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In the chemical manufacturing industry, sales aren’t necessarily driven by aesthetics. Considerations like cost and quality trump brand creativity when it comes to establishing company signatures. More importantly, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Department of Transportation (DoT) requirements drive much of the information that is presented on drum labels and how they look. Appearing generic is a riskier move in other industries like food, cosmetics and other lifestyle products, where brands are designed to communicate a visual idea.
A drum filled with a potent chemical compound doesn’t need to look seductive or flashy. However, manufacturers whose primary output is bulk chemicals shouldn’t overlook branding. Sometimes, elements as simple as an original and memorable logo can help your customers associate the positive experience they have with your product, with your business.
If you’re brainstorming subtle ways to bring commercial branding into chemical labeling, a good place to start is by glancing at household cleaning supplies. Like a giant drum of hydrochloric acid, these products are often hazardous to people and their value is derived from how effectively they meet a chemical need.
“As the market becomes more saturated, differentiators such as an attractive packs or pleasant fragrances have increased shelf appeal and can influence buyer’s quick purchasing decisions,” explains the CleanLink blog. “One of the most important factors of a cleaning product is efficacy, so packaging should showcase both the product’s efficiency and quality.”
Rather than going for edgy, funny, lighthearted or emotional appeals to customers, chemical labels should reflect a bit more poise and restraint. Simple iconography like leaves (for naturally derived products) and geometric shapes (for synthetic materials) as well as sturdy, practical fonts convey integrity and reliability. Because drum labels are so filled with important safety information, branding can often only take up a small area of your label design. That’s why it’s critical to maximize your square inches with succinct, resonant branding.