Right about now, you are trying to convince yourself that signing up to be Team Mom wasn’t the worst mistake of your life. Collecting the necessary information to place a team t-shirt or jersey order sounds simple, but there are imperative details you need to acquire in order to guarantee a smooth process. Say you’re looking to place an order for your son’s baseball team. The coach suggested some new game jerseys, pants, and socks would make the team look extra sharp for the big tournament coming up. The team colors are red and black, so red jerseys, white baseball pants, and black socks. Done deal, right? Unfortunately, not so much. You would be amazed at just how many different options for apparel are out there. From vest jerseys, button down jerseys, two-button jerseys, full length pants, knicker style pants, tube socks, stirrup socks… the list goes on and on. Doing a little research and collecting opinions from the team before you start your order process with a custom apparel printer, can eliminate a future headache. Take a deep breath, pour yourself some coffee, and open up your trusty friend, Google. It’s going to be okay, and we’ll provide the important steps to make sure of it.
With the countless amount of apparel options involved in team ordering, it’s not hard to rack up your bill. Before you reach out to any athletic screen printer, a good idea would be to hold a meeting with the team, coaches, and parents to determine how much each party is willing to spend. From there, you will be able to come up with a set price that everyone can agree on. A budget will limit the options we’ll suggest. You wouldn’t want the team to fall in love with a specific product only to find out it’s not something the team can afford.
It is crucial to have an exact date of when you will need your order completed by. You may have an upcoming tournament out of town or you may just want to eliminate the daily calls from other parents who are excited to receive their goodies, but either way you’ll rest easier knowing exactly when your team’s custom order will be on your doorstep. There are numerous variables that can interfere with a deadline, so choosing an expert printer is one step to ensuring your success. One factor to consider is that not all products are immediately available for ordering. The products we display on the website are located very close to (or within) our print facilities to guarantee it will be printed, shipped, and delivered in time. With standard products, we offer free 10 calendar day delivery, and have options to choose faster delivery options if needed. Custom orders for specialty products may take a little longer, but knowing your deadline in advance will help everyone plan accordingly to find products that will work for your team and deadline.
As you probably know by now, there are a lot of different styles of apparel available. We have several sports and performance products online, but sometimes you need something custom, and we can assist in that search for something unique. Having an idea of exactly what type of clothing products you want will not only ensure you receive exactly what you’re asking for, but will also speed up the fulfillment time. For example, say your team wants jerseys with different color trim or panels. As you can see in the picture above, there are many variations of this style. If you know of a specific brand name, style code, or color combination needed, that may help narrow down our search.
It is important to communicate whether you need youth, adult, ladies, or a mix of everything when it comes to your sizes. Let’s say you only need youth shirts, but you neglected to relay that information. We might send you an option of a shirt that you’re interested in, only to find out later that particular style isn’t available in a youth size. In a perfect world, every piece of apparel would be true to size. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. Luckily, there are charts available for your convenience, to determine the perfect size for the athletes you will be ordering for. If you have a little extra time, contact us in advance to order a blank sample for your team to try on prior to ordering.
Having your artwork prepared is very important. If your team already has a standard logo that you want to use and it’s saved in the correct file format, all you would need to do is email it to us or upload the file to our design studio. The best file types are AI, EPS, CDR, or a vector PDF. From there, our artists will take over. Every artist is trained to make sure your design will look great, and will make any minor adjustments necessary, or send you a proof if bigger changes are required. If your sports team is brand new and doesn’t have a logo, or the team is wanting something fresh, the following topics will lead you to your perfect design.
An important detail to get squared away is to figure out the type of font(s) you want to include in your design. There are more fonts available than you could even imagine. Let’s say you want your logos to say “All Star” and you tell your artist you want it in a cool looking font. Well, turns out you and the artist probably have different opinions of what a “cool” font looks like. Searching online through different font websites like DaFont or Font Squirrel will allow you to find the exact name of a font you wish to use in your design and relay that to your artist. If you’re designing it yourself in our design studio, we offer a wide variety of fonts too.
The more descriptive you are with what you want your logo to look like, the better the design will turn out. If you’re vague on what you have in mind, you most likely won’t be thrilled with the outcome. There is no such thing as being too specific with how you want your design to appear. The details you provide in your art request will help us choose the best artist on our team to work with you, as they each have different styles. Shown above are two prime examples of a basic logo and an elaborate logo. If you gave limited detail to an artist and simply gave the team colors and what you want the logo to say, you may receive a mockup of something like the logo on the left. However, if you told the artist that you want something that includes wings, a skull, and a banner ribbon, you might be lucky enough to receive something like the logo on the right.
Once you have the layout of your design figured out, you’ll need to choose what color ink(s) that your team logo will be printed in. Just how there are different types of apparel and fonts, there are even more types of colors. For starters, of course you have your basic colors. If your team socks are a basic shade of red, chances are the red ink you suggest will match just fine. But what happens when the socks are a shade of blue that you just can’t describe? This is where the Pantone Matching System (PMS) comes into play. PMS colors provide a “recipe” for screen printers. Each PMS color has a set value of different colors needed to produce the color on the chart. For example, the image to the right shows just a few different PMS shades of blue. If the “bluish” socks happened to match one of the shades, all you would need to do is tell the artist that specific number.
Say you have an order in the works for some team jerseys. They are all the same style and color but each jersey gets a different name and number on the back. In production terms, these are called vinyl transfers. It is important to have a list of all correctly spelled names and numbers to upload. Transfers affect the pricing of the order, so it is critical that you relay this information from the very beginning. Withholding or changing your transfer details will also delay the production process which could end up effecting the given deadline.
We advise that you don’t wait until your order is ready to start collecting payment from the team! The last thing you want to do is end up chasing money. Before the order is even started, you will be required to remit payment. Divide the total between each customer to find out how much each party owes you. Try to keep the payment method simple. If each party gives you a personal check, deposit them into your account or the team account, then pay with a credit card online.
Hopefully by using these steps, you feel more confident about getting the job done.
Being Team Mom isn’t always easy, but it’s ALWAYS worth it.