Import from China Tutorial 03: How to Creat Label Files for Your Imported Product

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Different countries have their own regulations on labeling of products and their packages. If you fail to put proper labels on your products and packaging, you may face severe fine, force recall or the products may be hold by the customs. In this tutorial, we will tell you how to create proper label files.

What Is A Label File

A product label file is mainly used to inform consumers of product quality, characteristics and so on. It can include the following forms as a vehicle for information transmission:

  • Imagery
  • Text
  • Prints
  • Artwork
  • Logos
  • Patterns
  • Marks(e.g. Compliance marks, warning marks)
  • EAN Codes / Bar codes
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Tips for Creating A Label File

As an importer, you should always assume that your supplier/manufacturer know nothing about the label requirements in your country. You must provide them with ready to use label files and clear instructions regarding their proper position. Here are some tips for you.

Identifying Your Target Demographic Before Designing

Before you design a product label file, you need to think about who your product target demographic. The better you know them, the easier they will buy your products. You can check the following questions:

Checklist

  1. Age and gender of the target population
  2. What color do they like?
  3. How are similar brands designed?
  4. Why would they buy your product instead of a competitor’s

Don’t Leave Out Any Information

A good label should include the following information:

Graphics & Images

Using graphics and images to covey product features can help customers quickly connect your product to their needs. For example, consider adding a picture of the product or a caption to represent the flavor.

Colors

Common color systems are the Pantone Color System and RAL color System, you need to clearly mark it out to avoid color difference. Be sure to incorporate the brand’s color into the product label. Try to use the same color to keep the brand consistent. This will make your brand easy to recognize. And the color used on the label is very important to the way your product is received in the market. They play a role in buying decisions.

Dimensions

Specify your label dimensions in metric system, namely mm, cm and m.

User Guides

Consumers are likely to look for certain information on product packaging, so make sure the following details are listed on your product label.

  • Composition: Disclose what’s in your product. While some products, such as soap, don’t require an ingredient list, your customers will always want to know what’s in their products. Ingredients should be listed from most to least used.
  • Instructions: Make it clear to your users how to use your product, what functions it has, what to do with it or how to save it after using it.
  • Net Weight: You can place this on the front of the label toward the bottom.
  • Contact information: Your customers may have questions about certain aspects of the product, or need after-sales service, etc. So you need to leave your contact information and it’s also a requirement by the FDA.

Font Files

Fonts are a way to present large amounts of information. But be careful, too many fonts will dilute the message and make it difficult for potential customers to read. Use different fonts to make the point out.

Label Position

You need t clarify where to put the label.

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Confirming File Formats

You need to confirm acceptable file formats with your suppliers, otherwise they are unable to read your label file. Manufacturers usually take label files in vector graphics format:

  • .ai
  • .eps

Finding A Qualified Designer If Necessary

In case you don’t have a designer at your disposal, here are a few online sources where you could find a freelance designer:

  • upworks.com
  • freelancer.com
  • fiverr.com
  • 99designs.com

How to Protect Your Brand and Logo?

Handling information of your brand/logo to the manufacturer or the freelance designer poses you the risk of IP theft. Can a Non-Disclosure agreement protect your IP?

No, it doesn’t work. Because the NDA is binding only on your direct suppliers, it can’t prevent other suppliers from copying your products. And if your direct supplier wants to break the agreement, there are many ways to do it, such as using a relative’s name to produce the product. The best way to avoid IP theft is to register and seek IP protection.

You should register one or more trademarks for your brand name(s) and logo(s) at least in your own country or target markets. It is a good practice to also register your trademark(s) in the manufacturing country. Here taking registration in China as an example.

How to Register in China to Protect Your IP?

  1. Trademarks
  • Register a trademark online or by an agent
  • Register both in main markets and the manufacturing country
  • Trademark registration in China is free and the validity period is 10years
  1. Design patents
  • New design for the shape, pattern and color of the products
  • It takes 3-6 months to register in China
  • Need to pay an annual fee
  1. Utility Patents
  • A new technical scheme for the shape and structure of a product
  • It takes almost 8 months to register in China
  • For physical objects only
  • Need to pay an annual fee

For more tips on how to protect your intellectual property, refer to our IP protection guide for importers.

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Conclusion

A well written label file can make your product more charming. If you still need some advice on creating a label file, please feel free to contact us.

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