Play by Play: How our design team works alongside customers to create great customized merchby Jamie Concannon
There is a knack to creating custom merch that packs a punch and is sustainably-made, and our design team have it down to a fine art.
Let's face it, every company out there is going to try to convince you that their way is the best way, or that their methods are better than everybody else's. At Roody we want to offer you total transparency on how we make our products, so that you can make up your own mind about where you get your custom merch.
With sustainability at the heart of every step, feel free to also check out our Play by Play article on our manufacturing process.
This time around though, we want to show you exactly how we take our customers ideas and turn them into something really special. Whether it's a custom-made box filled with a variety of goodies and gadgets, or, a bespoke Hawaiian shirt designed exactly to their unique specifications, we take a lot of pride in our ability to collaborate from start to finish.
There is no wrong way to communicate the design you are looking for, and neither is there an expectation from us for you to have anything all that specific in mind. Whether you've already got it all mapped out before you come to us, or need to chat to us in order to find a bit of inspiration, we can always help you get things off the ground.
You can be as specific as you want, or you can come to us with only a few loose ideas in mind. What we create for our customers is tailor-made from the exact recreation of your logo on your merch choice, to the best place and way to represent that logo, and we approach every new client as unique in what they want their merch to be and what they want it to achieve: making stuff from scratch is at the core of what we try to do.
From the get-go, we will talk about your design requirements for the finished product. This is where you ensure that you're getting what you need, making sure that it ticks all the right boxes.
Sometimes it will start off with a doodle of a design on a scrap of paper that you would like to see brought to life on a shirt or Christmas sweater. This is a great starting point as it gives an instant idea of what you are looking for, so we can work together on the back of that, but it's not the only way to light a spark in the design process.
Bullet points listing out any key colours, designs, logos or slogans you want to incorporate into the finished product can also be a great starting point.
This would be a good time to reiterate the fact that our merch isn't based off a set selection in a catalogue. We make everything from scratch, so we have the tools and the expertise to make those doodles and bullet points come to life in a way that wouldn't be possible if we made everything in bulk. And because our merch is made to order - if you order 300 units, we'll make 301 of them (including a sample) - nothing goes to waste.
Think of it as a blank canvas. While it would be really quick and easy to order a tonne of cheap swag that does nothing other than give the recipient a quick glance at a logo before it ends up in the trash, being this involved in every step allows you to create something worthwhile and functional. You're spending your money on merch that will be loved.
Merch can be a powerful thing when it's done correctly, so taking the time out to plan something custom-made is sure to make it all the more effective regardless of what it's going to be used for.
It could be an upcoming event you want to use as an opportunity to get your brand out there, a welcome box to greet new team members, or just a way to acknowledge team members' outstanding efforts. Once we start to understand what you are looking to achieve by procuring merch, we can work with you to think about what could best suit your needs.
Our clothing is the perfect example of how we create everything from scratch. Rather than there being a list of colours and designs for you to choose from, we create a custom template based on your unique design and create exactly the amount you require.
We explain all of this in much more detail in our Play by Play article on how our design process works.
Before anything gets made, we want to make absolutely sure that you are happy with the design. There is no detail too minor that can't be ironed out or new twist that can't be added to a design.
We try to keep an open line of communication from start to finish, because making sure everyone is satisfied is a crucial part of our approach. This is how we ensure that we allow sufficient time for feedback, as this stage of back and forth collaboration is what makes a good merch transform into something really special.
As with the initial designs, we try to leave it to the customers how best to approach any feedback when finalising a design. While a huge percentage of our customers are happy to sign off on our initial designs with just a few small changes, we also appreciate it when they respond with feedback.
Once we tick all the right boxes and come up with a design that fits the bill, we can go ahead and start creating. Another major sustainability benefit of doing it this way is that we haven't produced a huge number of items before design changes get flagged; it's all custom-built by our graphic designers so you won't need to worry about any wastage if something needs to be changed.
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