Friday 29 January 2010

Lots of labels..

As I am going to produce the branding for clothing ranges, I needed to see how other companies use their clothing labels to present the brand, and consider the other information that is included on them. So, I sneakily managed to take pictures of a range of labels from different high-street clothing brands to compare and gain inspiration from. (Sorry for the blurry images, I am not as stealth as I like to think!)

1. All Saints -
  • The brand is central on the label, but is difficult to pick out; the colour and typeface is the same as the rest of the decorative type on the label, which gives no hierarchy.
  • The design is distressed and aged, I think it is meant to resemble some kind of military labelling.
  • The attachment is string; attached through a metal riveted hole in the label and looped through the tag in the clothing - easy to remove.
  • Made of thick card board with the paper design applied over the top

2. Ted Baker
  • Both of these tags are made form thick card with the brand name printed, and slightly embossed into them.
  • The type is very simple, but the simplicity is stylishly executed here, it is expensive and chic
  • The strong contrasting colours are powerful and expressive, but refined.
  • The attachment to the garment is ribbon or string, held onto the inside tag by a tiny safety pin.

3. Boudoir by Elle Macpherson Intimates
  • Script type is pretty and sexy, suited to the name of the range. This contrasts strongly with the brand identity along the right hand side. These typefaces are very removed from one another
  • The black and white design would be cheap to print, but the design works with this strong contrast of colour.
  • The label is rather large for the size of the garment, it is possible that this is standard across the range, but here it does look oversized

4. Elle Macpherson Intimates
  • Plain colours, a bit dull and disengaging
  • Small size tag is also attached with the plastic tag, this seems like it could have been included on the main tag, it is a bit of a waste and clutters the main tag; it looks unconsidered
  • Essential Luxury - oxymoron; nothing luxury is essential. This doesn't make much sense and also seems unconsidered
  • The size of this tag seems suited to the size of the garment, more appropriate than the previous image

5. Candy Candy
  • Simple two colour print - using colours rather than black and white.
  • Simple vector based illustration based on shape and pattern
  • Brand is clearly highlighted - using large, strong type for the brand name, and the sub-heading is a clear explanation of the companies remit
  • As a low-key brand the website across the bottom allows customers to find out more about the brand and the products

6. Stop Staring
  • Black gloss card with gold foil printing
  • The label looks cheap, but the clothes are much
  • Type is a little odd; both of the capital letters seem to dwarf the rest of the type. The exclamation doesn't add to the design, it cheapens it overall.
  • Nothing that sets this design apart, nothing special.

7. Tatyana
  • The type here is minimal, what there is is hand written.
  • Illustration is the focus of this design, clearly hand drawn and coloured. Interesting style, and suitable for the type of clothing brad it represents.
  • The actual stock is cheap, as is the plastic tag attaching it to the dress.
  • Engaging to an extent, but standard.

8. Tara Starlet
  • Illustration is vector based, but stylised to complement the garment themes.
  • The type is awkward, not really fitting with the overall design, floating a little.
  • Description at the bottom is about the garments being made in the UK and how this is beneficial to the environment and ethical. This type is hard to read as it is script and centred, but it is better it be there than not.
  • The stock is cheap, and a little shiny

9. What Katie Did
  • Landscape label made of thin slightly shiny card
  • Brand name is central and large, script style text
  • Pink frame is strange, the majority of the type doesn't fit inside it, and therefore it seems a little pointless
  • Not a very engaging design, it is messy and looks rushed
  • The drop shadow looks tacky

10. Odille
  • Thick card with a beveled edge.
  • Attached to the garment with a thin ribbon is a complimentary dusty pink colour
  • Only the brand name is shown on the front of the label; a decorative and stylised type
  • The pale blue card contrasts with the medium grey type, but the softness of the design remains.

11. Loving Moments
  • The shape of this tag is unusual - a long and thin rectangle
  • The brand name is lower case and in a rather plain sans serif font.
  • The logo appears to be a heart with a halo above it - a little cliche maybe?
  • The two colour design is simple and effective; the dark pink is eye catching and not too 'cute' which balances the logo design

12. Kookai
  • Very plain beige colour with grey text - low key and neutral overall
  • Attached to the garment with a grey ribbon, threaded through a horizontal slit
  • Window at the base of the top label shows the text underneath that reads Paris - a little bit of a waste of a label, but the idea is interesting and adds style
  • Brand is clear - it is the only thing on the main label, but the overall tag is quite classy and understated

13. Whistles
  • Thick off white card, quite a small tag overall
  • Brand name is printed and slightly embossed into the card
  • The colour of the printing is carried through to the cotton ribbon attaching it to the garment
  • Low key, but chic and simple design

14. Star by Julian McDonald
  • This tag is overall rather tacky - the Star type is a bit weird, and doesn't really say a lot about the brand
  • The shine on the tag is off putting
  • The attachment is fine twisted cord, which feels very synthetic

15. Redherring - Special Edition
  • Thick silver card with a slight sheen
  • The type here is very strong, using all of the space on the label
  • The type is a dark grey colour, which stands out against the silver, but doesn't feel to harsh
  • Attached to the garment with a ribbon that isn't quite in the colour scheme, but close enough

16. Zara
  • Entire tag is given a design
  • The seal style logo is contained, and gives the brand a stronger identity
  • The striped background is consistent across the range, the majority of the garments are striped, so this is reflected well
  • The attachment is a plastic tag - generic, and not very special, but this range is branded as 'basic'

17. J By Jasper Conran
  • Soft sheen relatively thin silver card
  • Strong central letter, the colour really makes it stand out against the rest of the rather low key design
  • The sans serif brand name contrasts with the serif central letter, which is odd, but doesn't massively stand out
  • The cord that attaches the label to the garment is frayed at the end, which looks messy and unfortunate

18. Warehouse
  • Two colour print - cheap as cheap can be
  • The brand name is written vertically which balances the size of the label and the lack of type
  • There is a lot of white space left on the card, which looks wrong and like an effort hasn't been made to actually design this label

19. Zara Basic
  • This tag highlights the brand very boldly, also highlighting the Basics element of the range
  • The rose pattern is very pretty and feminine and brings a different element to the design.
  • The attachment is again a plastic tag - but then this is a basic garment

20. Rare (at Topshop)
  • Very decorative label, mirrors the style of the garments
  • Limited colour palette allows the design to stand out and be eye catching
  • The brand name is clear and defined
  • There is a subtle spot gloss used on the black ground to continue the flock pattern. Subtle and quite classy, not a necessary expense, but the effort has been made

21.a. Moto by Topshop
  • Interesting logo, contrasts with the simplicity of the type used for TOPSHOP.
  • The information is provided on both sides of the label - is this a bit pointless?
  • The label is quite thick card, with a pulpy texture and quite small
  • The design on the right uses a white spot colour, possibly a screen printed desig
  • Variation in types and cases used
  • Attached with a thin black cord

21.b. Moto by Topshop
  • Much larger tag than the previous design
  • More information is provided on the tag - size, leg length
  • This design uses a bright spot colour - orange
  • The stock is thinner and more papery, but still have a rough texture and is off white
  • the reverse of the tag shows only the Moto logo, name and Topshop name
  • A variety of typefaces have been used

22. Per Una Jeans at Marks and Spencer
  • Die cut tag with two colour printing
  • Attached to the garment with a printed ribbon
  • The type is very imposing and eye catching, but looks quite squashed into the shape
  • The heart shape is the same as the hearts used for the Per Una logo

23. Per Una at Marks and Spencer
  • Rough off white cartridge type paper
  • The bottom of the card is cut at an angle - which doesn't really seem to have a point
  • The information given is a little odd - why does it need to say Made in Italy across the front - this is usually given on the label sewn to the inside of the garment
  • Attached using a gauzy ribbon

24. Autograph at Marks and Spencer
  • Double tags with ribbons running through from the back to the front, and then hangs down past the bottom of the card
  • Different collections within the range are highlighted using different coloured printed ribbons
  • The information is simple, mainly the brand is protrayed on the front of the tag. The rest of the information is on the reverse on a sticker - this means that the tags can be mass produced, and the right sticker applied for each garment.
  • Attached to the garment using a black ribbon

25. River Island 1
  • This label is used for a range of clothing inspired by the 1940s and 50s.
  • Uses and acetate overlay that resembles film negatives
  • The overlay is attached to the card with the ribbon that attaches the whole thing to the garment - no wasted attachments
  • Brand name is low key and written in a script style type
  • Design is suited to the theme

26. River Island 2
  • The card is textured to resemble a quilted fabric.
  • The card is shiny and looks like a patent fabric
  • The brand name is quite tiny, and the logo is included
  • The front of the tag does not carry any information about the garment

27. River Island 3
  • One colour printed tag showing quite a decorative image
  • The card is a dusty blue colour, giving a soft and calm impression
  • The type is a slab serif typewriter font, and feels a little handmade and scrappy
  • The brand name is small, but is the main piece of text of the tag, so it does stand out

28. River Island 4
  • The card is shiny gold with two colour printing
  • The design is quite different to all the others, it is more refined and classic, but the shine on the card just makes it look tacky
  • The attachment is a plastic tag, which kills the style and class that the rest of the design tries to evoke

29. River Island 5
  • This is a label that is sewn into the garment - it is totally different from the hand tag it has
  • The design is a little superfluous and doesn't really seem to mean anything.
  • It is a nice element to include in the garment, but it is rather pointless

30. La Senza
  • All of La Senza's labels are exactly the same - I would have expected a bit of variety from a brand that carries diverse ranges
  • The pink and black are the standard brand colours - a little tacky and obvious
  • the tags are folded and contain information on the inside and on the back
  • The price is attached to a perforated piece that sticks out past the front of the card (this one has been torn off)
  • Not quite as classy and refined as I would have expected

31. Primark - No Secret
  • Small and low key tag
  • The lower case of the range name evokes innocents, as do the pastel colours
  • Pointless that is folds, there is nothing written on the inside that is of any importance
  • Attached with a thin ribbon

32. Primark - Secret Possessions Collection
  • A higher price point that the No Secret range
  • Label is part of the hanger, rather than attached to the garment
  • Swirly, cursive type contrasts with the serif uppercase type below, but doesn't clash
  • The colours are strong in contrast - the pale pink isn't really that obvious, it could be white
  • A cheap brand, so the design isn't overly decorative or expensive to produce
What I have learnt from this research:
1. The attachment of the label to the garment is important, and denotes the expense of the item
2. The printing does not have to be expensive, but should not look cheap
3. The colours are important as they evoke the personality of the brand
4. The stock is very important as it represents the expense of the garments and range
5. Folding tags are only worthwhile if there is information to put inside them
6. Using a sticker to put the small print information on the reverse makes it easier to mass produce the main labels.

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