Dress It Up: 5 Tips on Wearing Your Brand on Your Sleeve

Custom shirts have been utilized by small businesses for decades. However, using them as a calling card for your business’s brand is a relatively new tactic employed to promote your values and ideals through creative enterprise. From Coca-Cola’s T-shirt movie campaign to local mom and pop stores, shirts are the ultimate interactive platform to reach old clients and new customers all in the same cotton blend. You’ll find you have greater market power by using branded apparel. From logos to eye-catching designs and statements, the innovative influence that comes with making a definitive statement of fashion with custom shirts continues to expand. 

Logos By Design

Designing a logo that captures attention and is memorable is no easy task. From choosing the perfect color scheme to getting the typography just right, there are many factors at play in the design process. Thankfully, there are a number of design guides available as well as inexpensive, professional design services that will turn a momentous task into a far more manageable one. 

  • Find inspiration for your design by researching color palettes that fit your business. For instance, bright colors are a great fit for a kid-friendly brand, while soothing hues work well with spas and salons.
  • Lettering styles – or fonts – are equally important. Whether a whimsical cursive or a powerful block text, how you print your business’s name carries a great deal of subconscious weight.
  • Break out the pencil and paper and sketch out some rough ideas of what you envision for your logo. Get creative – there’s no limit to what you can come up with.
  • Consider designing with software such as Photoshop or Illustrator and to bring your design to life. These programs allow you to create vector graphics that can be easily printed onto shirts. 
  • Once you have perfected your design, it’s time to upload it to the printing website of your choice. 

Slogans That Knock Their Socks Off

A slogan is critical for tying your custom shirt to being an influencer. The best slogans pack a powerful punch. You want the words to be meaningful as well as interesting. Always be cognizant of the purpose of your business or campaign. You never want to write to fill space. The less verbiage used, the better. Aim for 6 words or less, with an appeal to both your brand and that of social engagement. Coming up with an ideal slogan will include four key factors:

  • Researching the market to best know what your audience will find appealing. 
  • Brainstorm many different possibilities. Get creative and remember there’s no such thing as a bad idea.
  • Test your slogan by presenting your ideas to the consumer base directly. Most customers will be brutally honest, which is exactly what you need. 
  • When you finally get your slogan (or tagline) right, protect it by filing for a legally binding trademark.

Material Matters

Design compatibility is key when it comes to putting your brand’s goals into apparel action. You want your shirts to be a positive, engaging encapsulation of the goods and/or services your small business provides. A high-quality shirt will exactly match the style of your logo and slogan and bring your message to life. Take into account the placement of your logo on the shirt. A front and center approach works well for t-shirts, while an oxford or polo looks better if the logo is downsized and embroidered on the shirt’s left upper breast. The color scheme of your shirt should be both attractive and reflect the nature of your business. Busy color schemes can be distracting and make the quality of your shirt look less than. Stick to a simplistic color palette to keep things streamlined and classy. 

Posting Online

The Coca-Cola T-shirt movie campaign sent T-shirts to people around the world and had them take a still picture of them wearing it. This was then turned into a flip-book style film once all pictures were received. While that requires a great deal of planning and funding, it created a great deal of awareness and brand recognition/positivity. Think about how your own story can be told with custom shirts. How do you want it to be posted? Do you want the individual shirts to tell the story or do you want a famous person to wear it? How do you want the campaign to happen? What are your goals with this other than to gain more brand recognition? These are things to take into consideration when creating your online campaign. Consider when your followers post how they wear their shirt what hashtag you want them to use. For example, look at the “#thisishowiwearmy[brand]shirt” hashtag to see how they leveraged their custom shirts.

When people post their pictures, consider putting it on your own profile with their profile credited in the comment section with what you’re wanting to do with your campaign – like a charity fundraiser, for example. When you’re going about this, be sure to put something in your stories section on Instagram with something about it on Twitter to gain optimal traction in your online recognition raising efforts.

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