Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to Communicate Brand Values Through Apparel Tags and Labels


Starting or managing a clothing brand is a multi-faceted endeavor. From finding affordable manufacturers to managing distributors and choosing fabrics, the logistics aren’t always easy. But as you design and plan your company, there’s one important aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked: labels.

Whether it’s a woven shirt label or a cardboard hang tag, the branding elements on a garment have a huge impact on how customers feel about your brand. And as How to Start a Clothing Company explains, marketing and advertising simply aren’t enough to sell your product. So instead of relying on external factors, here’s how to create a garment that communicates your brand values through labeling and brand elements.

Using Brand Values to Stand out

People purchase clothing from many different stores and retailers throughout their lives. As an apparel company, your brand helps you stand out from competitors and create loyal customers. According to Ben Scrivens, owner and operator of the horror T-shirt company Fright-Rags, today’s apparel brands need to showcase their authenticity. “Branding is as simple as finding those things you do that sets you apart and honing in on them.”

For apparel companies, labels and tags are one of the best ways to communicate and reinforce brand differentiators. In the same way that your homepage is your marketing piece online, Peter Renton, founder of Lightning Labels, explains that your label is your marketing piece out in the world. That’s why it’s so important to create a label that attracts people’s attention and shows how your values are different from your competitors. But what exactly are people looking for, and what attracts their attention?

Brielle Yang of SilkCards says that effective hang tags include company information and details that a customer wouldn’t normally expect. For example, you may decide to explain how your product is made or describe the unique materials it’s made from. You also could add information about where the product is made and how that place supports the brand story, or how the brand originally came about. All of these details are unique to your brand, and they’re what help you stand out from competitors. Your clothing label and hang tag can work in conjunction to support a brand’s ideas and reinforce a strong, clear message.


Labels and Product Image

Your labels are an important aspect of your brand’s visual communication strategy. Pulkit Rastogi of I Love Fashion Retail explains that labels, brand tags, fabric material and fasteners all portray your product’s values visually. In professional product shots, these elements influence the buyer and leave a lasting impression.

Labels also provide your brand with an opportunity to establish emotional connections. StartUP FASHION explains “great branding offers acceptance, provides a sense of comfort, and yet challenges a customer. Branding inspires a customer on a level that is not solely about the brand.” And if you want to establish strong, emotional connections with your audience, it’s important that you understand their needs and desires.

Real Thread adds that understanding your audience is one of the most important aspects of owning a clothing brand. If your customers are outdoorsy and adventurous, they may desire clothing tags that are durable and simple. If you have an upscale, city-oriented audience, then it might make sense to choose a high quality tag that evokes class and luxury. Understanding your target market and how they go about their day can help guide you towards the right label and tag design.


Label and Tag Design

Regardless of which materials or styles you use, Print Aura explains that simple is always better. Rather than taking up the entire tag space with a long product description, keep it succinct. Choose a few key product features and summarize them in a handful of words for a powerful message that customers remember.

Color Psychology

All apparel companies should have a basic understanding of color psychology. Because no matter what color the clothes are, your branding materials and labels can make or break how a customer feels about your brand. Graphic designer Nick Spence reveals that a signature brand color can boost recognition by as much as 80 percent. If you want to establish security and trust — values that are especially important for selling clothing online — blue is the best color to choose. If your labels are a consistent blue color that align with the rest of your brand, for example, you’re much more likely to establish trust and stand out in customers minds.

If it’s excitement and independence you want to portray, red shades can do the trick. Smile.io explains that red is associated with passion, life and energy, so a red label could be well-suited for a brand seeking to define a new niche or be seen as a trendsetter in the industry. When it comes to creating happy customers who associate your product with joy, Help Scout says yellow might be the best choice. In fact, yellow is psychologically the happiest color in the entire spectrum.

But just because yellow evokes happiness doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your brand. If you’re marketing to children or millennials and your brand mission is about helping people enjoy life while they wear your clothes (a bathing suit or exercise company, for example) yellow could be a solid fit. If, on the other hand, you’re creating high end suits for corporate executives, yellow isn’t exactly aligned. Your label colors are also a part of establishing brand loyalty, because a customer will continue to rely on you to evoke a certain image once you’ve told that story through a color.

Eco-Friendly Options

If you’re an organic cotton shirt brand or a company committed to sustainable practices, a label made from an eco-friendly material can help reinforce your message. Lindsay Patton of One Green Planet says that hemp and soy are two plants that have minimal impact on animals and the environment. Creating labels from these materials can help reinforce your values as a brand committed to sustainability.

You can also communicate earth friendly commitments by letting your clothing label’s natural color shine. Author Marissa Stapley explains that organic cotton usually comes in pale, cream or light green naturally. Instead of following suit with other brands and dipping these labels in chemicals to change their colors, let their natural hues shine. These colors already evoke a sense of calm, so it’ll help reinforce your message.


Another important way to communicate your values through labeling is to ensure that all labels are consistent. This helps a brand uphold its values and ensures that all customers receive the same brand message over time.

According to Retail Insider, having all of your clothing labels and hang tags designed by the same company is one way to ensure consistency. From the label color and material to its overall quality, working with a reliable manufacturer is key to sending a strong and consistent message. It’s easy to adopt a branding or label trend just because all of your competitors are. But adopting trends can have serious implications on your business if they don’t properly reflect your brand.

Images by: Tim Wright, Matthew Henry, Crew

The post How to Communicate Brand Values Through Apparel Tags and Labels appeared first on CBF Labels Inc.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Apparel Rebrands: Inspiring, Successful Examples to Follow


Rebranding is one of the most powerful ways to reposition your image, attract new audiences and stay competitive. In the apparel industry — where trends are changing with every season — it’s critical to maintain a fresh visual brand that excites and entices customers.

If you’re thinking about rebranding, there are many important factors to consider. Make the job easier on yourself by using these successful apparel brand makeovers to guide and inspire you.

Krimson Klover

Based in Boulder, Colorado, this women’s outdoor apparel brand has always been geared towards an adventurous audience. But with athleisure becoming more popular with young women, Krimson Klover decided to rebrand its image to better appeal to younger, sportier audiences. In addition to undergoing internal changes, Krimson Klover updated its logo. The clothing outfitter’s previous logo was its name in a script-style font. The new logo is comprised of two mirrored K’s, which gives a clean, modern and minimal appeal.

Ministry of Supply

This clothing company began designing high performance, professional men’s apparel that won’t wrinkle, shrink or sag. When Ministry of Supply launched a line of women’s work clothing with products like the Easier than Silk Shirt and a line of Structure Your Day pants, it needed a fresh brand to match. They opted for a more minimalist logo by shortening their name to Ministry. This change helped the brand remain modern and further reinforced their approach to simple, reliable basics.


Sometimes a rebrand is due to a new name. Case in point: FlipsWrestling, which began selling headphones and earbuds to wrestling teams. Now with an established social media following, it features custom wrestling team apparel co-created with brands like UnderArmour.

To reflect these changes and new product offerings, FlipsWrestling has changed its name and rebranded as ScrapLife. The company is fully focused on creating high quality wrestling apparel and marketing it to the professional wrestling community. The new ScrapLife logo retains the same water puddle print that was featured in the FlipsWrestling logo. However, the mirrored F’s have been replaced with an S and L to reflect the new brand positioning while maintaining familiarity for long-time customers.

Asics Tiger

Born from the classic running company Asics, the Asics Tiger brand launched a new logo to further differentiate itself from its parent company. The new logo draws from the retro typography aesthetic of its original in order to maintain its legacy and appeal to lifelong customers. It’s different in that it adopts a custom font that evokes character and originality. By masterfully leveraging its brand legacy for a fresh look, Asics Tiger effectively stands out from the crowd in an approachable and familiar way.



This designer label was first lauded for its blend of American and French vintage styles. Since gaining a larger following, parent company Sagmeister & Walsh decided to give Milly by Michelle Smith a more dynamic image. This goal is accomplished through an updated logo that keeps the same shape, but is more flexible and dynamic. Specifically, this allows the mark to translate into different colors and design environments. As a result, the Milly brand can expand its story and reach new audiences in digital contexts.


Kaibosh is a trendy Norwegian eyewear company that makes stylish, affordable prescription glasses and sunglasses. Although Kaibosh was founded on the principles of bold, unapologetic style, the market quickly became saturated with similar eyewear brands seeking the same goal. To stand out, Kaibosh completely revamped their logo with two distinguished eyelashes and a playful font that speaks to originality and freedom. This look is paired with strategic copywriting and plastered across the brand’s signs, ads, packaging and more for a consistent, cohesive feel.

Sword Maclean

As an apparel brand that calls itself “a premium and distinctly Scottish clothing label,” having a standout logo is essential. Sword Maclean is an up and coming retail brand that revamped its logo to include a Scottish-inspired text that evokes thoughts of castles, knights and rolling green hills. This helps the fully traceable, single origin company stay true to its roots and homeland-inspired clothing offerings: handcrafted leathers, woolen knits and woven textiles.

Industrie Clothing

Industrie Clothing is an Australian-based menswear brand geared towards the fashion-conscious modern man. Industrie Clothing has all the class and sophistication of high fashion, yet its adventure-geared apparel sets it apart from typical runway fare. Industrie’s revamped logo reflects its not so ordinary customer with a stark, modern logotype.


Brioni is an Italian fashion house with enough brand power to outfit celebrities including Will Smith, Michael Phelps and Milo Ventimiglia. But like all fashion brands, Brioni still needs to maintain its image in order to stay relevant. Brioni decided that it required an updated visual brand in order to better solidify its creative vision and reflect the company’s historical branding. The new brand reflects the house’s evolution with a scripted, timeless typeface that echoes the history of the past while suggesting what’s to come.


School of Sock

School of Sock was the original company to offer a sock of the month club. But before being called School of Sock, the company went by Sock 101. The company decided to change its name to reflect its broader focus of help its customers excel at sock fashion. Men and women can learn everything from how socks are made to how they should be worn. Hyperfocused on this initiative, the new School of Sock logo reflects the educational standpoint with a pennant logo evoking memories of high school gym class.


Formerly Braintree Clothing, Thought is a sustainable retailer that changed its name to establish a stronger presence in both the men’s and women’s fashion markets. Since Thought had changed so much since its original debut, it only made sense to reposition the brand and create a visual image that better reflected its current image. The name Thought directly reflects the idea of sustainable clothing, yet also echoes the philosophies of ethics and sustainability. The hovering “O” in the logo also reflects the idea of the earth, continuity and respecting nature’s cycles.


SMYTHE is a Canadian ready-to-wear women’s brand with a focus on practical fashion. Starting out with blazers and jackets, the company quickly gathered a cult following. After experiencing such sudden popularity, SMYTHE launched an entire collection with dresses, pants, skirts and more. Part of this rebrand included establishing a stronger online presence, so SMYTHE launched an ecommerce site in addition to a new brand. The logo is classic and direct in black lettering, evoking timeless style that’s still approachable.

Butterfly Twists

This popular British footwear brand is known for its playful and spontaneous shoe collections. Butterfly Twists acquired a minimal, angular logo to better represent the brand’s bold, multi-dimensional personality. This geometric, modern logo is accompanied by a new tagline, “Never Twist, Stick” to evoke its daring and unapologetic nature. Butterfly Twists also divided its shoe collections into three different colors and style niches to cater to different consumer groups.

Images by: Gabriel Alva, Ucmao, Adina Voicu

The post Apparel Rebrands: Inspiring, Successful Examples to Follow appeared first on CBF Labels Inc.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Small But Mighty: Custom Branded Patches Pack a Punch at Trade Shows

If you’ve ever attended a tradeshow, you know that pencils, coozies and lanyards are nothing new. In fact, these types of disposable branded items are so common that they’re often forgotten soon after they’re acquired.

And that’s the exact opposite effect of what branded materials are supposed to do.

As an agency, you need to design memorable materials that ultimately help your customers close deals and ramp up business. To make sure your clients stand out, here’s how they can incorporate custom patches into their next trade show booth.

Why Patches?

Ordinary promotional materials, like branded pens and mugs, have very little impact on people. In fact, Marvin Amberg of startup Caseable says that pushing these lackluster items on people can actually be frustrating for them. After all, how many pens do they really need? Carrying around an armful of junk isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience.

Instead, Nimlock Louisiana says brands should give away something unique and memorable. It should be something that’s relatively inexpensive to make, yet it should still be high quality.

Then, these items can be customized with a company logo to create customized, memorable giveaways that have an impact on attendees. Imagecraft Exhibits suggests thinking of things that are useful to people throughout the conference and even after they leave. So instead of ordinary pens, enter the next greatest trade show giveaway: custom patches. There are many types of custom patches, including sew on, iron on, and peel to stick, but the right patch for your brand depends on your intentions.

Emphasize Your Brand

When planning for your booth and choosing swag, it’s important to remember that you’re marketing your brand, not your product. Post-Up Stand explains that trade shows aren’t necessarily about selling your services and closing deals. Rather, they’re about selling a mission, solution and story. When a customer resonates with what your brand has to say, they’ll be more likely to remember it when the time is right for them to purchase.

River North Business Association adds that it’s also important to be specific with your tradeshow booth. Concrete ideas and images are easier for people to grasp and recall later. Whether you choose to include a specific concrete word or an associated image, custom patches are a helpful way to reinforce the ideas set forth in your booth.


Show Your Logo

As you inform potential customers of your brand, having your logo visible is a must. AllBusiness recommends putting your logo everywhere possible: signs, display backgrounds, business cards, and promotional materials like patches. This repetition will make your logo seem familiar and approachable to customers.

James C. Gibson of Metro Exhibits adds that promotional materials that show your brand are an easy way to extend your booth’s reach. Patches are something that people put on their clothing, bags and other belongings. Here, they’re in a space where they attract attention from others. This creates a sense of intrigue, and other attendees of the trade show will wonder where the colorful, creative patches came from.

Make Your Patches Accessible to All

No matter how great your patch is, your booth is the very first point of contact between you and potential customers. Don’t make it a barrier.

Trade show expert Vern May knows it’s crucial to get visitors into your booth. Rather than putting a table between you and them, he says make people come in to get their free patch or pair of sunglasses. This opens up more opportunities for conversation while visitors browse your product offerings. Self-adhesive patches are a fun, easy way to get people wearing and talking about your brand. They can easily be stuck to clothing or bags during the trade show, helping your brand stand out from other booths who have sub-par giveaways.

Create a Theme

It’s important that your patches send the same message as the rest of your booth. One way to make your brand more memorable in people’s minds is to design your booth, patches and other giveaways around a certain theme. Perhaps you’ll be in an interesting city or at a popular annual event. Classic Exhibits Inc. suggests creating a relevant theme that your patches and other products can center around. This will make it easier to catch people’s eye and people will have something to associate your brand with.


Create Eye-Catching Designs

When designing booth elements, portable trade show maker Skyline Exhibits says that brands shouldn’t shy away from bold elements. Readable text, bright colors and flashy illustrations are all ways to draw positive attention to your corner of the show. It’s also important to consider quality versus quantity.

The same design sensibilities should be used when creating a custom patch.

This can be used to great advantage if you have fewer items in your booth. More space means you have more room to make elements, including patches, large, bright and eye-catching. For tips on which colors to include, Catalyst Exhibitions suggests opting for warmer colors. If a brand already uses reds, yellows, pinks or other colors nearby on the color wheel, these should be played up in patches and other items. If a brand is cleaner with white or grey elements, consider adding warm wood accents.

The strategy behind a bold booth and product design is simple: people come for the visual appeal of your booth theme, patches and swag, and leave with a memorable experience.

Step Away from the Booth

It’s easy to hide inside your booth and wait for customers to come to you. But, that isn’t the most effective way to attract customers. John Ruhlin reminds brand marketers to step away from their booth and mingle out on the tradeshow floor.

The great thing about patches is that they’re intriguing and different, and they provide a great conversation opener for people who are walking around and exploring booths. When you approach someone and engage in natural conversation, it also helps people see your brand as more human. And even if you don’t bring patches along, wearing them clearly on your shirt or a sleeve is a subtle but powerful way to make an impression.

Eco-Friendly and Evergreen

Another benefit of patches is that they’re a durable product with a long shelf life. Rather than small items or those made from plastic, patches have more value. Iron and sew-on patches are particularly valuable because they become a permanent logo emblazoned on an item of clothing. Patches are also more environmentally friendly because they last much longer than peel and stick patches. They don’t require packaging, so you can reduce the amount of plastic your brand uses and gives away.

This fits into the growing trend of virtual swag (like coupon codes and online brochures). As The Trade Group explains, virtual swag is a completely waste-free way to market your brand. If you still want to have one physical item for visitors to hold and take home, patches have longevity and quality that make them perfect for an eco-conscious booth.

Finding the right bag for your products can also help you reinforce your brand. The Better Software Company explains that if it’s an eco-friendly message you’re aiming for, biodegradable bags or reusable fabric totes can enhance your message further. Creating a bag that has the same color, logos or theme of your patches can also help reinforce your brand message. This is also an important element to consider if you’ll be handing out swag bags with multiple materials included.

Images by: Bruce J. Hadley, Purple Gillian, Petra

The post Small But Mighty: Custom Branded Patches Pack a Punch at Trade Shows appeared first on CBF Labels Inc.