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Forward, Backward And In Between: How These Directions Impact Your Label Layout Design

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If you are looking to hire printing services to help you with your new product labels, you may be surprised to learn just how complex labels can be. With all of the new data imaging and Photoshop tools, you can create some really amazing labels for everything your company makes and sells. That said, you might want to learn some of the lingo your label designer will use when discussing label layout design with you. In particular, forward, backward and in between are all directionals that are used to describe how you want to move and position various design elements. Here is how these directions impact your label layout design and how to use them when talking to your designer.


When your designer talks about moving a design element forward, he or she means moving a recessed element to the foreground. This element then becomes the first part of the image that the eyes of your customers see and process. You may want to do this when there is an element that deserves more attention or you want customers to remember it, like a logo or trademark symbol.


Conversely, moving a design element backward puts the element in the background. It may still be an important aspect of your label, but not as important as everything else. You may even want to "ghost" the element so that it is present and seen, but it cannot dominate or take over the label design. Ghosting a repeating symbol as a background pattern or ghosting a typically dominant color are examples of why you would move these elements backward and/or ghost them. It may also be a way to transition from an old label to a future label where this element does not exist at all.

The in-Between

This is the middle ground, where one or more elements hang out and decorate the label. The elements in-between the foreground and background should not fight each other for visual recognition, nor should they compete with the foreground for attention. If you have chosen a design element that does compete with other elements for attention, you may want to move it forward or backward rather than leaving it in the in-between space. Otherwise, when customers look at your label it may be too "busy" for them visually and they will put your products back on the shelf to look at similar products with simpler, less visually-distracting labels.