Custom Beer Label Design: Top 6 Beer Label Designers

Lately, it seems like the only reason people actually buy IPA beer is for the creative and eye-catching beer label design that each can and bottle comes with.

These beer labels often have designs that have the consumer stopping in their tracks, debating whether or not the bitter taste of an IPA is worth those beautiful illustrations.

Regardless of what category of cold brew you might enjoy, I'm sure you've seen the rise of creative beer label designs and illustrations from your local brewery. And it's for good reason: the staple brands like Corona or Coors have brand positioning that can't be beat with a regular design.

In this blog, we'll cover how to find the right designers for your beer label that will help you stand out, along with the best practices to look out for.

Read on and become America's next top cold brew.

Are You Sure I Need a Designer for Craft Beer Labels?

craft beer labels

The beer labels of today tend to include creative illustrations, lots of color that pops, and the type of design that can often take years to master. You could try doing it yourself, but the very essence of what will make your beer label design stand out might be lost in the mix.

That's why hiring a designer for your beer label is often worth the money. The result is something that makes eyes drawn to the label, creating a sense of uniqueness that will have you carving your own place in the market.

Why are Custom Craft Beer Labels Important?

Your brand will ultimately be determined by the type of beer label you produce. That brand goes beyond what the customer sees on the shelves. Think of the position your brand will be taking in the mind of your consumer. In an oversaturated and noisy world, is there even room for you to nestle in?

Whether it's one type of beer or 10 types of beer, each of your beer label designs should be part of the same brand. And that brand should have custom beer label design that makes your brand impossible to miss. Without a custom design, you'll be lost in the sea of noise in the world that is beer label design.

How Do I Find the Right Beer Label Designer?

Example of beer labels

Selecting the perfect designer for your beer label is not just about ticking boxes; it's a must-do step in ensuring your brew stands out in a crowded marketplace. Your beer label not only signifies your beer’s quality but also tells your unique story and connects with your target audience at an emotional level. Here are some key considerations and why a designer’s portfolio is more than just a collection of past works—it's a roadmap to your project's success.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Beer Label Designer:

  1. Experience in the Beverage Industry: Look for a designer with a strong background in beer label design, evident through a portfolio rich with projects in the beverage sector. This experience is invaluable for navigating the nuances of creating compelling and saleable beer labels.
  2. Alignment with Your Brand's Story: Your chosen designer needs to understand the soul of your brand. A good designer will capture your brand's essence and narrative, creating a label that resonates with your desired audience and tells your story compellingly.
  3. Regulatory Knowledge: Beer labels have their own set of legal requirements that vary by region. A seasoned beer label designer will be familiar with these regulations, ensuring your label is not only beautiful but also fully compliant.
  4. Creativity and Originality: In a sea of options, your beer needs to visually pop. Seek out a designer whose portfolio demonstrates the ability to weave unique and eye-catching elements into their work, making each label both a piece of art and a strategic tool for brand differentiation.
  5. Effective Communication Skills: A successful design process for custom beer labels hinges on clear and responsive communication. Your ideal designer should be open to feedback, adaptable, and committed to translating your vision into reality while offering professional guidance along the way.
  6. Price and Timeline: Finally, consider the practical aspects. Discuss budgets and deadlines upfront to ensure the designer can meet your expectations in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The Importance of the Portfolio in the Selection Process:

A designer's portfolio is your window into their professional world. It showcases not only their technical skill and creative ability but also their ability to translate complex brand stories and requirements into compelling visuals. By reviewing a portfolio, you gain insights into:

  • The Range and Quality of Work: Identifying their experience with beverage labels specifically can give you confidence in their understanding of the industry.
  • Design Style and Compatibility: Assessing whether their design aesthetic aligns with your vision is crucial for creating a label that feels authentic to your brand.
  • Creativity and Innovation: A portfolio can highlight a designer's ability to think outside the box, providing fresh and original solutions that can set your beer apart.
  • Compliance and Professionalism: Previous work can signal the designer's familiarity with regulatory standards, ensuring your label meets all legal requirements without sacrificing design quality.
  • Problem-solving Skills: Viewing how a designer tackled past design challenges can reassure you of their capability to handle any unique requests or hurdles your project might entail.

Finding the right beer label designer is a process that involves careful thought of both intangible brand alignment and practical execution skills. By prioritizing experience, brand understanding, creativity, and effective communication, and by thoroughly exploring their portfolio, you can secure a partnership that not only brings your vision to design a beer label to life but also propels your beer to prominence on the shelves. Remember, your label is the first impression customers will have of your beer; make it count.

6 Best Designer Options for Custom Beer Labels

To make things easy for you, I've rounded up the top 10 options for beer label designers. These options will have you working with designers that have experience with beer label design, skills in illustrations, and top expertise in design.

1. Teamtown

Images of teamtown graphic design

Teamtown is a design subscription service that let's you work with your own dedicated design team without having to pay the usual cost that would come with that. Your team is made up of designers best suited for you. For example, if you're in the beverage industry, your design team would include a packaging designer and illustrator with experience in beer label design. It's as simple as submitting a design request, such as a beer label, and waiting 24-48 hours for your brand new custom beer label to be complete. If everything is all good and approved, it's a simple click of the button to download.

While Teamtown has the ability to create stunning beer labels, the service is best-suited for any beer brand that has a need for ongoing design. For example, if your brewery design needs go beyond beer label design into the realm of brand design, social media design, logo design, advertising design, and so on - Teamtown is the perfect solution for you.

2. 99Designs

image 99designs landing page

With 99Designs, you can start a contest that designers from all over the world can compete in to craft the perfect beer label design for you. Once you have a winner, you can select and upload that winning design as your new beer label design.

While this can be a fantastic option if the beer label design is all you need, the process can sometimes take longer than usual. Competitions don't always work out, and even the finalists can have lacklustre designs. If you'll be using 99Designs as your selected solution, it's worth having a very clear idea of the type of label you'll want to produce. This way anyone competing in your beer label design competition can have a proper jumping point to aim for the win.

3. DarkRoast

DarkRoast is a design service that specializes in design for physical products. Namely, packaging design for e-commerce and beyond. With this being their specialty, beer label design is nothing new to them. They can even take care of the photography aspect for your designs, taking care of the entire experience from start to finish.

4. Upwork

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Upwork is a platform that allows brands to connect with freelance designers from around the globe to undertake tasks such as designing beer labels. Any company from a brewery to a restaurant can leverage Upwork to work with freelance talent at any price range that fits your needs.

A downside to Upwork can be the time it takes to find reliable freelance talent. The platform has no shortage of designers that will claim to have experience with beer labels, but the real number of designers that actually have beer label design experience can be much smaller than that.

That's why it's important to follow our guidelines above on how to find the right beer label designer, you'll want to ensure you're taking the proper steps to avoid wasting time on false promises.

5. Fiverr

Fiverr homepage

Fiverr is a similar platform to Upwork, where instead of you posting the beer label design you want completed, you search through a board of offers that freelancers post themselves. One quick search on Fiverr for 'designer for beer labels' reveals a host of offers from freelancers that specialize in this very thing.

Fiverr is the perfect option if you have a very straightforward need for beer label design, and nothing beyond that. As soon as you're ready, you're able to get started today without waiting a long time to begin.

The downsides? Very similar to Upwork. The range of freelance talent out there is huge, and you'll want to make sure you're making the right choice the first time around for your beer label. Be aware of Fiverr scams and unreliable talent. It's a measure twice cut once type of situation. Beyond that, this is another option that is best-suited for a brewery or brand that only needs beer label design. If you're in the market for marketing design that goes beyond that, a Creative as a Service provider like Teamtown might be a better bet.

6. Blue Label Packaging

Blue Label Packaging is a design company that specializes in labels, and in our case, craft beer labels. They've been in the game for quite some time now, and don't miss when it comes to beer label inspiration and design. If you're looking for a professional design company to get your beer label right, Blue Label Packaging is the way to go.

They work on a quote basis and pricing may be higher than our other options here, but like we mentioned: a creative beer label design is worth the money for your brew.

I'm Ready to Find a Beer Label Designer: Now what?

So, now that you know why it's important to hire a designer your beer labels, why your beer labels and label design is so important, how to find the best designer for your beer label, and have a list of the best designers for beer labels, what's next?

Getting started, that's what! Your brewery wont brand itself, and your beer labels won't design themselves. Regardless of how much help you deploy, the ball is in your court to take action and ensure your brew stands out from the competition.

Research your options, discuss your design needs with all stakeholders involved, and ensure you're making the right choice for your design needs as a whole, and not just your beer labels.

What Should You Consider Before Designing a Craft Beer Label?

Teamtown graphics consideration

Even if you're working with a designer to design a beer label, there are a variety of things to consider and contemplate before asking anyone to get started on your design. The more information you provide, and the clearer you are on what your goals and needs are with design, the more success you'll find when it's time to create your beer labels.

Follow these steps before actioning any partnerships, and you'll be sure to save a lot of money and time in the long run.

Before You Label: Figure Out Your Brew's Brand Personality

Even the best beer label designer can't read your mind. At the end of the day, you and the stakeholders involved should be the ones deciding the personality and brand you want to display. It's up to the designer to then take that starting idea, and flush it out into a living, breathing brand that you can base creative beer labels on.

Picture this: what if your brew and brand was a person? What sort of person would they be? What are their interests, how do they talk, what do they like and dislike? Viewing your brand as a person is the easiest way to decide the overall brand direction you want to take. Describing this person to your designer is a surefire way to ensure the designer and your team is fully aligned on what the vision is, and how to get there.

Discuss and Explore All Design Needs

Do your design needs stop at beer labels? Or will you need more brand material? It's good practice to look long term, as the designer you choose can often be leveraged beyond beer labels into the world of marketing design. Assets like a logo, social media designs, advertising designs, and website design can have your brew and brewery go from amateur to top player.

Services like Teamtown offer unlimited design for a flat monthly fee, meaning you can get your labels, social media, branding, and logo designed all for the same price. You can keep your subscription going to support your ongoing marketing efforts and get your beer labels on more shelves and on more minds.

Beer Label Colors

Colors play a huge role in beer labels, with brands often using bright colors that pop in order to stand out. Try to avoid bland, pale colors and instead go for colors that are hard to miss on the shelves. At the end of the day these colors may be decided by your brand, so always try to work from the top down (brand to beer labels) in order to ensure consistency across your brewery.

Decide on the Shape and Size of Your Beer Label

Beer labels come in all different shapes and sizes. The most obvious being a can vs bottle. But even within those 2 categories, the size and shapes still vary. It's important to consider what bottle or can you'll be using, and the overall shape that your label will take on this bottle or can. This is something to decide before the design process, to avoid ending up with a stack of beer labels that can't even be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions sign

What Material is Best for Craft Beer Labels?

Craft beer labels are typically made from durable, waterproof materials such as paper, vinyl, polypropylene (PP), or synthetic materials like polyester or polyethylene. Paper labels offer cost-effectiveness and customization options, while vinyl and polypropylene provide superior durability and moisture resistance, making them suitable for refrigeration or ice immersion. Specialty materials like textured papers, metallic foils, or embossed labels are chosen for premium or limited-edition beers to enhance visual appeal. The choice of material depends on factors like budget, aesthetics, and printing requirements, with breweries aiming to balance visual impact and practical considerations when selecting the ideal label material.

What is the Easiest Way to Make Beer Labels?

Once you've designed your label, print it onto label paper or adhesive paper using a standard home printer. After printing, cut out the labels and apply them to your beer bottles. This method allows for customization and flexibility in design while being relatively simple and accessible for home brewers. Alternatively, you can also use online printing services or label-making websites that offer templates and customization options for creating and printing beer labels.