2006 Annual Design Review Packaging Best of Category

Birdie Hangtag

The San Francisco design firm Pool was involved in developing Birdie’s visual identity from the beginning. It hatched both a sprightly logo (a bird perched on a golf tee) and a winning tag line (“Play more”) for the fledgling line of hip women’s golf wear launched this spring. When it came to creating a hangtag, principal Jon Ritt, who doubles as Birdie’s creative director, and Pool designer Marius Gedgaudas felt the usual flimsy paper card with a skinny plastic cord wouldn’t do. They wanted their design to help define the Birdie brand, which breaks from the staid argyle-dependent look of traditional golf attire. “The purpose of the hangtag is simply to identify size and price, and to provide a place for the bar code,” notes Ritt. “But there’s no reason it shouldn’t work a little harder than that.”

The designers went with a satisfyingly thick strip of stiff white fiberboard laminated on both sides with polished paper and punched with a die-cut rectangular hole. The logo appears on the front with the price; the company website is printed on the back, where the bar code appears. A clear vinyl band stamped with the company name is threaded through both the main hangtag and a tiny embossed envelope that unfolds like an artist’s portfolio. Inside lies a card with a photo of a golf scene backed by one of a series of secret messages that range from golf etiquette tips to the recipe for a Dirty Birdie cocktail. Just as the company’s clothes have surprising little extras, like buttons sewn into seams for decoration, the hangtag has its own “little Cracker Jack prize,” says Ritt.

Such finicky detailing (the fold of the envelope, the width and thickness of the vinyl strip, and the size of the die-cut hole were all carefully calibrated to hold together without glue) jacked up the hangtag’s price tenfold, to nearly $1. Likewise the decision to produce everything locally, where the designers would have more quality control, rather than over-seas. But if the hangtag can help Birdie differentiate itself, Ritt and his team believe the design will have proven its worth.

The jurors were inclined to agree. “They’ve gone way beyond the typical hangtag,” said Zinzell. “They’ve reinvented it as an entertainment center.”

DESIGN Pool (San Francisco): Jon Ritt, creative director/designer; Marius Gedgaudas, designer
CLIENT Birdie (San Francisco)
MATERIALS Laminated blotting paper, heavy card stock, classic crest cover stock, metallic silver PMS, clear vinyl
SOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

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