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.

Thursday 28 January 2010

Jessica Hische - Typographer

This piece of type design is by Jessica Hische. She is a very strong typographer, working almost entirely in Adobe Illustrator. This piece of ribbon type expresses the sentiments of the words, whilst being beautiful and decorative at the same time. The stitch marks around the edges help to demonstrate that the type is made of ribbon, it adds very subtle detail. Creating believable ribbon in Illustrator looks quite difficult, but it is nice to know that it can be done!

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Morrisons Product Ranges

Morrison's have several food ranges in addition to their standard, mid range products.

The Best - Premium quality products
Free From - Products that contain no allergens - dairy, wheat etc
Food Fusions - A range of products that are aimed at food enthusiasts for cooking quality and exciting dishes
Fresh Ideas - Fresh easy meals aimed at those with a busy lifestyle but enjoy more than beans on toast for dinner. Recently introduced a range of single serving dishes
East Smart - Lower fat, sugar, salt etc.; for those who watch what they eat or are on diets
Organic - Over 350 organically produced products

What I have learnt from the research:
1. Morrisons is always written next to the logo in full
2. The branding for each range uses the name typographically designed - no other icon or symbol logos are used
3. The designs utilize photography - except the food fusions range, this is very plain and simple
4. The information is clear and concicse.
5. None of these ranges use the brand colours anywhere near as heavily as the current VALUE brand.

Essential Waitrose Article 2

Article by: Popshop 11th March 2009

Waitrose has introduced ‘essential’ own label range

This Monday 9th March Waitrose started introducing a new own brand value range in stores across UK. The roll-out of the new product lines will continue until October.

The introduction of a new range called essential Waitrose is set to raise the bar on own label quality standards. The range consists of over 1400 lines comprising of staple grocery items with the quality and welfare standards you would expect from Waitrose – at prices you wouldn’t.

The range spans the majority of Waitrose aisles, from fruit and vegetables to household goods, grocery to meat, fish and poultry. As with all Waitrose own label products, the supermarket hasn’t compromised on quality standards or sourcing integrity. All pork used in essential Waitrose is British and outdoor reared, all chicken is British and eggs are free range; bananas are Fairtrade, and UK fruit and vegetables are LEAF accredited.

essential Waitrose is designed to make shopping for staple groceries easier for customers. The packaging design has a consistent look and feel making it easy for shoppers to navigate ranges throughout the store.

“Customer research tells us that although we are a destination store for quality products, shopping for our own label essential items hasn’t been as easy as it could be.” says Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose.

“Waitrose Own Label lines have always been produced to a superior quality and even sold as a stand-alone brand in quality supermarkets throughout the world. essential Waitrose effectively combines the quality our customers have come to expect and the reassurance of Waitrose values, together with affordable prices and an easily recognisable brand.”

Essential Waitrose Article 1

Article by: Which? 10th March 2009

Waitrose launches cheaper own label product range
Essential Waitrose products

Supermarket chain Waitrose has launched a cheaper range of own brand products.

The range – named Essential Waitrose – is made up of more than 1,400 lines of staple groceries including fruit and vegetables, household goods and meat, fish and poultry.

Waitrose was voted as the top high street shop by Which? members in our recent survey of stores.

Waitrose own label products

Waitrose said Essential Waitrose is made up of 200 new lines and existing Waitrose products. Around 450 of the existing goods will be reduced in price.

Products will have a consistent packaging design so shoppers can identify the Essential Waitrose range.

The launch of Essential Waitrose began yesterday, and will continue until October 2009 across 98 grocery categories.

Waitrose quality

Waitrose said that the Essential Waitrose range ‘hasn’t compromised on quality standards or sourcing integrity’. Bananas in the Essential Waitrose range will be Fairtrade, eggs will be free range and chicken will be British.

The range is set to compete with the already comprehensive own label ranges in Waitrose's 'big four' rivals - Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said; ‘Essential Waitrose effectively combines the quality our customers have come to expect and the reassurance of Waitrose values, together with affordable prices and an easily recognisable brand.’

Economy Food Ranges

Britains largest supermarkets all have a low cost range of products. The names vary, but they essentially mid-low quality products for a cheap price. The names denote that the range is the lowest price they sell - Tesco - Value, Asda - Smart Price, Sainsbury's - Basics and Waitrose - Essentials.
Sainsbury's and Tesco have the largest range of value products - from fresh foods to store cupboard goods, household products and personal hygiene, they even sell economy alcohol. Asda has a more limited range - they sell a value version of most of their products, but they do not sell budget alcohol. Waitrose Essentials are the most recent brand to add a 'value' line - this range currently covers 1000 products, but is due to expand. The cost of the value products is of course in line with the cost of the medium level products - therefore Waitrose have to most expensive economy range.

I have managed to get direct comparisons of Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda products, and a few photographs of the Waitrose range.

The Waitrose range uses a very plain font for their logo/name, it is also lower case which implies innocents but also that it is a lesser product. The images are really engaging - they are all hand drawn and water colour painted; this gives every product a unique imagery, and shows a great deal of variety within the range. The style of drawing implies that these products are still good quality - the illustration would obviously have taken a lot of time and care.
The use of colour is also appropriate - the colour of the product name is taken from the image - creating a lot of different colours within the range, but creating a complimentary design for each product. The overall range does not have a 'brand' colour, so using complimentary colours is ideal. The use of the white background is very good - it keeps all of the designs looking very clean and fresh, and allows the illustrations to really stand out. Overall this packaging is very successful - it is well executed and appealing, but it doesn't try to go overboard.
These ranges by Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda, are all quite different, but they share certain traits.
1. The all use a brand colour. Sainsbury's use their signature orange, tesco the red and blue from their logo and Asda use their bright green. The amount of colour on each product varies. The teso products only use colour - no black printing. The Asda range uses black and green on the front of the packaging, whereas Sainsbury's stick to only orange for the main design and use black for the information section.

2. Logo - All of the products clearly show the logo on the front of the product. It is not the first thing in the hierarchy, it is kept low key, but relevant.

Using the hand drawn illustration and type
creates a friendly feeling toward the packaging. The overall design is just one colour, but does not look cheap or too lower quality. The overall design is very engaging, the use of phrases below the name of the product help the buyer to understand why the product is cheaper. The Self Raising Flour reads - A little less refined, still rises to the occasion - this is an indication as the why the product is lower quality, but assures the buyer that it is almost/equally as good as a more expensive product.
A very successful design overall; it engages, it informs and it reassures the buyer that lower priced products are not necessarily worse quality.

This packing isn't as engaging as Sainsbury's, initially it certainly feels cheaper. Some but not all of the products use a photograph of the product to illustrate the content. In some cases these are tinted red - which is a bit weird and off putting. The overall design is very basic, sticking to two colours and limited information. This packaging is probably very cheap to produce, but also has a very cheap feeling. Informative, but not eye-catching.

For a start, Asda seem to have a continuity issue. Their products are either green and white, or red and white. The green design carries the brand colour and makes it clear that the product is Asda own brand. The red design is DULL and carries no indication that it is an asda product other than the black logo at the top. This needs to be addressed, and all products bear the same livery. The designs themselves are basic, limited colours and information. Some of the green branded products carry a vector image of the product to give a better indication of what it is - though the name of the product is already quite clear. Overall, this brand looks cheap, is cheap and can't get away from the limiting design used. Not great.