Keep those t-shirt presses hot because we've got another awesome design coming down! Introducing our first ever piece of apparel for Northern Michigan University: the university seal torch design!
We've only ever done decals and miscellany for Northern Michigan but never any apparel, which makes sense because they're not as big of a university as MSU but at the same time, they have an enrollment of almost 10,000 students - that's no small campus.
For our first apparel design for NMU, we wanted it to be something that sets us apart from other vendors. Doing a quick search on Amazon and a jaunt through their campus bookstore's website, we couldn't find any shirts or sweatshirts that used the academic logo design. There are tons of Wildcat heads, NMU abbreviations, and combinations of the two, but we felt that we would really set ourselves apart by doing a design that isn't offered much anywhere else.
We could also have completely missed the mark and people couldn't care less about the academic torch logo, but hey, live and learn.
The Wildcat design is certainly the best selling decal, but in our world of apparel and licensing, we've found that the best selling decals doesn't always mean that it will make a best-selling shirt. The way the NMU design is created would make it a difficult print the way our process works.
There are two very small things about this design that steered us towards the torch design. First, the tongue being red would make this design three colors (on a green t-shirt, we would outline all of the current green and 'delete' it so the garment color acts as the design color), which increases the production time per shirt. Removing that color makes it a little off, especially to fans who are familiar to it, and it also doesn't align with the university's brand standards, and we won't print a design that the university does not approve.
The next option is to make the design all a single color. Easy enough to do, especially considering Northern has a full set of one-color logos to use for apparel production, but that's where being different comes into play. We don't like printing shirts that you can get just anywhere, because then you forget that it's truly a Nudge shirt, unless you are a wizard with a time-proof memory. And with the one color design - you can get those anywhere (maybe not anywhere, but if you're an NMU fan, you know where to go and you'll be able to find plenty of these options on apparel).
But not a lot of the torch design shirts. That's why we like it. Two simple colors on an unbelievably comfortable 60-40 Bella + Canvas t-shirt (sidenote - when my wife first started working in wholesale retail and operations, she would yank the collars of my t-shirts while I was wearing them to see who supplied the tee - I still can't sleep on my left side to this day) that looks great on apparel because it's vertical in nature. Northern Michigan Wildcats is also a lot of letters so printing a wordmark or other sort of text-heavy design wouldn't look good on the design space for a shirt, so a more vertical design is very different and different in retail is where you want to be.
If we completely missed the mark, tell us! If you would rather have a more recognizable NMU logo on the same t-shirt, we'll be happy to look into it.
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