November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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80 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 a monogram on a plastic tumbler to a decoration in a fashion designer's latest collection. Given this flexibility, emblems lend themselves to a variety of mar- kets. Motorcycle clubs, for instance, are often in the market for patches. Whether it's a patch identifying club members or an emblem commem- orating a particular rally or ride, motorcycle clubs can always find a use for a new patch. Memorial patches are also best sellers in this market. Keep in mind that motorcycle groups often require uniform patches, so color and style requirements may be stringent. Employee identification is another good market for emblems. These emblems typically feature an employee's name, department, or logo for corporate branding. Whatever it is, identity is big business in the cor- porate world. Selling this type of patch can also lead to additional sales in other product categories because many businesses like to spread their brand image over various avenues. Education is a great market for patches, as well. Whether it's a team jersey, a jacket for the drama club, or simply a logoed item for spirit week, schools are a great place to sell all types of patches. Back-to-school products are also a terrific way to use patches to increase sales. Students may need monogrammed backpacks, lunch bags featuring their favorite movie characters, or T-shirts memorializing their first day of first grade. Patches allow you to create all of those items and capture some of the back-to-school dollars. ADVERTISING WITH EMBLEMS Let's not forget the biggest value that emblems bring to the table: adver- tising. Any employee wearing a uniform with an emblem is a walking billboard. You know your pizza came from Bob's Pizza Kitchen because of the emblem on the pizza delivery person's jacket, and that one emblem could be seen by dozens of customers every day. Each time it's seen, an impression—however fleeting—is formed. Emblems are also a form of advertising that can easily be changed or removed without requiring the purchase of a new garment. Most uni- form emblems are designed as a standard size, so if a logo changes, a new emblem can be quickly substituted with minimum fuss and effort. Along with advertising, emblems create unity, both for people who wear them and people who see them. People uniting behind a cause of- ten display an emblem to show their allegiance and support, and soldiers wear emblems that designate their units and depict their country's flag as a sign of unity. Sports teams also wear emblems to show off their team logo. Emblems bring people together and allow them to be individuals while also showcasing their combined identity. We see emblems every day and everywhere. Often, we're so used to seeing emblems that we don't realize what they do and forget that an emblem is a powerful and effective form of advertising. Great advertis- ing is often so simple that you almost don't realize you've seen an ad, and emblems are just the right means to spread those valuable impres- sions. emblems on uniforms & workwear TYPES OF EMBLEMS m ade of fabric, backing, and merrow thread, emblems are perfect for almost any deco- ration need and method, including embroidery, screen printing, and sublimation. Generally, em- blems are sewed or sealed to the garment with a heat press, and there are several types of popular emblems. • embroidered emblems: These emblems are often considered the gold standard for pro- moting a brand. While embroidered emblems may not be the best choice for designs that require gradients, fades, or a large number of color changes, no other type of emblem can match the durability and look of an embroi- dered emblem. • Screen-printed emblems: Screen-printed emblems offer unmatched color definition and are highly resistant to fading. If the person wearing the emblem does a lot of outdoor work or is exposed to the elements, a screen-printed emblem may be the smart decoration choice. • Sublimated emblems: Sublimated patches are a great option for designs with a large num- ber of gradients, fades, or colors. This type of emblem also offers a fast production time. • Fire-resistant or fire-retardant emblems: These emblems are a must for firefighters and other occupations that face potential fire hazards. made with fire-resistant or fire-retardant fabric and Nomex thread, these emblems resist high temperatures while still providing brand identification. • reflective emblems: Also in the safety cate- gory, reflective emblems are useful for uni- forms where visibility at dawn, dusk, or night in all weather conditions is required. A reflec- tive emblem keeps workers seen and safe. • Appliqué: Appliqué is for those who want to stand out from the crowd. An appliqué patch is typically cut in a shape or follows the contours of a design. While decorators can sew or heat seal appliqués like other types of emblems, the unique shape makes appliqué more eye catching. pw

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