Ever wonder if you have what it takes to design an amazing uniform? Chances are if you have eyes and the desire you can surprise everyone, including yourself.
If you’ve ordered uniforms from us or even inquired there is a good chance that I worked on your team’s design. My name is Zach and I have been the lead designer here at Allen Sportswear for the last three years. It’s safe to say that I’ve seen my fair share of uniforms while working here, both good and bad. Here are a handful of tips that will help your team stand out.
1. Team Name – Use something unique if you can. Coming up with a team name that hasn’t been done before is difficult to do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve designed uniforms for the Lakers, Knights, or Rebels. A distinct team name will stand out and make others take notice. Another added benefit is that it will lend itself to some less common color scheme possibilities.
2. Colors – Choosing the correct colors that fit your teams persona and still make you stand out is a daunting task. 90% of teams out there usually default to red, navy blue, royal blue, or black (not counting white). It is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid using all of those colors but as long as you pair them with 1 or 2 of the less used colors you’ll be good. White, Black and Gray are neutral colors that can be used with your team color of choice so I would recommend choosing no more than 2 other colors or you will chance looking like a team of rodeo clowns. You can always check out how well your colors go together by using a real time, easy to use uniform builder.
3. Fonts – Take advantage of the thousands of free fonts that exist on the web, and find one that fits your teams attitude. The first thing that you need to remember is how important it is that everything on your jersey is legible; and don’t forget to focus on the number glyphs when deciding on your font. Another thing to remember is the team name and number application. For example; If you’re getting tackle twill or screen print it’s a very bad idea to use an eroded or distorted font. However if you plan on having your jerseys sublimated you don’t really need to be of concern of the type of font you use as long as its legible do to the application process of sublimation.
4. Team Logo – Everybody has a graphic designer friend, right? Well if you are not so lucky, head over to a stock photography & illustrations website. Do a quick search for sports logos. There are a lot out there to choose from and you can usually snag one for less than what you would pay for an art fee. Any modifications you would need done to your logo can be done easy enough by your uniform company. Some companies, like Allen Sportswear, will make a logo for you for a small fee or even for free, which is a great option when you do not want to worry about it.
5. Simplicity – Don’t underestimate simplicity. In my own personal opinion, the best sports uniforms out there are the ones that don’t have a whole lot going on but still take full advantage of multiple colors. Don’t go crazy with panel and shoulder designs. Don’t use fancy arm or neck ribbing. Use a modest two colored panel, focus on making your team name look amazing, and slap your logo on. Voila! It’s like looking at a Ferrari, the lines are beautiful and simplistic and that makes the overall look special. Now think about one of those cars you see on the road that’s lowered, has a huge spoiler, huge rims, crazy paint job and a muffler 3 sizes too big. What started out kind of cool turned into a disaster only the owner could love.
When it all comes down to design it’s all about opinions. Give it your best shot and do not be afraid to share it with your friends and get feedback! You can use a quick and easy uniform builder with a wide selection of uniform templates and options, and one that allows you to instantly share on Facebook. In the end, always go with what you think looks best, even if you have to break an advice or two. Even though it is the exception more than the norm, I have seen some outstanding outlandish designs in my time. The most important thing is finding a manufacturer who has the technology to pull it off and the expertise to make your design come to life, and to have a design that pumps your team up and inspires you to play your best game yet.
By: Zach Kohlmeier, Graphic Designer at Allen Sportswear