Stand Out with a Logo T-Shirt

Stand Out with a Logo T-Shirt

Logos are powerful -- they can instantly identify and conjure feelings about a brand, whether it's a company, a charity, a school, a sports team, or even a band.

Just think about some iconic logos. When you see the Nike Swoosh, what do you think about? The Swoosh is globally recognized as a symbol of athletic achievement -- and, for many, it's part of an aspiration to be the best (or, at least, better than you are today).

A custom t-shirt promoting a popular brand of whiskey

While it's a huge benefit for mega-brands, most companies benefit by getting their logo out there -- particularly if they have an awesome logo (like, for example, Von Payne Whiskey).

And the truth is no matter what kind of an organization you have, odds are logo t-shirts can help increase your brand awareness.

What's brand awareness?

Simply put, brand awareness is how well-known you are (or your organization is).

This can range from a reaction like, "I've heard of them before!", to, "Yeah, I know them," and all the way to having strong opinions (good or bad).

While it's tempting to confuse brand awareness with brand reputation, they're not the same thing. Awareness simply assures that people know your organization exists. Your brand's reputation will go a lot deeper. However, awareness is a HUGE part of building a reputation -- after all, you can't make a name for yourself without people knowing you exist.

Why are custom logos so important in building your brand awareness?

One of the keys to memorization is repetition.

When you studied for a test, you likely went over the material time and time before feeling confident you knew the material (or maybe you just winged it -- we don't don't judge!). Of course, a company or other brand can't exactly force people to sit down and study their information (unless that brand happens to be a college or school), so they have to take a different approach.

The Bolt Printing banner -- we've been screen printing custom t shirts since 2009

Again, a key to memorization is repetition. In fact, would you like me to say that again?

In this case, that repetition comes in the form of repeated exposures. For example, what do Bolt Printing's logos look like? Do you remember?

Can you think of any design associated with Bolt Printing? Any at all?

The Bolt Printing logo

How about now?

Would it help if I haphazardly placed that logo in this article another five or ten times?

In short, one easy way to make your brand memorable is through the magic of repeated exposure.

Expose yourself... with custom logo apparel

A selection of Bolt Printing's very exclusive merchandise

How expensive is a billboard? While it depends on the real estate (which, as you know, is "Location, location, location!"), you're probably looking at least a thousand bucks a month.

However, what if there was a way to turn people into walking billboards for a fraction of that cost. Why, that's crazy talk, isn't it? There's no way you could ...okay, I think you know where I'm going with this -- it's custom clothing!

Logo t-shirts and other customized apparel are an easy -- AND cost-effective -- way of gaining exposure. Somebody wearing a logo shirt might be seen by hundred people while just running errands

And while a billboard or other advertisement will only be in place for a short amount of time (or be a running expense if you keep it there all the time), custom t-shirts can be around for years -- meaning that exposure will be over time.

The more people see your logo t-shirts, the more likely they are to remember your company or brand

Renting a billboard for a month or buying a month's worth of commercials is great for getting your name out for a month... and then what?

Building a brand -- whether it's a business, team, band, or charity -- is a marathon, not a sprint. Short-term exposure is good, but long-term exposure is what's really going to get your brand noticed.


Because brand awareness isn't just about the total number of exposures, it requires repeated exposures. Ten thousand impressions broken across ten thousand people will be one impression apiece... and you're unlikely to make any lasting impression.

However, ten thousand impressions spread across a thousand people would be ten impressions each -- meaning those people are much more likely to register it.

And what if it was ten thousand impressions split evenly among a hundred people? That'd be a hundred impressions each. If you saw something a hundred times, wouldn't you remember it?

What goes into creating great custom logo shirts?

The first step in creating amazing custom logo shirts is... having an amazing logo. Or at least a great logo. Like this one:

The Bolt Printing logo... again

Remember that logo? I bet you're starting to.

Of course, most people looking to buy logo t-shirts already have a logo for those t-shirts. If you do, great -- you get a gold lightning bolt (maybe on a blue circle), so you can just jump ahead to the next section (or you can hang out with the group).

For everything else, you're looking for a few things:

** You'll want a fairly unique logo

The whole point of having a logo is to stand out from the crowd. If your logo doesn't differentiate yourself from the competition, it's probably not helping you.

Granted, this can be harder for some industries than others. For example, what might a business logo for a lawn care company look like? If you want your company logo to reflect the nature of your business, you might be a bit more limited than other companies -- although since the nature of your business involves nature, maybe you can use that (especially if you also do other forms of landscaping).

Construction logo t-shirt

For a construction company logo, you could highlight the various things that go into building, possibly incorporating it into your company name.

The other key to unique logo designs is seeing what everybody else is doing (otherwise you might wind up being "unique" like everybody else).

** Simple logos tend to be a pretty recognizable logos

What do many of the most iconic logos have in common? In many cases, the answer is simplicity.

The Nike Swoosh, one of the most iconic sportswear brands, is a single-color design with an uncomplicated shape.

Sport-Tek logo. The company is known for moisture-wicking sports wear

Sport-Tek -- another iconic sportswear brand (which makes incredible customizable moisture-wicking t-shirts) -- just has a stylized version of their name. There's no easier way to get your name out there than to have it be part of your logo.

And then think about all of the fashion brands whose logo is a letter combination -- Gucci, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, and the ever-popular Balenciaga.

By the way, there's another advantage to simple logos -- by limiting the colors in your design, your custom tees won't cost as much to screen-print. (And, for that matter, you'll be able to have them screen printed. Complex images with lots of colors will often need to be digitally printed, which is more expensive.) Likewise, your logo will be easier to custom embroider.

** Pick a logo design that looks good at any size

Before you go all-in on a logo, make sure it looks good in a variety of sizes. You'll probably want to avoid logos where details are lost at smaller sizes. Likewise, some things aren't as cool when they're large.

Why does this matter?

Because your logo will likely appear in a variety of places. If it's on logo shirts, it needs to be one size. If it's on a sign outside your building, it needs to be a different size. And, if you want it on a business card or flyer, it'll need to be small.

The art (and science?) of creating awesome custom logo t-shirts -- 7 excellent tips

Is there a secret to designing logo t-shirts? Yes.

...what, did you want to hear it? Alright, fine! But be forewarned: Once you learn about logo t-shirt design, you'll never look at t-shirts the same way again! (Or maybe you will.)

#1 - Always remember: Logo tees = custom shirts with logo

What's the most important part of a logo shirt? Did you guess it was the logo? Or did you think this was a trick question?

Every design question with custom logo shirts comes back to your logo.

#2 - Customizable t-shirt color (and how it interacts with your brand logo)

Depending on the color of the t-shirt itself, your design can either POP or blend so much that it's completely lost. And certain color logos will require certain color shirts.

Thankfully, most t-shirts have a decent color selection, with some of the most popular options -- like the Gildan 5000 Heavy Cotton™ T-Shirt and Bolt's Best Deal BD54 -- have an insanely huge selection. You're sure to find a custom t-shirt that works with your logo's colors.

Custom t-shirts promoting the Hoop Community

However, the easiest options are usually either white or black. Just about any ink color (except white itself) works on a white t-shirt.

The other benefit of picking a white t-shirt? It's often cheaper than going with a different-color garment (because white t-shirts never require an underbase ink to ensure crisp, vibrant colors).

A custom t-shirt for the Southern Social Kitchen and Bar, a popular eatery in Vero Beach, FL

While black t-shirts also work with a lot of color logos, your best bet will be a lighter color design -- such as a white ink.

Black tends to be among the most common -- and most popular -- short sleeve t-shirt colors, which makes it great for a custom design.


#3 - Add a location with a custom sleeve

Regardless of the sleeve length on your custom shirt, you can add a design or logo to the sleeve. This is a popular option for sponsors who buy shirts for companies, teams, charities or other groups.

Custom t shirt with a center design and a custom sleeve design

Custom sleeve designs are great because they're in an eye-catching location -- since people aren't used to seeing customized sleeves, they're more likely to pay attention. They're an extremely underrated t-shirt design placement that can reinforce your brand t-shirt.

A sleeve print tends to work best on a long-sleeved shirt, considering you'll have more room for a design. However, if you're just sticking with a small logo, it may not make a difference.

While adding your logo to a sleeve is a great idea when it comes to a logo tee, another popular option is the American flag. In fact, certain kinds of businesses will have their logo on one sleeve and a flag on the other. (Examples include security uniforms, landscapers, and sanitation workers.)

However, keep in mind that which sleeve the American flag goes on will vary depending on who's wearing it. Law enforcement tends to favor the left sleeve while veterans, active duty military, and many others prefer the right. Either way, the canton (the star field) traditionally faces the front, like it's being carried into battle.

#4 - Think about your logo shirt material

The most popular fabrics for custom t-shirts are cotton, polyester, and blends that mix the two. And, depending on who will wear the shirts -- and where they'll be worn -- the choice of material can make a lot of difference.

Sports team logo t-shirts? If the people wearing them will be playing, you'll want polyester for its moisture-wicking properties (to keep you cool and dry). However, if it's for the fans, then cotton t-shirts will be fine. (After all, it's usually the sports teams doing most of the sweating!)

If the shirts are for a restaurant where the custom tees will serve as a uniform, you might want a 50/50 cotton-polyester blend since it's less prone to wrinkling and will shrink less.

For most other uses, cotton tees are often the way to go -- especially because they're the least expensive option.

#5 - Printed logo or a custom embroidered logo?

What's the difference between a print logo and an embroidery logo? At least a few bucks!

Screen print design vs custom embroidery

In all seriousness, screen printing and custom embroidery are radically different. The things that add to your cost in one won't necessarily factor into the other.

For example, do you want a HUGE design on your custom tee? With embroidery, that'll cost a ton -- assuming it's even practical. However, you can screen print logos of any size on a custom shirt without adding to the cost.

Do you have a colorful logo? You can any number of colors with logo embroidery at no extra cost. However, each ink color adds to the cost when you screen print. And, if there are too many colors (or the color use is too complex), the logo shirt will need to be digitally printed instead.

Overall, it makes much more sense to screen print logo t-shirts. Not only are printed t-shirts less expensive, but it allows you to have a larger design. (However, if you're customizing logo polos, you'll probably want embroidery -- and that's the only practical option for logo hats.)

#6 - To choose (or not choose) a specific customizable shirt brand

Does a custom t-shirt's brand matter?

Depending on the person, sure. While not everybody even notices the shirt brand, other people pay a LOT of attention to it. And, if you're trying to make an impression (or selling the shirts), this could be a major factor. (In fact, it could determine whether or not a customer buys a shirt.)

Nike NKBQ5231 Dri-FIT Cotton/Poly Tee with a custom design

The Nike Dri-FIT Cotton/Poly Tee (NKBQ5231), for example, is an athletic shirt that not only enjoys the Nike name (and the positive associations), but even carries Nike branding on the sleeve.

Other shirt brands might be recognizable at a glance or require looking at the tag, although many have a specific feel regarding the quality (which, if that's kind of thing a person likes, will make the shirt more wearable).

#7 - Think about the custom t-shirt size

Whether you're giving your logo shirts to employees (maybe even to wear as uniforms), customers, fans, or anybody else, you'll probably want the perfect fit.

So, how do you guess a good size? Do you ask your customers about their weight? (That's probably not a great idea, unless you're running a gym, fitness club, or medical office.)

Practically speaking, you'll probably want a cross-section of shirts while always erring a little larger (since it's easier to wear a shirt that's too big than one that's too small).

Other logo tee uses - events?

While some events -- like a trade show or conference -- make sense for custom logo shirts, you might be wondering about personal events.

Family celebrating while wearing milestone birthday custom t-shirts

For example, can you use logo t-shirts for family reunions?

The answer is yes... kinda.

The defining trait of a logo shirt is the logo, so any custom shirt (be short sleeve, long sleeve, v-neck, or crewneck) can be a logo shirt. However, you'd just need a logo. And, depending on the activity, you could have a lot of fun with it.

For instance, you could create your own family crest (which are kinda-logos), which would perfect for milestone birthdays and family reunions.

Other activities -- like camps, retreats, and so on -- might already have logos... and, in some cases, they probably should if they don't already.

Design your own logo t-shirts today (or tomorrow, if you're busy today)

Whether you need company t-shirts, team shirts, or custom t shirts for a band, Bolt Printing has you (and whoever else will be wearing the custom tees) covered.

Bolt's online design studio makes it easy to create t-shirts

Bolt specializes in bulk t-shirt orders -- if you need to order a large quantity of custom tees, we can usually get them to you faster AND at a lower price. On top of that our site, design studio, and customer care team make ordering custom tees quick and painless. So if you have design ideas, let us bring them to design life.

With our incredible quality and low prices, why would you shop anywhere else?