Labels: More Than Just Ingredient Listings

Have you ever thought that labels are just a place for product names or ingredient listings? This is a common thought when one hears the word “label.” Today I want to show you a unique use of our Graphics Department and the labels they create.

First, the back ground. Jean is my Great Grandma. She was fast approaching her 100th birthday. I worked with my mom and my aunt and my cousin to get samples of Jean’s handwriting. We searched through cards, letters and asked Grandma to write a few things for us about a week before the party. We found great phrases that allowed us to hear her voice when we just read the words. Do you have phrases in your family that start everyone laughing but outsiders just don’t get it? I am sure every family has these and my great grandma is no different.

Second, the goal. We wanted to create jars of creams and bottles of soap that would have Grandma’s sayings on the labels. These would be little moments of memories when softening dry hands or cleaning up from gardening. We wanted everyone at the party to take home a little piece of Jean, whether she is a mother, aunt, grandma or great-grandma to the guest.

In one card we found a fantastic example of Grandma’s writing.  See Picture 1. Grandma always signed her cards and letters in this fashion. I think it was that if anything were underlined it carried more emphasis. You can imagine the love she was sending when she wrote this!

Phrases I could hear her say is “That’s good stuff!” and “Egad! I never thought I’d see the day!” We asked Grandma if she would write these for us. She asked, “What’s wrong, can’t you remember?” It made the day we asked even more memorable. See Pictures 2 and 3 for the newly written phrases.

Changes made to the recently written phrases:

We had to make a few changes to Grandma’s handwriting before we could incorporate her writing into a label. Grandma pauses more now when writing and her vision is less than what it once was. See how we changed the exclamation points, Ts, Ys, Ss and Vs to clearer text in Pictures 4 through 14.

Changes made to the phrase written in the older letters:

The phrase, “Lots and lots of Love, dear, Grandma Thomas” was changed by adding the letter “s” to the word “dear” so this could be used as if writing to a family instead of one person.

While the graphics team worked on fixing Grandma’s handwriting samples, Mom and I started looking through the catalog to find fragrances that remind us of Grandma Thomas. We chose eight total fragrances to use for our creams and soaps.

Fragrances we chose and why:

Peach: We chose this fragrance because Grandma had a peach tree in the backyard. That peach tree was not only a food producer, but a tree for the kids to play around as well.

Black Raspberry: We chose this fragrance because my Mom remembers the black raspberries that grew along the fence in Grandma’s back yard.

Rose: This fragrance was chosen because Grandma has several rose bushes around her yard.

Osmanthus: I have a bottle of Osmanthus fragrance that we once carried. (I have heard this is coming back as a Limited Edition so watch the catalog and this blog for future notices.) I only use it for special occasions and we decided that Grandma turning 100 is a very special occasion.

Polynesian Red: We needed a bright a fruity scent and Polynesian Red is one of the fragrances that my mom and I both love! We decided that this fragrance was perfect for this party because it gave us some more variety to our collection.

Alice: We chose this fragrance because Grandma loves mandarin oranges and always has them in the refrigerator. This citrusy and spunky fragrance made us think of eating lunch with Grandma.

Esme: This fragrance was chosen because it smells almost like the perfume my Mom remembers Grandma wearing. The best part about this fragrance is that those who remembered the perfume thought this light, sophisticated floral was perfectly “Grandma.”

Emmett: We couldn’t just make creams for the gals, so we chose this fragrance for the guys. Since we didn’t know what to call it, we decided to just call it “The Good Stuff”. When we shared this with Grandma and let her smell it, she laughed and said, “That is good stuff!”

The graphics team had ideas of using vintage fruit crate art for our labels, but we also wanted a label that looked like a stylized drawing of Grandma’s house and something that shouted the fact that Grandma is now 100. After our discussion, the graphics team submitted several designs for our consideration and we picked the designs we liked the most.

Want to know how the graphics team made the label that had the stylized drawing of Grandma’s house? It was actually quite easy. They copied the street image of Grandma’s house from Google Maps and then designed the stylized artwork over the picture. Once the drawing was finished, the original picture was removed and the artwork was adjusted to look like Picture 4.

We decided how many labels of each design we wanted and the Graphics Team went to work. We started making the products. We used the Paraben Free Head to Toe Cream Base for our hand creams and the Shower Gel & Liquid Hand Soap in One Base for our hand soaps. We made about 80 items and every party guest went home with a special gift that had a note from Grandma on it!

I had lots of fun making these gifts and my Grandma loved them! She was so excited to give away some of her love notes to each guest and the guests were thrilled to receive them!

The next time you have a special event, consider special labels. Great labels can make long lasting memories!

P.S. Did you know we can use any of these backgrounds for your labels? Just ask the Graphics Team to have these used for your special labels. They’ll take good care of you!

Picture 1: Grandma's handwriting from the 90s.

Picture 2: Grandma's handwriting today.

Picture 3: Grandma's handwriting today.

Picture 4: Grandma's house as a stylized drawing.

Picture 5: Egad! She's 100! Polynesian Red scented cream label.

Picture 6: Finished label for the cream scented with Esme.

Picture 7: Finished label for the Peach Hand Soap.

Picture 9: Finished label for the Black Raspberry Cream.

Picture 11: Finished label for the Emmett aka The Good Stuff Cream.

Picture 13: Finished label for the Alice Cream.

Picture 8: Finished label for the Peach Cream.

Picture 10: Finished label for the Black Raspberry Hand Soap.

Picture 12: Finished label for the Osmanthus Cream.

Picture 14: Finished label for the Rose Cream.

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2 Comments

  • Pat says:

    Thanks for this wonderful information. I have a daughter getting married next July. For the thank you favors I am making lip balms and lotions and my sister is making small bars of soap and we will put one of each in a little cloth bag. Reading this has just given me some great ideas for labels to put on each of the items.

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  • Amy Warden says:

    So creative!! I love it!! The graphics team did a fabulous job! Happy Birthday to Jean!

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