October '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 2 5 Sportswear. Many workers are exposed to various elements. Whether they are working in a contained environment de- signed to offset the elements or being directly exposed to them, making everyone feel comfortable with approved options is key. This likely in- cludes a set of pants, shorts, T-shirts, vests, and polos that allows employees to keep the brand's key elements through- out the seasons and adapt to personal preferences. The fits within these kits are also more likely to be less restrictive in years past, allow- ing for ease of movement while maintain- ing a professional appearance. "The service market is less concerned with contempo- rary silhouettes, as they require uniforms that can stand up under challenging con- ditions," states Rubin. This incorporates roomier silhouettes for more maneuver- ability as well as the aforementioned stretch and knit components. BRANDING PLANS To help bring a brand together, decora- tions are key. What is the employee's func- tion? How will this garment work in the day-to-day? How can you bridge the gap between inherent visual cues (e.g., colors, cuts, and patterns) with blatant branding (logos)? "Research is crucial," says Chavez. Does this company evoke a high-scale air? Is it a more relaxed atmosphere? Is this person desk-bound or on the move all day? All of this influences the choice of physical decoration used. Embroidery, says Lloyd, is typically considered a high-end decora- tion, perfect for those greeting or inter- acting directly with clients. Other options include patches and heat transfer patches to emulate the embroidered look without vastly increasing costs or discomfort for the wearer. For those performing more labor- intensive functions or work in a more laid- back environment, traditional heat trans- fers or screen printing not only hold up to the daily grind but are often lightweight and non-irritating to the wearer. Whichever type of decoration is deemed best for the substrate that also serves its wearer's job function, it must align with the overall messaging. "Target audience seems like the hardest variable to nail down while building a company's image," says Chavez. To do so, make sure you under- stand the nuances of fonts, as the wrong one can easily send the wrong image. Color theory is another crucial aspect, as working with various departments that use different visual cues can make a difference in the style and type of decoration. All of this is to emphasize the impor- tance of researching the workwear mar- kets within your particular area and the markets you want to engage with. Espe- cially in this new era, wherein the rules are changing while maintaining some of the staples of the "old world," an educated working knowledge is the best way to make your mark on this branding-heavy category. GP CARLY HOLLMAN is the former editor of Printwear magazine with over nine years of experience cover- ing the decorated apparel industry. She currently works as a freelance writer and artist based in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at Messes happen! Outfitting service industry work- ers means workwear needs to have stain-resistant properties. (Image courtesy Blue Generation) Leather Patches by STAHLS' CREATE CUSTOM DESIGNS IN GENUINE LEATHER GP1021 RUGGED, YET REFINED

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