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Step-by-step Guide to Creating Packaging Labels in Adobe Illustrator

Posted by StickerMarket on February 24, 2023

Imagine looking for a product inside the supermarket. You have come across the shelf that offers what you were looking for.

But it has many similar products from different brands. What do you think is the key difference to make that item stand out and appeal trustworthy compared to the others?

You would check its packaging or the entire product presentation, read the label, and make comparisons with other similar products.

"According to a survey, 64% of consumers try a new product because the packaging catches their attention. While 41% have said that they will continue to purchase the product because they like the packaging. Excellent product presentation is vital in your sales because it is your consumers' first point of contact." — ESKO

Even though you are a business owner, you are also a customer. You have experienced firsthand when making a purchasing decision.

This is why custom stickers for packaging play a vital role in marketing your product.

Packaging labels can display additional information, promotion, protection, containment and usefulness. It also adds appeal to your product.


Photo by: Sara Kuzma

In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide to help you create packaging labels that stand out using Adobe Illustrator.

Let us start!

Step 1: Set Up Your File


    •  Create a new document with your desired size (I use 4” x 2” here).

    •  Make sure the Colour Mode is selected to CMYK and the resolution to 300 PPI.

    •  Set the Bleed Size at 0.025 inches.

Step 2: Set Up the Artwork


   •  Use the guides (cyan line) as cut lines.

   •  When you are done, lock these guides and head back to the ‘Artwork’ layer.

Step 3: Place the Artwork


   •  Place your artwork or logo on the artboard.

   •  Go to FILE > PLACE or Shift + CTRL+ P.

   •  A vector file and a high-quality image are recommended.


   •  Try to check your artwork for spelling or colour.

   •  You could add text using the type tool, but this is optional.

Step 4: Exporting Your Sheet as a PDF


   •  Before exporting, make sure you have set the colour mode to CMYK. Go to File > Document Color Mode > and select CMYK.

   •  Go to ‘Save a Copy’ (⌥+⌘+S) and set the format to ‘PDF’.
       Keep the Adobe PDF Preset to ‘Illustrator Default’.

   •  Click on Save PDF.

Step 5: Final Output



Final Thoughts

Adding a final touch to your food packaging, parcel, or custom mailer makes the product more desirable to the audience. It showcases your professionalism and creativity. Remember that effective branding comes with consistent labelling for easy brand recognition.