The Cheap Label Thread - How To Save Money By Doing It (Mostly) Yourself!

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New Member
Dec 13, 2018
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Greetings, my name's Sean and I'm a 36 year old father and a graphic designer! I specialize in logo and brand for small businesses, working with professional tools in a fast manner to save money for early companies. Recently I made a beer label for a friend of the family and the process took less than 3 hours and cost only the price of having labels printed and shipped. To save even that money you can buy a printer and stickers, though the ink costs will be high to print your own labels and I recommend doing it with a large company to mitigate costs there as well.

So, the first thing you'll need is an image! This client had a clear idea of what they wanted, and even a sketch to work with, saving a lot of time for me. I re-drew his idea on paper as a first step. It looked like this:

My next step was to add some typography (fonts) so I went online and looked at free font websites, choosing a font that looks old-timey and properly wobbly for the Old Worts.


When the idea was more together, I found some good light and took a photo of the image and uploaded it to a free raster to vector conversion website. You can find one of them easily with google or another search engine. What this will do is take the thousands of pixels in your image and refine them into sharp mathematical lines that never look pixelated no matter how much you zoom in.

The first try looked like garbage. I had to redraw it again with a black sharpie using tracing paper laid over the image. After I did that it looked much cleaner. I measured the bottle with a piece of paper to find out the dimensions of my label. This bottle's a Corona Longneck, it has a label height of 4 inches and width of 7.625 inches not counting the overlap where the label covers itself at the end. I designed an 8x4 label so it would wrap all the way around. By drawing on the bottle and then cutting free the paper I was able to plan where everything on the bottle would go on the label and put the elements in the proper places when viewed on a curved bottle's surface.


With the overall shape of the label and each area's placement known I can design the label using the vector images I created on any label printing website. To avoid looking like I'm pushing a particular product I'm avoiding naming specific companies, but many companies print beer labels cheaply and have design tools on their websites that are easy to use.

So the Old Worts brewery is finally in uniform!


The seam isn't visible from a direct view and there's plenty of room to refine the image later, add more detail or update the look with a professional later. And if you're not looking to go into sales, a label like this will really make your homebrew pop and impress your friends. It's true you don't need a label to make a great beer, but a great beer just feels naked without a great label to match, so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, after all, making beer is an art and you're already an artist, friend!

If you have questions about this process or get stuck feel free to shoot me a message, I'll answer here if it's important information and expand on any topic requested.

Thanks for reading, Cheers!
I totally get not sharing sites but would you mind pm’ing me some? This sounds like by far the best way to make cost effective yet nice looking labels!
I totally get not sharing sites but would you mind pm’ing me some? This sounds like by far the best way to make cost effective yet nice looking labels!
I started a conversation with us about it and it's open invitation. =)