Sally, the owner of Cornish Country Cordials, prints all her labels herself and wanted the new labels I create, to also be able to be printed by her. The labels she uses are 105mm by 70.7mm, which means you can fit 8 on an A4 page with a small bit of wasted paper at the top and bottom (as seen below).
My initial idea is to have the label layout rather similar to the original with just the overall design being changed. At the moment I am slightly unsure about the overall composition of the labels but once I have all the elements ready, I am sure the composition will come together nicely.
My initial idea for the new labels was to create individual abstract watercolour designs for each flavour that would feature colours you associate with the fruits inside.
Before I actually created the watercolour experiments, I got a really nice watercolour image of Google that was free to use commercially and created a mockup of what I was planning on doing to show to Sally. She really liked the idea and how it looked but I personally loved how it looked and wanted to make my designs almost identical to the one I found. Obviously, some of the text isn’t very readable, although as it was just a first idea I left it the way it was.
As the website only had this design and didn’t have others versions with other colours, I had a go at changing the colours myself in Adobe Photoshop. I didn’t plan to use these but decided to do them to learn something new in Photoshop.
I liked the designs above, only I really wanted to create the watercolour designs myself but found it really hard getting the style I wanted to work. The method I was using to create these designs was firstly laying down a decent amount of water evenly over the paper and then dabbing wet pigment over the water, which resulted in these nice designs as seen below – this technique is like wet in wet.
The design below was scanned in at 600ppi rather than the 300ppi of the scan above. I did this as the quality is better and obviously I want the labels to look as good as they can.
The reason why these designs above (for the orange & chilli cordial) looked good, was that I was able to use original colours in my watercolour set, rather than having to mix them myself. With having to mix the exact colour I wanted myself, this meant that they weren’t very bright, which resulted in weird looking watercolours that I didn’t like. (as seen in the image below)
(As seen in the image below)
This problem I was facing was getting me rather annoyed as I wasn’t getting the result I imagined I would for the other flavours. So I decided to try and just use the design for the orange and chilli cordial that I liked and digitally change it like I did with the image that I got of the internet.
In the images below, you can see that I have digitally changed the colour which is what I did with the image I got of Google. I imagined that the designs would look rather natural, which is what you would get from creating them in real life rather than on a screen.
I really wanted to have the whole watercolour designs created by me but unfortunately, I couldn’t get the same results from digitally changing my own scan as the results of digitally changing the free image I got of Google. As you can see in the image above, you can bearly even tell that it’s supposed to be watercolours! I am really disappointed that am not able to get the desired colours for each flavour as I wanted to have the whole design made entirely by myself.
I used these adjustment tools to change the colours of my original watercolour image to colours that are associated with the other fruit drinks. I am not 100% sure how to correctly use these tools but I experimented until I got the result that I wanted.
As I wasn’t able to get the desired colours myself, I decided to ask a lecturer as he obviously knows more than I do and might have known another way or a workaround. Unfortunately, the only way he knew, was the way I had already been doing so he just had a go at that but like me couldn’t get the exact colours I wanted.
Due to this, he said maybe I should just use the versions I created using the image I got of Google. At first, I didn’t like that idea because I wanted the whole design to be my own, but after some thought I decided to go ahead with this idea and use the Google image version.
Although I liked the designs, they were too over saturated and I wanted my designs to me rather muted, healthy and natural tones whereas over saturated colours look unhealthy.
These versions are less saturated and I look a lot more natural which is what I wanted the designs to look like. One other thing I have changed in these versions are that I’ve used the spot healing brush and patch tool in Photoshop to make the designs for each label look slightly different. A problem that I was facing was the text on the labels not being very reading on light areas of the watercolour, I managed to solve this by using the patch tool to drag a darker area over the light area solving the problem.
After some more tinkering, I finally came to these designs which I like and feel are completely finished. The most noticeable change between the previous designs and these is the watercolour for the Whole Lemon Cordial. It was pointed out to me that the design looked like it was for a lemon and lime cordial – which it isn’t, so I changed the colour using the colour balance tool and experimented until I got this result which I like.
Now that I had the watercolours it was time to experiment with layout.
I wanted to keep the layout of the labels very similar to the labels she already uses, as they are simple and display everything in a clear and functional way. The two sketches above show the initial layout idea.
This was my first idea for the layout of my labels which has the logo at the forefront, flavour a bit smaller underneath and then extra information neatly placed around the sides. The one major problem with this design was that the same font was being used too much, which resulted in the design looking very cluttered.
When talking to lecturers about my problem and asking their opinion on my labels already, it was suggested that I try using two different fonts in my designs – one Serif and one San Serif. It was also mentioned that I should see what the labels would look like if I decreased the size of the company logo on the front.
Unfortunately, when I went to Sally house to pick up the labels, she only had different ones left as you had been preparing for The Royal Cornwall Show that week. As the labels were a different size, I needed to go back and recreate the labels and to the new size of 99.1mm by 67.7 which was fairly easy but annoying.
Overall I am rather pleased with the final designs. As I said already, I would have liked to of been able to have the watercolours made by myself but seeing how the labels look now, I am glad that I didn’t use the edited versions of my own watercolours. The only thing looking at all the designs digitally now that I’m still not 100% happy with is the saturation of the backgrounds. If feel this way as I still think it’s a bit too much but if it was any lower you wouldn’t be able to see the white text so I will have to leave it like this.