The subtleties of garment product branding, creating those ‘ooooohhh’ moments, adding value and personality.


It is the little things that often make the difference.

The devil in the detail, the subtle gesture, that extra little bit of effort.

This detail is often an extra augmentation along the road to perfection. The Japanese might call it ‘Kaizen’, a type of spiritual journey of continual improvement. It seeks to address, in an obsessive way, the absolutely right way to do something, anything, in the absolute best way possible.

It is a type of obsessive compulsive motivation. I won’t say ‘disorder’ because the very best ideas and products are often driven by this motivation. And who would want to call this pursuit of excellence a disorder?

When creating a product, you are also creating an experience.

A product, whether it is a car, a knife, a roll of toilet tissue has to be handled by human hands and this creates sensory feedback.

A good product designer seeks to control that feedback, make it positive, make the user appreciate and maybe even fall in love with that product.

The way the product feels to the touch can satisfy that physical feedback requirement but what about the emotional feedback that a product can create?

What is your product saying that connects emotionally?

When Jeep created the new range of Renegade SUV’s they wanted to create some emotional moments for the user. The vehicle has small subtle graphics printed and embossed into the structural fabric of tyres, glass, rubber and steel. They are a kind of treasure hunt, a device to create that ‘oooohhh‘ feeling of discovery and delight when they are found or noticed by accident.

Your clothing brand can also create that delight if you consider the other opportunities to add value, to develop your message.

The inside neck label has been the obvious place to add some ‘tongue in cheek’ or a little bit of love.

Woven labels do not just have to be about washing and care instructions.

They have limited space and can be an unnecessary expense when there exists other options. Many brands are now screen-printing or heat pressing transfers into the inside neck area.

You can go ‘BIG’ and be super creative in a way that the space of a woven label cannot offer.

Creating an emotional connection can take a more abstract form if you allow your mind to stray from the more conventional ideas.

Your augmented message does not have to be a cute little joke, written in words. It is possible to create a cute idea.

Being ‘cute’ seems to be the core message, the mood that clothing brand TEE and CAKE are all about.

I can imagine that at some point, when creating the brand message, someone said that we want to make cute clothes for young women to feel cute in.

The insertion of a recipe for cake, written in a hand script font style is a perfectly aligned augmentation of their core message.

This addition helps turn a very basic t shirt with embroidered tiger motif into an object with personality. At the end of the day, if your brand lacks personality, who is going to connect with you, fall in love with you, talk about you?

This hopefully demonstrates the subtle creative possibilities for the garment product designer.

Imagine what other devices could be used to add value.

Cut-out discount vouchers for next purchase.

QR codes to take the user to a video or audio digital online experience.

Augmented reality experiences.

Golden ticket type competition entries.

Or just the opportunity to be cute, funny, sexy, pithy, political, spiritual, pugnacious….

All those things that make up a complex and emotional human personality can exist in an object if we just plant the idea.

Author: Arron Harnden

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