Here is you: You have organized a team of friends that you are going to go out and crush a Gran Fondo, or ride for charity, or maybe you’re competing in a series of races. You just want to look good, like a team, like a group of people who know what they are doing and can prove it with really cool looking cycling kits!
What you have done: You have hit the search machines and you have found a plethora of companies that make custom jerseys. Some you have heard of and others that you haven’t, most of those are in the later. How do you choose? What do you need to ask? Wouldn’t it be easier just to wear t-shirts?
All of us were on the same ride at one time or another. We all had to start somewhere and those that have been at it for a while will offer a ton of advice. Well, here is a little insider advice!
The very first thing you will want to know is that you have to choose wisely. This should be a two-way partnership with a company that you can work with and someone in that company who can really help you along the way and not just trying to sell you.
You will also have to choose between price and value. That $25 jersey is going to be just that, a cheap jersey. Quality jerseys come at a higher price point, but often are more comfortable, last longer, and are made sustainably. Good companies like Borah Teamwear use the best fabrics, materials, and back their clothing with a lifetime guarantee.
Here are some do’s and don’ts as you start the process:
Do expect the company to help you with your design. Companies like Borah have a professional in-house art department to help you. You don’t have to be a graphic artist, just have an idea. Have no idea? Many companies have stock designs that can inspire you. Don’t be afraid to ask them to riff off of one of those designs. This is going to be your design and the last thing you want is to line up at that ride next to someone with the same design, just different logos.
Don’t design by committee. Have one person work on the design. You won’t please everyone on your team just try to please the majority. If you try to design by committee it will take too long and no-one will be happy.
Do have all your sponsor logos in place before you start. Most companies will be very good at allowing that latecomer logo to get put on the jersey if it is still in the design phase. Once it goes to production it is too late.
Speaking of logos, Do try to get them in a vector format (.ai or .eps). Most companies can work with Raster art, but it does slow down the process. If you have one or two logos that are not in the correct format that is fine, but if all of your logos need to be redone this will take time and may cost you some money.
Do try to get the colors that you want in Pantone numbers. Many print shops will have a Pantone book that you can look through. Pantone numbers are universal and companies will do their best to match them. Remember, your colors are being printed on fabric and fabric will stretch and wash out the color a bit. This happens a lot between the tight-fitting shorts and looser fitting jersey.
Don’t expect your colors to look the same on your computer or device as they will in person. Ever screen will render the color a bit different. Borah sends a fabric color swatch so you can see what the color will look like in person. Do expect this service.
So you have done it! You have your jersey designed, your team loves it. Now what, what about sizing? You may see a lot of companies offering size kits, a run of the products so you can try them on. Great idea, but there are some problems: Size kits are limited, in the height of a season you may be waiting weeks to get that kit; Size kits are tried on, washed, tried on, washed, tried on, washed, ad infinitum. The size kit may not accurately reflect how the kits will fit. Borah Teamwear guarantees the fit of their clothing if you use their size chart, if it doesn’t fit they will get you the size that does.
So now tally up the order the sizes and the money and give your rep a call and place that order! You have done it! You just ordered custom cycling kits!