Logos, Labels and Tags, Oh My!
Besides your beautiful clothing designs, brand identity is an equally important way to make your collection stand out from the others. If you haven’t already developed your marketing and branding materials – such as logos, labels and tags – there’s no time like the present. This is the perfect time to do a deep-dive into your brand and how you want it to be viewed by the public.
First, let’s start with a discussion on what branding is, and what it is not. Your brand is not just your clothing. It’s not just your logo. It’s not just your hangtags and labels. And it’s not just your name. While these things are important individual components and should support your brand, your brand is a combination of all these things and then some. It’s the world’s perception of who you are as a company.
Everything that you do, everything you say, and everything you create (including your logo, labels, hang tags, website design, e-commerce experience) contributes towards this perception, whether you intend it to or not.
If you have a clear idea of who you are as a brand and what you want to be known for, this perception can be used to help build your business and cement your identity in the mind of the consumer. If it is unclear and muddy, it will work against you.
So spend time asking yourself some probing questions about your company. Knowing your brand identity will help create a “touchstone” for your brand. You can then make better (and quicker!) decisions when it comes to logo design, website graphics, distribution channels, even design ideas for your subsequent collections.
Logos: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Shopify makes an excellent point about logos: “Think about the worst logo you’ve ever seen—what comes to mind? If you’re having trouble thinking of one, that’s not surprising. Good logos stick. Bad ones don’t.
That’s what makes designing a logo different from designing other branding materials. Web banners, ads, and social media posts each have their own design and communication objectives, but none are as focused on memorability as a logo.”
Let’s talk about some logos that you probably do remember. The Nike Swoosh, Apple’s apple (with its iconic bite, or byte) or Chanel’s interlocking “C’s”. What do they all have in common? Simplicity, of course!
Simplicity should be the watchword for all of your communications, but most importantly, for your logo. In fact, it should be simple enough that a child could draw it.
That said, it should also be unique to your brand. It could be a “mark,” like Nike’s swoosh or Apple’s apple. Or it could be a unique, yet uncomplicated typeface treatment, like Uber or Prada. Or a combination of the two, like Tesla.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Your logo shouldn’t be a Rorschach Test.
Choose logo colors that reflect who you are as a brand. Color is more fundamental to a person’s perception of visual stimuli than many people realize. Studies from Usertesting.com have even suggested that color can affect your customer’s mood, making it crucial to their buying decision.
Remember, your logo is not your brand—as we mentioned earlier, you build that separately—but it is the face of your brand. It will appear on your website, your labels, your marketing, your hangtags, and just about any other place where people interact with you.
Here’s a little disclaimer before moving forward: the information we provide here is basically a “rule of thumb” guide, not hard and fast rules! Over the years we’ve seen many designers break these suggestions and come up with some very clever and compelling concepts for logos, labels and hang tags. So don’t muddy the creative process with “should” and “should-not”!
Labels and Hang Tags
Your labels and hang tags are extremely important marketing materials and deserve the same attention and consideration you give to the rest of your collection. Labels in particular are a constant reminder of your brand in the eye of the consumer. (Unless, of course, the consumer cuts it out…which they sometimes do. That said, they’re less likely to take a scissor to your label if you choose one that is soft and comfortable next to the skin.)
Once you have your logo designed, you can experiment with the size and positioning of the brand name and logo on your labels and hang tags. You can do this by hand, or if you have access to design software, you can start there.
A rule of thumb, try to keep the labels smaller than two inches square, because oversized clothing tags can cause discomfort when the clothing is worn. That said, if you have a great concept for a label that is larger than that, go for it! As they say, rules are meant to be broken.
Next, weigh the pros and cons of printed labels versus woven labels. Woven labels are usually more durable, as printed labels can fade and get pretty flimsy over time. As far as budget goes, printed labels are typically less expensive than woven labels; they do have a tendency to look less “high-end” than a woven label. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just be sure that the label type you choose compliments your brand identity.
Choose the material for the tags. Woven tags typically can be made of cotton, silk or satin. Other options include printed cotton tags or embossed leather tags. As with the design and color, the tag’s material should reflect your clothing’s style. For example, a leather tag will look out of place on a dainty dress (unless that’s part of your overall design aesthetic), but will work well on a denim jacket.
Think about the colors you typically use in your collection when choosing your label and hang tag colors. If you often design clothing in neutral shades, a bright pink or yellow tag is going to clash. We were not saying you need to play it “safe” by any means. Just keep the overall aesthetic of your collection in mind when choosing your colors. Oh, and if possible, use standard color codes when ordering your labels and hang tags. Many vendors rely on Pantone color codes for uniformity, standardization and to avoid miscommunication.
While you don’t have to put your labels into your samples, your collection will look more “professional” if you do. That said, you definitely need your main label, hang tags and care labels in hand at the start of production.
In closing, we remind you to NOT wait until the last minute to order your labels and hangtags. With supply chain issues being what they are right now, you’ll thank us later for the nudge!
We’d love to hear about your business building plans. Feel free to reach out to us at https://tegintl.com/get-in-touch/ or call us at 800-916-0910. We’ll talk.
How Color Impacts Conversion Rates and UX
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