A well-designed and well-made uniform can add real value to your business. Enhancing your brand image, giving your employees a sense of belonging and improving the customer experience, attractive, professional workwear could give your business a real boost.
Your employees, and the uniforms they wear, are probably one of the most visually prominent features of your business. Staff in smart, eye-catching uniforms can create a great first impression with your customers and make excellent ambassadors for your brand.
However, while a stylish and practical new uniform will benefit your company, poorly designed, low-quality outfits could actually harm your brand. This means getting your uniform design just right is essential. If you’re currently putting pen to paper to create new garments for your staff, take a look at our guide to find out more.
Step 1: Consult Your Employees
The most important first step in any uniform design process is consulting your staff. After all, these are the people who’ll be wearing the uniform day in, day out, so it’s important they’re happy with the look, feel and functionality of the garments.
Talk to staff members about their uniform needs. For example, if they work in hot conditions, they might want workwear made from moisture-wicking materials to keep them comfortable and prevent sweat marks. Alternatively, if they carry out difficult physical tasks throughout the day, durability and maneuverability might be at the top of their uniform wish list.
It’s also a good idea to find out the types of outfits that your employees feel comfortable in. This is especially important if you’re considering introducing slim-fitting t-shirts, shorts or skirts.
You could even ask staff if they have any ideas they’d like to contribute to the creative process. This will help to ensure they feel involved and invested in your business and you may even get some useful and original ideas to incorporate into the final look. You never know, you might have a budding designer in your midst.
Step 2: Understand the Type of Industry and Working Conditions
The next step in the design process is to try to better understand the industry and the working environment employees operate in. A lot of industries have set standards when it comes to corporate uniforms. Whether these are set by safety regulators or simply industry norms, it’s important to take them into account when creating your workwear.
If your employees operate in extremes of hot or cold, if they’re regularly exposed to the elements or if they work in dangerous environments, you’ll need to take it into consideration. Designing flexible elements that can be added or removed to make the uniform warmer, cooler or more protective is a good way of maximizing the usability of your workwear.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Company Uniforms Reflect Your Brand
Your company uniform should be a reflection of your brand and its values. Everything from the style of your polo shirts to the cut of your pants should echo your company philosophy.
Adding a brand logo and selecting garments in company colors will ensure your uniforms complement your corporate image. Choose t-shirts, polo shirts or aprons for a professional but casual look or, if your business has a smarter image, add jackets or shirts to your new workwear collection for more elegant silhouettes.
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Step 4: Set a Budget
Setting a budget is important in any design process. While uniforms don’t have to be expensive, if you add a lot of bespoke features to your design, your costs could soon begin to mount.
Where possible, try to keep your company uniform design simple but eye-catching. Using high-quality textiles, and selecting sizes and cuts to fit the wearer, will ensure your uniforms look smart, well-designed and professional. You can add extra detail and personalization to standard workwear using design touches like embroidery and trims. This is an affordable and effective way of bringing your uniforms in line with your brand image.
A good way to make uniforms more cost effective is to add custom embroidery showing employee roles rather than staff names. This will allow you to reuse uniforms when staff members move on. Alternatively, you could add embroidery showing your company motto, contact details or even a call to action. This can help to drive customer engagement and will also make your uniforms transferable.
Step 5: Choose Fabric Carefully
The fabric you choose will have a huge impact on the look, feel and practicality of your new uniforms. Ideally, your uniforms need to present a smart, united company image and be easy to work in. This means you’ll need to select a fabric that’s comfortable and durable as well as attractive.
It’s also important to consider how your uniforms will wear over time. Textiles that fade easily in the sun could detract from your company image and make staff look a little untidy. While fabrics that are very thin may struggle to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life.
Other qualities you might want to consider when choosing a fabric for your new uniforms include:
· Drying time
Step 6: Choose Color and Fonts Wisely
The color of your uniforms is probably going to be their most prominent feature. It’s generally a good idea to choose a color that complements or matches the tones in your logo or branding. This will help to tie your company image together and ensure customers are easily able to identify your staff members.
If you have people carrying out different roles within your organization, you could invest in a range of colored uniforms to help identify these roles. For example, managers could wear dark blue while more junior staff could wear a lighter shade.
If you plan to include text in your uniform design, make sure you choose your font wisely. Try to choose a font that won’t date too quickly or look out of place on your branding or social media. If you’re not sure which font to choose, take a look at your company brand guidelines to see if they include information on fonts and typography.
Step 7: Find A Good Uniform Supplier
Once you’ve got a rough template design and a good idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to find a uniform supplier. It’s well worth putting some thought into finding an experienced supplier with a good reputation. Not only will a trusted supplier help to ensure a high quality result, working with a company that has good communication skills and a professional approach will also make the design and manufacture process a lot simpler.
Designing a bespoke company uniform is a fantastic way to unite your staff members and create a strong brand image. Find out more, and learn how we can help you build a uniform to be proud of, by taking a look at our FAQs or getting in touch with a member of our team.