Welcome to Threads Talk!

Tips and Tricks of the Trade

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trademarked and Copyrighted logos

When people find out what we do, especially family and friends, they always say, "Wow, that's so cool, you can make your own name brand clothes now: Nike, Polo, Lacoste, UH and so forth." While we have the capability and know how to recreate the logos, due to a little thing called Trademark and Copyright laws, we are not able to do so without the written consent from the appropriate parties. We frequently receive inquiries especially from team parents to embroider a licensed sports team's logo such as the "Chicago Bulls" on to their child's jacket or bag and simply change the city name. While we can't legally do that, all is not lost. An alternative is to embroider the city name and team, for instance, the Manoa Bulls above a red and black ball (see picture).
Sure, if you call around enough you may be able to find a business who may be willing to "bend" the rules or look the other way but if they are willing to do that, what's to stop them for selling YOUR logo for a profit. Be smart, be creative and keep it legal. Some risks aren't worth taking. Call us and we'll be happy to help you come up with alternatives.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December's Promotional Product of the Month!

Oval Letter Opener

Give a gift this holiday season that will help your customers in the New Year. And remember, every time they use it, they'll remember you because your logo will be right there.

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location

Product Size: 2-7/8"w x 1-7/8"h x 1/4"d

Product Colors: Black, Translucent Blue, Translucent Green, Translucent Red, White

Production Time: 10-15 Business Days

Setup Fee: $50

Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Pad Print: Side, 1-1/2"w x 1"h oval, 1 color(s) max
  • Item Color/Imprint Colors: White: standard PMS colors; Colors: white only
Min. order 250 pieces
$.99 each
*shipping cost not included

Friday, October 30, 2009

November's Promotional Product of the Month!

Koozie Six-Pack Cooler 45036

I know we've missed a couple of months but we're posting November's Product of the Month early this time. Just in time for the holidays, a gift that's cooler than the average rinky dink gifts other companies and bosses are giving out.
A kooler staple, the Koozie(R) Six-Pack Kooler is made of durable watertight construction and is available in thirteen popular colors.

  • Watertight insulation
  • 32" shoulder length strap and front slip pocket for additional storage
  • Room for 6-pack and more

Materials: 70D nylon

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location

Product Size: 8-5/8"w x 6-1/2"h x 6-3/4"d

Cooler Colors: Apple Green, Black, Hunter, Ice Blue, Maroon, Navy, Orange, Pink, Red, Royal, Smoke Gray, White, Yellow

Production Time: 10-15 Business Days

Setup Fee: $50 per color

Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Front, 6-1/2"w x 4"h, 4 color(s) max
*SPECIAL PRICING UNTIL 12/31/2009 Only $2.90 each!*

Min. order 96 pieces
$4.79 each
*shipping cost not included

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Bottom line...choose Quality every time.

Amid this recession (oh no, not the "R" word) or should I say slump in the economy consumers and businesses are really keeping an eye on their bottom line and cutting back where they can. While I can understand this, it's important to remember to not sacrifice quality as it will end up costing more in the long run. Cliche but true.

From a business standpoint, think about the uniforms you provide for your employees, if you go with a cheap shirt, 1) you'll need to purchase shirts more often , 2) the shirts will look raggedy after a few washes and reflect poorly on your business, and 3) employees won't want to wear them if they look worn out which minimizes the amount of time your logo is out there promoting your business.

As for promotional items or gifts, businesses often try to find the most inexpensive item to give to their clients since large quantities need to be purchased. You've all received freebies from various companies: pens, letter openers, stress balls, calenders, etc. Which ones are the ones you keep? Exactly. The cool, high quality functional items. And what happens to the crappy pen that doesn't work? Straight to garbage heaven along with your branding. A quality product will keep your company in front of your customers' eyes for years and will be on top of their mind when it's time to make a purchase. People remember which companies have the good stuff and which don't.

For personalized items, we encourage customers to bring in their own products. You know what you want and like and should have the option of enhancing it with embroidery. Quality products whether it's a shirt, towel, bag or jacket complement quality embroidery. Cheap or low quality items will affect the quality of the embroidery as well since often times the material is not stable enough to hold the stitches. You don't want the embroidery to be holding the towel together!

As you already know, the bottom line is very important so spend a few extra dollars now and save a lot later, choose quality every time...you'll be glad you did.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Profit is NOT a dirty word...

Oh my goodness, I just said it...profit. So what? It's perfectly fine. Most of us are in business to make a living and those of you who work for non-profits reap the rewards of knowing that what you are doing is helping the cause you are fighting for. Many of our clients are small businesses owned by sole proprietors or family-owned businesses or LLCs run by only a handful of people. I hear a lot of them say, "we don't want to charge more because we are afraid we'll lose our business to the guy down the street." If you have a quality product or service, stand by it and value YOUR time. If you don't, how do you expect your customers to? Of course you have to do your homework and figure out what it takes to effectively run your business or organization and then charge accordingly. From my experience, those customers who shop solely based on price will flee to the cheapest place every time, ALL the time. Not the kind of clientele you're probably looking for anyway. Find people who appreciate what you do (they are out there) and in return show your appreciation by providing them with top notch products and/or service. A friend of mine sent me the picture above which I think sums it up best. Remember, profit is not a dirty word.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kick it up a notch with Kanji!

Kanji characters are now available in 1" and 2" sizes. Choose from over 250 stock kanji characters to add some Feng Shui and Asian flair to your decor. Kanji characters are great on towels, shirts, bags and make terrific gifts for any event: weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.!

Awesome pricing starting at only $5 per character!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What are Stock designs?

Stock designs are embroidery designs that have already been pre-digitized and are readily available for use. Every embroiderer will have different stock designs available as each one purchases different packages based on their clientele. The most common types of stock embroidery are sports-related such as basketballs, baseballs, footballs, etc. Other popular ones are animals, hearts and occupations.

Stock designs are great because it's a quick and easy way to create a logo and have it embroidered. For example, select a cute animal design, add a person's name, embroider it on a blanket and VOILA, you have a great present for newborn!

There are some limitations to stock designs such as they are for the most part restricted to the size that they were digitized. If a stock design of a ball is 2" in diameter, you would need to embroider it at that size. Stock designs are usually charged by the stitch count.

Although there are thousands of stock designs available, some times you won't be able to find exactly what your looking for but not to worry, anything can be digitized...for a fee of course! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August's Product of the Month!

Grocery Tote

GO GREEN! Do your part to spread the 3R's in your community: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! These totes are the perfect giveaway to your best customers. Let them help you get free brand exposure while they tote these around the stores. Reward your customers and help save the Earth, it's a WIN-WIN for everyone.

Reusable and Recycle-able! The perfect tote for a quick trip to the market.

  • Non-woven polypropylene
  • Reinforced bottom panel

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1-location

Product Size: Bag: 12-3/4"w x 13-1/4"h x 8-5/8"d, Handle: 1-1/4"w x 20-1/2"l

Bag Colors: Black, Kelly Green, Red, Royal, Tan

Production Time: 10-15 Business Days

Setup Fee: $50 per color

Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Heat Transfer: Front Center, 4"w x 9"h, 4 color(s) max

*SPECIAL PRICING UNTIL 12/31/2009 Only $2.12 each!*

Min. order 100 pieces
$3.09 each
*shipping cost not included

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Promotional Product of the Month!

Monterey Outdoor Emergency First Aid Pouch

Make sure your customers remember your name when they were in need of help and your nifty little First Aid pouch was there to save them!

Classy and stylish, this drawstring pouch holds a selection of essential first aid components, and is reusable, to make sure your message endures!

  • Stylish pouch can be reused

Materials: Nylon bag

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1-location

Product Includes: Includes 34 pieces: 3 aloe packets, 6 antibiotic ointment packets, 17 bandages, clean nap, 2 first aid cream packets, 2 insect repellent towelettes, 3 SPF-15 sunblock packets

Product Size: 4"w x 5-3/4"h

Product Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Pink, Red

Production Time: 7 Business Days

Set up charge: $50 per color

Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Heat Transfer: Front, 2"w x 2"h, 4 color(s) max
Min. order 50 pieces
$11.99 each
*shipping cost not included

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Tweet or to TV?

Traditional vs. Social Media Marketing

Of course we all know that the best and most cost efficient way to advertise and promote your organization or business is through decorated apparel and promotional products. Shameless plug. Sorry about that. But there are also numerous ways a business/organization can get its name out there. There's the traditional advertising mediums such as TV, radio, newspapers, Yellow Pages, etc. but there's also a "new" form of advertising called Social Media Marketing. I'm sure most of you have already heard of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger...the list can go on and on. I was watching the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night and Michael Douglas (Catherine Zeta-Jones' hubbie) was a guest and he called the site MyFace which is the perfect example of how people have heard of social networking sites but don't exactly know what they are or the differences between them.
A lot of us or people we know have these pages and use it to find old friends or to keep in touch with loved ones. But these pages can also be a great marketing tool for a business or organization. You can create a company blog on blogger (like this one) to share information about your industry and let your customers know the latest and greatest about what's going on with your company instantaneously. Your Facebook page or Twitter page is an excellent way for you to interact with your target market on a more personal level so that they are comfortable doing business with you before they even step foot in your door.
The key difference between traditional advertising mediums and social media marketing is that TV, radio, newspapers cater to the masses and is an 'interruption' means of advertising. Commercials interrupt you while you're watching or listening to your favorite shows and hope that you'll stick around to listen to their message. Social Media Marketing is a 'participation' form of advertising. Your clients, customers, fans and want to hear from you and have chosen to opt-in to see/read what you have to say. The people on your fan page on Facebook and following you on Twitter have an interest on what's going on with your organization and have given you permission to speak with them.
By no means am I suggesting that businesses stop advertising through traditional means as they can still be very effective. I'm just saying that there are a lot of great FREE advertising tools out there so it's not a bad idea to check them out. With that being said, become a fan of ours on Facebook or follow us on Twitter! The links are to your right...hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Threads on the Tube!

We're excited to announce that our first TV commercial will be on OC16! Here's the exclusive sneak peek of it! It's amazing how much work and a footage is required to make a 30-second spot.

Thanks for your continued support!

Promotional Product of the Month!

Sani-Pen - Click here for more info Sani-Pen Mini - Click for more info

Sani-Pen® — the hottest promotional sanitizer on the market!

Swine flu or H1N1, whatever you want to call the pandemic has gotten people extra cautious about washing their hands. This a great leave behind for your customers that they will definitely use! Every time they pull it out, your company logo will be there front and center and they will thank you for helping them be flu-free!

Patended Twist-Lock TopTM provides convenient one-hand use. Medical grade tube. Kills 99.9% of germs and moisturizes with aloe. Alcohol-free.

Now available in mini-size, for pocket or purse.

All Anti-Bacterial products include the FDA required Drug Facts Label

Set-Up Charge: $50 per color

Production Time: 10-15 Business Days

Standard Imprint Method(s):

* Screen Print: Front Center, 2.42"w x 0.9"h, 1 color(s) max

Min. order 250 pieces
$2.40 each
*shipping cost not included

Monday, May 11, 2009

Screenprinting vs. Transfers vs. Embroidery

As with most things these days, it is the case that there are too many choices for embellishment rather than not enough. Which method should you choose? Screen printing? Heat Transfers? Embroidery? Well, it depends on what look you are trying to achieve, what purpose the products (shirts, caps, totes) are being used for and the quantity you are looking to order. Here's a quick rundown on the different embellishing methods most commonly used and the pros and cons to each method.

Screen printing:
Screen printed shirts are everywhere and are probably the most common method used. Screen printed items are used for shirts, towels, promotional products, etc. A majority of the t-shirts you see out in the marketplace are screen printed.

How it works:
A design is divided into layers, a screen is made for each color and then the garment is screened by color one after the other. Of course this is a simplified description of the process but should give you the gist of how it works.

Screen printing is great for large runs of the same design (at least 36) and if there are minimal colors. T-shirts are the most commonly screen printed item, however polo shirts and totes may also be screen printed. The cost per item is usually lower when screen printed because of the larger run requirements.

High setup cost . Setup charges are usually per screen per color per side. Larger runs required each time to make it economically worthwhile.

Heat Transfers:
There are many forms of heat transfers however the most common are vinyl and plastisol transfers.

How it works:
Designs are either cut from vinyl, screen printed on release paper or printed on transfer paper and then are heat pressed on a garment.

Transfers are great for small runs, generally less than 36 pieces or when you want full-color or custom printed garments such as names and numbers. If printed on transfer paper, designs can be full-color, even a photograph. There are generally no setup fees for transfer printing. No minimum requirements.

Higher cost per garment. Some transfers will only work on light garments.

Embroidery has the highest perceived value or quality out of all the embellishing methods. Embroidered apparel is seen nearly everywhere: banks, hotels, corporations, small businesses, gifts, etc.

How it works:
Stock embroidery fonts or designs are generally available however custom designs need to be digitized by a skilled digitizer using specialized software. Once a stitch file is created, it is inputted into a computerized embroidery machine and the design comes to life by using threads.

Higher perceived value. Lower or no minimum requirements. Flexible, same design can be embroidery on different garments and products.

Higher cost, digitizing fee, certain limitations on size and effects of the design.

Regardless of which method you choose, great results can be achieved if you ask the right questions. Hopefully, this little quick comparison of the different methods will help you in your decision making process.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Promotional Product of the Month!

Desk Clock/Travel Clock

Stylish yet functional. Keep your business in front of your customers with this nifty desktop clock. It's small, sleek and fits perfectly on any desk.

Great desk or travel clock includes time, date and temperature.

* Displays time, date and temperature
* Includes batteries

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1-location

Product Size: 5"w x 1-7/8"h x 1/2"d

Product Colors: Silver

Set-Up Charge: $50 per color

Production Time: 5 Business Days

Standard Imprint Method(s):

* Screen Print: Front Center, 1"w x 1-1/4"h, 1 color(s) max


* Imprint Color: White only

Min. order 50 pieces
$8.59 each
*shipping cost not included

Monday, April 6, 2009

Promotional Product of the Month!

Roll-Up Beach Mat

All work and no play is no fun so why not give your employees a gift that reminds them that they need to relax and rejuvenate every so often. Remember, happy employees are usually more productive!

This large mat is perfect for a day at the beach.

  • Convenient roll up capability
  • Front pocket for additional storage
  • Large size

Materials: Natural straw

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1-location

Product Size: Folded: 10"w x 13"h x 2-3/8"d, Unfolded: 36-5/8"w x 70-3/4"l

Item Colors: Black, Red, Royal

Set-Up Charge: $50 per color

Production Time: 5 Business Days

Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Heat Transfer: Front, 8"w x 2-1/2"h, 4 color(s) max
Min. order 24 pieces
$15.59 each
*shipping cost not included

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Some Assembly Required...

Like technology, fashion trends evolve and change rapidly. The next time you're at the mall, look around and you'll probably see Ed Hardy products at various stores. You can quickly identify Ed Hardy caps by its extensive embroidery all over the the cap including the brim. If you check out caps at a sports store such as Footlocker, you'll often see sports caps with embroidery on the brim as well. Very cool indeed. So it's no wonder why we often get customers asking us to embroider on the brim or to embroider on a cap front from top to bottom. Many people are puzzled when we have to inform them that this is not possible.

"Why? I've seen caps like this at so and so" people will ask. The reason is that in order to embroider on a cap, it needs to be mounted on a frame and a minimum amount of space is required above and below a design. Embroidering on the brim of a finished cap will also break the needles even if it could be mounted on the machine. The caps that you see at retail stores are embroidered on flat pieces of fabric prior to the cap being assembled which is how companies like Ed Hardy can achieve their final products.

When you have caps embroidered, the finished product is most likely a blank finished product which has already been assembled. But there's no need to worry, there are still plenty of areas to embroider on a cap: the front, back, either side and sometimes even on the adjustable strap if there is one. So remember, it's not that embroidery shops don't want to make you the latest and greatest fashion item...it's just that sometimes some assembly is required.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Promotional Product of the Month!

Collapsible Trunk Organizer

Marketing research shows that it is a lot cheaper to retain your existing customers than it is to attain new ones. A great way to do this is by showing your appreciation by rewarding your customers with a small token of your appreciation. A little friendly gesture will go a long way. This week's product of the week is fun yet functional!

Organize your life by starting with your trunk! This practical gift folds down for easy storage and shipping, then expands to hold an array of products from groceries to tools.

  • Folds down and secures closed for easy shipping and storage
  • Features two large compartments, perfect for auto essentials, groceries or sports equipment

Materials: 70D nylon, frosted polypropylene plastic (0.8mm) front, 210D polyester and foam at bottom

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1-location

Product Size: 14-1/4"w x 12"h x 24-1/2"d

Item Colors: Black

Set-Up Charge: $50 per color

Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Front, 6"w x 1-1/2"h, 1 color(s) max
  • Not intended for use by children.
Min. order 35 pieces
$17.49 each

*shipping cost not included

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stand Out, Be Different!

Okay, so the title of this blog could apply to a lot of things but this is Threads Talk after all so for the purpose of the post it will pertain to logo placement. People always ask how large the embroidery logo should be and where to place it. The basic rule of thumb is that a left chest logo should be no wider than 4 inches and a cap logo should be no taller than 2.5 inches. Polo shirts are the most popular garment to embellish and the standard placement is on the left chest. While the left chest makes sense as it can easily be seen when shaking hands and talking face to face, why not venture out and do something a little different?

Embroidering your logo on the sleeve or on the back of the shirt below the collar are two great options. You can embroider your logo on one or both of these areas in place of or in addition to the left chest. Most companies have a website these days so strategically embroidering your website address on the back of your shirt below the collar is a terrific idea. Why you ask? Think about how many times you're standing in line at the bank, waiting for your plate lunch, to use the restroom, at the grocery store, etc. Chances are someone is standing behind you and sure enough they'll be looking at the URL on your back. Go ahead, stand out, be different.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What is Digitizing?

This is a question I get asked quite a bit and understandably many people do not know much about it. Digitizing is the art of converting a logo or design into a data format that embroidery machines understand. It is a popular misconception that since embroidery machines are computerized that all the embroiderer has to do is scan an image and the computer will do the rest. Unfortunately, it's not like "Weird Science" where you simply input images and PRESTO, there it is! Unlike screen printing, what you see on paper or screen is not what you will always get. Every detail of the design needs to be traced by the digitizer and then the correct type of stitching needs to be applied in order to create beautiful embroidery. Some digitizers are better than others which explains why the same logo can come out looking entirely different.

Here are a few key things to know to make sure your design will be digitized at its best:

1) Provide the digitizer/embroiderer a high resolution image of your design. Vector files such as Adobe Illustrator and eps files work the best but a high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) will work just fine too. Remember (GIGO, Garbage In, Garbage Out). If you provide a low quality design, it is highly likely you will end up with low quality embroidery.

2) Let the embroiderer know what you plan to embroider and what size you want it to be. A jacket back logo vs. a left chest logo will need to be digitized differently. The type of material the logo will be embroidered on will also determine how the design will be digitized.

3) The digitizing fee is based on complexity.

4) Digitizing requires specialized software and is not something anyone can do using Photoshop. A Digitized file is very different from a Digital file.

5) Once you have your design digitized, you can use the file over and over without paying the digitizing fee again unless major edits are required.

Hopefully, this bit of information provides some clarification and gives you a greater appreciation of the art of digitizing. Happy stitching!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cost Effective Marketing in Tough Economic times

It's no secret that these economic times have been tough on everyone. The first thing most businesses do is cut back on their advertising budget. As many of us learned in marketing 101, this is a big NO-NO. In fact, we were told by our professors that in slow times, we should actually increase our advertising because most of our competitors are cutting back and our business would be on the top of our customers' minds once they decide to make purchases again. Easier said than done, believe me, I understand. Although many of us can't afford to run more tv or radio commercials or any at all, we all can afford to capitalize on the greatest advertising of all..word of mouth. And a great way to do this is through embellished apparel. Whether you decide to do screen printing or embroidery or hand out products with your business name and logo on it, people start talking and generally that's a good thing for your business. Every time you walk in a restaurant, a bank, a salon, or your son's baseball game with your shirt or cap with your business logo on it, you are a walking advertisement and are creating an opportunity for people to ask about your business. So even in these harsh economic times, you CAN increase your advertising and be cost effective about it. Let's turn the "R" word into rejuvenate.