How to Design Professional Looking Wine Labels Using Color

One of the most common questions I get is about how to design professional looking wine labels. It doesn’t matter whether you are a home winemaker or a commercial winery — you want your label to look good and to enhance your bottle. And I believe all wine deserves a high quality label!

So, to help with that, I’m sharing some tips on how to design a label fit for your finest bottle of wine. That way you can have professional looking wine labels on your bottles, without spending a fortune.

This post will focus on how to use color like a pro in your wine label designs.

Now, you may not think your choice of color is as important as, say, the images you use in your design, or even the text on your label. But your choice of colors can send a message – subtle, or not-so-subtle – about your wine’s taste and characteristics. Using color in your wine label is a simple way to make your wine stand out … and can even help others enjoy your wine more.

There are many ways the colors you choose will have a HUGE impact on how others react to your label and the wine inside the bottle.

Set the Mood

The color of your label can set the mood of the wine even before you pop the cork. With careful color selections, you can start the drinker on their journey by setting the mood with the color palette of the label.

Think about how colors make you feel. Some colors have obvious associations. For example, yellow is just a happy color. It says “good morning!” It’s cheerful and optimistic. Green is very natural and fresh. Blue is confidence and security, that’s why you see it a lot on bank logos, national flags, and police cars. Purple is luxury, red is passion.  Black is serious, elegant, or can be malevolent and creepy. White is pure, a large background of white implies purity and genuineness.

Use White for a Clean Look

This Label Uses White for a Pure, Clean Look

It’s not just one color, either. Use multiple colors to reinforce the mood. For instance, if you have a wine that is bright and cheery, like Pinot Grigio or Dandelion Wine, use bright and cheery colors like yellows and oranges. If you want your Zinfandel to be seen as serious and somber, use dark colors like burgundy, black.

Bright Colors Set the Mood for a Crisp Wine

Bright Colors Set the Mood for a Crisp Wine

Set Taste Expectations

Color can actually influence how your wine tastes when you drink it. Use the label design to give the drinker certain expectations about what’s in the bottle.

Studies show that the color of what you eat can influence how it tastes. That’s why, for example, cherry flavored candy is dyed red. The red color sets an expectation in the brain of a fruit flavor and will reinforce the cherry your mouth tastes. If that same piece of candy was green, your brain wouldn’t expect cherry flavor. The green candy won’t taste as much like cherries, even if the only difference in the two pieces of candy is the color.

Accordingly, you can design your label to match the flavor of your wine.

Plan the colors on your label to match with the flavor expectations of your wine. For a Sauvignon Blanc, it could be greens and yellow on the label to imply the crisp, fresh taste. A big, fruity Syrah label could show that flavor with reds and purples. Both of those colors communicate dark fruit and berry flavors.

Berry Colors for Taste

The Berry Color Influences the Taste of the Wine

By using color, you can reinforce the sensory perception of your wine to ensure enjoyment.

Establish Your Brand

Your use of color on your labels can help brand your wine.

One option is to keep your brand consistent by always using the same colors. That can train the consumer that no matter what the rest of the label looks like, with words and/or designs and images, that a certain color palette belongs to your winery.

Color can also be used to differentiate wines within your brand. You can keep a particular design or image, but customize the color by varietal. If you have a distinct logo, for instance, keep it uniform but use lighter, brighter colors on your whites and darker, bolder colors on your reds.

Branding Using Different Colors

Yellow Tail Uses Different Colors for Their Different Varietals

Details to Watch in DIY Wine Labels

An important point to remember here is that as the designer of your labels, color is up to you. You can decide the message you want to convey and use color to do it.

There’s no single correct way to use color in your wine labels. The best decision is to pick the technique that makes the most sense for your own wine and use it in your label design.

As you design your labels, also be sure to take these factors into account:

Your printer: Make sure the colors you use will print the way you want. Remember that what you see on a computer screen may be different than what actually gets printed. For example, using dark red letters on a black background might look good on your computer, but might be difficult to read when printed.

The color of your bottle: The label is going to be framed by the color of the bottle and the wine in it. Putting a black label on a black bottle can certainly work, but it’s likely to blend in rather than stand out. You might have a great idea about a green label design and go to all the work of designing it, but when you put that green label on a rose’ wine bottle, you may not like the way it looks. Similarly, a pink label on bottle of rose’ may lack contrast and look blah.

Design Professional Looking Wine Labels for Bottles

Pay Attention to How Your Label Looks With Your Bottle

There’s no right or wrong way to design your wine labels. The important thing is to make sure you put some thought in beforehand, so you’re not surprised by how your label looks the first time you put it on a bottle.

Need Help?

Color is one of the most powerful tools in design. The colors you choose will impact how others react to your label – and to your wine.

If designing your own wine labels seems intimidating, or just more work than you have time for, we’re here to help!

Contact us If you would like assistance with designing your wine labels. At Noontime Labels, we design completely custom wine labels for your homemade wine or for your winery. We also have hundreds of design templates available online at our website. We’ve put the hard work into the design process, and now these labels are ready to be personalized for your homemade wine. All you have to do for professional looking wine labels is select the template, type in your own text, select your paper, and place your order. Click here to visit our label gallery and get started!

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