Four Factors to Consider When Choosing Company Shirts
At EmbroidMe San Diego, we often tell our customers that company shirts can fit just about any budget. We can say that because we work with over 50 different shirt vendors, which means plenty of shirts to choose from. With so many choices you’d think finding the perfect one would be easy. The variety, however, can sometimes create mental gridlock. To make things simple, we recommend thinking about how your shirts will be used, then consider the four essential factors, namely: color, fabric, imprint method, & size.
Color has to be a primary consideration when choosing company shirts. Brand recognition can be increased up to 80% just by using color. So don’t automatically choose shirts in a neutral color just because it displays your logo nicely. It often works best to pick shirts that ARE one of your key branding colors. Having the whole shirt be your brand color makes you much more noticeable. And don’t worry; we’ve got lots of tricks for making your logo show up.
Think carefully about what people will be doing while wearing your company shirts, and what your requirements are. This will guide your choice of fabrics. Still one of the most popular choices, 100% cotton is breathable, comfortable, lightweight, and cool, perfect for warm San Diego weather. But, there are some downsides to consider: faster fading (dark colors), and more prone to wrinkling.
An alternative to 100% cotton is as equally popular cotton/polyester blend. Its advantages over cotton include durability and being less prone to fading and wrinkling. Cotton/poly blend shirts tend to be slightly less expensive than 100% cotton.
Performance fabrics are a popular choice for the golf course and more active use. Moisture-wicking and extremely breathable, they make ideal material for athletic and outdoor wear. Some are even treated with UV protection and/or anti-microbial agents. They don't require much care and are machine-washable. With ease, however, comes a higher price tag.
Finally, there are eco-friendly fabrics. These are fabrics, such as, organic cotton and bamboo. No chemicals or pesticides are used in producing these. Some eco-friendly fabrics are even made from recyclable materials like shirts, jeans, and plastic bottles.
Imprinting is how your logo is applied to create a company shirt. There are four popular imprint methods: embroidery, applique, screen printing, and digital printing. Embroidery and appliqué last much longer than screen printing or digital printing, and have the highest perceived value. Embroidery stitches the logo onto a shirt, offering a more professional feel and higher perceived value. Appliqués sew patches of felt or twill onto a shirt to create a design, and are most often found on letterman jackets and custom sweatshirts. Screen printing uses ink to print a logo. It can handle shading and gradient detailing. It's also the most economical method for large quantities, but often requires higher minimum orders than the other decoration techniques. Digital prints are applied using water-based and eco-friendly inks. Digital prints are softer and more natural-feeling than screen prints. If this all seems too confusing, don’t worry. At EmbroidMe San Diego, we do all types of imprints, and are happy to advise which method is the best fit for your needs.
Size & Style
Finally, think of the sizes & styles you will need for your company. Do you need to outfit both men and women? Many shirts come in companion male & female styles. What size ranges do you need to accommodate? Some shirt lines are available up to 6XL, but many only go to 2XL. Do you need youth sizes in a style that coordinates with the adult shirts?
Think about “your look.” When your employees wear your company shirt, they are representing you to the public. Their look is part of your branding. Do you want to look casual in an island shirt, buttoned down in a dress shirt, ready to get your hands dirty in a t-shirt, or something in between?
Whatever your look, your branding colors, and your budget, we’re happy to help you cut through the clutter to find the best options for your company. Contact us today for a free consultation or visit the EmbroidMe San Diego showroom on Balboa Avenue to check out sample shirts.