Let's pretend you're hosting a fundraising event and you want t-shirts to commemorate the occasion. You can get t-shirts printed many places. Big operations like Custom Ink will let you choose from clip art selections and some standard options to "customize" your order. But, ultimately, your t-shirts will look like they came from a giant online operation. They'll look like t-shirts hurriedly created for an event. If that's what you want, great. If you want something more, opt for true custom design. Custom design comes from a design house that holds its professional design team to the highest standards. There's no standard menu, no clip art, and nothing generic about it. When those t-shirts arrive, people will have to ask 'Where did you get these done?' so they can go the same route for their next event.
When running a small business, life moves fast. With tighter margins and less stability, it's understandable when an 'I' goes undotted or a 'T' goes uncrossed. But, too often, small business branding becomes a casualty of that scramble. When branding is neglected, it creates more problems than it solves. If you run a small business or have decision-making power within one, it's time to make your voice heard in favor of a strong visual brand. It's an important piece of the puzzle to help your company grow.
Below are a few objections to small business branding and why they don't hold up:
Go to your facility or place of business (a retail store, arena, or anywhere else). Walk in. Now look down. Are you looking down? Good. What do you see? If your answer is just 'the floor,' that's an enormous missed opportunity. You should see floor graphics. Why? Floor graphics maximize the space you have and can be a tremendous marketing, advertising, and branding asset for your business. If your space is already packed with signage, it's time to get creative. By making use of the floor, you've suddenly expanded your available marketing space without much extra work. Is the floor a viable space for advertising, marketing, and branding? As sure as it's a viable place for walking.
T-shirts are inarguably in the running for the best article of clothing. They're versatile and comfortable. They can look at home at a fancy party and a pick-up basketball game alike. They're easily customizable and they can be an inexpensive vehicle to brand a company or promote an event. It's no wonder that people look into custom t-shirt design all of the time. Creating your own t-shirt is fun and cost-effective. But, before you decide which printing ompany to take your custom t-shirt idea to, consider the four questions below:
"Print" is unfairly boxed in. When that word is said, people think 'newspaper' or, if it's screen printing, they think 't-shirt.' It's sad, because print is so much more than that. Screen printing is so much more than that. Before you dismiss printing as limited, consider some of the items below. Print is what you make of it. With strong design and creativity, you can turn any of these unusual items into a work of art or a marketing juggernaut:
What's in a logo? Everything! Your logo is your defining piece of design. It's what will come to mind first when people think about your brand or event. If you're getting ready to design a logo, it's important to keep several things in mind. Look over the list below and make sure that you're designing a logo that you're ready to stand behind.
In a world where digital window shopping runs rampant and online shopping in general is more popular than ever, retail is on the ropes. So, it's more important than ever before for retail stores to differentiate themselves. You need to create an experience for customers that makes coming in worth the trip. That 'experience' can encompass a lot. It's customer service. It's navigability. It is absolutely the aesthetic of your brick-and-mortar storefront. What your store looks like matters. It gives your store an unmistakable 'vibe' and helps communicate to customers what you're about and why your store is worth spending time in. How can you make that happen? You'll need to do things visually that set you apart from the competition. Following the crowd won't help. It's time to get unique.
Promotional t-shirts have a bad reputation. They're viewed as a one-off, something to be handed out and worn on a single occasion before being buried at the bottom of a dresser drawer. Or, maybe worse, promotional tees get worn during dirty jobs. All of the effort that you put in is for naught. The apparel you invested in is covered in lawn clippings, paint, or whatever was stuck in the gutters. That can lead to hurt feelings. It can also lead to a warped sense of the value of designing and printing a promotional tee. We've taken a different approach over the years - pairing amazing design with high quality apparel. It's sweet redemption for the promo tee.
Small business marketing tends to be formulaic. If you run a small business, you know how it goes. Salespeople detect new blood in the neighborhood and burst through your front door, pushing radio schedules, TV spots, coupons in the local newspaper, and maybe a billboard or two. All traditional marketing platforms, designed for maximum reach. But, what if there were marketing techniques that kept the impressive reach and added captivating design? Good news: such things exist!
At a glance, screen printing might seem simple to pull off. In fact, there are plenty of articles that will tell you how to do it at home. It's true: anybody can follow step-by-step instructions. But, unless you have the requisite experience, the likelihood of error is high. Remember, IKEA furniture comes with instructions and the process of following them causes well-documented tension. In screen printing, an error might not cause a fight, but it can require that you start the process over again. All in all, it's a more complicated process than you may think. That's why we think it's best left to professionals (*cough*). But, we want everyone to know what the process is like and all that goes into it.
Here are a few other aspects of screen printing you might not have considered: