posted 2022 Jan by Alex Triplow
Having a custom kit is a great way to promote your business on a social ride or just really bond together as a group. One of our favourite things is seeing the beaming smiles of participants at an event looking amazing in their very own, fabulous kit! To help keep those smiles going we make sure our kit quality comes with the highest standard possible and we work closely with you to make sure you get a result that is exactly what you want so you can wear your garments as part of your everyday ride, run or swim.
After doing this for a number of years there are some common points that we notice as stumbling points for our clients, so we thought we’d take the time to write these out to help make your kit design and delivery go as smoothly as possible.
Make sure you have your kit design on your to-do list nice and early so that you have plenty of time to look over options, get the sizes right and discuss colour options with your team. The more relaxed you are about your kit delivery the more fun you can have with it. It also gives you each an opportunity to wear the kit on a short ride before the event and let the fabric stretch and breathe a little, rather than testing it for the first time on a bigger than usual ride.
In most cases having a custom kit is all about promoting your brand, usually for a company but it can be a group or organisation as well. To make that brand stand out you need a really clean, clear logo.
For the best possible print finish, we ask our clients to provide a Vector EPS or the original Adobe Illustrator file. The only reason for this is that a standard .jpg won’t be able to hold the pixel details, especially when the image size is increased, causing the logo to pixilate and the image to become distorted.
Not everyone has a Vector EPS for Adobe file on hand so if this is a trouble spot for you we will work with you to find your original or source a replica logo from a trusted provider to ensure the right format can be submitted to the printer.
We are flexible and work with you to create something that you feel emulates what your brand is about. If what we do doesn’t sit right or needs an edit we are more than happy to help, it’s part of the process.
Our design templates make it easy for you to check over a design, pattern and colour before we go to print. Obviously you won’t get to see it on at this point but it’s a great way to play with the colours and set up without it costing anything.
It’s very easy to design two or three combinations for you. By reversing the colours or having different colour blocks we can offer really different appeals all within the same design.
Sometimes I finish a design and know we are on a winner and nine out of ten times the client agrees. Sometimes our clients have a design in mind, or a specific idea or image and we create a mock-up from those details. Other times we will start from scratch using just the logo and branding guidelines. Every now and then we get a client who doesn’t have any ideas so they’ll leave the design completely up to us, in those cases we find that creating something contemporary gives them a kit they are really happy with or it is a solid starting block that inspires them to get involved and tinker a little.
Another important part of the process is choosing the right colours. We work with Pantone colours which are a universal colour system which is great! There are hundreds of colours to choose from.
Most companies will have a style guide that has the specified Pantone colours listed and what we do is then match it to our printed colour chart, we do this because not all colours look the same when seen on screen, printed on paper and fabric.
If you don’t already have a Pantone colour I will work with you and make suggestions as to what we think will give us the best printed outcome. We also offer fluorescent printing for those cyclists who want to make sure they absolutely stand out on the road.
Everybody is different which is why we give you a chance to try on real clothes to help determine the best fit. Of course we have a size guide on our website but we know as much as anyone else that a size guide can be confusing, our chest size might be in one size range and our hips in another.
To eliminate this confusion we can send out sizing samples so the whole team can meet up and try them on. We have known some clients that make a night of it and have a wine or beer while trying them on! Just make sure you don’t spill any on the garments!
Size isn’t the only part of the equation that has your kit fitting well, there is also your ride style and cycling needs to factor in. Choosing what range to go with can be tricky.
We listen to our clients and find out what kind of athletes they are, and what kind of sport they do. For Cycling we have our Classic Range which is great for the everyday rider. We then move up to our Elite Range which is more of the on-trend race style with a longer sleeve length, created using Italian fabrics. And finally, we have our Pro Euro Range which, like our Elite is more of a race fit but uses different Italian fabrics and has different features including flat-lock stitching and skin gripper sleeve cuffs. You don’t need to be an elite cyclist to wear the racing range, when it comes down to it no matter who you are you can wear any of our ranges, it's just choosing the right range that will make you feel great and comfortable on the bike.
For Triathletes and Runners, we also have a Classic and Elite range. The difference is mainly in what fabric we use, our Elite range also showcases different grippers and seam finishes.
Once the design is approved and your sizing is in the bag, we process the order and send it off to our factory based in Shanghai, China. We work closely with them following each step of the process by checking the artwork and a print strike off, which we email to you to make sure the colours and design are what you expect them to be.
After about four weeks your order is ready and we have it shipped to our office. We will then check over the garments making sure everything is 100% correct from design, colours, to the stitching and finishing of the garment. Once we are satisfied that your order is perfect, we then ship it out to you!
That’s it! It really is a lot of fun and at the end you get a high-quality, unique piece of riding equipment that you will use comfortably for years to come.
We always follow up with you a few weeks later to make sure you love the kit and everything is feeling good! Of course, we love when our clients send a group shot from their event in their wowing kit! Be sure to send in your custom kit photos and have a fantastic time promoting your company on the road.