Uh oh. You’re in charge of uniforms this year, but you put it off till the last possible second.
Don’t worry you sweet, lovable, procrastinating ruffian. You are not without options. We’ve put together a short list to help you get your gear as quickly as possible.
* As usual, we aren’t limiting these tips to Five’s order process. You should be able to take these recommendations to heart no matter who is customizing your gear for you.
1. Communicate Your Deadline
Time savings: up to one week
We won’t know you’re in a rush unless you tell us! If you’re upfront about when you need your gear in hand, we’ll be able to tell you right away if it’s possible to meet your deadline.
Other companies like Savage and Breakmark offer rush production options for added fees. Paying for faster production isn’t an option at Five, but sweet-talking us goes a long way when the timeline is short!
More info on Five’s customization timeline can be found on our printing page.
2. Know what you want your design to look like before you email us
Time savings: 1-2 weeks
We offer unlimited free art assistance here at Five, but if you don’t know what you want your gear to look like, it’ll be tough to move quickly.
If you don't have a good idea of what you want your gear to look like, we recommend the following brainstorming process:
Take 20 minutes to think through what you want your logo to look like. Write these ideas down as they occur to you. Even broad themes are helpful at this stage.
Use Google image search to find design elements that are similar to your vision. If you can’t find what you want, try drawing it by hand. A black marker on white paper is the best option for drawings, and if you can get your hands on a scanner that’s preferable to a smart phone pic.
THEN email us with your vision and examples. We’ll take it all in and make it into a ballin’ design for free!
That sweet, sweet swag can be in your hands even faster if your art is already done and in vector format before you get in touch in with us. So if your timeline is crazy tight (<4 weeks), and you’ve got a designer friend who can crank out a logo for you in a single day, it's probably worth asking her for that favor.
3. Steer clear of sublimation cowboy
Time savings: 2-4 weeks
Everyone knows that a sweet sublimated jersey is tough to beat, but take it from the pros: if you’re worried about getting your gear in time for Conference Championships in April, screen printing is a much quicker option.
Designing a sub jersey not only takes a lot of time, but most ultimate apparel companies also need extra time to produce it. Screen printed gear tends to be faster and easier to design, and the production takes less time as well.
Here at Five, sub gear can take 5-7 weeks to produce, not including design time, but our screen printed gear is guaranteed to ship no later than 15 business days from the time you finalize and pay.
4. Don't ask for opinions from the entire team and Don't seek Consensus
Time savings: one week, maybe more
Sounds crazy right? It’s natural to want your teammates to agree with you on something of this magnitude. At the very least, you probably feel like you shouldn’t ask them to pay for their gear sight unseen.
We totally get that, but trust us on this. We can't tell you how many times a uniform order has languished simply because a captain wants his whole team to agree on a design.
Asking for feedback takes time. Time that, if you’re reading this blog post, you probably don’t have. Listening and responding to comments is a noble concept, but it is painfully slow, and it almost never achieves the consensus you may desire.
If you feel like you need transparency but have to move quick, we recommend the following steps:
Work with us to design a jersey that YOU are happy with.
Send the finalized mockup to your team email list with a note saying, “Here’s what our kit looks like this year!”
This process doesn’t openly invite opinions, but it does allow for a teammate to speak up if she feels very strongly about your choices. If you’ve created something truly horrendous, you can probably trust your teammates to speak up.
We’ve also found that most of the people who denigrate a jersey mockup will come around once they see the final product. Never doubt the persuading power of looking and feeling like a team.
5. Make yourself highly available via email, especially during the design phase
Time savings: anywhere from several days to several weeks
Designing the art for an ultimate uniform requires a ton of communication and collaboration. When you work with Five, most of that communication happens over email.
We respond to most emails within 1 business day, and will be especially responsive if we know that your timeline is tight, but that puts the onus on you.
If you only check email once every three days, you’ll run the risk of missing your deadline!
6. Pay for your order as soon as you get the final quote
Time savings: you decide!
Your gear won't go to production until you’ve submitted payment, but most college captains can’t pay upfront for an entire custom order. If you want to get your jerseys as fast as possible, you’ll have to plan ahead and get the wheels of payment turning before you know the final cost of the order.
If you’re planning to have your school pay for the gear, you’ll need to talk to the appropriate administrator and get the paperwork lined up. This can take a while. Don’t procrastinate!
On the other hand, if you and your players are paying for the gear out of pocket, let them know that you’ll be collecting money for jerseys in the next couple of days, even if you don’t know exactly how much they’ll each be paying yet. That’ll prime them to get the cash to you quickly so that you can submit the payment and we can get cranking on producing your gear!
Takeaway: organizing a payment for a large uniform order can be arduous, but it’d be a shame to get this far only to have the order held up because you weren’t ready to pay!
Over to you
What did we miss? What was confusing? Let us know!