How to Measure Labels

The visual design of your labels can be enjoyable to create. In this more artistic part of the endeavor, you may feel free to loosen up a bit and experiment with different tones and styles. Besides being fun, good visual design is also a necessity, at least if you are in business. You must choose the colors, fonts, and ideas that are most fitting for your brand.

Speaking of fitting, visual design is also about more practical aspects. Namely, the size of your label is of great importance, arguably more than the look. Even if you have a great design, a label that is too big or too small for the container may render the effort useless.

Thankfully, getting this right does not have to be complicated. You just need the right equipment and knowledge — neither of which may be what you are expecting. Here is some information on how to measure labels, so you know which ones to get for your containers and your ideas.

When the Conventional Ruler Does Not Always Work

Since childhood, we have come to understand that when we need to measure something, we just need a ruler. The conventional ruler, as you know, is an inflexible stick with printed or inscribed notches marking inches and smaller units of length. They are well-suited for most ordinary situations that require measurement. We only bring up such common knowledge to illustrate that these types of rulers are not always suited to the task of measuring labels.

Certain products may have properties that make using such rulers inconvenient. Bottles and jars are often round, and even bendy rulers may not be flexible enough to provide accurate measurements. This is especially true if the containers come in unusual shapes that make getting their diameter and height difficult through conventional means. Similarly, these rulers may not work well for fashion design. Certain articles of clothing need something that can bend further than the often inflexible sticks.

Specialized Measurement Methods

Thankfully, human ingenuity is quite flexible, and people have created their own solutions to get around the limitations of typical rulers. You may already be familiar with some of them and not yet realize that they have applications beyond what they are known for. Here are a few examples of specialized measurement methods and how to measure labels with them.

Tape Measure

People commonly associate tape measure with work around the house. Their design gives them a few benefits for such projects over standard rulers, and these same qualities can come in handy for measuring labels.

You can contort the tape as needed around tight corners, providing for a more accurate read on length and height. Additionally, while most rulers restrict you to just twelve inches, most tape measures can stretch over many feet — 30, 40, more. They may not be a fit for every job, but they can be a practical solution.

Printable Rulers

More flexible than the materials used for tape measure is paper, which can bend and fold as much as you need. You can easily make a paper version of a ruler using a real one for reference, or print one from the internet. They are ideal for round objects, clothing, and other items that require great elasticity.

If you look for a printable ruler online, make sure that the source mentions the dimensions of printing paper you need to use. It will be useless if the ruler turns out bigger or smaller than actual size.

Label Size Guides

You may have the measurements ready, and you may know what label you want on the product. However, you may want to hold off on buying the label and first conduct a little test. If you cannot acquire a free sample, you can try an approach not unlike the paper rulers.

Some websites provide label size guides for stickers in a variety of shapes. You can print them out and see how they look on the item you wish to label. Some even come with the dimensions printed on, for added convenience. This should give you a better idea of what to do.

Wrapping Around and Stopping Short

Some products, such as bottles, boxes, and jars, let you put a label that can go around the item in question. A typical measurement of height and width or circumference may give you a near-perfect fit, with the ends touching each other as they wrap around. However, do you want them to touch, or do you want something different?

You need to consider how you want it to look and choose a label of a corresponding size. If you want them to stop short, then get your measurements and subtract about an eighth or a quarter of an inch. If you want them to overlap, then do the opposite and add that fraction to your count.

Choosing Label Shapes

There is more to the visual design of a label than its contents and its size. The shape of the sticker is an important detail as well. This aspect requires some careful consideration of its own. You can approach it with pure practicality, basing it strictly on the shape of the item being labeled (such as containers). You may personalize it to align with your brand, though even then, it must fit on the container.

Labels can come in many different shapes. You may be familiar with the standard box, such as what you find on plastic Coca-Cola bottles. They may also be perfect circles, or ovals of varying lengths and widths. For extra spice, you could also create hybrids of the two by rounding the tips on rectangles, squares, and other quadrangles and polygons.

You can and should feel free to think outside of the box during this creative phase. With that said, your concepts still have to fit within a more literal box — or a circle, or whichever form you ultimately prefer. When choosing a size for your label, try to choose one that is available as an option at a label printing service.

Find Labels of All Shapes and Sizes at Label Outfitters

Now that you know how to measure labels, you will be able to get a better idea of what size and shape you want. Here at Label Outfitters, we carry a wide variety of labels with different dimensions and forms and styles. Check out our selection, search labels by size, and choose the ones that make for the best fit.

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