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How to Choose the Right Font for Printed Labels

Setting yourself up with the perfect printed labels for your products means focusing on three things:

  1. The material upon which the images and information will be printed
  2. The level of the adhesion required to stick the labels to the surface
  3. The prominence and clarity of the font to ensure readability

Of these three crucially important factors, it is the third that is most commonly overlooked.
Selecting the appropriate font for printed labels can be a daunting prospect. Not due to a lack of options to choose from, but the exact opposite; limitless scope for experimentation and creativity.
What matters most is to ensure that the font you choose is consistent with the rest of your branding. Chances are you have already selected a few specific fonts for your website, your logo and so on. The key to successful branding lies in consistency, so it is best to stick true to your brand.
Other than this, there are five things you need to bear in mind when choosing a font and typeface. Base your decisions on each of the following, and it becomes much easier to make the right choice:
1: An Appropriate Size
For obvious reasons, you need to ensure that the text is big enough to be legible for the reader. If you have limited space to play with, it may be necessary to print the text smaller than you would otherwise like. In which case, this will need to be factored into the decision you make when choosing a font; the smaller the size, the greater the importance of choosing clear and distinct fonts.
Sans Serif fonts are typically best for smaller text, which keep things simple for maximum clarity. Keep in mind that while fancier fonts may look, the part with larger lettering can become completely illegible when the text is small.
2: Important Messages and Warnings
Hierarchical factors regarding the text on your labels should also be taken into account. For example, if you need to communicate any important safety information or warnings, they should stand out from the surrounding text.
This is again where size and legibility are everything. Important information that needs to deliver a clear message does not call for a creative or elaborate font. If anything, using a fancy font can detract from the urgency and impact of the message being sent. From health and safety notices or floor tape in the workplace to warnings on product packaging, ensure what matters most is featured most prominently.
3: Location
The location in which the labels will be used should also be taken into account. A fancy font of fairly small size may look the part, but what if the label needs to be seen from a distance? Or perhaps, if the label is in a deep-freeze environment where visibility may be compromised?
Making the right choice means considering where and how your labels will be used. More specifically, it means not focusing exclusively on how they look close-up. This applies to everything from product labels to wall-mounted warnings to safety stickers attached to machinery. If the important information on the label cannot be read from an appropriate distance, a new font is needed.
4: Brand Recognition
Choosing a font and typeface that reflect your wider branding efforts is important. It is always better to create a sense of familiarity and consistency with all of your printed materials.
If you have not yet assigned an official font or typeface for your brand, stick with something simple until you do. Particularly when it comes to basic information, there is usually no need to get too creative or elaborate.
5: Label Type and Printing Process
There may or may not be restrictions with respect to the types of printed labels you need. For example, some materials are compatible only with certain printing processes, just as some labels are only suitable for use in specific environments.
You need to ensure that whatever font and typeface you choose, it will serve its purpose accordingly. Likewise, the material of the label needs to be appropriate for the requirement, as does the adhesion it provides. Getting to grips with the technicalities of printing technology can be tricky, which is where an expert design consultation can help.
Ask the Experts…
At Mercury Labels, we can help you select the perfect printed labels for your products, your workplace and elsewhere. We use cutting-edge label printing technology and superior label materials in order to guarantee the ultimate in visual appeal and long-term performance.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss your requirements in more detail, call Mercury Label anytime for an obligation-free consultation.

“Craig Upton supports UK businesses by increasing sales growth using various revenue streams online. Creating strategic partnerships and keen focus to detail, Craig equips websites with the right tools to increase traffic. Craig is also the CEO of iCONQUER, a UK based seo company and has been working in the digital marketing arena for over a decade. A trusted SEO consultant and trainer, Craig has worked with British brands such as, DJKit, UK Property Finance, Serimax and also supported UK doctors, solicitors, builders, jewellers, to mention a few, gain more exposure online. Craig has gained a wealth of knowledge within the digital marketing space and is committed to creating new opportunities working with UK companies.”