When designing a label for a specific company product, a good designer will carry out some exhaustive research on the company main characteristics and will analyze the market situation so as to make a good decision regarding the design. He will also take into account the company preferences for some specific details. With all this information, the designer will be able to create the appropriate image for the company. He will make use of his creative skills and graphic abilities to accomplish a design that will make consumers want to buy the product. Graphic designers are highly important, since they help companies increase their incomes.
From the beginning of time, men used containers to keep or transport food, liquids and other elements-these still did not have a communicative function. The first container to keep food dates at 1700 BC. Today, we still find records from that time which show the regulations of how to preserve food.
In the Middle Ages-a time of feudal society and pre-capitalism-packages were made to exchange food. Products were consumed in the same region they were produced. Packages had no specific labels since, at this time, a consumer society and free competition were not developed. Packages had no advertisement aim: they functioned only as containers.
The first great change in the history of packages happened during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. The creation of the railroad, the steamer and the development of factories, gave rise to the necessity of transporting products to different locations. As exportation reached farther places, communication was more intense. Because of the increase in the inner market and exportations, packages had to be more resistant and different among the rest, even among those products of the same type. Industrial capitalism kept growing during the following years, reaching the current production and circulation levels-as the result of a highly globalized and competitive market. It is at this moment of history that packages are significant tools to differentiate and sell products. And designers are the mediators between consumers and manufacturers.
Once we have learnt some of the history of packages, let’s talk about the development of labels. Phoenicians were the first merchants and, for this reason, the first to use packages and labels. It is then that graphic arose. Labels were hand-made marks used to distinguish products. The 16th century found the first printed labels in Europe. Their origin is directly connected with stationery manufacturer, who were the first to use designs in labels. These designs appeared in the center of bands that were put around the paper as a way to wrap them. The first man to develop these bands with printed labels was Bernhart in 1550.
In 1798, two new inventions greatly benefited the development of graphics. One of them was the papermaking machine, created in France by Nicolas Louis Robert. The other invention was the lithography, created in Bavaria by Alois Senefelder. With help of this technical innovation, in 1830 labels were used in all kind of packages.1840 found the invention of color print, which meant an important leap of graphic evolution. From this moment on, labels were not only a mere informative means, but also eye-catching designs. Chocolate manufacturers were the first men to use labels as a way to seduce the audience, and they used them especially in special occasions like Christmas or Easter.
Today labels are key elements for sales, since they make a product stand out from the great variety of products in the market. Consumers will feel less or more attracted to the product according to how labels make them feel and the quality of the label in comparison to the competition.