All posts by DOlivos

Recycling Old Event T-shirts

Clever and creative ways to get rid of old event t-shirts.

Clever and creative ways to get rid of old event t-shirts.

So the charity golf tournament has come and gone, but you still have several hundred T-shirts left over. The question remains as to what to do with all of that extra merchandise? Well, we have a few tips to offer in that regard. Some of these are creative, some are practical, and a few will net you some brownie points with environmentalists and charities. Take a look at what to do the next time you are stuck with a load of outdated event T-shirts.

Donate Them. That’s right, simply give them away. If you are a major corporation, then this is probably the best idea. It will give you the biggest bang for your buck. The giveaway can be written off as a charitable contribution, and charities like Goodwill, and the Salvation Army often have great retail thrift stores to place the merchandise in. Most people like buying these types of T-shirts to use while they are cutting their grass, working on their house, or sweating it out at the gym. It keeps them from ruining their nicer clothes.

Reuse Them. That’s right, there are all sorts of ways you can reuse old event T-shirts. For instance, at your next event, use the extra T-shirts as an additional gift. Simply tuck them in the gift bag and let the participants score an extra bonus. Chances are they won’t mind that the shirt carries last year’s date on it, particularly if it is being used for the same event. Most will probably be thrilled to get an extra T-shirt, and you can use that as an additional marketing point in your event promotion.

Kid Aprons. Find a local Montessori school, or kindergarten class that is known for letting kids be creative. Old event T-shirts make perfect smocks and paint aprons to keep little hands, feet, and outfits clean. The school will thank you for the donation, and you can probably get a tax write off for it as well. Plus, parents will be grateful that their kids come home without paint or gunk all over their nice clean clothes.

Sell Them. That’s right, why not make a little bit of scratch off of the shirts? You might need a little bit of prep work for this one though. Before you have the event, let participants know that T-shirts are available-for-sale to friends and family members at a cut rate. Most people will take advantage of the deal, especially if their loved one is participating in it, and this is also a great way to help you get rid of extra event inventory if you fear it will be lying around for months to come.

All of these ideas are great for helping you thin out that stack of T-shirts that has been accumulating in the back office store room. The next time you have an event, keep these ideas in mind and you will be well on your way to minimizing that pile. The ideas above are much better alternatives to throwing the shirts away. Nothing is gained by that. Also, recycling or donating the T-shirts is such an easy way to go green that there is really no reason not to try. Get clever and creative, and see what other ways you can come up with to make a difference with your event T-shirts.

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Sometimes Simpler is Better, Making T-shirts That Stand Out

Simple t-shirt design that stands out is best for your business.

Simple t-shirt design that stands out is sometimes the better choice for branding  your business.

Airbrushed flames look great on the hood of an old classic muscle car, but not so much on T-shirts. Neither do busy graphics that look too complex or messy. You know what I’m talking about. You have seen those types of T-shirts and wondered what the person was thinking when they came up with that design. Sometimes, less is more. In fact, when it comes to graphic design, there could not be a more truer statement. Gone are the days of flashy, busy, intricate patterns that catch the eye and woo the prospect with great imagery. Now, simple, clever designs are what is necessary.

To do that, we should take a head nod from the Apple Corporation. Think of your T-shirt design as an iPhone. You want to design your shirt in much the same way that Apple packages the iPhone. They are marketing masters, and their packaging works for one great reason… It is very simple.

Say What You Mean. Right off the bat, when you purchase an iPhone, nothing is left to the imagination as to what is inside. The box clearly states that the phone is inside. In fact, that is all that the box says. There are no phrases like “new and improved”, or “faster and better”, to be found anywhere on the box. Nope, just the word iPhone and the model number. Think of your T-shirt in much the same way. If you have a slogan, rather than try to dress it up with fancy script or pop several images around it, simply say what you mean. Choose a typeface that stands out and let the font speak for itself.

Minimal Logo. Isn’t it ironic that the Apple logo does not have flames shooting from its stem, or wings lifting it up to the heavens. There are no tertiary images associated with the logo, simply an apple with a bite taken out of it. Think about that when you go to place your logo. If you have an intricate logo, work to scale it down to the image that is most iconic or representative of your brand. This could be a reinvention of sorts, or a reinterpretation of your logo for a specific event you are putting on, say at Christmas or Halloween.

Customer Engagement. Apple’s packaging is designed to let users engage its product. There are very little instructions on the inside, if any. The product itself is the instruction. Think of that when you are designing your T-shirts. Rather than filling the back of the shirt with a ton of information about your company or product, consider statements like “Ask me how”, or “I can help”, to allow customers the freedom to engage your staff. Then, let the staff explain the product or service that your business offers. There is much more potential to close a sale that way rather than letting company employees wear T-shirts packed with graphical product information.

Approaching your T-shirt design like this will yield a product that is engaging, fresh, and insightful. Customers will appreciate the fact that you took time to recognize them as a potential buyer. You can almost hear your cash register ringing up sales now can’t you?

Still confused which t-shirt design you should use in branding your business? Name of the Game Embroidery will take the burden off your shoulders. Try us today!

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Out of the Box Family Reunion Ideas

Untitled designFamily reunions are a time of laughing, crying, and sharing. People who have not seen each other in years get reacquainted, and there is always plenty of food and fun to be had. Typically, most people walk away from a reunion with a T-shirt or two. It’s a way to commemorate the event, and also a way to remind everyone just how special, and close, the bond of family can be.

Yet, what if you wanted to do something a bit unique. What if you wanted to go a bit non-traditional with your family reunion takeaways? Well, following are a few of our favorite items that will make quite a statement at your next function.

Lanyards. This one is simple and fun. It’s also cost-effective too. Kids can use it to wear their ID card around their neck for school or sporting events. Adults can use it for all sorts of things including name badges, keys, and even a whistle or two if they carry the title “coach”. Most of the time, lanyards are quite inexpensive too. This is a great option if you are doing a family reunion on a budget. Get them embroidered and your family will have a nice keepsake for quite a long time.

Baseball Caps. This is another gift idea that is very functional. Baseball caps usually get the most use when they are used as a giveaway. The reason is simple. They are so functional. You can purchase them and have them embroidered on the back with your family’s last name and the date of the reunion. The front could have a logo of sorts or the slogan for the reunion embroidered on it. This is a great way to commemorate the event, and also allow others to take the memory home with them.

Dish Towels. This is one that would be so simple and cheap to provide, yet most people never think of it. However, when you consider how much a dish towel is used, it makes perfect sense. You could have a few of these embroidered, and on display at the family reunion while guests are fixing plates or serving meals, etc. They are quite economical, and you can probably get a killer deal if you purchase them in bulk. Also, since they have a much larger surface area, you could put a logo or a picture of some sort embroidered on the towel too, if your budget allows.

Beach Towels. That’s right, when it is time for your guests to hit the beach, why not let them remember your reunion by sending them home with a personalized beach towel? These are pretty easy to come by, and make great choices for embroidery since they are usually one hundred percent cotton. If you search the net for closeout deals, you can usually get a good deal. Then, simply strike a deal with your embroidery shop on the customization and placement of the information. They can help you out with a few ideas of their own too. Your guests will have a nice keepsake that they will get plenty of use from as well.

Frisbees. These are simple and can be purchased by the hundreds. Simply have your information screen printed on the frisbee, and send them flying home with your guests. Chances are, you will probably have several flying around during the reunion too, with all of those children present. That’s okay, it’s better than having a lot of children present and nothing to do, right?

There are many more ideas to be had if you let your mind wander a bit. The items in our list have made the cut because they are economical and easy. Anytime you can have the words family reunion, economical, and easy in the same sentence… that’s a win-win. Put these tips to use and make your next reunion a hit!

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Lab Coats: Lettering and Logos, How to Choose Wisely

ThMale And Female Scientists Working In Laboratoryere are several things to consider when it comes to having your lab coat lettered. Most of the time, this is taken for granted. I think many professionals get used to letting their embroidery specialist handle their needs, and that is usually okay, but remember they work for you at the end of the day. Their suggestions are just that… suggestions. You need to keep a couple of things in mind before you have your lab coat lettered.

Choose the Right Font

For instance, the type of script you use is very important. Nothing is more frustrating to a patient then having a doctor or other healthcare professional come into the exam room wearing a lab coat that they cannot read. Make sure that the type of script you use is easily recognizable. You don’t want to get something too wispy or whimsical on the front of your coat. This might work for a logo, but if a patient is trying to read your name, or look at your credentials, this makes it very difficult. The type of font you use is very important, so make sure you convey that to your embroidery specialist before they get to work.

Make it Easy to Read

Also, the size of your font is important as well. It’s true, there are typical standards for having your name and title stitched on the front of your lab coat. However, if you are an eye doctor, you might consider getting your lab coat stitched in a font that is a bit larger and easier to read for your patients who have poor sight. It’s the little things like this that show you really care about what you do. Also, it should not cost you much more, if anything at all, to make the necessary adjustments.

Pay Attention to Placement

Finally, you want to make sure that placement is taken into consideration. Remember, it does no good to have your name and title stitched on your lab coat if your pens are tucked underneath obstructing the view. For this reason, you might want to consider getting a lab coat that has two breast pockets, or a breast pocket mounted on the opposite side of where you are going to have your name stitched. This keeps pens, pencils, and other doctor or medical gear out of the way; and makes it easier for your patients to read your name and recognize who you are.

Color it Correctly

On a side note, color should not be an issue, but we might need to mention it just to make sure. It is always a good move to have your name stitched using a color that is in direct contrast to your lab coat. Since most let coats are white, black or navy blue thread works very well for this. I would stay away from greens, yellows, and reds as they tend to put more strain on the eye. Those colors are great for scrubs, but for lettering, it’s usually best to stick to the basics.

By making sure you have the correct font, correct size, and correct placement of your name, you will immediately put yourself in a better position to take care of your patients. You won’t have to constantly refer to your name by pointing at your pocket as some professionals do. No, you can simply walk in, greet your patient, and get to work. Paying attention to these points will make sure that your lab coat is an asset, rather than a hindrance.

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Logo Branding, Making Your Hotel Uniform … More Uniform

Hotel worker on receptionService industry uniforms are always a bit tricky, particularly if your service industry is in the hotel business sector. There is one reason for this. Everybody will not have the same uniform. Your front desk people may wear polos, or they might wear a nice oxford shirt with a blazer, depending on your star rating or the type of atmosphere you want to convey to your guests. Your banquet service wait staff and restaurant crew will have a completely different type of uniform. Furthermore, housekeeping will look different as well. Then, there are always the bellhops and valets who will have another uniform that is a slightly different flavor than the front desk staff.

The attempt is to separate each segment of the hotel according to their job description. That’s fine, as long as it all ties together. To their credit, usually it does. If you own or operate a hotel then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Typically, there is a color scheme that unites the staff. Matching shirts, pants; that sort of thing. There is usually a name tag with a company logo on it to let guests know you work for Corporation XYZ.

The Problem with Name Tags

Name tags are great, however, they always appear a bit temporary in nature, especially when you see employees wearing a name tag that has obviously seen better days. You know what I’m referring to, those name tags that have a barely legible name because it has been all but scratched off; or the name tag is chipped, broken, etc. Nothing wrong with name tags, they just need to be kept up-to-date and fresh if you are looking to show to your guests that attention to detail matters.

A better way to do this is quite simple. Have your uniforms embroidered with your company’s logo. It’s as simple as that. Branding your housekeeping staff, restaurant staff, bellhops, valets, and front desk staff will unify your whole uniform scheme. It makes your hotel uniforms, well… more uniform.

Why a Logo Works

It also looks more permanent. Again, there is nothing wrong with wearing a name tag that has your company’s logo on it, however, a uniform with the logo embroidered on the sleeve or over the front pocket really cements the identity of the person wearing it as a company representative. It conveys the authority behind your brand. If you have not considered doing this in the past, you might want to look into it. It is probably a lot more cost-effective then you think. Typically, logos can be made using one or two colors, so you are only looking at one or two different threads. Talk with Name of the Game Custom Embroidery and see what we can do for you. Having logos on your hotel uniforms really makes your staff more identifiable in the marketplace. It also cements your image in the mind of your guests. The return on that is priceless.

We can help make your hotel uniforms more uniform. Contact us today.

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The Ins and Outs of Heat Press for T-Shirts

t shirt printing heat press machinePeople often choose heat press designs for T-shirts because they are quite cost-effective. They also tend to look good and last for relatively long periods of time. Yet, few people are familiar with what is actually involved when it comes to T-shirts and heat press designs. Let’s take a look at the process and give a little insight into what happens when you place your T-shirt order.

For starters, the end design depends on what type of heat press method is used, but if you just order a standard, one color T-shirt, for say a Little League team including a number and team logo or sponsor on the back, then the process is pretty straightforward.

Once your order is placed, the design team gets to work sizing and prepping the logo for printing. They will typically print them out on some sort of transfer paper, and more often than not, the transfers are then hand applied. This is simply due to the fact that with different team jerseys, the players have different numbers, as a result, they need to be hand applied in order to ensure they are sized properly, and centered correctly on the uniform.

Other things such as logo and sponsor placement can be placed automatically depending on the type of machine, however, sometimes it is easier to just hand apply the logo and sponsor information if the order is lower in number such as 20 or 30 shirts.

Once the transfers have been printed, they are placed on the shirt which is then placed on a machine that looks similar to an ironing board sometimes. This is not always the case as there are different forms of heat press machines, but more often than not, the shirt will be placed on the bottom part of the heat transfer or heat press machine, while the top plate will be applied to sandwich the transfer between the heat press and the fabric.

Typically, the transfer process occurs at about 350°, and the top plate is applied for about 10 to 15 seconds per transfer. Once the press is removed, the ink is permanently attached to the fabric and you have your T-shirt design.

Other forms of heat press techniques use different types of material to achieve textured looks. Different types of paper may be applied to the existing heat transfer and peeled off after the heat press is applied to achieve a distressed look. You can also use different types of ink to create different color tones at certain discharge points in the heat transfer process. These types of shirts will look quite vintage and are really neat. However, for Little League and other team uniforms, this is usually not necessary.

In the end, you can even add other sorts of things to heat press designs such as flocking, and other sorts of textured inks to increase the thickness and overall feel of the shirt. Due to their versatility, and efficiency, heat press machines have become a mainstay in the industry and a necessity in the marketplace. They are a great tool and quite useful during sports season. Thankfully, because of sports, it looks like they are here to stay.

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Embroidery Challenges with Font Type and Logo Design

Motivational BackgroundThere are certain things to keep in mind when it comes to re-creating your logo and font specifications with an embroidered design. Often times, people imagine they will give their design to their local print shop and simply have a product in hand two or three days later. That could be the case, however, sometimes several phone calls and email exchanges are necessary to achieve an accurate reproduction of your logo or fonts. There are several reasons for this, and if you know what to look for you can head off many concerns or issues before you take your items to print. Let’s take a look at what you should know before having your logo embroidered.

To begin with, your image is digitized for the embroidery machine. This step is responsible for taking your graphic design and bringing it to life via colored thread and fabric. The person who performs the digitizing will look for a few things before they get started to head off trouble during the design process.

Small Text

For instance, text that is smaller than one quarter inch tall will be extremely difficult to embroider. It might show up a little bit on nylon fabric, but anything like pique (loosely woven) or fleece (thick), will be incredibly disappointing because the stitches will be barely noticeable. So, if at all possible, make sure your font is large enough to be legible.

Color Matters

White and yellow are not your friends when it comes to thin lines and fine detail. If you have a logo or font that you wish to reproduce using light colored thread, you need to reconsider and use darker thread. If not, then the lighter lines will get lost in the fabric, or may not even show up at all. It’s best to use darker color threads for thinner lines.

No gradients

Color gradients should be avoided at all costs. These are very easy to reproduce in a graphic design setting where the environment is a bit more organic, yet embroidery uses distinct colors and set patterns.  As such, gradients usually do not work well.

Submit Your Best Image

Be sure to provide your best image. This means you should give them the image that is the highest resolution and can easily scale for design. Otherwise, they might be left to fill in the blanks if things get a bit blurry. Or they may need to reproduce it which will add cost.

Finally, keep in mind, if your logo is quite intricate and you do want it to be embroidered, then you will have to make compromises. Typically, a good digitizer will show you a final proof before it goes to production, however, they typically will not create sample after sample to show you due to cost and efficiency issues. The best thing to do is trust them and allow the process to go forward after your final proof review. This will ensure a good working relationship in the future, and who knows, you might modify your logo later down the road as a result.

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Make Coaching Simple with Embroidery

Young Boys In Baseball Team With CoachCoaching a sport is always challenging no matter who you are. At times, it can be like herding a bunch of kindergartners rather than coaching a well oiled machine. In fact, you might actually be coaching kindergartners at times and there really is no comparison for that sort of thing! In order to make the job easier and the team more effective, you obviously have to know what you are doing. At times, it is helpful to implement a few tips and tricks to help move things along.

Well, as it happens, there is one idea that you might not have thought of. Implementing this one trick can really help motivate your team. The trick is one of the oldest reward mechanisms around, embroidered merit badges.

These have often been used in scouting to gauge certain achievements. For instance, a girl might get her cooking badge when she prepares a meal for family and friends. On the converse, a boy might receive his camping badge after he makes a fire or completes a camp out with a few of his buddies in the group. The secret behind the badge is that with each achievement, the desire to achieve more and reach the next level is intensified. This same principle can be applied to coaching.

Applying the Badge to Coachingthe winner first prize with germany and argentina football team

Consider having several badges made up that are non-merit-based to begin with. For example, you can always have one with your team member’s name displayed, the name of the team, and the mascot to start off with. These can be applied to the shirt or uniform at different points in a standard configuration after a short team ceremony is conducted. From that point on, consider giving other badges out as certain things occur. You might have one for the player who excels the most at a particular skill during practice, or one who shows the most improvement.

You could have another badge for players who “make the game” or provide the “most” of something such as a tackle, steal, block, etc. You get the point. The idea is to reward the players as often as possible to encourage them in their personal development.

The best part?  You can hand them out for anything! Try giving out a badge for a certain number of practices that are attended if you are having trouble getting your team together on the weekends. You will be amazed at the difference it makes when a child receives a badge for showing up time and time again, after other children on your team have failed to do so. This also reinforces the idea that the sport is something that should be a priority to your players rather than a hobby. All of this is based on the simple mechanism of behavior and reward. It has been around for centuries and is quite effective. It is a proven way to motivate people. Who knew such a winning strategy could be implemented so easily with a simple embroidered patch?

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Limitless Potential With Embroidered Gifts

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Embroidered gifts have been around for longer than most people can remember. Typically when you think of a gift that is embroidered, you might think of your grandfather’s old handkerchiefs. However, with the leaps and bounds that have been made in the industry during recent years, and the rise of personalized gifts, there are many more applications for embroidery. You can truly make your loved one’s next anniversary or birthday really special. Let’s look at a few of the ways that embroidery can be applied to modern day gifting.

Gym Bags. How many times have you sent things off to school or to the gym yourself in a gym bag, only to have it missing at the end because it looks so much like everyone else’s? Well, have your bag embroidered with your name or a power statement to get you motivated. Better yet, have a bag stitched up in style for a friend, or loved one and send it as a personal gift. These are thoughtful, and they are much less likely to be mixed up after a workout.

Towels. This one has been around for quite a while, yet now, you can do so much more with them. Consider taking your towels to the next level by having them embroidered with a catchy phrase or funny picture. These are perfect for newlywed gifts, or to add a splash of sarcasm at Christmas for parents and in-laws.

Frame It. One of the new trends is actually a spin on an old tradition. People used to take their wedding invitations and have them framed with a catchy phrase or picture included. Today, why not consider framing an embroidered piece of fabric with the bride and groom’s wedding date included on the piece. They are sure to keep this pieced of individual art work for years to come. However, you might want to get an okay ahead of time about color, font, and the like to make sure it will be a piece that they enjoy.

Aprons. These are timeless and there are so many clever things you can do with them today. Spice up one for your wife or significant other, or take a jab at your man. Whatever you choose to do the ideas are endless and the results can be quite funny.

Backpacks. Perfect for Christmas and birthdays, a personalized backpack can go a long way. There are several different things you can do to mix it up a bit. Instead of just having the back of the item embroidered, you can even get their name or a phrase running down one of the straps. Clever, creative, and personable, this is a gift they are sure to remember.

Baby Bibs. Why not go above and beyond and create a bib that stands out a bit more? Get creative and clever. You can easily have a bib embroidered with more than just a baby’s name. A catchy phrase or joke can be added to lighten the mood at meal time, and also keep mom and dad a bit calmer as well.

There you have it, several different gift ideas that are completely nontraditional. Most of the time people think of shirts and hats for embroidery items. Yet, as you can see from the list above, there are so many other options. Give one of these items the next time you have a birthday or holiday event coming up, and impress the recipient with a gift that is uniquely specific!

Contact us for more ideas of embroidered gifts.

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Choosing the Right Uniform for Your Staff

Mullti-ethnic Group Business Meeting Seminar ConceptUniforms are great. They create a sense of camaraderie and also unify the workplace. They are also useful to anyone who enters the premises. When people enter your workplace, if your staff have uniforms, they are much more easily identifiable as people who can point them in the right direction rather than if they just blend in with their surroundings. To that end, it is important that you choose a uniform that really speaks to your environment and represents your company well. Consider these tips the next time you go to pick out your uniform.

T-shirts or button down Shirts?

This one can be a bit subjective, but in the end it all depends on what you are trying to convey, and your working environment. For instance, if you’re in a corporate environment, then obviously a button down shirt would be the way to go. You could place a logo on the chest area above the pocket and maybe detail the sleeves a bit. However, if your corporate office and your manufacturing division are in the same building, then you might want to consider a polo shirt or even a T-shirt; if corporate management also have to walk the manufacturing grounds frequently. It does no good for your corporate employees to have nice button-down shirts if they are just going to get ruined every day they come to work.

Conversely, if you were in the restaurant industry then it seems that T-shirts are the way to go. However, consider this. Perhaps you could set yourself apart by requiring your wait staff to wear a button down shirt while kitchen staff use T-shirts as a part of their uniform. Maybe you go even further and require your kitchen staff to wear a button down shirt as well, to provide a uniform look throughout your entire establishment. The funny thing is you don’t have to be a five-star dining establishment in order for this to make an impact. If you are just a mom-and-pop pizza joint, it speaks volumes when customers come in and are presented with professional looking staff.

Baseball Caps

These can be a bit tricky. There’s a tendency for people to think that a baseball cap is too casual, however they certainly have applications for certain industries. Mechanics and restaurant workers in particular will benefit from their use. Restaurant employees are required to keep their hair in place and baseball caps help do that. Mechanics are often times sweating up a storm and the cap can be used as a stop gap to prevent them from getting soaked throughout the day. Put a company logo on the cap and you have yourself one uniform looking group of individuals. It’s a small detail, but it goes a long way towards making your company look like it is on point.

Pants or Jeans?

This one could be debated for a number of reasons, but at the end of the day you might arrive at a solution you have never thought of. Why not do both? If you have a standard uniform shirt then it really should not matter if your staff are wearing khaki pants or blue jeans as a part of their uniform ensemble. That is to say, it should not matter unless you are in an ultra-corporate environment or you just want everybody to wear jeans versus pants.

Beyond this, get creative with some other uniform additions. You could consider aprons if you run a bakery or restaurant. You might offer corporate jackets if your employees work out in weather conditions that can be harsh at times. The possibilities are endless and only limited to what you can come up with. Only one thing is certain, uniforms matter. It is important to choose one that accurately reflects your company and allows your staff the freedom of movement they need to do their job.

For your company uniform and other corporate apparel needs, call 949-588-8257 for a free quote.

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