind of the importance of having it when you are establishing a series. I'm going to go ahead and drop a few guides down on this one, to give you an idea of the framework of a Killer Whale Can. So, you will notice that the center area is pretty well-defined along with the top area, where Bold City Brewery is and the diagonal stripe and then we have all these little bits to the left and the right that happen, that also kind of fall on grid lines. Now, grids can be super-duper obvious or they can be a lot more subtle, kind of depends on how you want to set your design up. Honestly, when I do something like this, a lot of times what I like to do is create my elements first, and then figure out where they fit naturally on the can, and obviously how I want them to communicate. So obviously, the biggest element is front and center and that space is pretty much the same across all three cans in the series. So, whether it was Duke's or Killer Whale or Mad Manatee, it always lived within that defined space within the center of the can, and the same thing goes for the elements that are flanking it on the left and right. The reason we do it is, it kind of creates like a visual rhythm for each one of the pieces. Again, I have definitely seen some grids that are so subtle, you literally do not even realize they were there, and your mind might have registered it because the placement of the elements were sitting on the grid, because it was so sparse and because of the way that it was arranged, it was just a lot more subtle than dropping a line down and placing an element to the left or right of it. So, depending on how your design kind of shakes out and where your styles lean, your grid can be something very obvious or very subtle. But it is important, especially when you are developing your series. In the case of the Bold City stuff, we did have a lot of repeating elements that were same across all three cans. But when you set up that grid, even if I took one of the elements like say, please recycle, for whatever reason we did not want it on all three cans, we only wanted it on one. I would still have that grid space to find where I could drop in another element and it would still help everything read as a series, even though we are switching things up a bit, when you are working along that grid, that is kind of what is helping or at least another element that is helping unify everything. When you are developing this for your own design, try and stay loose when you are arranging your elements. I mean, this is very graded out in this case and I'm showing you after the fact, but when I was designing this piece, I was literally moving things around for at least an hour to figure out the best rhythm of the pieces and the best hierarchy for the pieces. So, it starts out very, very organic, but then once you get it to that sweet spot, that is when you start dropping down your grids and kind of establishing that graphic framework that is going to help you play out the rest of your series. 10. Color Use: So, hopefully your design is starting to get to a point where you're pretty happy with it, and it's starting to feel a little bit more finished than it did when you started, and it's getting closer to the time where you should really start considering your color palette. So ideally, you want your color palettes to make sense with your concept and/or your beer style and definitely with your brand. Another thing that we want to do is consider how our palette is going to look within a series. So, how are these colors going to interact together when the cans are side by side on a shelf. So, you definitely want to make sure or one of the things that I like to do is make sure that my colors are within the same hue. So, if I have a palette of three or four colors and they're all extremely bright, they're all going to be that same hue range. So, if I've got a bright green or bright blue and a bright orange and bright yellow, even if they're not sitting side by side, you can tell that the approach was the same on each one of the choices. The same thing goes for other colors that you mix in your design. It's not to say that everything has to be super bright. You can definitely have some neutrals that you're playing off of. If you have multiple neutrals just make sure that, again, they fall within that same tonal range. Just the same approach that you're doing for your brights you need to do for your neutrals as well. What that does is it helps unify each one of the pieces in the series so that if you see them altogether it makes sense, or if you see just a single can by itself, that approach is obvious because it's been done on the other cans in the series. It helps them identify the beer and the brand of the beer when you do stuff like that. Now, how you use your color is almost as important as the colors that you choose because the beer can is such a small space to design with and I feel like large areas of flat spot color tend to read a little bit stronger than continuous 10 images. Now, you can reproduce continuous 10 images on a beer label. It's definitely possible but I think you have to be careful of how you use that image. If you use it more like a spot graphic, I think it will probably be a little bit stronger than if you just take a photograph and wrap it around a can. So, for me personally, I definitely like the spot colors. I think it's a good way to stand out on the shelf. It just reads bolder at a distance and you definitely want to stand out. People aren't going to be all up on your can in the beer aisle at the grocery store. You know, more often than not, they're going to be standing at a distance. So, I think being able to read it at a distance is important. 11. Vessel Substrates: So, now that our design is almost complete, we definitely want to make sure that it is practical for the vessel that we're producing it for. So, basically bottles and cans have different attributes that change the way, things are printed on them or reproduced. Bottles, for example, more than likely, you're either going to be printing a paper label that's going to be applied during the bottling process, or you're going to be screen printing directly on the bottle itself. Now, because the bottle has concave curves, it does present some limitations for what you can do with the label, mainly the size of the label. So, when you're applying it to the bottle, basically paper labels don't like concave curves. So, if it's bending in two direction, so say like around and up and down, the label is not going to want to lay flat. The labeling machine and the bottling line is not going to be able to apply it to the bottle so it sticks. Now, if you're doing a screen-printed bottle, it's kind of the same kind of deal. Whenever there's a concave curve, words spinning in two directions, it makes it really, really difficult for the manufacturer, whoever is screen printing the bottle to match that curvature during the screening process. So, it's definitely something you want to be aware of when you're designing your label. Now, again, if you've kind of done your due diligence, and you've talked to your brewer and your manufacturer about any existing guidelines or that sort of thing, you can kind of head this stuff off the pass. In addition, cans kind of have their own set of printing rules too. Basically, because ink is going to react differently if it's hitting metal, or if it's hitting a glass, or if it's hitting paper, when it hits the glass and metal, it tends to spread a little bit more. If you have any really fine details in either your type or your graphic elements, sometimes they can fill in. You'll definitely see some variation on press, like the entire press run will look exactly the same. Some of that will hit absolutely perfect, and some of it will be slightly misregister. So, those are some of the things that you can kind of expect once you see the design go from the computer to the actual substrate itself. So, knowing that there are going to be differences depending on the print technique that you use for your label design, it's just a really good idea to have those conversations upfront with whoever it is that's going to be producing the labels. They know more about it than I do or anybody else because they do it on a daily basis. So, if you can put in a phone call or get on their website and just do a little bit of homework before the label goes to print, you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls that can happen during the printing process. 12. Carriers: So, now that you have your design pretty well stench up. It's time to start thinking about carriers. So, beer and bottles, and cans can be sold as singles, but more than likely, they're going to be sold in multiples of six, 12, and 24. Which means they need a carrying case that houses all of the beer bottles and cans. So, what you're going to have to consider now is how do you translate that beautiful design that you've done for the label over to the carrier. Now for cans, some carriers are just plastic rings. There's a company called Pack-Tech that actually makes colored plastic with a close to top that the cans click into. So, basically the art for the cans, that's what people are going to be seeing on the shelf. Other companies house their cans in boxes and they print on the box. They basically take the design from the label and translate it over to the box and that's what you see on the shelf. Or they'll just pick out a few elements that speak clearly about what it is that's on the inside of the box. Now, you're basically going to need to consider how you're going to translate those labels that you've done for your beer can or bottle over to a carrying case. You might even want to take a trip back to the grocery store just to kind of see what other people are doing. Again, it's one of those scenarios where if you've talked to your brewer and your printer and they've already been producing cases for other beers within their family of beers. You may consider using the cases that they already have, which is to keep the continuity between the series. But on the off chance that you decide to get fancy with things, and you want to create your own custom case, make sure you hook up with a product designer, so he can double check the [inaudible] that you spec out and make sure that everything's going to translate in production. 13. Label testing: So, I know it's been a long project so far, but I promise we're almost done. In this lesson, we're going to talk about testing your label. So, now that you have it designed, what I'd like you to do is basically print it out at 100% and then it trim down all of the pieces basically how they would appear on the label or on the can. Then you can either spray mount or tape the label to the can itself just to get an idea of how it's going to look. When you're checking it out, make sure you don't just look at it super close, take a few steps back and try and get the vantage point that you would have at the grocery store to see how the elements are going to translate. If there's some stuff that's a little bit on the small side on your front label and it's important information, you might consider beefing it up a bit. So, basically, this is now your opportunity to take a look at the label in the context of a consumer. So, in your hand and at a distance and see how it works. It's definitely a lot easier to make changes now than when your label actually goes to print. So, now's the opportunity to make those revisions before it gets to the printer and before things get costly. 14. Creating your digital vessel and applying the label: So, we're about ready to put together our digital comp. I'm going to go ahead and walk through the steps of basically creating a digital beer can and then applying your label. Alright, so the first thing we're going to want to do is scanning a can for a reference point. So, I've taken the Duke's can, I basically just scanned it in on a flatbed scanner. It doesn't have to be the highest quality in the world, we're basically going to use it so that we can get the contour of the outside of the shape. So, if you notice there's a little bit of boeing on the top and at the bottom of the can, for the purposes of this, we're going to go with more of a flat perspective. So, we're going to eliminate some of the boeing on the top and the bottom when we do our outline. So, I've drawn an outline and you can see where I've flattened out the top and the bottom, and we're going to take this shape, fill it and reflect it. So, if I change my outline to fill and copy that shape, reflect it, I'm bringing together and then select both, I'm getting my pathfinder and unify, so now I've got a single shape, and if I fill it with black it's going to look something like this. So, once I have the basic shape of the can, I'm going to go ahead and split it into three parts. I've got the top, the middle where the label shows up and the bottom. All right, now the only thing that we're missing is the top lip which is going to look something like this. What I did to create that was basically use my rounded rectangle tool and then just draw out the shape. Now, the default might be a little bit too rounded for the lip, so you can go in and adjust that until it gets to a place that you're happy with it. So, something like that. All right. The last thing that we're going to build in illustrator is our can gradient, to give it that aluminum look. So, I've created a custom gradient, which is essentially just a box. I went into my gradients palette and basically added a bunch of points, manipulated the color until I was happy with the way things looked. You can use this as a template to create your own gradient. We're just basically looking for two highlight areas almost as if the can being lit from two different spots, and then we're going to build our center part and our top and our bottom in Photoshop with this gradient, to create that metallic sheen. All right. So, that's pretty much it for illustrator. I'm basically going to take my can pieces now and copy and paste them over into Photoshop. All right. So, we've got the same flat shape in all the different pieces. I will start with the bottom. All right. So, this is our bottom piece. From here I'm going to go ahead and copy and paste over my gradient, and I'm going to short it up a little bit, so it's not running on the whole length of the can. Okay. So, you notice when I pasted this in, it was masked off in the shape of the bottom section of the can, and all that I've really done is I loaded the selection of the bottom of the can, I created a group and then I masked off the group. So, now everything that appears within that group is going to be in the shape of the bottom of the can. Now I'm going to rasterize this layer because we're going to do a bit of distorting, and if I go into my perspective since this part of the can tapers in, we're going to go ahead and manipulate the sheen on it so that it reflects that. So, once I do my perspective and I'm pretty happy with the way the bottom of it looks, if you get a warp, now we're going to go ahead and pull in these sections like this. So, we get something that's pretty close to how we would imagine that bend at the bottom of the can happening. It doesn't have to be absolutely perfect, because your mind fills in the rest, I mean this is just for comp purposes so we don't need it to be super super perfect, it's just more for presenting purposes. So, once I have the bend where I like it, I'm going to add an inner shadow. So, you can see where I've got my settings at. I'm just going to go ahead and copy and paste this letter. It gives it a little bit of a dark edge on the top, on the sides and the bottom, which helps define the shape a bit. So, I'm going to go ahead and switch back over to the one I created before. All right, the last thing that I want to do is add a highlight, and this helps convey that that bump at the bottom. The way that I did that, was I created a layer, and took my marquee, made a box, fill the box with white, I'm going keep the opacity at 100, but I'm going to change it over to an overly, and I'm going to go back into my perspective pool and taper these edges in, I'm going to blur the shape, soften it up a bit, and then I'm going to mask off this layer and come down here and erase the part that gets closer to the bottom edge. So, now it looks like we've got a bump in that bottom of the can which is how it looks. So, I'll go back to the one I created before. All right, so, that's the bottom of the can. Middle of the can is a little bit easier. So, again, I've taken that shape that I created in illustrator and I've used it to mask off my group, and then I copy and pasted my gradient. So, the center part is actually pretty easy. There's not really a whole lot to it. You can see on the bottom here that inner shadow that I added with my layer effects, now that it's sitting up against the gradient and the middle section, it shows up a lot more. It helps convey that this is starting to curve inward from the middle section. All right. So, now we're going to move to the top. Same thing. Copy and paste in your top shapes that you created in illustrator and we're going to go through the same process with the gradient up top. So, we paste in the flat gradient, rasterize the layer and then use the perspective and warp to bend it in the way that we want. All right. Last but not least, we have the lip, that little ring up at the top, and same process. We're going to copy and paste the gradient in, and mask it off. Now, you'll notice that the highlights sections up at the top are slightly different than the highlights section down at the bottom. All I did to do that was to take my gradient that I copy and pasted in and then I just brought the edges in a bit, and it just helps convey that this is this is a different piece of metal sitting on a different plane than the top lip, and the center, and the bottom. So, the sheen is going to hit it slightly differently. All right, so now that we've got our can set up. It's still looking a little bit on the flat side. So, I've created a highlights in shadow group, above all of my canned graphics, and I've added in a few shadows and highlights. So, we'll go ahead and walk through each one of those. So, the first one I've added is this little lip mark, where the can starts to bend back out from that first dip on the lip. That's a pretty easy one to create, I essentially took my Marquee Tool, drew a elongated circle, filled it with white, and then and then blurred the shape. Looks like I've doubled that up, just to get a little bit more prominent. Okay, the next thing that I've added is more of a hard highlight on the left hand side of the can. The way that I did that was I created a path and filled the path with whites and then blurred the shape. Pretty simple stuff. The last thing that I've done is I've added a dark gradient on the right side of the can, just to give it a little bit more shape. It just helps push that side back a little bit. So, now our can is looking a little bit more rounded. Again, it's not absolutely perfect, but it's going to work well for the purposes that we need. So, our next step is to copy and paste in the label that we've designed. So you're going to take the artwork and mask off the design area, and then you're going to copy it from Illustrator into Photoshop. When I copy and paste it in the middle section, that's what it's going to look like. Now, you can see if I turn my highlights and shadows off and on, that these are already starting to affect the label that's sitting below it. One of the things that I forgot to talk about is art or shadow layer that we added. I've got a multiple layer on. Our highlight area, I'm using as an overlay, and my highlight on the can bend at the top, that's also an overlay. So all of these things are affecting our label below, but it's still looking a little bit on the flat side. So, I'm going to go ahead and turn that off, and I'm going to go to my channels, and I'm going to load my blue channel. So, this is basically loading in all of the white area. So, I'm going to select inverse, now essentially I have all of the grays loaded from that blue channel, and then I'm going to create a new layer, and I'm going to fill it with a gray, and I'm going to hit multiply, and I'm going to turn my layer back on with my label. So, now you can see this is starting to affect the label there, and just give it a little bit more shading and contour. So, this is one that I've created before and I've masked off the shape. That's what it was looking like, and then I just mask off the center section, so it pops out a little bit more. It still doesn't have a sheen to it, it still looks a little bit on the flat side, so what I've done is I've taken the gradient that I brought in originally to create my aluminum can, and I've duplicated the layer and put it on top of my label layer, and I've made it an overlay. If I duplicate that again, and make that layer and overlay as well, now the can is starting to have a sheen, like a light sheen. So, it almost looks like those areas that we've lit with our fake camera, are starting to affect the color on the can. It gives it a little bit more dimension. Now we're going to move on to our top piece. Now we're going to copy and paste our label in from Illustrator again, and we're going to go through the same process that we did for the lower part of the can or the middle part of the can. So we're going to add that blue channel that we filled with gray and multiplied, and we're going to duplicate our gradient and make it an overlay. So, again, this is not a perfect comp, but I feel like it's it's good enough to put in front of the client to give them an idea of what that flat label you design is going to look like on a rounded can. We've got one more thing that I'd like to do before we're done, and that's add a grounding Shadow and reflection. So we create a circle, fill it with the black, blur the shape, mask it off, and bring it back into our mask layer, and then just erase and soften the outside edges, almost like the shadows is falling off the further it gets away from the can. Now, for the reflection shape, it's literally duping the can that you just created. Flipping it vertically, I went down to like a 20 opacity, masked off the shape, and then went back into my Mask layer and erased. So, if I get rid of the mask that's all right now. There's our can shape, reflected. Mask off the layer, make sure I'm in my layer and I have my mask layer and not my graphic layer, and then go back in and erase away. All right. So, we've got like a nice grounding shadow and reflection now. Okay, one more thing that I want to talk about. You'll notice in the middle section of the can, I've left my label as a smart objects. Now, when you're doing your series this will be really, really helpful. You just spent all this work getting this can absolutely perfect. You don't want to have to get through all the steps again and try and recreate everything for each can. So, when you leave it as a smart object, you can double-click that, it'll open it up in Illustrator, and then the next label that you do, that you mask off, you'll literally be able to come in and replace this with that, save it out, and it'll update automatically in your Photoshop document, which is super-duper helpful. We're basically setting up our production line for for can markups. Because the goal is definitely not to spend more time on this, it's to spend less. So, yeah. I'm going to go ahead and save this PSD, and the EPS files that I created in Illustrator, and I will attach them to the lessons so you mess around with a little bit. 15. Refinement: So, now that you've tested your label and you've got a digital copy and you can kind of see how all the pieces fit together, it's time to step away from the computer. I think it's really important like when you've stared at something for as long as you've stared at this, to take that time apart to let yourself reset so you can look at your design again with fresh eyes. Be sure not to flatten any layers or turn any parts to outline, or outline type, or anything like that because there's the off chance that you're going to have to come back and adjust things either once the client has seen it or once it's been through regulatory. So, once you've taken that time apart, come back, fresh eyes, and I want you to look over the entire design again and see if you can pick out any extra opportunities to tie it in a little bit tighter with your theme or your concept. It's also your opportunity to look at some of the smaller details and see if there's any refining that needs to be done. It's really difficult when you're going through this entire process to say completely objective especially at the end, but when you give yourself that separation, it makes it a little bit easier. So, once you've made those final little detail adjustments and you're completely happy with the piece, go ahead and solicit some feedback from people you trust, and people who don't know anything about the project. You're not really committed to make any of the changes, but I think having that outside perspective from someone who has nothing to do with the idea generation, the idea that you've come up with, the design that you've come up with, it just offers up a different perspective on something that you may not have seen. It could be something really obvious, or it could be a little minute detail that you may have missed. In any case, it's just a good idea to do. So, yeah, there we are. Congratulations you now have your own beer label and, yeah, cheers. 16. Explore Design on Skillshare: [inaudible]