Premium Axe Handles Label

Greetings. I didn’t know this site existed until last night😆 I’m not going to bother you with my background or other, just want to get a crit of sorts from the pros that design for a living(not I).
This design is what the company chose for the labels on their premium handle line. Beyond a crit, would you simply create a variation of this design for their other line of handles? Or create an entirely new design? Thanks in advance!

Welcome, Doug.

The rules here dictate that only the original designer may post their work for critique. Your post doesn’t make it clear whether you designed this label. Please clarify.

Furthermore, asking for free work is a violation of the forum rules. The regulars here are all professionals who don’t work for free. If you need work done, please post an ad in the Classifieds section and be prepared to pay.


Thanks for the insight. Yes I created this design.
Can you clarify the bit regarding “free work?” I’m certainly not inquiring about free work, I do all design work myself. Simply trying to get a crit and suggestions.

Why would you put a label on an axe handle only a little above (or at) where you would slide your hand from on a downstroke? If it’s a sticker, it’ll last one session, then I’d probably sand it off because it would be an annoying drag once the adhesive is exposed. If it’s screened maybe a little longer.
I’d be inclined to put up more toward the axe head. You aren’t supposed to miss and hit the handle.
Unless it’s a removable label?

As for the design? Differentiate from the premium label but keep the company logo.

I’m sorry. I misinterpreted this:

I see that now.

Personally, I’d want multiple product lines to reflect a “family” branding approach. I’d try for a fundamentally similar variant.

Thanks for your message.

Axe handle companies do typically stick their labels in the position pictured. I have no control over the position, regardless.

The labels are vinyl and printed with ink that is “weather proof” according to the printer(the company has tested this as well). Again, something I have no control over, I only created the design.

I like the graphic itself. You’ve managed to give it a traditional feel without looking dated. It seems quite appropriate for a product like ax handles. To gauge how well it stands among competitors’ branding or project how effective it could be in the maker’s markets, I’d have to do the research.

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Too bad you don’t. Even to the point of creating the mockup with the label higher?
I wouldn’t buy the second one from the left though as any kind of premium handle. And I’d probably turn down the 4th from the left too.

Off topic. I can’t even count the many labels I’ve sanded off garden tools over the past decade because of dumb placement and gooey adhesive. It seems to be a recent thing too. A vinyl sticker, I don’t even wait for it to get gross any more. It gets peeled off when I buy it, then some lacquer thinner or similar to remove the gunk, then a quick sand and a touch up with linseed oil. No more painted or shellacked handles either (both come off in hand shredding checks if the tool gets wet, which garden tools tend to do fairly often.)

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That would depend on what the company wants to accomplish. If the company makes and markets a line of similar products, there’s typically value to be gained by establishing a recognizable brand.

There’s also the issue of whether or not to brand the company or brand the products. If it’s a small company that makes nothing but similar products to these, those two things are one in the same. On the other hand, if wooden handles are side thing the company makes in addition to other things with little relationship to one another, a decision needs to be made on whether to focus on branding the handles or using the labels to brand the handles as a product of the parent company.

If the name of the company is K USA, and if you’ve used the company’s logo on this label, it sounds like the decision has already been made. If the company also makes, for example, sledge hammer and rake replacement handles that will likely be displayed in stores, I’d be inclined to make all the labels visually similar to each other in order to help create a recognizable brand.

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For sure, I pretty much do the same thing.
This company is a bit different than other handle makers. Their customer base consists of mostly collectors. You see, it’s near impossible to find an authentic 1940’s/50’s axe handle. This company has several of the highly sought after handles however. They replicate these handles and sell for boutique money. I have several of them myself (gifts from company), and they are amazing! Made of super select Ash, Hickory, and Red Elm, and the grain orientation is perfect. Put it this way, everytime they have a product batch come out, they’re gone within a few days.

Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to provide sound advise.

Thank you for commenting, I appreciate this.

People collect axes?

I wouldn’t have thought a niche like that would be large enough to build a business around. Then again, I’m constantly surprised by people’s interests. :wink:

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Target-throwing axes is becoming a popular hobby in my area. Firefighters also collect axes and use them as wall decor. Maybe there’s a connection in there somewhere.

:joy: you have know idea! It is absolutely crazy. Here in Indiana I’ve heated with a wood stove since I was a child. I’ve always ran Chainsaws and split wood for this, so I’ve always had these things lying around. Until a few years ago, I had no clue that ppl collected axes, and believe it or not chainsaws too! What’s more, I had no clue how much money some go for it’s nuts! Just Google “Black Raven Axe” or “Abraham Lincoln Axe” you will jump out of your seat​:laughing:
Anyway, these axe heads won’t be hung on just any axe handle. The company I’m designing for and more(I’m also a web dev), their cheapest handle is like $60. And it’s a B grade hatchet handle. Many are hundreds of dollars…for a stick of wood!

Yes, I know a couple of guys that literally make a living from building throwing axes. Hard to believe, I know.
Also, vintage fire axes go for a ton of money if it’s a certain brand. Even a modern fire axe is pricey because most are custom made for a firefighter, or station.

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