This cover photo is a Large measurement tag I use at my job. My jobs, actually.
I have spent most (ok all) my adult life in the costume shops of the biggest television shows & films. And it has taught me invaluable lessons about efficiency, user research and customer (costumer) needs.
I create a better User Experience for my costume colleagues.
Right now while I'm working as a UX (user experience) designer for a small tech solutions company - I also work at two costume shops (like many rappers of our generation, everyday I'm hustling).
I actually love fixing problems. I have to confess, I love to come in and make things easier to use and understand. My friend MacKenzie used to say that I could turn a desk covered in vomit into a bouquet of roses (she is both wordsmith and a very loving friend)
So back to the L(arge) measurement tags.
Let me explain this process. Laundry, shopping, all these clothes come into the costume shop / office & there are racks and racks of stock. All the clothes are separated by categories & then by size. Simple enough.
When there are multiple racks of clothes to size - it can be a daunting task. Restocking is one of the most dreaded tasks for my colleagues. Most people HATE IT.
I on the other hand, am a super nerd. I love lining all the clothes up by type, efficiently slapping those tags on and putting them away ... Slowly watching the rack become empty.
But more importantly I love to create the tag organizer for each job. (see pic below)
Its very similar to the concept of customer research - creating it with the customer (and in this case, the cast of the film or tv show) in mind.
The reason for the tag organizer is 2-fold. 1. It makes things faster not having to write out each size (making you an impressive & efficient worker in the process) and 2. It is better for the environment, as each tag is used over & over again. Many new productions are pushing green initiatives, and this can be a way for us to reuse, recycle and be good Americans.
The picture above is the measurement tag organizer I created for a particular show that has such a ridiculous amount of security, I'm not allowed to say I work on it... which is a little overkill, but maybe there IS someone about to rent a helicopter, parachute onto the roof of our building, scale down the side and break into the window of our costume shop (the costumes ARE amazing)... or just admire my super sweet measurement tags. Those are pretty cool too.
For our purposes here let's say the show is your run of the mill cop show. Not a lot of suits. Mostly a male cast. Dudes that are regular sizes.
So, take a look at the pic - and let's dive in the sweet minutiae.
THE FLIP SIDE
Most period shows use specific measurements for each item in the stock. It takes longer, yes but the same concept can apply. You would then nix the 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 etc. all together and use XS, S, M, L, XL… In fact, any staff that joins the team can come in, have those tags available. They send a clear message that this is the way the stock is measured and organized. They will immediately understand the system and adjust their behavior accordingly.
This picture is the tag system for the costume shop at "Vinyl" (a 1970s HBO show coming out summer 2016), its elaborate but pretty cool. If the production is willing to pay for the tags (from ULINE) and the stamps to be made then it’s a great system. The new costumer comes in and again, knows exactly what’s expected of them. "These are the measurements we want for these items." Clear, concise & beautiful.
So the next time you start your new job in the costume shop, take a note from User Experience Designers and the concepts of:
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