November '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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42 || P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 W ouldn't it be great if uni- formed employees were required to wear some- thing they really want- ed to wear? The benefits of uniforms are well-known to anyone in the ser- vice business, as they make employees look professional and unified, support company branding, and make em- ployees identifiable to your customers, while providing utility through special garment features or material quali- ties. Sadly, they aren't often what one would think of as fashionable. Fortunately, with more exposure to design and branding concepts, cli- ents want to explore a creative take on uniforms. They are no longer satisfied with functional attire alone; they want to create looks that evoke their compa- ny culture while maintaining a fresh, retail-inspired vision that makes their employees look and feel great. Whether aligning their workwear with corporate culture, pleasing finicky employees with something stylish, or appealing to a customer demograph- ic that's not responsive to stodgy uni- forms, creativity is within the reach of any dedicated decorator. By following the steps outlined in this article, you'll have all the tools to build a refreshing program that will appeal to employees and higher-ups alike. Nontraditional Uniforms Step-by-step ways to step out of the box B Y E R I C H C A M P B E L L Erich Campbell is an award-winning commercial embroidery digitizer with more than 15 years of experience as well as a long-time e-commerce man- ager, currently digitizing and creating online properties for Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Black Duck. A constant contributor to the industry's content landscape through webi- nars, podcasts, social media, and more, Erich is an evangelist for the craft, a stitch-obsessed embroidery believer, and firmly holds to constant, lifelong learning and the free exchange of technique and experience through conversations with his fellow stitch-work- ers. As a current industry and fiber-arts blogger and once medi- evalist-in-training turned tech-obsessed embroidery designer, Campbell brings his varied experience and interests to bear as an editorial author for numerous industry publications, a member of editorial boards, and a consultant for product support groups. Even the waist-aprons worn by the servers at this restaurant got a decoration upgrade when they were stitched with the slightly racy, but still on-brand 'Paratrooper' logo. Used both as a wide-format cap design and an apron design, this 6" wide design has lots of impact and the inclusion of the central N/H motif still hearkens back to the classic brand identity. Not every busi- ness can get away with something this risqué, but it's perfect for this bar and grill. (Image courtesy the author) The NHBG waitstaff had custom sweatbands as soon as they came into fashion. They're sporting a stripped down, but very identifi- able version of the N/H device. (Image courtesy Celeste Schwartz)

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