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Lettering for Package Design: From Sketch to Label

Jon Contino, Creative Director

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4 Videos (35m)
    • Introduction

    • My Favorite Hand-Illustrated Labels

    • Translating Your Mood Board Into Sketches

    • Working With Your Top Design (5:54)


Project Description

Design a label by hand for a product of your choosing


Design a label by hand for a product of your choosing. It can be wine, beer, bread, soap . . . whatever you want. The important thing is that your label tell the story of the product in a way that's fun and exciting to you. Everyone who has a creative interest will always have an interest in label design. No matter your skill level or style, creating a label is one of the most fun things you can do as a designer. 


Design a label by hand for any product of your choosing. Feel free to include inspiration images, sketches, and other elements to show your full design process. A completed label should:

  • Communicate to the consumer what they’re buying
  • Tell a story about what the product is
  • Differentiate it from the competition
  • Highlight the product in some way to help it stand out


  • Package design blogs are a great source of inspiration for label design. Two of my favorites are The Die line and Lovely Package.
  • Flickr is also a hidden gem for inspiration. Use the search tool and don’t be afraid to be specific. For example: Beer labels or Firecracker labels.
  • Pinterest, Tumblr, and the rest of the curation sites make research a breeze. Use the same techniques as you would on Flickr and see what comes up. 
  • Check out this "Elements of Hand-Drawn Labels" PDF I put together with some great examples of details, layout, materials, and type when it comes labels. 
  • Here are some label designs I did for Brooklyn-based denim company BLKSMTH.  Hopefully this gives you an idea of how you can tell a brand story through multiple styles of labels. 
  • Here is an interesting and short article I came across regarding packaging/label color and it's influence on consumers.  You absolutely don't have to follow these rules, but the way the consumer will react to your color selections definitely needs to be considered!  (Of course, your chosen product or brand may already have a defined color scheme that you need to work with.)
  • Live Surface provides an archive of tons of pre-masked, blank packaging templates for you to mock up your design in Photoshop. These are great for presenting realistic mockups to your client.

Attached Files