Designing Beer Labels: Sizing and Dimensions

A good beer label design needs a proper canvas. When it comes to beer bottle labels, that canvas only affords you a few square inches of space, so it’s crucial that you know what dimensions you’ll work with for your next masterpiece.

The overall beer label sizes and dimensions of your bottle or can label depends on a few key factors. Once you identify what you have to work with, you can create a canvas that will hold your new beer label design.

Beer Can and Bottle Label Sizes

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Consider the Bottle or Can

When it comes to beer label sizes, your decision can heavily depend on the size of your bottle or can. For example, a 3.5” tall by 4” wide beer label may work just fine for standard 12 oz. bottle , but that probably isn’t going to be big enough for a 22 oz. bomber. To determine what dimensions work, cut a piece of paper in the shape of a rectangle. You can hold this paper up to your bottle to see how that shape will fit. If it’s too tall or wide, trim it down until it fits. You can then measure the paper to get base beer measurements for your design.

There’s also the possibility that you may have to work with a custom-shaped container. You may want a wider label for a stubby bottle, whereas a thinner label could look more appealing on a longneck bottle. Make sure you take the bottle into consideration when sizing labels before you get ahead of yourself and must rework an entire design.

Image of beer bottle label dimensions and sizing.

Partial Wrap vs. Full Wrap Labels

Once you get a feel for your bottle or can, you need to determine exactly what size label you need. These dimensions will also largely depend on what type of beer label you want. Typically, this boils down to a partial wrap versus a full wrap.

A partial wrap label is one that comes with two separate labels, with one for the front of the bottle and another for the back. These are where you’ll see beer bottle label dimensions like the 3.5” by 4” we mentioned for a standard beer label, although you can adjust dimensions for either the front or back depending on the shape and size of your bottle. It is very important to make sure your applicator can accommodate front and back labels on the same roll! This usually entails programming the gap between the front and back. Some label designs only call for a small front label. These minimalist designs are fantastic, but be sure to compare them with the exact dimensions of the bottle or can!

A full wrap label is designed to run around the whole bottle, with one end stopping just short of the other. That means that your label width will be determined by circumference of your bottle. While a full wrap will give you more real estate to fit in important details and compliance information, it also means that you should create a single cohesive design instead of two separate pieces.

Don’t Be Afraid of New Shapes

Tired of using the same old rectangles and ovals for bottle labels? Custom die cutting gives you the freedom to design labels with custom shapes. Modifying the shape of your label allows you to add some additional character to your label that makes it stand out from the usual squares.

Of course, a custom shape also requires you to figure out exact dimensions for this new shape to make sure that it will fit on a bottle. To do this, cut a rectangular piece of paper that can wrap around the main part of your bottle. From there, you can trim away at this paper to mimic the label shape you want and wrap it around the bottle to see how it fits. This will show you if your current shape is too big or small and gives you an idea of just what you have to work with. There are also some certain considerations that you should make, as details like sharp corners or holes within a label can create issues during the die cutting process. Once you’re set, you can then measure the paper to get a base measurement for your design.

Image of a custom shaped beer bottle label.

Work with a Digital Label Printing Company Who Can Bring Your Designs to Life

Every great beer label needs a great printer. The right digital label printing company can work with you to ensure that the final beer bottle label size reflects the quality of the beer inside the bottle.

At Blue Label, we create a working partnership to help you throughout the process, all the way up to providing physical proofs so that you can see a finished product and make any necessary changes. Contact us today if you’re in need of a good digital printing company for your beer bottle labels.