Per our chat, I'm posting this in public as a reminder that eventually this needs to be improved. I can add guiLabels directly to the screen which will suit my immediate needs.
I'm imagine that in the future, a guiPanel will behave much like a jPanel where various elements can be added and organized such as buttons, drop downs, canvas, maybe even a remoteCamera feed from my other suggestion
red51: hmm... actually this is something the API doesn't take into account yet. our gui works this way (basically even elements like the chat are nothing but several labels and panels), but the API has no methods to add child elements (or to set an element as parent). that's definitely something that needs to be changed. I don't think we get that ready for the first release, maybe post a topic about that in the feature suggestion forum, so it does not fall into oblivion
but yeah, you can just add a GuiLabel to the screen directly. a "GuiLabel" is a text element (it can also have a background color if desired).