How to Design Cautionary Candle Labels

There are many different types of packaging for candles but they typically have one thing in common – cautionary labels. Although there is no legal requirement to include safety warnings and instructions on candle labels and packaging, most product owners have cautionary labels to better protect consumers from fire and show that the manufacturer meets industry standards. Fortunately, fire safety information can easily be incorporated into the label design or displayed on a separate label. Our tips below will show you how to create candle labels that communicate essential safety information.

Research Safety and Labeling Standards

Jumping into your label design without a clear strategy can affect your cautionary candle labels in several ways – multiple artwork revisions, additional designer costs, order delays and other unforeseen setbacks. Research industry standards and competitors to see what are typical statements made on candle labels. Our article, “Getting Started with Custom Candle Labels,” can help you get a better idea of how to achieve successful candle labels.

Not only should you research what safety information should be on the cautionary label, you should also examine your label manufacturer’s printing and material capabilities to better ensure your custom printed labels will last through the candle’s use. We typically print candle labels on clear film, semi-gloss paper, metalized silver paper, and metalized film to suit a variety of styles and quality requirements.

Considerations for Cautionary Candle Labels

Due to an increase in candle related fires, the National Candle Association (NCA), ASTM International, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) came together in 1997 to develop and improve industry standards, such as candle design, materials, and manufacturing processes. Part of their efforts was developing cautionary labeling standards to help educate and protect consumers.

According to ASTM candle standards, every candle should have a cautionary label or tag listing the three key rules of candle fire safety:

  • Burn within sight
  • Keep away from things that can catch fire
  • Keep away from children

Also typically added to cautionary labels are additional manufacturer instructions for burning the candle properly. Product testing and analysis can help manufacturers get this information so they’re better able to give consumers up-to-date warnings and instructions.

Make Candle Warning Labels Stand Out

There’s no foolproof way to ensure consumers will read the cautionary label, however, incorporating graphics into the label design will help make the message more memorable (or at least noticeable).

Standard safety graphics:

Candle label safety graphics

Another consideration is to use different colors for text and/or graphics to highlight key safety points. For example, you can use red ink when listing the three key rules of candle fire safety so those statements jump out. The format of a cautionary label is also important. By strategically using bullet points, spacing, lines, boxes, etc., it will be easier for consumers to read and retain the safety information.

Final Thoughts

Whether you incorporate warnings on your primary label or plan on using a separate cautionary label, always give consumers complete and accurate information on how to properly use the candle product. There are a lot of resources you can use to better understand candle safety standards – NCA, ASTM International and CPSC are several great places to get started. For information on candle label printing, please feel free to reach out to us so we can help you get started on your custom labels.