shop update #2: making custom labels!

DIY custom fabric labels made by screen printing twill tape

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For our second shop update we are going to tell you about our branding journey – designing our hemming bird logo and making semi-homemade custom fabric labels.

The design.

Early on we played around with the idea of hiring a professional graphic designer to help us put together a branding package.  I’ve been following a few local designers, including, my favorite being J Fletcher Designs.  Drool.  Totally swoon worthy.  I recently purchased a bag of coffee from Normandy Farms because of his beautiful package design.  It killed me to open the bag.  Maybe one day when we are rich and famous (and celebrity babies are carrying around our hb designs) we’ll have a professional make over of our brand. It’s OK to dream, right?

So back to reality. . . .

I sought out inspiration for design and color palette on Pinterest, and for fonts on Font Squirrel (I LOVE fonts!).  A little time messing around in Photoshop and Illustrator and voila. . .meet our branding board:

HB_Design_Board

 

Notes: I am not a professional graphic designer, so this is my best attempt at a branding design board.  Also, the color palette was inspired by the talented Betsy White (found on Pinterest – I knew I wanted to incorporate the grapefruit color, so I found it by searching “grapefruit color palette”).

The labels.

OK, so we had our design. . . next, time to make some labels!  Well, it turned out that this was A LOT harder than we thought!

After getting some samples from a few companies recommended by other bloggers, we settled on white twill tape with dark grey screen printing. Since we are just starting out we weren’t looking to invest a lot of money into labels (big company = large minimum order) and pay such a high price per label (ordering minimum = high price/label).  Our initial quote came back at $1.15/label – which is a lot for such a small amount of printing on a strip of 3/4 inch wide twill tape!

At that point, we realized we would have to be creative.

First, we looked on Etsy.  There are MANY people selling custom labels, however we couldn’t find any we liked (most vendors use heat-transfer methods. . .we were looking for screen printed).  We even thought about making heat transfer labels ourselves, but decided that was too labor-intensive and not professional looking enough.  In the past we actually used a stamp with fabric paint, however we found that the ink faded a lot after washing.

Our solution:

I contacted a local screen printer – Lint Printing – who had printed some shirts for my husband.  After emailing back and forth a few times with Marshall, we decided to give it a try. Here is what we did:

Lint agreed to print on the canvas tape, however we had to buy it and later on we had to separate the labels ourselves (they printed it as a continuous piece).  However, the amount of money we saved made it totally worth the extra work!

I ordered 100 yards of cotton twill tape from Amazon (Schiff Ribbons, Cotton Twill Tape 3/4 inch), measured and cut 30 yards and shipped it to Lint Printing.  They screen printed a test strip, just to make sure that printing on twill tape’s uneven surface would work and after OKing a design, we had our labels three days later!

DIY custom screen twill tape labels

The best part is, even with a 30 yard minimum our labels ended up costing about $0.40! 

The label was set up so that when you fold it in half and sew it in (with a 1/2 inch seam allowance) the logo part would be about 3/4 inch square.  If you look at the picture above, you’ll also notice that we added cut lines to help us separate the individual labels.

Our original intent was to sew the labels between layers of fabric (align raw edges when sewing pieces right side together – flip right side out to reveal your adorable label sticking out from between the fabric!).

custom center fold fabric labels

But then we realized they would also work being sewn onto bibs:

custom screen printed twill tape fabric labels for bibs

Someday we may order 1000′s of labels with a professionally designed logo, but for now we LOVE our semi-homemade custom labels!!!

And seriously, if you take nothing away from this post. . .at least follow J Fletcher Designs on Instagram (@jpegfletcher) even if only to check out pictures of his amazing dog.  Second, if you ever need anything screen printed I’d highly recommend Lint Printing (located in South Carolina).

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