Designing and ordering jerseys for a school team can be very demanding. Especially if you are doing it for the first time or if you need to improve the design or quality of the jerseys, the process can quickly seem like a lot. Here are a few things to help you start things off on the right foot.
What should your custom uniform order include?
These are the general things you need for almost all sports. Each sport and its organizing committee have guidelines for sports team jerseys' design and layout. Check with your team or league manager to see if there are any specific items you need and any special regulations you have to observe.
Upper body apparel
This is what we think about when we use the word “jersey.” That can be a loose fitting hockey jersey, a more chic soccer jersey or tennis shirt, a basketball tank top… all of it. Your team may also need separate items for training, players on the bench and travel to and from games. Those can include custom sweatshirts, t-shirts or jackets.
Lower body apparel
Shorts are not just shorts. Don’t show up with cross country shorts to basketball practice, and just because cyclists and football players both like tight shorts doesn’t mean they are the same tight shorts.
Some sports, like soccer and baseball, consider socks to be part of the uniform so there are rules about colors, logos and height. For other sports, you and your players may want everyone to wear uniform custom socks with your team colors and logos.
Baseball is one of the few sports to require a cap, but many other sports teams want them for their time off the field or court. Caps are the part of the uniform players are most likely to wear for everyday use, so make it a chance to promote the team’s identity and brand.
Warm-up / training apparel
Very few leagues set standards for warm-up or training apparel, so you’ll probably be able to get extra creative with these items. Your players will be wearing these to and from training, to and from games, and maybe even to school and around the house. Customize the sweat pants, sweat shirts, track pants, track jackets and whatever else to give your team a complete kit.
Designing your jersey
Maybe you have a design in hand, maybe you have something in mind that you need to commit to paper, or maybe you are blank about it. If you’re early in the process, here are some questions to answer:
- Which logos will be the part of your jersey and where will they be placed?
- Will the players’ number and name be on the back, front or both?
- What will be the size of logos and numbers?
- What color combination will you use?
- Will the shirt have any pattern on it except for the logos and numbers? If so, what will that be?
These are some of the aspects where leagues set very strict requirements, such as the placement and size of names and numbers. Be absolutely sure the uniform is compliant before you get too far along the process.
Also, be open to suggestions from the team members. They are the ones who will eventually wear the jersey. They want to take pride in it, and getting their buy-in early on is a great way to keep them invested in the organization. Maybe hold a competition in the school to encourage the more artistic students to create jersey designs, and put them to a vote amongst the team or the entire student body (with the administration’s permission, of course).
Bonus tip: if you are holding a competition, set the guidelines so you can send the design directly to us for printing (e.g. vector files for logos, jersey design using one of our templates).
You can also work with our professionals to create the design.
Ordering the jersey and moving towards completion
Now that you have the design, it’s time to make sure you get what you want and your team needs. Here are few things you’ll have to consider:
- Quality and manufacturing: We have a lot of performance fabrics from a variety of textile makers to choose from. You’ll spend time comparing the breathability of the material, the quality of the fabric and which customization method works best with the fabric and design. We have articles with more information about fabrics used in custom jersey manufacturing, cut-and-sew and dye sublimation, and sport-by-sport breakdowns of how this all comes together.
- Size: Look at the size charts available for each item. Ask the players what size they currently wear and what size they want. Then make sure their parents agree. Before you send in the order, have the player confirm that you wrote down the size they want. This will prevent a lot of annoyance when you’re handing out the uniforms and everyone rushes to try them on.
- Delivery time: Set the date you need the order to arrive by and work backwards from there. Depending on the process you choose (cut-and-sew or sublimation printing), the size of the order and shipping times, expect 4-6 weeks from order to delivery. Give yourself breathing space so you’re not rushing to the season opener with a box full of uniforms.
- Budget: All the things above will affect the final cost of your order. Start the process with your budget in mind so you can make the necessary trade-offs - or organize a fundraiser!
Once all that is squared away, you can place your order. Custom Jersey will send a mock-up of your design first so you can hold in your hands what the finished product will look like. That way you’ll be absolutely sure that what you’re about to order at quantity for your team is what will satisfy everyone.
Yes, there’s a lot to the process, but in the end it’s all worth it. We’re here with you just about every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to ask us for our opinions, advice, expertise… or just say hi while you’re on the site!