1. Sign Your Work of Art
Rather than that boring block lettering commercial shirts are printed with, use a softer font with a handwritten look. You can even include your actual signature as part of your design! This style of label works especially well for shirts featuring your own artwork and designs, adding a personal touch that says “handcrafted.”
2. Show ‘Em Off!
Custom tags can be just as pretty as the shirt they’re on! Why hide them away inside your shirt? Make flat tags a design feature by stitching them to the outside of the shirt at the hem, collar, or shoulder. Colorful topstitching or a quick zigzag holds them in place while showing them off to their best advantage. Folded tags are great for handmade shirts, since they can be sewn in place while the shirts are still under construction.
3. Half and Half
If you want to show off your label, but also include care information that doesn’t exactly complement your design, you can still do both on one label. Just fold it over the hem of the sleeve or the bottom of the shirt and stitch in place. Your care information is tucked out of sight, while your brand is still prominently displayed.
4. Go Green!
Is your fashion eco-friendly? Make sure your tags are too! There are a wide range of labels available made from recycled fibers, including soft, flexible woven labels. Don’t forget to add that information to your hang tags so that your environmentally-conscious fashion fans know you’re committed to going green in all aspects of your design.
5. Don’t Forget the Hang Tags
While stitch-in or iron-on care labels and brand tags are perfect for long-term outreach, keep in mind that customers browsing through your shirts want to know the important features at a glance. A sizeable hang tag with the size, price, and brand information will give them all the information they want without even needing to unfold the shirt or take it off its hanger, which will also make it easier to keep your displays looking tidy.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Variety
While you always want to be consistent with your brand image, that doesn’t mean all your tags have to look the same. Coordinate colors with your shirts, or give each design collection a unique tag to identify it. You can even create event-specific tags, perfect for holiday or themed shirts. If you design for a range of customers, or for specific events, co-brand your labels with their information and yours.
7. Go Beyond Just a Label
When you think of clothing labels, it’s easy to forget there are so many options beyond just a brand label and a care tag. Get creative in your branding! Printed ribbons can be used for drawstrings or hanger loops. You can even use it to attach hang-tags for an upscale look, or go all out and offer gift-wrapping with it!
8. Design Your Labels!
If your artwork or designs are on the t-shirts you make, why not include it on the label as well? Your labels can be just as one-of-a-kind as your clothing, so take advantage of that to create a look that will turn customers into brand evangelists. Make sure the labels you choose show your designs off to their best advantage. Geometric prints might be best suited to a monochromatic color scheme, but if your designs feature lots of bold colors, make sure your labels can do them justice.
9. Got Lots to Label? Think Iron-On!
Once upon a time, iron on labels might have been a low-cost, low-quality alternative to stitch-in woven labels, but those days are over! Iron-on labels offer a versatile option that’s especially great for adding a finishing touch to screen-printed shirts or other items that come to you for embellishment already assembled. Safe for the washer and dryer, iron-on labels can be quickly applied and your garments will be showroom ready in a blink!
10. Mix Words and Images
When you think of your favorite brands, how many of them can be easily identified by just a symbol or logo? Choose an image that epitomizes what your brand is all about. Pairing your brand name with that logo on your labels strengthens that association. Keep it consistent across all your materials, from social media to business cards, and before long, your fans will be able to spot your designs from across the room.
11. Experiment With Printed vs. Woven Labels
When it comes to custom labels, you’ve got lots of options, even right down to how they’re made. Woven labels, which create your design with woven threads, are soft and lend your work a high-end appearance. Printed labels, on the other hand, apply your image to a flat label, which can then be stitched in place. These can convey more intricate and delicate designs than their woven counterparts.. Mix and match your labels to see which most closely matches your design aesthetic. You may even want to use a mix of both for different purposes.
12. Be Quirky
If your brand has a sense of humor, is a little irreverent, or just plain fun, don’t be afraid to add a little of that attitude to your tags. Include a joke, a compliment, or a shout-out to your customer. Suggest occasions to wear the shirt, or accessories to pair it with. These It’s a great way to strengthen the relationship between brand and customer and start conversations about your clothes. It can even help get the word out about your designs when your customers start telling their friends how they got a compliment from their shirt!
13. Try Multiple Labels
Big clunky labels can be uncomfortable, and the last thing you want is a customer to cut them out of your garments! Instead of cramming a logo, brand name, care information, sizing, and a little personality all onto one tag, use several small labels scattered throughout the item. Place the brand name and logo on an external tag on the hem, for example, while tucking the care tag into a side seam.
14. Layer Tags and Fabric
Graphics, fonts, and colors are all important to consider in planning your tags, but don’t forget to consider textures as well! A fun way to set your tags apart is to layer them over contrasting patches of fabric, or to pair folded tags with flat ones. This is especially handy if you’re working with pre-made shirts, since it’s a hassle to unpick seams and stitch in your own folded labels. Instead, slide a folded label under a flat one and stitch it all in together.
15. Get Social
While the tags in each garment should be focused on giving it a cohesive look and a touch of branding, your hang tags are almost like business cards attached to your projects. It’s a great way to add the extra information you’d like your customers to have. If you use social media, include your handles so fans can follow you online. Direct your customers to your website or Etsy store and watch those one-time shoppers become diehard fans!
16. Think Outside the Box…Er…Rectangle
Though the labels in clothes are getting progressively more creative, hang tags are often just generic cards tacked on to provide extra information. Don’t fall into that rut! Try different shapes for your hang tags to catch the eyes of passersby. With attractive hang tags, you won’t want to tuck them out of sight in a sleeve or behind a collar. Instead, display them prominently, using small safety pins and lengths of branded ribbon to attach them like badges of honor to your handmade creations.
17. Remember Your Biggest Feature!
Keeping an eye on the fashion trends of big commercial fashions and how they’re branding their clothing can help you get inspired for your own designs and labels. Your designs have something theirs never can: the handmade touch! Be sure to include a label in your clothing and on your hang tags letting your customers know that your items are a cut above the rest.