Why Custom Apothecary Labels Are The Best Way To Grab Attention

December 10, 2020
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Apothecary labels have become a trend for quite some time now. Many companies like to use a vintage style to recreate a nostalgic experience. Creating a new image that brings back old times is how lots of companies market their products.

They’re building their brand personality around the apothecary style. Any why not? It's one of today’s most popular branding trends.

This can be a perfect way for you, too, to be different. To separate your image from mass-produced mainstream alternatives. A great choice to become unique, I must admit.

Apothecary labels are the best ingredient to taste the flavor of past centuries. They have the flair of an old-world. They combine a style of art and science, vintage and chic.


In this post, we’re going to dip our toe into some interesting details about the apothecary style. And we'll also see how this style applies to your label design nowadays.

When you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly what button to click to get your custom apothecary labels. Be sure they'll definitely make a mark.

But let’s start with the most obvious question.

What Is The Apothecary Style?

As the word suggests, the style has to do with centuries-old pharmacies known as apothecaries.

Glass bottles with vintage labels that make the bottles seem antique.

It imitates the labels on the apothecary jars, bottles, or other containers.

The style has a rustic and austere look. It incorporates vintage, and lately even steampunk elements.

I'm sure you're wondering why pharmacy style. And what it has to do with today’s commerce and marketing.

We need to rewind time’s reel a few centuries ago to learn the answer.

Let’s take the leap.

Following the footsteps of the past

Apothecary” is an antique word. It first appeared in the English language in the mid-1300s. It was an imported term from Old French apotecaire. In English, it originally defined a pharmacist or chemist. Who sometimes even acted as a doctor. And not only did he own an apothecary shop, but he also prepared and sold medicines.

Anyway, these medicines were not like the drugs we know today. They were actually blends and potions made by the apothecary.

He made them with herbs, plants and other substances to cure diseases. And they were very carefully labeled in glass bottles or jars.

So the concept remained connected to the medical profession. And to the healing practices in general.

Old apothecary glass bottles on shelves with vintage labels.

Anyway, going back to our term...


The French word derived from the Greek source, apothēkē, and the Latin source apotheca. They both meant "a repository or storehouse”, i.e. a building, not a person. And from here the Medieval Latin term apothecarius actually translated as “storekeeper”.


So today, the term "apothecary" has made a complete turn back to its roots. It has revived its mercantile nuance. Yet it preserved the characteristics of a scientific style acquired along the way.

The last decade made the concept appear in America in new contexts. Businesses selling various goods and services - other than pharmaceuticals - adopted and adapted this term. Anyway, in some areas - such as California - it only defines licensed pharmacies.


As you can see, its meaning has become much more diverse and complex over the years. So companies use this opportunity to create a unique image about themselves.

And why not - it’s fascinating and impossible not to catch the eye. Many people go crazy for things out of the ordinary.

So how does the apothecary style apply in the context of labels?

Stay with me to find out.

Apothecary Labels Design - Something Old, Something New

Apothecary labels nowadays evoke - or copy - the look of the old apothecary jars.

It's easy to see how the green and amber bottles in old apothecary shops inspire the design of the labels today.


The inspiration also comes from the colors of herbs used for remedies. From the bold lettering and suggestive images on the labels. They were simple, yet very appealing in shape and size also.

A unique vintage look reflected in the apothecary labels that are now used for product packaging. Or as a décor element on various home objects.

In my opinion, this style never fails. In the age of technology and metropolitanism, it's like a breath of countryside fresh air.

Illustrations on apothecary labels

Apothecary design includes vintage illustrations. They are images of plants, animals, or other objects. It all depends on the purpose for which they are used.

Two glass bottles with black lids and traditional labels with leaves.

And let's not forget about Halloween! Apothecary labels are a craze on Halloween! They can set the perfect scene combining rustic looks with a spooky feel.


Why apothecary labels on Halloween? The answer is so obvious. Witches!

Back in the old times, many women were healers. They cured illnesses with herbs, prayers and salves. But they were witches in the eyes of the people. And were burnt or punished for their practices. It was long until women were accepted in the medical society.


The apothecary style features muted colors. The most used ones are cream, light brown or amber, sepia, or pale lavender.

Generally, it uses the colors of the medicine bottles and herbs used to make the potions. But that doesn’t mean that black or dark colors aren’t a good choice also.

Shapes and sizes

There’s no rule when it comes to shape or size.

Antique looking glass bottles with white labels.

Old bottles, jars, and recipients were round, rectangular, blocky, long or short, small or big. And so are the labels.

It’s enough to do a quick online search to find countless apothecary labels.

So many shapes and sizes with so different and appealing designs.

It kind of makes you want to have them all.

Fonts used for apothecary labels

The lettering style is inspired by many different eras. And it doesn't only come from the labels on vintage medicine bottles.

It's also inspired by old posters, cards, or product packaging.

You may use formal fonts with heavy serifs. Or flowing lines, bold or thin, that reflect the handwriting of the 18th and 19th century.

Another feature you can use is the elegant capitals. Or floral embellishments, if you wish.


Find what best fits your products. Take the old style and adapt it to the new world.

And if you want to add some extra effects...

Apothecary labels effects for an old look

You can combine colors, fonts, and images to create that true image of the old labels. And if you want to go all the way, a few effects may come in very handy. You can make them look distressed and worn out as if they are hundreds of years old.

Add some stains, scratches, burned edges, and faint script lettering. This will give labels that authentic look.

Stay with me now as we move forward to see some examples of apothecary labels.

What Do We Use Apothecary Labels For?

Businesses use apothecary labels to define their brand’s image around the vintage style. Or to sell products that need a special presentation to reveal something about them.

Like quality whiskies and other spirits, for example. Or healthcare and beauty products. Soaps and herbal remedies. Candles and perfumes. Even foods and beverages.

You can order custom apothecary labels for your:


People also use them for special occasions. And for Halloween, of course, as I said. Or in DIY projects to craft their own vintage style décor objects.

They just have a particular flavor and we can’t deny that.

Check out more of our guides:

Print Your Custom Apothecary Labels

Whatever your business is, you deserve premium quality. No matter what you're going to stick your labels on, the material must be the best and most durable. YourBoxSolution has the perfect solution for you. You choose the shape, size, and design, and we make it happen. The labels we print are strong, they apply easily and they last. We only work with high-quality materials. And the customization options we offer might be exactly what you were looking for. Have a look below.      


All labels are made of biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). This material gives them extra strength making them easy to print, coat, and laminate at the same time.All BOPP labels are:

  • Oil & water-resistant
  • Tear-resistant
  • Chemicals & UV resistant (the colors don’t fade in the sunlight)
  • Non-toxic
  • Safe for all industries


Our labels come in any shape and design you want. Tell us how you want your labels.

Circular label
Circular or Oval Labels
Square label template that displays the width and length.
Rectangular or Square Labels
Custom shape label
Custom Shaped Labels


Make sure to add an extra touch. You'll never be sorry for it. Make your labels special because they deserve it.

Plus, they all come finished with gloss or matte lamination for FREE. So you get extra customization to add more value to your product.

Glossy coating labels
Gloss Lamination (FREE)
Shiny finish and very reflective surface of the label.
Matte labels
Matte Lamination (FREE)
A subtle, non-glossy lamination, perfect if you prefer a worn-out look.
"Wild Tonic Kombucha" label on a blue container.
Soft Touch Lamination
Shine-free surface, smooth surface at touch and elegant looks.
Gold foil label showing a crown and writing.
Gold Foil

Love the gold foil look? Will it fit perfectly for your product? You’ll be happy to hear we can apply gold foil to labels as well. Metallic foil stamping is a hit if you want to make your product appear high-end.

The gold foil is applied to the label surface using heat, and any design can be foil stamped. However, we recommend that your finest details are no smaller than 1 point, to achieve fine foil areas. Learn all about foil stamping here.

Our labels are usually delivered on rolls, but depending on the size of the label and quantity, we can also send them as sheets.

We make everything in-house and don’t rely on resellers or middlemen. So at YourBoxSolution the minimums start at just 250 pieces. That means your budget is safe.

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