*This is not a sponsored post. Philandmama.com did not receive anything in exchange for this honest review.
With so many free graphic web-applications available, I'm super picky when it comes to choosing the right tool to create and design my graphics. Back in December, Labeley (Stickers for Life) reached out to me with a guest post idea, which I declined because it wasn't a right fit for our blog at the time.
I had, instead, agreed to do an honest review of Labeley.com, and here it is!
Why you should trust me...
I've been an artist since I was a child, and I've been creating and designing websites and web games since 2004. (Check out my game site here.) When I was in college, I designed games for LittleMissMatched and websites for celebrities on The Young and the Restless, lol. That's 13 years of experience with using web and graphic design tools. My readers know that I only write honest reviews and you can read all of them here.
What is Labeley?
Labeley is free online label and sticker creator. You can also print your labels, professionally, with Labeley.
Labeley is free to use. You only have to pay when you print one of the labels or "stickers" that you've created. Printing the labels aren't cheap (scroll down to see pricing model), but you can also print for free by taking a screenshot of your creation (and thus never creating an account). If you do create an account, you can save the labels you've created and download them, thus keeping them forever.
Platform and User Interface
When I first tried using Labeley, the words frustrating and clunky came to mind. Labeley lacks a mobile version of itself. It is almost unusable my iPhone 7 Plus. That's okay if Labeley had an app, but at this time, it does not. I can't create labels or stickers on the go, and must use my desktop or laptop when using Labeley.
When you first visit Labeley on desktop, you click on the green Start Designing button to well, start designing. That's simple enough. Then you choose from six categories: General, Kids, Beer, Wine, Holidays, Emojis...
I must warn you: each category comes with different design elements. The design elements are not uniform across the categories. For example, if you choose the General category, you lose the option to add a pre-made graphic to your label. I don't label my own wines or beers, so I have zero use for the Wine and Beer categories for now (they come with the added element of "bottleneck" to design a label for the bottleneck). I may be able to use them to create labels for jars, cans, and bottles, however. We shall see!
I created the following label using the General category:
Once again, in the General category, you are given no option to add pre-made graphics to your labels. The butterflies come with one of the pre-made border, and there are only 17 borders to choose from. You can't change the color of the border. You can, however, upload your own graphic or image to add to the label. You can also pick from a large variety of label shapes
Let's make another label using the Kids category. With this category, you can add a pre-made graphic, but now I've lost the large variety of label shapes to choose from. Wait, why? Kids would want to have many shapes to choose from! This is frustrating, Labeley!
The Kids category gives you the same borders to choose from, but more backgrounds to choose from, and again, you can choose a pre-made graphic. The pre-made graphic choices are limited (and most graphics are just color swatch swap outs), and there is no way to keyword-search for a graphic. The pre-made graphics are cute, I'll admit! See the cute sticker I made below:
If I were to print this label using Labeley's service, it would cost me almost 22 USD to print 30 labels on plain paper! I'd rather just print these myself!
If I had designed Labeley's user interface, I would scrap the different Categories idea, and allow for all design elements to be active and usable. For instance, you just need one category. Call it Label. Then allow the user to choose from all the different label shapes (including the ones for wine and beer), all the emoji elements, and all the borders, colors, fonts, backgrounds, and pre-made graphics. Or keep the different categories, but keep the design elements uniform. For instance, in General, I should be able to use the pre-made graphics. In Kids, all the label shapes should be available!
There are other elements to the user face that annoy me, and it takes a lot of trial and error to get used to. Labeley's tutorial doesn't cover many of the challenges I've faced as a user, such as how you need to reset your design each time you're choosing a different category, and that you must create a login to save your designs (or they'll go the the void).
Let's Nitpick (some more)
Labeley needs work. When you choose from the variety of fonts, you won't know what the font looks like until you click on the font name. I think this may be a glitch. You can't delete design elements by clicking on delete or backspace on your keyboard. And you can't change the colors of the pre-made elements. When you want to enlarge a graphic, you must drag from the upper right corner, and no where else on the graphic...
All that being said, Labeley can be useful for DIY projects, and I do appreciate the fact that it's free. I'll be able to create a cute set of printable monthly milestone "stickers" using Labeley.com. Hopefully and soon, Labeley will correct some of its design and clunky platform issues, and add more elements for the users to play with. Phil and Mama award Labeley with 3 out of 5 pandas.
Good luck, Labeley, and thanks for reaching out.