Quality apparel alone, doesn't effectively deliver your message to your target market. If there were a formula for successful business apparel, it might look something like this:
+ 25% Apparel
+ 25% High Quality Printing
+ 50% On Target Design
Break it down. Great apparel means the apparel you choose actually looks (style, fit, color) and feels good (material wise) to wear. Select garments that your audience will look forward to wearing.
Now high quality print, which translates to choosing the right printing method for the specific garments in mind. Understand that providing quality artwork lays the foundation for a reputable printer to produce high quality outcomes.
And lastly, on target designs means you're zeroing in on in the message you want to convey and how you want your audience to ultimately receive it.
All of that being said, it's time to elevate your apparel game with some fun alternative design ideas!
#1. Advertise Goods or Services
Yes, it's only slightly better than just a plain old logo - but you never know who's interest may be peaked by the visual elements of your on-the-go advertisement. Channel your inner graphic designer and do your best to depict an image that compliments your goods or services. A simple graphic is more likely to grab attention than just plain text and it even conveys your message from a further distance.
These custom t-shirts show the visual difference a simple graphic can make to a general advertisement for a business owner. Without reading, you know the shirt on the right represents some sort of lawn services. In this example, the screen printing is still one color, but by adding simple art to the logo and phone number, you increase the odds of capturing attention.
#2. Reinforce Values
Showcase your mission or value statement. This doesn't mean copy and paste your company statement straight onto a garment design. Take a few liberties and focus on the most important points to be made, then make them creatively.
Consider a typography treatment, a play on words, icons or even additional colors to emphasize your most important points. If you're feeling really ambitious, use your text to create a silhouette or symbol relating to type of business.
Here custom designs were created to express a mission and vision statement. They are not word-for-word copies of the originals, but convey the same general meaning. On the left, subtle graphics are used to emphasize key words and on the right, 'strong relationships' is bold and enlarged to stand out. Adding a second color would create additional contrast and draw more attention to the most important elements.
It wouldn't make sense to put both designs on one garment (as we foolishly implied above), but rather use one design or the other, then add your logo and branding on the reverse side for a more balanced, less overwhelming look.
#3. Appeal to your Social Media Audience
Just about everyone partakes in social media on some level. Why not use your next apparel purchase to increase your social following, engage with potential customers and open up the possibility of additional sales? Don't be quick to rule out a simple, yet powerful approach - it may be exactly what your audience needs.
Here's an example of a basic social media push. Only promote platforms that you actively monitor and are engaging with your audience on. It's also more effective and creates consistency to have one standard username across all platforms, not to mention it's easier for your audience to remember.
#4. Infographics to Highlight Milestones
As described in example #2, little depictions go a long way in delivering your message. Define the most important information, then explore new and interesting ways to display it. Consider icons added in an unique way, a flywheel, pie chart, line graph, directional arrows or map. The more your layout corresponds with your information, the better it will work.
In this example, numbers are arranged from smallest to largest and the circles grow as the number increases. Each circle connects to its neighboring circles, creating movement and urging the viewers eyes to keep reading. There are any number of ways to present this data visually, so concentrate on what is most relevant to your audience and give it a try.
#5. Feature a Product or Service
While it's tempting, don't fall prey to cramming too many messages into one piece. Your primary focus will get lost and lose all of its power if you do. Avoid confusing viewers and sending mixed messages, by choosing one singular focus.
Focus on something customers praise you for, something your rivals do poorly OR use the opportunity to demonstrate how you've worked to overcome a specific weakness. Show everyone you've successfully addressed the issue.
In this example, focus is given to custom gift sets to create awareness about this particular product offering. Whether promoted for being newly released or because it's an option that competitors don't provide, the design is giving this subject the focus and attention it deserves.
While these five examples are just the tip of the idea iceberg, attempt to work them into your future projects as they fit. Stay tuned for updates and additional ideas to this topic.