Monday, August 19, 2013

Xhilaration Hang Tag

Xhilaration is Target’s house brand that they slap on everything from swimsuits to lamps. It seems to be aimed squarely at the female from 18-24 set, as the items are mostly trendy clothing pieces and dorm-chic furniture. Eiffel Tower desk lamp? Xhilaration. Faux vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Tee? Xhilaration.

Marketing commentary aside, this hang tag takes the same shape as the Calvin Klein Jeans one from earlier. It is long and hangs vertically. The front is mostly pink, a bright background shade with a slightly darker filigree design. The design is nice. It is actually subtle and tasteful, unlike many of the products it adorns.

The text is interesting as well. All lower case, but the font is a spectacularly poor choice. The letters are all drawn loopily and occasionally connected. However, the most prominent letter, the first, consists of stark straight lines. It does not connect, and in fact is the only thing set at 45 degrees on the entire hang tag.

There is also a balance issue on the front, with both the wordmark and the filigree design occupying the bottom portion. Thus, the top is a naked flat pink. This may have worked if the hanging hole was centered, but off to the side, it just lacks balance.

The reverse is an absolute mess. We start with a horrific use of a QR Code. Why include one at all? The front uses consistently soft lines, the back is a high contrast machine readable code. Below it is obnoxious ad copy, which includes a second facebook web address. The icing on the cake is the final line, however, which explains that if you do not have a scanner capable of reading the QR code, you can download the Target app, which has one. It is mind boggling that Target would need three overlapping ways to get you to visit their facebook page.

The bar code and sizing information section is nicely done. It all fits in a compact space, and is generally readable.  It is a rare bright spot, however, as the reverse contains an additional sticker space, presumably for discounts.

It should be obvious from the above, but I’m not a fan of this hang tag. While the thought is there, it was clearly overrun by the need to throw in as many references to social media as possible. This hang tag is selling Target’s facebook page more than its clothing, and that is a shame. 

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