Keep It Simple Silly (KISS): An average customer takes less than 5 seconds to decide whether to buy a product. Make sure the audience knows WHAT your product is. Create this by placing the product name (“shampoo,” “pet treats,” etc.) right on the front of the label in a clear, easy-to-read font. Listing select benefits in bullet point style is a great way to inform the shopper why they must click: “BUY NOW.” Add simple things like is your product organic or is it hand-made? Key selling points should be kept short and simple. Make sure you use white space to help highlight these benefits. You’ve lost the sale if any of these elements are lost in busy graphics.

Scanning for Success: Most online retailers require Universal Product Codes (UPC) to be included in your label design. A UPC consists of 12 numeric digits that uniquely identify your business entity and individual product, and these digits are displayed as vertical bars that a barcode scanner interprets. There are many websites from which you can register and purchase UPCs. In addition to the number, you will need the actual barcode artwork file that you will place on your label. This UPC-related website is a good resource for all things UPC.

You must also meet barcode size requirements for your barcode to be scannable. The nominal size of a UPC at 100% magnification is 1.469 inches wide (from the far left-hand number to the far right-hand number) by 1.02 inches tall (from the top of the bar code to the bottom of the human-readable numbers). When placing the barcode artwork within your label design, make sure that you retain the proportions and do not stretch the barcode image. If you stretch the barcode, it will be disproportional and may become a different number.

There needs to be white space around the barcode to ensure scannability. If design elements (mainly text) are too close to the UPC, a scanner may pick that up and try to read the text as part of the barcode. 

Once it is complete, print the label and test that it works at a standard retailer scanner or use your phone app to see if the bar code scans correctly.