It almost goes without saying that any Venturing Crew, Cub Scout or Boy Scout Troop should have their own, customized T-shirt for each Scout to wear during non-formal events. But what design should you use? What colors and styles should you put on it? What type of shirt should you print the design on?
Most people think that purchasing a T-shirt for a Scout or Troop is as simple as picking a design from a list of pictures and clicking the “Buy Now” button. But there is a lot more to it, and educating yourself on exactly what you should be looking for will save you plenty of future headaches.
Read on and you’ll be confident in choosing the perfect T-shirt design for your Scouts and, more importantly, you and your Scouts be satisfied with the outcome.
What Type of Shirt Should You Choose?
One thing that is often ignored, or simply forgotten, when purchasing a Troop T-shirt is what kind of shirt your design should be printed on. There are generally two types of shirts that will be offered. They are the 100% cotton T-shirt and the 50/50 Cotton and Polyester Blend. You may also be given the choice of which T-shirt manufacturer to use, such as Hanes, Gildan or Anvil.
Remember that the price of each T-shirt will be affected by which brand you choose. But you will usually get what you pay for, so going for a better brand will be a bit more expensive now, but will pay off in the long run in comfort and durability.
Then it comes down to whether 100% cotton or a 50/50 blend would be better for your Troop. The main difference that you will notice right away is how the shirt feels against your skin. 100% cotton t-shirts are much more comfortable to most people, and are generally softer to the touch than 50/50 T-shirts. They also seem to “breathe” a little better, giving them an advantage in hot and humid environments.
On the other hand, 50/50 Cotton and Polyester T-shirts are more durable than their all-cotton counterparts. They are not as heavy and they tend not to wrinkle as much. So you need to put a little thought into which type of T-shirt to print your Troop design on. It makes a difference, so don’t just blindly choose one or the other to speed up the purchasing process.
What Type Of Design Should You Choose?
The type of design you choose for your Troop really depends on what your Troop wants! Think about their personalities, their pride and their sense of style.
Put together a list of designs that you think your Troop would like and present it to them in your next meeting. Talk about what they like or don’t like about your examples and simply make a choice. If you don’t find a perfect design, use their feedback to create a new list of designs for your next meeting. you can find hundreds of customizable stock designs at most B.S.A. officially licensed T-shirt company websites.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want your t-shirt color and your design colors to clash. You also want to make sure that your design colors are going to be easily seen. It’s kind of hard to see bright yellow on a white shirt, or navy blue on a black or dark blue shirt, so keep that in mind.
Some online T-shirt companies have a T-shirt designer on their website where you can drop your design on top of a colored t-shirt. This will allow you to see the design against the t-shirt color and assure that it is pleasing to the eye.
Once you have chosen your design, the t-shirt color and what type of t-shirt to print the design on, it’s finally time to go shopping! But you need to make sure you purchase your shirts from a reliable and well-established company.
Where Should You Purchase Your Custom T-shirts?
There are a few different things to consider when deciding where to purchase your new Troop T-shirts. The most important of these factors is to make sure to get them from an officially licensed, Boy Scouts of America Licensee. This assures that you will not only get a top-quality product, but that any and all B.S.A. logos, images and text are official. Any licensee will have the official BSA Licensee Seal displayed on their home page.
The B.S.A. does not hand out licenses on a whim. In fact, a license from the B.S.A. is a highly coveted item. Licensed companies spend a great deal of effort in obtaining and maintaining their licensed status. So you can rest assured that any licensed company is serious about their product and their customer service.
After finding an officially licensed T-shirt company, make sure to look for any customer testimonials or feedback – the more, the better. If you only find a few testimonials on a website, you may only be seeing the few good ones that the company wants to publish. Look for a page on the site with hundreds or even thousands of testimonials. Sometimes you can see the Troop number and state, or county that the testimonial comes from. Take the time and send them an email to ask them about their experience with the company. It’s never a bad thing to be thorough.
Then you want to see what kind of customer support the company offers. Do they have a phone number or email address on every page? Do they hide their contact information or do they encourage you to contact them with any questions you have? Obviously, you want to deal with a company that will provide excellent customer support and who realize that you’re not a professional graphic artist or an apparel industry expert. If they have a contact page, call them or send them an email. The response you get, and the time it takes to get it, is usually a great identifier as to how well they treat their customers.
You can also look for a company who will help you if your design skills are, shall we say, less than standard. Some companies have a staff of graphic artists who are there for you and will take what you have done and make it a hundred times better. Some will even do this at no charge!
As far as price goes, most online custom T-shirt companies maintain about the same pricing structure. But if you do your due diligence and take everything into consideration, you can find official licensees who will give you everything we discussed above at a surprisingly reasonable price – usually less than most non-licensed companies.
Hopefully this article has given you the knowledge and confidence you need to go out and find the perfect Troop T-shirts for your Scouts. Just take things slowly, remember all of the things we discussed above, and you’ll be the hero of your Troop when you hold up that first shirt for all of them to see. And remember, whatever design you choose or what company you decide to produce your custom Troop t-shirts, the look in the kids’ eyes and the smiles on their faces will make all of your effort well worthwhile.
Good luck and enjoy your new T-shirts!
Enjoy your custom t-shirts and wear them with pride.
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