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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

The 7-Step Order Checklist for the Team Mom

seven order checklist

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.

money
1.) Budget

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.

time
2.) Deadline

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.

deadline
3.) Styles

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.

sizing
4.) Sizes

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.

artwork
5.) Artwork

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.

fonts
Fonts

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.

comparison
Details

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.

colors
Colors

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.

transfers
6.) Transfers

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.

income
7.) Payment

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.

How to Design your own Game of Thrones Style Family Reunion T-Shirt

game of thrones

Game of Thrones is a wildly popular series on HBO and while it would not be described as family friendly, the prevailing theme throughout is allegiance to family or houses. The different houses feature mottos or “words” they use to describe their ideals and these extend to those under their protection.

Each house adopts heraldry or insignia to differentiate families. Obviously Game of Thrones is fiction but these devices are real and historically were used as a means to identify your allies on a field of battle.

You may already have a family motto or slogan that has been passed down through generations or maybe you need to do some research on the subject. Even if you’re family name isn’t steeped in deep history, you can adopt a family crest that you’ve designed yourself. Here are some common heraldric symbols available in our design studio found using keyword: heraldry. Other keywords to use in your clip art search are crest, banner, crowns, badge, coat of arms, and specific animal names. The traditional meaning behind them is explained below so you can incorporate what is meaningful to your family.

The Anchor
anchor clipart
Symbolizes hope in the form of religion; unyielding
The Anvil
anvil clipart
Symbolizes honor
The Apple
apple
Symbolizes well-being, bounty
The Arrow
arrows
Symbolizes martial readiness or a willing to fight
The Barrel
barrel
Symbol of brewers
The Bear
bear clipart
Symbolizes the protector of family, strength, ferociousness
The Bee
bee
Symbolizes hard and industrious work
The Book
book
Symbolizes learning and knowledge, if open; manifestation
The Castle
castle
Symbolizes safety and protection
The Cat
cat
Symbolizes freedom, watchfulness, precognition, and stoutheartedness
The Cross
cross
Dependant on the type of cross but generally Christianity
The Crown
crown
Symbolizes authority and importance
The Dragon
dragon
Symbol of the defender, gallantry
The Eagle
eagle
Symbolizes a noble protector, bravery, watchfulness
Fleur-de-lis
fleur de lis
Symbolizes purity and light
The Griffin
griffin
Symbolizes the protector, guardian of riches
The Hand
hand
Symbolizes truth and justice
The Helmet
helmet
Symbolizes knowledge of defense; unbeatable, strong
The Horse
horse
Symbolizes swiftness, readiness, and masculinity
The Lion
lion
Symbolizes bravery, valor, and ferociousness
The Moon
moon
Serene power over ordinary actions
The Pegasus
pegasus
Symbolizes messenger from God, fame, and great activity
The Ram
ram
Symbol for authority
The Scales of Justice
scale of justice
Symbolizes justice
The Snake
snake
Symbolizes wisdom
The Stag
stag
Symbolizes peace and harmony unless provoked
The Sword
sword
Symbolizes justice and honor in battle

Below are a few t-shirt mockups to showcase how easy it is to design your very own Game of Thrones style t-shirt for family reunions or events.

family reunion tee with bees
dragon family reunion tshirt
moon
tee with snake

Family mottos are either something you have or something you can author yourself. Researching family genealogy sites can reveal general motto’s attached to well-known surnames. But in the spirit of creating a Game of Thrones themed family reunion shirt, here are some slogans you can use or combine parts of many for something original.

  • Boldness and Devotion
  • We Live in Faith
  • By Sea and By Land
  • By Faith and Toil
  • Mindful of God, Faithful to Friends
  • By Virtue and Oaths
  • Loyalty Keeps Me
  • Let us Pursue Higher Things
  • Generous and Forgiving
  • Patriotism Guides Me
  • Fortune Favors the Brave
  • After Clouds, Light
  • Bravely Go
  • Always Faithful
  • Always Thriving
  • Never Backwards

Summer T-Shirt Inspiration for 2016

It’s summer time again and t-shirts and tank tops are all the rage to stay cool, comfortable, and confident for outdoor adventure and festival fun.

Matchy, matchy with hair and t-shirts could be fashion overkill so we recommend picking complimentary or contrasting colors. Although black is not a traditional color for summer, it looks amazing against these dreamy hues.

Sweet Nostalgia Palette
sweet nostalgia

Sweet nostalgia is a summer color palette that contains sea green, peach, chestnut, golden brown, and baby yellow. Combinations of these colors induce memories of summer vacations and romance. Choose Bella short sleeve jersey crew neck in seafoam blue as your base canvas for this palette.

Desert Bloom Palette
desert bloom

Desert Bloom is a fresh take on neutrals that embraces relaxed tradition and marries it with bold new fashion colors. Think soft taupe, marigold, moonstone blue, coffee bean, olive, and sand. Start with Next Level The Perfect Tee in Light Olive for this look.

Backyard Brights
backyard brights

This is the color palette for those looking for a punch! While canary yellow doesn’t scream look at me, pairing it with Candy Apple Red or Electric Blue will. Periwinkle and Grass Green compliment while not overwhelming. Start with Next Level The Boyfriend Tee in vibrant yellow.

Make your own t-shirt or tank top with our clip art or your uploaded graphics and our new fonts in the design studio!

Check out some of our ideas available to edit or order as-is on trendy t-shirt and tank top apparel products. Save your t-shirt art on your favorite t-shirt or tank top option. If you can’t find your favorite product type or fit on our t-shirt design website, reach out to our friendly and responsive customer service team. We’ll do our best to find the perfect custom apparel option for your summer t-shirt concept.

Take me to the Ocean
mermaid t-shirt
Peace, Love, Sandy Feet
peace, love, sandy feet t-shirt
Something Beautiful
something beautiful t-shirt

Bar and Restaurant T-Shirts

restaurant uniform printers

Uniforms are really valuable for practical reasons of course because they help your customers identify staff. Choosing what kind of uniforms to provide is part of your business culture. T-shirts are great for a casual bar or restaurant atmosphere and are typically cheaper to purchase too. Embroidered polos and work shirts are suitable for more formal dining or cocktail lounges but usually cost more to purchase and require more production time.

As the owner of a small bar or restaurant, you work really hard to make your offerings distinctive from other local eateries and pubs and you know the value of word-of-mouth business. Your staff’s uniforms can help spread the word too and encourage customers to take action they might not think about doing to support your business.

happy hour t-shirts

Printed t-shirts are extremely versatile as a marketing tool because you can feature aspects of your business that might get overlooked on text heavy menus or tabletop signs. Use t-shirts to promote Happy Hour and signature dishes. Maybe your lunchtime customers never return after work simply because they haven’t considered it. Or they’ve been ordering the same dish because they think they know what they want and never look at the menu to see your signature dishes.

Contemporary t-shirt printing techniques make it possible to reproduce high quality photo art on fabric to showcase your mouth watering dishes and cocktails.

burger place t-shirts

Print your social hashtags and accounts on t-shirts. You can incentivize social interaction by asking people to take pictures of the restaurant, their dishes, and drinks and offer them a real time discount for doing it.

hashtag t-shirts

Reselling your bar or restaurant T-shirt design may be something you’ve never thought about. Design, print quality, and apparel product choice are critical in making an appealing, must-have article of clothing though. Work with a graphic designer to come up with an attractive t-shirt art concept or relevant slogan and have them printed up. Ordering t-shirts in bulk allows you to resell your t-shirts as and additional source of revenue.

Of course the real value added result of reselling your restaurant or bar t-shirts is the exposure your business will receive as your customers wear them around friends, colleagues, and family. Instead of word-of-mouth, you have word-of-wear. Contact us today to discuss print and embroidery options for restaurant and bar uniforms.

So You Want To Start A T-Shirt Brand

tshirt brands

T-shirts are an in-demand apparel product for comfort and self-expression, and most likely always will be. The humble t-shirt started out as a form of underwear that became outerwear and was popularized during World War II. T-shirt stardom continued to rise with glamorization from Hollywood icons like Marlon Brando and James Dean which resulted in making it a wardrobe staple.

The meteoric rise of t-shirt designs and sales make it a very attractive possibility for entrepreneurs with awesome design skills and fashion sense. However, there are a few things to consider before you bulk print t-shirts and start selling.

Understanding your potential consumer is critical

Who is your target audience? If you’re hoping to sell to college age people, think about what college age consumers are interested in. This hold true for the design absolutely but also for the apparel product you want it printed on.

There are cheap t-shirts that a lot of people can afford but choosing a product solely on its affordability isn’t always the right strategy. We’ve learned working with lots of t-shirt brands that quality is a worthy consideration, especially if you want repeat business.

niche shirts

Sorority consumers are looking for high fashion, fraternity consumers are looking for the same and comfort. Don’t make the mistake of saving up front and losing repeat business because your apparel product of choice tends to shrink after washing or is a boxy cut that fashion minded individuals won’t appreciate.

For design strategy, coming up with a totally unique idea is going to be tough, however designing is not always about originality. Sometimes your design can stand out from the rest because of your font choice, color composition or even high end print methods like glitter or metallic

A great design won’t take off without marketing

The digital age is an unprecedented playground for marketers. Promotional gateways that made it extremely tough for small businesses to gain a foothold are really no longer barriers with communities like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. You don’t need a lot of money to promote but plan to spend an extensive amount of time marketing your t-shirts.

jumping into branding

If designing for a specific niche, compile a list of relevant and trending hashtags to accompany your posts. Starting locally narrows down your chances of huge, quick gains but building a following of happy customers that will refer you to their friends will help you build a solid backing.

tshirt brand marketing

Networking with the right people is a great way to build-of-mouth business. Again, consider your target audience. Go where they hang out, start conversations with business owners, and wear your product.

Developing a relationship with a screen printer

Starting your own t-shirt line or brand is going to require some upfront investment. Screen printing your own t-shirts requires a great deal of skill, energy, and equipment to get the job done right. We suggest you choose which business role you want to be in, a t-shirt line business owner or a professional screen printer. Trying to work both ends of the spectrum and being awesome at both is a huge and exhausting challenge.

When you’re ready to begin a conversation with an expert screen printer remember they have a business to run too. Offering to pay them for their work after you’ve made your sales or trying to negotiate bulk pricing for a really small run won’t get you very far, particularly if they are experts at their craft.

Most professional screen printers are happy to offer recommendations on the best priced, highest quality apparel choices for your chosen niche. You should expect to pay market price for samples of their work and as your business grows and you bring them repeat business with it, that’s when true negotiations on pricing can begin.