Custom Shirts A How To Guide

Custom Shirts A How To Guide

Crazy at it may seem the creation of a military design or graphic for shirts, hoodies, dry fit shirts or anything you can conjure up really is simple if you understand the design and printing process jsut a little. This blog article is specifically geared to offer ideas, suggestions and assistance as you navigate through the minefield called custom shirt design and printing.

Creating a custom military design and shirts is like playing 4 quarters of football!

There is a pre-game warmup, a 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, half-time, 3rd and even a 4th quarter. And if all of this is accomplished correctly and you work as a team member and not as an opponent you will win the game and here is why.

Warming Up – The Pre-Game Preparation!

How do you cross the end zone and win the game? Easy. You warm up and make sure everything is prepared before the game even starts.

When it comes to design make sure you know what you want and leave the guessing games out. As a military person you are at times working with civilians, possibly former military and learning the rules of the road is like going back to bootcamp only without all the yelling. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind as you prepare and get ready for custom designing.

1. Know what you want. Communicate what  you want for the front and for the back of the shirts and apparel items. Describe it so a 3rd grader would understand.

2.  Do you like a certain font? Recommended sites for finding a font you like could be dafont.com. This helps save time and reduces cost having your artist look up something and guess what you want. Tell them what you want and save time.

3. How many items do you want? Keep in mind if you order fewer items than what was quoted the price could easily go up. Likewise if the quantity increases expect the price should come down.

4. If you have a desired date you need everything in hand by let your team know. As professionals you are working together to accomplish the same goal. If your team does not know then they will not understand your needs. Be reasonable with your expactations. Quality takes time and excellence takes a little longer.

5. What kind of shirts or apparel items do you want? Be clear you want cotton, 50/50 cotton poly, dry-fit, hoodies or other items. Be clear.

6. APO/FPO or domestic address. Be sure to let your team know what name and address you want your items shipped to.

7. Last but not least. Play for the success of the team but don’t play to play if you are serious about design and getting quality. If you are not serious or playing games and trying to get something for nothing then seriously hit the road. You are wasting your time and the time of others who are professional. Work with them. Don’t abuse them.

1st Quarter

 

Now that you have stretched and gotten all the kinks out the 1st Quarter can begin. You have received your quote and understand the details of the custom design and printing and you are ready to get started. Most company’s in today’s marketplace require a deposit. This is not unusual. Why do they? Let’s sum it up this way. Nobody likes to work for free! It’s pretty simple. The deposit does 1 thing mainly. It separates professionals from gamers. If you are serious about quality and design then a deposit is nothing more than a professional gesture of interest and a serious desire to get shirts and apparel. No deposit then you are playing games and again its time to seek business elsewhere cause you are wasting everyone’s time.

The sketch – it’s your playbook!

Deposit completed. Copy that. Now it’s time to receive the sketch. As simple as a sketch might be its worth ten times its value! Why? Because its the playbook. It tells you everything you will ever want to know about how your design is going to look farther down the field. Now is the time to make sure things are all present and accounted for so later on the design can be done correctly and efficiently for you. Now is the best time to make sure things are correct.

2nd Quarter

Sketch approved! Now its time to get things rolling and moving ahead. So what comes next?

1. Confirm your quantities with your team. Remember if your order quantity lowers the price will go up and if you order more expect a price reduction. Now is a good time to ask about bulk discounts. Questions asked would be like what quantity do I need to order to qualify for the next price break?

2. Now is the time to arrange payment. Now that the sketch is approved the real work begins getting your design created with all the color and detail you requested. Your team is about to invest hours if not days creating your custom design. The payment you are making is to pay for the work and time they are about to take creating a wonderful design for you, ordering the items from the factory so they are ready for printing. All these are expenses to your team. Paying them allows them to do their job for you and have everything prepared and readied for you.

3. Communication. Keep the lines of communication open. If you are taking leave, going to training or possibly entering River City let your team know. If you are half way around the world your team will want to reach out to you with your design seeking feedback. If you are going to be away make sure someone else is available to receive the emails and communications so no time is lost. This can often result in a delay leading to printing so helping your team move the football down the field is important. Keep the signals coming in from the sidelines. Civilian address? Send it so they have a way to reach you.

4. Final colored and detailed artwork on its way! When you get the colored draft review it. Look it over and make sure you check every detail. Taking the time now to review the design will save pain and suffering later if you miss something.

5. Get your changes back or approval back to your team quickly. Don’t sit on it. The longer you wait the longer it takes to get your items printed. The clock is not running just because you have artwork. You need to send your approval back and put it into the hands of your team mate. Pass that football!

3rd Quarter

 

The design is now advancing down the field. Sketch and final art are approved. Now its time to move into the final stages of production. The 3rd quarter is important. Here is the best time to double check the information, review and make sure things are moving forward as planned. Recommended are to confirm the order details now that the order is nearing production.

Have you told your team everything? Have there been any last minute chnages like an address or other detail you want to be sure they have. Now is the time to do it. Tell them. Many people make the decision in the 3rd quarter to order more items. The design might have been so good that you are now reevaluating if you ordered enough. Remember that price break? Now is the best time to order more and take advantage because of even better pricing. Your order is getting close to being printed so take advantage of this time can be a wise decision. Let’s review the 3rd Quarter checklist.

1. Quantity. Color. Sizes. Apparel types. Are they correct?

2. Name and address for shipping. Do you need your order rushed? Be prepared to pay for rush services or expedited shipping. Regardless now is the time to ask your team mates for help if you need it.

4th Quarter

Production

Your order now is moving to production. Apparel has been ordered and is ready to go, screen and films are being created, art is being finalized and prepped, physical counts of the sizes and colors are done and confirmed and things are prepared for the printing. Every company averages between 7-10 business days unless you have arranged for a different production date.

Expect to receive a digital proof prior to production. This is the last step in the process and this is a last opportunity to review the details and make sure everything looks right. Review this proof and send back your reply as soon as possible. Delays at this stage of production can cost several days if your reply is not received timely. Why is this? Production schedules change daily if not hourly and your team mate wants to keep on schedule but if you delay then your order gets assigned a new production day and this can cause delays for you. Keep this in mind. You always want to pass the ball and keep it with your team mate as much as possible. Don’t have them waiting on you!

Goal

 

The most successful experiences when it comes to ordering custom shirts and apparel is to arrive at the goal line with your team. They are there to accomplish the same goal. Providing the best in custom design, quality of printing and excellent service. If you work with your team and not against your team you will achieve success. Communication and professionalism are the two most essential qualities for a successful order.

1. Communicate.

2. Work together as a team not as opponents.

3. Work together for the best of success.

4. Ask questions.

5. Work with experts and not the garage shop down the street. Best piece of advice is don’t sacrifice quality for price. Price always loses to quality and the sad truth is that discovery of poor quality comes after delivery and not in the 1st Quarter.

6. The difference between great and incredible is a good cup of coffee. 5 bucks can make a difference. Remember that the next time you order a shirt that will last you years verses the cup of coffee that is gone in under 5 minutes.

7. Art is everything. Get great art when you can afford it otherwise its a shirt with a cut and paste special.

8. Communicate. First and last this is the most essential ingredient in getting great custom shirts!

9. Follow your core values and put integrity at the front of the list. Follow through.

10. Enjoy the process. This is creative and fun. This is not curing brain cancer. Enjoy.

 

Top ten cool things about being in the US Air Force

Top ten cool things about being in the US Air Force

The US Air Force has a lot of advantages in logistics, worldwide coverage, speed, missions and role types and this creates a creative insight into what is cool about being in the United States Air Force!

10. If I want Chinese Food, I will fly to China!

Air Force Ranks

9. When the G-Forces pull back your face, you look and feel years younger!

VSWA032-display

8. One weekend a year, you get to take your jet home with you.

USAF Blue Falcon

7. You’re looking at a guy with one million frequent flier miles.

Air Force K-9

6. At 20,000 feet you see lots of clouds that look more like bunnies and stuff!

TACP

5. Always fun watching the new guy try to parallel park a C-130 Hercules.

Para Rescue

 

USAF Pararescue is the first of the line of arcade style games for the United States Air Force beginning with the men and women of the air forces!  In Pararescue airman leap from their incredible CV-22 Osprey into the rice paddies of southeast Asia! Pararescue!

4. Seasickness is for losers — airsickness is the way to go!

SERE

 

Don’t get caught! Ever! In the modern day it might be an Osprey that grabs you and takes you to safety. Now for a great military Osprey Game try your hand!

 

3. Free headsets on transcontinental flights.

USAF Athletics

 

2. Whenever people ask where I’ve been, I can tell them “The Wild Blue Yonder“!

Military WoopAss

 

1. Chicks dig planes!

Peace Through Superior Firepower

Top US Navy T-Shirt Designs Ever

Top US Navy T-Shirt Designs Ever

October is US Navy Month!

Birthdays, promotions, naval history, specials and balls! It is a month that celebrates the 239th Birthday of the United States Navy and honors its men and women both past and present, its veterans, prior service, naval warriors and is a time to recognize the accomplishments of the greatest naval power in the history of the world.

Top Navy Shirt Designs

Over many years custom naval tees have displayed the courage and dedication felt in the hearts of American sailors and we salute these incredible military naval designs in anticipation of the many exciting things this month foretells.

What are the Top US Navy designs ever? Let’s start!

 

First, let’s check out the latest 5 designs from Vision Strike Wear!

Navy Seabee We Build We Fight Shirt

 

VSWA202NavyGoatChiefGeneric-vVSWA201NAVYCrowGeneric-v (1)VSWA199NavySquidGeneric-v (1)VSWA204NAVYNavyAmphibAlligatorXArmsGen-v

 

The US Navy squid. Not to be tangled with!

VSWA199NavySquidGeneric-v (1)

 

The USS Halsey gets into the top Navy list. This lady brings her A game to the US Navy fleet!

USS Halsey Heavy Damage Shirt

 

 

When the Navy works as a team with the other military branches it sets the standard of excellence.

VSW856_USMCTacticalVehicleOperations

 

Then of course their are those that are part of the IYAOYAS red shirt community. High explosive sailors.

VSW1017_NAVYAviationOrdnanceGrimReaper-v

 

 

 Shellback?

 

The Junior Enlisted Sailors and their JEA Associations have asked for top custom military naval tees over the years. They too wanted a squid that was aggressive and removed all doubts as to whom Owned The Seas!

VSW890_1st-MADIV-JEA-v (1)

 

 

Then there are the US Navy squadrons and in one case the Black Lions of VFA-213 who clearly has been a part of the top 50 Navy designs!

VSW852_VFA-213BlackLionsFCPOA-v (1)

 

No one commands the seas like Trident except the United States Navy!

VSW723_NMPSSanDiegoMedicalDept-v

 

 

When the USS Maine calls for a design then designs come flying faster than a Trident Missile out of the vertical launch tube of a Boomer!

VSW596USSMaineSSBN-741-v

 

From the biggest of the US Navy ships to the smallest there is a Top 50 Navy design waiting for you!

VSW850_NAVYUSSDefenderMCM2FCPOA-v

 

The FCPOAs of the United States Navy asked for a design that displayed in sepia style the bold Spartan look along with their crows!

 

VSW707_USSMakinIsland1stClass-v

 

Guantanamo Bay Cuba gets into gear with a highly colorful custom US Navy shirt design for their Junior Enlisted Association!

VSW1099_NAVY JEA US Navy Guantanamo Bay-v

 

 

AUTEC The Bahamas! The US Navy’s Area 51!

VSW1103NAVYFCPOAAutecDetAndrosIsland-v

 

VFA-31 Tomcatters get in on the action of being one of the more popular US Navy shirt designs!

 

VSW994_VFA-31TomcattersNAVY-v

SWOS Pearl Harbor gets on the board with this colorful military design!

VSW1060_NAVY_Surface_Warfare_Offcr_Schl_Cmd-2-v

 

IYAOYAS community in Okinawa design!

VSW1057_USMCOrdnance-v (1)

 

PACOM Hawaii gets their design thrown into the top designs!

VSW1037_NAVYJIOCHawaiiFCPOA-v

 

 

 

Check out some great mobile game apps during US Navy October Birthday and Appreciation Month!

You cannot beat a great submarine game like Dive! Dive!

http://vision-strike-ware.com/games/divedive/

Or spend time navigating ruthless obstacles flying your own Osprey!

http://vision-strike-ware.com/games/osprey/

Top ten cool things about the US Air Force

Top ten cool things about the US Air Force

Top ten cool things about the US Air Force

Top ten cool things about the US Air Force.  The US Air Force has a lot of advantages in logistics, worldwide coverage, speed, missions and role types and this creates a creative insight into what is cool about being in the United States Air Force!

10. If I want Chinese Food, I will fly to China!

Air Force Ranks

9. When the G-Forces pull back your face, you look and feel years younger!

VSWA032-display

8. One weekend a year, you get to take your jet home with you.

USAF Blue Falcon

7. You’re looking at a guy with one million frequent flier miles.

Air Force K-9

6. At 20,000 feet you see lots of clouds that look more like bunnies and stuff!

TACP

5. Always fun watching the new guy try to parallel park a C-130 Hercules.

Para Rescue

4. Seasickness is for losers — airsickness is the way to go!

SERE

3. Free headsets on transcontinental flights.

USAF Athletics

2. Whenever people ask where I’ve been, I can tell them “The Wild Blue Yonder”!

Military WoopAss

1. Chicks dig planes!

Peace Through Superior Firepower

 

UPDATE: Join the ISIS Hunting Club now!

USAF Blue Falcon Design Aims High for Labor Day!

USAF Blue Falcon Design Aims High for Labor Day!

USAF Blue Falcon

Fly Into The Wild Blue Yonder!

Not every day do you get a chance to serve in the most technologically advanced military branch in the United States arsenal but when you do you are part of the United States Air Force! The youngest of the military branches and recognized as a leader in the the tech that commands the skies from the heavens above to the land below you are part of an incredible team.

 

Why The Blue Falcon?

The falcon is a predator. Blue is the color of the sky and the last thing you want to experience is a bird set on your 6 to devour you so the Blue Falcon seems rather appropriate given the nature of its breeding and what it was designed by nature to do!

falcon  is any one of 37 species of raptor in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world.Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth. Other falcons include the gyrfalcon, lanner falcon, and the merlin. Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels. The falcons are part of the family Falconidae, which also includes the caracaras, laughing falcon, forest falcons, and falconets.” (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Falco peregrinus -Nova Scotia, Canada -eating-8.jpg

 

 

Red Liberty Beanies Mean Freedom!

The United States Air Force has supported, defended right along side of her sister military branches since its inception. With respect to its ties to American Freedom a red beanie, in modern times the red beret, has been worn since the founding of this country. The red beanie is a sign of freedom and wearing it ties us to our forefathers and the creation of America!

 

Filling The Void!

One often hears about the heroism of the Green Berets, the US Navy SEALs, Airborne, Marine Force Recon but little is ever discussed of a few very important specialties that are found within the US Air Force Arsenal. Who are these specialists and what are they called?

  • Combat Control Teams (CCT)

VSWA032-display

  • Pararescue

VSW015_ParaRescueDiver

 

A the red storm is rising in the east these special operators are retrieving downed pilots and stranded special forces working behind enemy lines.  Help these Airman open their chutes and reach the ground safely! Pararescue is a game that will take you to the field and hon your skills rescuing downed pilots.

  • Weathermen
  • Tactical Air Control Party

VSW564_Air_Force_TACP

USAF: Where The Grim Reaper Meets You At 915 MPH!

Run from a Thunderbolt? Not going to happen!

 

 

Top 10 Custom Coast Guard T-Shirts at VSW

Top 10 Custom Coast Guard T-Shirts at VSW

Top 10 Custom Coast Guard T-Shirts at VSW

What is .  .  . 

Top 10 Custom Coast Guard T-Shirts at VSW ?

Quicker than the Goddess Nike?

Driven by molten steel?

Hammered with the force of a battalion of fire breathing horses?

It’s the most geographically prepared military branch in the US arsenal: The United States Coast Guard!

 Top10-USCG-T-Shirts

Here are the TOP 10 Custom USCG Designs from VSW

(As determined by Frost Call, Sarge Strike and Webmaster Matt, arguing for a while about which ones are the coolest. It’s all very scientific!)

10. USCG Sector Long Island Sound

VSW493_SectorLongIslandSound

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-Sector-Long-Island-Sound-Shirt_p_1199.html

The backbone of the United States Coast Guard are the Chiefs! The Chiefs train and lead the Guardsmen and their messes are the meeting places where decisive decisions are made about their commands, their cutters and crews and the personnel that serve as US Guardsmen. Sector Long Island Mess for the USCG Chief’s asked for a custom design that had colorful elements including the single most identifying element: The anchors of the Chief, Senior Chief and Master Chief!

9. USCG RAID Team

VSW234_USCG_RAID_Team

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-RAID-Team-Shirt.html

Trivia Time!

Was the USCG in Operation Iraqi Freedom?

Absolutely.

Ever seen a sand Scorpion at the bow of a US Coast Guard boat? This colorful shirt displays a concept VSW created during OIF.

The United States Coast Guard has also served in Afghanistan.  The mission of the Raid Team is extremely important.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s RAID in Afghanistan. 

8. Station Portsmouth Chesapeake Bay

VSW722_USCG-Chesapeake-Bay-v

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-Station-Portsmouth-Chesapeake-Bay-Shirt.html

Deter. Protect. Save. A design created for USCG Station Portsmouth! Blue Crabs were in season!

7. Station Grand Isle

vsw857_uscgstationgrandisle

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/Station-Grand-Isle-USCG-Shirt.html

Created for the men and women of the USCG stationed at Grand Isle. Wanting elements of the storm, Lousiana, the Flir De Lis, motor life boats and life saver with station named emblazoned on it this group of Guarsdmen wanted a custom USCG shirt design specifically for them.

6. Atlantic Beach, NC

VSW1022_USCG_CoastGuardStationFortMacon-v

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/Coast-Guard-Station-Fort-Macon-Atlantic-Beach-NC-Shirt-Shirt.html

Lifesavers of the Crystal Coast! The USCG complement of Guardsmen made this Coast Guard design one of the year with the details like the Fort Macon lighthouse, Cape Lookout, Nautical compasses and maps along with the rates for Boatswain’s Mate and Enginemen!

5. Anchoring The Gulf Coast

VSW248_USCG_Anchorng_gulf

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-Anchoring-The-Gulf-Coast-Guard-Shirt.html

Remember the Deepwater Horizon accident? Miles upon miles of Gold Coast Cleanup where the United States Coast Guard provided the most essential personnel and equipment to wage war on a fiery sub oceanic oil well blazing fire and spewing oil and devastation! The US Coast Guard asked for a custom shirt design that would help keep the morale of the hours of hours of no sleep while the pressure to put out the fire and do everything possible to stop the consuming oil spill. This design became one of the most popular and well known design throughout the USCG.

4. USCG Grand Isle

VSW197_USCG_GrandIsle

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-Grand-Isle-Shirt_p_393.html

The US Coast Guard Cutter Grand Isle, a powerful and important asset within the US Coast Guard arsenal requested a custom design for their ship and crew.

3. Harriet Lane Cutter

VSW080_USCG_MH-65

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-Harriet-Lane-Cutter-Shirt.html

Detect. Intercept. Interdict. The crew aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane requested a design that illustrated her bow, with crossed M-4’s, and its pursuit of a fast boat.

(Source: Wikipedia)

2. Guardians of the Graveyard

VSW273_USCGS_Cap_Hattaras

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/USCG-Cape-Hattaras-Coast-Guard-Shirts.html

The Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the graveyard of the Atlantic, where ships are strewn about the floor of the ocean’s depths. These wrecks attempted to make landfall amidst the terryifying storms of the deep Atlantic.

All these elements and the navigational maps are displayed on this USCG rescuers t-shirt.

1. Kodiak Bear Charger

VSWA184-USCG-KodiakBear-v

http://www.vision-strike-wear.com/Coast-Guard-Kodiak-Bear-USCG-Hard-Charger-Shirt.html

Kodiak Facts:

    • Settled by Russians in 1792
    • Sixth largest city in Alaska
    • Average annual rainfall 74.2 inches
    • Average annual snowfall 84.5 inches
    • Home of the largest Coast Guard Base
    • 252 air miles southwest of Anchorage
    • Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge —2491 square miles
    • Second largest island in the United States
    • Home of the Kodiak brown bear the worlds largest carnivore

(source: KodiakBears.com)

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Want to see more custom shirt designs from Vision Strike Wear?  Click Here!