If you aren't careful, printed uniforms can be an unnecessarily expensive way of customising work clothing - but if you choose the right print technique, it is easy to get real value for money.
If you are ready to commence a printing run on your next uniform order, make sure you've considered these points to ensure both longevity and satisfaction with your new printed uniform:
- Will you be ordering uniform in bulk or on an as-and-when-needed basis?
- Does your proposed uniform include various colours?
- Are you completely happy with your branding and confident it won't change?
- Are you willing to pay more initially for higher quality, longer lasting print methods?
If you're dubious over any of the above, embroidered uniform may be an alternative for you business.
Curious to know more? Read on.
Avoid Short Runs (If Possible)
One of the most common mistakes businesses often make with printed uniform is falling under the assumption that replacing it only when it is necessary is the best way to go. Whilst this will result in smaller value orders in the here-and-now, it will only lead to more expensive printing costs in the long run. The more items included in your order, the lower the price.
If you find yourself needing to replace uniforms for particular employees, consider doing a bulk order to cover any future replacement needs among your workforce whilst bringing the print-per-unit cost lower. Whilst it may cost more up-front to implement, it will get the most value out of your uniform print order.
Keep Your Colours To A Minimum If Screen Printing
It is easy to get carried away when it comes to printing unifrom in order to make it stand out.
A factor that is often overlooked is that more colours and intricate designs leads to higher screen printing costs. Expenses rise fast due to the time it takes to create and apply the design: Each colour requires a new screen to be made, designs require specialist separation techniques (which can be expensive) etc etc
Whilst it may seem feasible paying an extra £1 per item to include more colours, once that is applied over 250 units of uniform for example, that contributes to hundreds of pounds on top of the standard printing cost.
Other digital printing methods or embroidery might be a better options to look into if you need to incorporate a wide range of colours - but still need to remain budget friendly.
Be Confident On Your Branding
Whilst we are on the topic of design, it is important to be confident in your proposed branding/design for as long as you need the uniform for.
Try to avoid frequently changing your company's imagery on your uniform as not only will it mean continuous re-prints and re-orders but it will also harm your brand recognition.
If you are known to rebrand often (something common for the leisure and retail sector), consider the previous point and try to print the bare minimum such as the company name and slogan to get the most longevity out of your uniform items and bring the cost-per-wear even lower.
Different materials need different print techniques or even embroidery only.
It's vital that the garment you're choosing to print on can clearly display the printed message, especially if it's an elaborate or intricate design. Certain fabrics and certain colours are better suited to particular print techniques - and some are simply not suitable at all.
As an example, most polo shirts are unsuitable for printing but perfect for embroidery due to the wide weave of the material - but most cotton t-shirts suit all types of customisation technique so the method you use will be led by lifespan of the garment and the colours involved.
Speak to your XAMAX® account manager to make sure you are using the right techniques for the garments you require - there is a lot to consider.
Ask for Advice On Your Branding
One of the fundamental things any business owner can do to get the most value from their print, is involving your employees. Do no be afraid or disregard the opportunity to ask your employees what they would be comfortable in wearing. You may find that bigger designs can make employees less open to wearing it on their commute to/from work or in their free time, therefore minimising exposure and contributing to a much higher printing cost due to the space covered.
Here is some advice on how to include staff in the process and make sure they are happy with your order.
Make Double Sure Your Print Technique Is The Right Option
Whilst you may have reached the stage where printing seems the most viable option, it is not uncommon for buyer's to make a last-minute switch to an embroidery ahead of their uniform order.
Embroidery is a viable option for those owners who are looking for a more long-lasting yet detailed finish, and are willing to be flexible with their budget. Embroidery may come at a *higher cost per unit to apply, but is repaid in the longevity and detail that comes with it.
*Editor's Note: Not at Xamax! Our standard online prices for decoration are the same regardless of technique used (some T+C may apply)
Whilst print can apply a wider colour pallette or an exact-match, embroidery can be used for the majority of colours covered by print, all whilst making the additional decals a part of the uniform contributing to a stronger garment and longer lifespan.