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How to use vintage beer labels for timeless success

Multiple labels and designs on a black background.

In the past years, beer has become more popular than ever. More and more people get accustomed to the many tastes of beer and are thrilled to try more than the standard pils and lagers. At the root of this industry stands creativity. Everything around craft beer is carefully selected: the malt, the hop, the design of the bottle and of the label.

Creativity sparks, and if you want to sell your beer, you need to step up your labeling game. Vintage beer labels have the power to make people want to say “cheers”. They grab attention, make your brand easy to remember and add that nostalgic look.

So let’s see what’s with these labels and how you can use them to your advantage!

Why choose vintage beer labels

When your beer gets on the shelf, you want it to present the most important information about your brewery, your beer, and its flavor. Some customers know exactly what type of beer they’re looking for, while others are scanning the shelves looking for something new to try. Ideally, your label should appeal to both types of customers.

A vintage beer label is by default full of personality. It looks good, and it gives a nostalgic charm. A retro look can also induce a taste of mystery. It makes you think the beer has a flavor you haven’t tried, and you’d like to see what is it like.

Vintage beer labels make your product distinctive so that your customer will remember it and will be able to easily find it on the shelf.

12 different logos for crafted beer.
Many people even collect beer bottles and labels. Vintage labels are always attractive.

TTB requirements for beer labeling

Before planning how to make your label sell, you need to make sure you comply with the TTB requirements (The Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division (ALFD) of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau). Here are the general aspects to include on a vintage beer label:
Check the requirements available in your state, because there are variations from region to region.

How to get that vintage beer label look

Now that we covered the mandatory elements of the label, let’s move to the fun part: the design.

Vintage labels have in common the fact that they promise a trip back in time. However, there are different styles of vintage beer labels. Here are the most popular:

  • Old factory industrial design
  • Elegant retro design
  • Hippie 70s design
  • 80s disco fever design
Various label designs with multiple colors for a beer brand.

1. Vintage beer labels with industrial design

This type of vintage beer label is great for local brands. People love beers connected to their area, so you can mention local recipes, the source of your ingredients, or link your brand to local names and symbols.

In terms of colors, these labels can go from shades of brown to black, blue, yellow, or red.

This kind of vintage beer labels often has images of bottles, pints, beer production systems, and old postcards of cities.

A black design of a beer factory on a wooden surface.

2. Vintage beer labels with elegant retro design

This vintage beer label usually focuses on typography. Since it’s all about the copy, this label works well for brands with strong slogans.
"Premium Lager Beer" on a logo that shows a barrel surrounded by wheat.

This label usually integrates symbols of royalty (crowns, ribbons) and images of animals (lions, birds, bears, wolves), fields of cereals, pints, glasses, or barrels.

You could also have a character on the label. Many brands associate their image with a gentleman look. You can take inspiration from old newspapers and magazines. To dig in even deeper, you can search for retro ads from various countries.

3. Vintage beer labels with hippie design

The 70s were all about liberation, creativity, and good vibes.

These values are a perfect match for beer brands. Hippie style offers a lot of space in terms of colors, visual elements, and typography.

Vintage beer labels with this design often have flowers, rainbows, fluffy clouds, and creative messages. A vintage beer label like this will put your bottle in the spotlight.

Yellow, red, and black logo for beer that reads "Oktoberfest".

4. Vintage beer labels with 80s design

The 80s were another colorful era. Labels with this style use bold mixes of colors and invite people to take action. A vintage beer label of this kind is like that energetic friend who is always out doing things. You can get inspired by looking at music videos from the era.

Close up on label design for Birra Moretti with condensed water on it.

This type of vintage beer label is great for brands who want to associate with cool disco vibes.

No matter what design you choose, it can be easily implemented on your labels. YourBoxSolution has all the printing technology needed to deliver even the most complex design at top quality.

Read more about how to get the perfect packaging in our dedicated blog post.

Custom vintage beer labels for your bottles or cans

A very important aspect of your beer labels is the container. Beers are sold in bottles or cans. The options for labeling depend a lot on the type of container.

A) Labels for beer bottles

There are three main aspects to discuss the labels for beer bottles:

  • The color of the bottle
  • The shape of the label
  • The material of the label
Glass bottle necks with condensed water and with golden caps.

1. The color of the bottle

Most beer bottles are either transparent, brown, or green. You should consider the color of the bottle when styling the label. Usually, contrasting colors work best. You can also go for white or silver.

2. The shape of the label

Most beer bottles are either transparent, brown, or green. You should consider the color of the bottle when styling the label. Usually, contrasting colors work best. You can also go for white or silver.

3. The material of the label

Most beers have paper or BOPP labels. While paper enhances the vintage look, BOPP offers great resistance and freedom to customize. It’s important to make sure the label stays in place. Considering that beer is stored in cold environments, it’s helpful to choose water-proof labels, like the BOPP ones.

B) Labels for beer cans

The same discussion applies if you’re selling canned beer. Many times the cans have all the information directly printed on them using UV curing.
A blank white can in a man's hand.

However, you might need some extra space to add some information. Or maybe you are testing a type of beer for a short amount of time or have a limited edition.

Especially if you’re a distributor, you might need to make sure you comply with all the requirements available in your area. Beer can labels have your back.

Read our blog post about root beer labels too!

The best material for beer labels

BOPP labels have so many advantages that they make the best option for beer labels . They are easy to customize and protect the printing from smudging. With BOPP labels you can be sure everything stays in place when facing condensation or contact with water.

Types of BOPP:

Types of coatings, finishes, and extras:

Print your vintage beer labels at YourBoxSolution

Get your custom vintage beer labels today! Our orders start from as low as 250 pieces, and all the labels come with a gloss or matte laminate free of charge. We can make labels with any design, shape, color, or custom request at the best prices.

Get your quote!