Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hang Tag Review #36 - Joe B by Joe Benbasset Hang Tag

Today's hang tag is from the junior brand Joe B by Joe Benbasset. This tag hangs vertically although the text is all horizontal. The front has the JOE B sub brand set just above (and slightly offset) from the by JOE BENBASSET brand name. The tag is a stark white on thick paperboard. It is very similar to the Calvin Klein Jeans tag reviewed some years ago.

The reverse is similarly minimalist. It contains the full webaddress, with icons for a few key social networking sites (namely, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). And that's it!

Fear not, though - just because this hang tag is minimalist in design, it does not mean that there is not a lot to talk about. On the front, there is a lot of text and layout work. First of all, we see the JOE B sub brand in all caps, with the B in boldface. It is large, and dominates the front of the hang tag. Underneath, the main brand is handled almost like an attribution notice. JOE BENBASSET is all in caps, however the "by" is all lowercase. One not need to think hard about what is important here, and where the emphasis lies.

Although I personally dislike the awful amount of sub-branding that goes on, I do think the way the front of this tag is laid out is strong. There is just enough movement and variation going on to make it memorable.

The reverse is really terrible. I'll actually allow a pass on the full since it is not at all clear from the front what the web address would be, and the trailing social media icons give the leading www. some visual balance. That cannot save the utterly bizarre and thoughtless inclusion of the icons for the social media websites. It is a hang tag - you cannot click on the facebook, instagram, or pinterest icons and go straight to the pages or follow! You still need to load up your browser or smart phone and look them each up individually! Why have the icons? Are they not on the web site that already contains a full address?

The use of app icons on printed materials is always a risky choice. Done right and you have communicated a modern and forward thinking product, but done wrong and it looks out of touch and unnecessary. That is the case here.  Furthermore, Instagram recently updated its app icon, and as such the button on this hang tag is no longer relevant.

The front of this hang tag doesn't really set me aflame, but it at least is interesting and has some design elements. The reverse, however, just doesn't work or make sense in any light.

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