Photos enhance the appeal of package labels like we mentioned in “Why Packaging Is Important.” But in the digital age, the utility of label photos does not stop there. For today’s sellers, product pictures are often the subject of social media engagements, too. That is why imaging tools that help make pictures both printable and shareworthy are indispensable in modern commerce.

Photo Editing Software for Product Label

Photo editors let you do these things and more. In this blog, we feature the best image-editing apps that can help you create eye-catching labels for your business.

What Photo Editor Qualities Are Best for Creating the Perfect Product Labels?

When deciding which image-editing software to use for your product labels, you’re not looking for just any graphic design or reworking program. You must have one that can help you promote your brand.

Branding entails the consistent use of your brand colors and precise reproduction of your product packaging. Any deviations in these elements’ appearance can make customers think that you’re offering them something substandard or counterfeit

Of course, other features that can help you create a great label design also matter.

Rounding up what today’s technology can offer, the following qualities should be your prerequisites for choosing a label photo editor:

1.

The Photo Editor Should Let You Work in the RGB and CMYK Color Spaces

The default color space used by computers is RGB, which we have talked about in previous blogs. It is great for creating on-screen and web graphics, but sticking to it until you decide to print will render dull-colored printouts.

If you want to print digital art without ruining its color, your software should let you work in the CMYK color space during the design process. Printing shops will not accept digital art print jobs unless they are set in the CMYK mode.

2.

The App Lets You Save Using a Suitable File Format

Ideally, your label should contain your photo, product information and required barcode.

To print quality barcodes, they should be saved in a vector format, such as EPS or EMF. Other file formats will create misprints and cause reading errors

On the other hand, printable photos need to be in a raster format. There are many raster file types, but the best ones for business are TIFF and JPG files.

However, saving your image as a PDF file addresses both requirements. PDF files are not true image files. Nevertheless, they let you preserve the appearance of your work when you save, whether it is in the vector or raster format.

Zebra Compatible Labels 2″ x 1″
Zebra Compatible Labels 1-1/2″ x 1/2″

3.

Compatibility with Your Operating System

As we mentioned in 2020’s Best Direct Thermal Printers for Small Businesses, the most widely used operating systems in the US are Microsoft and Mac. Others may choose to work with Linux, UNIX and other systems for one reason or another, but they comprise a small minority of American computer users.

When searching for a photo editor, you need one that is compatible with your OS. However, not all of these apps will integrate well with every system. Before you decide to pay a hefty sum for image-enhancing software, make sure that it is compatible with your OS.

4.

Wide Photo-Editing Functionality

It is common for commercial photos to be retouched before printing, even if they feature someone as beautiful as Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel.

When we say “retouched,” we don’t mean just cropping, resizing or changing the image’s brightness and contrast. Your photo editor must let you zap a zit, cover up a flab, turn water into wine or what have you.

Once you’re done revising your label photo’s appearance, it should also let you turn your UPC, SKU or QR Code into something that looks more fun than an ordinary, nerdy barcode. Check out this design: 

QR design

Barcode designs like it can help your packaging stand out in an aisle full of similar products.

Filtering, layering, healing, twirling, warping and cloning are just some of the handy functions that will allow you to work your magic on your labels. Find an app that has all of these tools.

5.

Convenience

If you just started your business, you may want to create your labels yourself. If you do not have enough graphic design experience, you should get a photo editor that is simple enough for you to use. Otherwise, you will not be able to make your labels at all.

Learn More:

Many image-editing apps are easy to maneuver, and support for their use is widely available online. However, there are others that only professional graphic artists will be comfortable handling because of their complexity. Some even have scanty technical support. Choose a photo editor that will not keep you from doing business.

Other convenient features matter, too. Downloadable apps enable you to access your work even when you’re offline. Mobile functionality lets you design or revise your labels anywhere. Integration with other graphic design software is also a plus.

6.

Affordable Price

For startups, price is always a factor. Photoshop is the industry standard, but it costs an arm and a leg to get a full program subscription. Meanwhile, there are free or cheaper alternatives, although Photoshop may still prove superior to them in some ways. However, their flaws are not deal-breakers, and those image-editing apps will still help you create beautiful product labels regardless.

 

Have a keen eye for these qualities so you can get the best photo editor for your business.

What Are the Best Photo Editing Apps for Your Product Labels?

There are a lot of photo editors available, but only a very short list satisfies the above criteria. Therefore, not all of them are suitable for business. Here are the best image-modifying apps that are available in 2021.

Photoshop
GIMP
GIMPshop
Capture One Pro
Corel PaintShop Pro
Affinity Photo
Krita
PhotoLine
Seashore
CinePaint

1.

Photoshop is, hands-down, the industry leader in graphics editing. The word “photoshop” has even become a colloquial term synonymous with altering photos. It has the widest functionality of all, though it is also the costliest image modifier available. The software is mainly a raster graphic enhancer.

The following are Photoshop’s features that make it superior for label design:

Color spaces: RGB, CMYK, Gray and Spot

File formats: PDF, TIFF, JPG and other raster formats

OS: Primarily Windows and Mac, but it can run on Linux using Wine

Editing features: It has the widest functionality of all. Cleanup functions include healing, liquefy, fix red-eye, etc.

Is it convenient to use? Photoshop is beginner-friendly. Technical support is widely available. Downloadable desktop and mobile versions are available.

Price: The free trial version is good for seven days. Subscription costs $20.99 monthly.

2.

“GIMP” is short for “GNU Image Manipulation Program.” Its image-editing features are similar to those of Photoshop, although the latter still has greater utility. Ghostscript software enables it to simulate some Photoshop functions.

GIMP can open Photoshop Document (PSD) files, but it cannot integrate readily with other Adobe products. Its default file format is the XCF. It is a raster imager enhancer that needs add-ins to work in CMYK.

The following are GIMP’s important features:

Color spacesRGB and HSV; CMYK if with add-ins

File formats: PSD, PDF, TIFF, JPG, XCF and other raster

OS: Windows, Mac and Linux

Editing features: It has wide functionality. Ghostscript can help it simulate some Photoshop features.

Is it convenient to use? GIMP is beginner-friendly, but technical support is less available. It is downloadable only on desktop.

Price: The best thing about GIMP is that it is free.

3.

Not to be outdone by Photoshop, GIMP developers created GIMPshop, which simulates Photoshop’s workspace. It has most of Photoshop’s editing tools and GIMP’s wide OS compatibility. It has both single-window and multi-window modes.

The following are GIMPshop’s key features:

Color spaces: RGB and HSV; CMYK if with add-ins

File formats: PSD, PDF, TIFF, JPG, XCF and other raster formats

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux and Debian

Editing features: Its editing features resemble those of Photoshop, although the latter still has more functions.

Is it convenient to use? GIMPshop is beginner-friendly, and technical support is available on the GIMPshop website. However, it is downloadable on desktop only. 

Price: Like GIMP, GIMPshop is also free.

4.

Capture One Pro is a photo-editing app that supports only certain camera brands. It was created for professional graphic designers. Live pictures tend to look better using Capture One Pro than Photoshop because it saturates and sharpens more. It uses English and several Asian and European languages.

The following are Capture One Pro’s vital features:

Color spaces: RGB, CMYK and Lab

File formats: PSD, PDF, TIFF, JPG and other raster formats

OS: Windows and Mac

Editing features: It has most of Photoshop’s editing features, but they work faster.

Is it convenient to use? The software is not beginner-friendly as it was created for professional photographers and designers. Capture One Pro is the downloadable desktop app, whereas Capture Pilot is its mobile version. Technical support is available on the website.

Price: Capture One Pro has a free-trial version that is good for 30 days. After that, you can subscribe for $9.99 a month or pay a one-time fee for the app. For new users, it costs $299. Upgrades of older versions cost $159.

5.

Corel is another old player in the field of graphic design software development. Its photo editor, PaintShop Pro, can edit both raster and vector images. It has most of Photoshop’s modifying features, and you can further enhance PaintShop Pro’s functionality using plugins. This software is compatible only with Windows.

The following are PaintShop Pro’s main features:

Color spaces: RGB, CMYK and HSL

File formats: PSD, PDF and both raster and vector files

OS: Windows only

Editing features: Plugins make it work like Photoshop. However, PaintShop Pro lets you modify both live pictures and barcodes easily, and the resulting image quality is excellent.

Is it convenient to use? PaintShop Pro is beginner-friendly, and technical support is available on the website. However, it lacks a downloadable mobile version. 

Price: PaintShop Pro has a free-trial version that you can use for 30 days. After that, you are required to pay a one-time fee for the software. For new users, it costs $79.99. Upgrades of older versions cost $59.99.

6.

Affinity Photo is a raster and vector graphics enhancer. Its editing tools are similar to those of Photoshop, though the latter is still more customizable. Affinity Photo provides live previews of your artwork, just like Adobe apps. However, it works with high-fidelity images, so its output tends to have better quality than Photoshop pictures.

The following are Affinity Photo’s notable features:

Color spaces: RGB, CMYK, Lab and Grayscale

File formats: PSD, PDF and both raster and vector files

OS: Mac, iOS and Windows

Editing features: Affinity Photo has most of Photoshop’s editing tools, but it can modify both raster and vector images.

Is it convenient to use? Affinity Photo is beginner-friendly, has downloadable desktop and mobile versions and readily offers technical support. However, Affinity Photo files cannot be opened using another program.

Price: The trial version of Affinity Photo is free for up to 10 days. After that, you are required to pay a one-time fee for the software, which costs $49.99 on desktop (Windows and Mac) and $30.99 on mobile (iOS).

7.

Krita is a raster image editor, but it is better for painting from scratch than modifying pictures. Nevertheless, it is still great for creating label photos. It was originally intended for professional artists and photographers, but beginners will find it easier to maneuver than Photoshop. Best of all, it is a free tool.

The following are Krita’s major features:

Color spaces: RGB, CMYK and Lab

File formats: PDF, TIFF, JPG and other raster files

OS: Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS and Android

Editing features: Krita has many editing tools similar to those of Photoshop. Most of its functions are better for painting.

Is it convenient to use? Krita is beginner-friendly and has downloadable desktop and mobile versions. However, technical support is not widely available.

Price: Krita is a free app.

8.

PhotoLine can modify both raster and vector images. It was developed by Germany-based Computerinsel. It uses English, German, Italian, Chinese and French. Its editing capabilities can be enhanced using Photoshop plugins.

The following are PhotoLine’s noteworthy features:

Color spaces: RGB, CMYK, Lab and Grayscale

File formats: PSD, PDF and both raster and vector files

OS: Windows and Mac

Editing features: With plugins, PhotoLine works like Photoshop. It has the added advantage of being able to revise vector images.

Is it convenient to use? Photoshop users will find PhotoLine a little disorienting, but it just takes a little getting used to. It is only downloadable on desktop. Technical support is available on the website.

Price: You can use Photoline’s trial version for free for 30 days. After that, new users have to pay a one-time purchase fee of €59, while €29 is required from upgraders.

9.

Seashore is a free GIMP-like raster image editor that mainly uses the RGB color space. However, it lets you preview your design in CMYK mode using the ColorSync feature. It works only on Mac. It is still an evolving program, but it is easy enough to use for creating labels.

The following are Seashore’s essential features:

Color spaces: Operates mainly on RGB, but CMYK preview is available.

File formats: PDF, TIFF, JPG, XCF and other raster files

OS: Mac only

Editing features: Its functions are more similar to those of GIMP than Photoshop. Seashore has fewer editing tools than either software.

Is it convenient to use? Seashore is very simple to use, but it is only downloadable on Mac desktop. Technical support is available on the website, but it is not complete. 

Price: Seashore is a free photo editor.

10.

Like GIMPshop, CinePaint is a fork app created from an earlier version of GIMP. It is a raster image enhancer that is now mainly used for modifying film frames. It works with high-fidelity graphics, so its output can be better than Photoshop pictures, depending on the source file. It does not edit videos, but it has been used to enhance some images in the Harry Potter movie series, The Last Samurai, Stuart Little, etc.

The following features make CinePaint okay for label design:

Color spaces: CIE*Lab, RGB and CMYK

File formats supported: CinePaint saves XCF, TIFF, JPG and other raster files. You need to import TIFF and JPG files into GIMP to save as PDF.

OS: Mac, UNIX, IRIX, Linux, Free BSD, Net BSD and Windows

Editing features: It functions like GIMP but can create images of much better quality.

Is it convenient to use? Like GIMP, CinePaint is simple to use, though it can only be downloaded on desktop. Technical support is available on the website.

Price: CinePaint is a free photo editor, just like GIMP.

The table below summarizes the key differences among these photo editors:

Software
Color Spaces Used
File Formats Supported
Compatible OS
Editing Features
Is it Convenient to Use?
Price
Photoshop

RGB

CMYK

Gray

Spot

PDF

TIFF

JPG

Other raster formats

Windows

Mac

Linux, on Wine

Widest functionality

Beginner-friendly

Great tech support

Downloadable on desktop and mobile

Free trial for the first 7 days

Subscription is $20.99/month

GIMP

RGB

HSV

CMYK, with add-ins

PSD

PDF

TIFF

JPG

XCF

Other raster formats

Windows

Mac

Linux

Widest functionality, can be further enhanced by Ghostscript

Beginner-friendly

Tech support is less available

Downloadable on desktop only

Free

GIMPshop

RGB

HSV

CMYK, with add-ins

PSD

PDF

TIFF

JPG

XCF

Other raster formats

Windows

Mac

Linux

Debian

Combines features of GIMP and Photoshop

Beginner-friendly

Tech support available on the website

Downloadable on desktop only

Free

Capture One Pro

RGB

CMYK

Lab

PSD

PDF

TIFF

JPG

Other raster formats

Windows

Mac

Has most of Photoshop’s features, but it works faster

Not beginner-friendly

Great tech support

Desktop and mobile versions available

Free trial for the first 30 days

Subscription is $9.99/month

Alternatively, it can be purchased for $299 by new users and $159 by upgraders

PaintShop Pro

RGB

CMYK

HSL

PSD

PDF

Both raster and vector formats

Windows only

Works like Photoshop if with plugins

Modifies both live pictures and barcodes

Beginner-friendly

Great tech support

Downloadable on desktop only

Free trial for the first 30 days

It can be purchased for $79.99 by new users and $59.99 by upgraders

Affinity Photo

RGB

CMYK

Lab

Grayscale

PSD

PDF

Both raster and vector formats

Windows

Mac

iOS

Has most of Photoshop’s features

Can edit both live pictures and barcodes

Beginner-friendly

Great tech support

Downloadable on desktop and mobile

Affinity Photo files cannot be opened using another program

Free trial for the first 10 days

It can be purchased for $49.99 on desktop and $30.99 on mobile

Krita

RGB

CMYK

Lab

PDF

TIFF

JPG

Other raster formats

Windows

Mac

Linux

Android

Chrome OS

Tools are similar to Photoshop’s, but Krita is better for painting than editing photos

Beginner-friendly

Tech support wanting

Downloadable on desktop and mobile

Free

PhotoLIne

RGB

CMYK

Lab

Grayscale

PSD

PDF

Both raster and vector formats

Windows

Mac

Works like Photoshop if with plugins

Adjusts both live pictures and barcodes

Easy to use, but functions are different from Photoshop’s

Great tech support

Downloadable on desktop only

Free trial for the first 30 days

It can be purchased for €59 by new users and €29 by upgraders

Seashore

RGB

CMYK

Preview

PDF

TIFF

JPG

XCF

Other raster formats

Mac only

Editing tools are similar to GIMP’s, but are fewer

Beginner-friendly

Tech support available but incomplete

Downloadable on desktop only

Free

CinePaint

CIE*Lab

RGB

CMYK

TIFF

JPG

XCF

Other raster formats

Needs GIMP to export files as PDF

Windows

Mac

Linux

UNIX

IRIX

Free BSD

Net BSD

Works like GIMP, but produces better images

Beginner-friendly

Tech support available on the website

Downloadable on desktop only

Free

With the help of this guide, you should be able to decide which of these programs are best suited for your business.

Conclusion

Photo editors help modern businesses create great pictures that can be incorporated in labels or shared online.

The best image enhancers help you promote your brand, as they have features that enable you to reproduce labels and product packaging with precision. These features include working in the CMYK color space, supporting the appropriate file formats and having a wide array of editing tools. Other qualities that let you use the app painlessly are also important, or you will not be able to create labels at all.

Here, we discussed the different photo editors available today. Photoshop is the industry standard, but GIMP and other programs are not far behind. 

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