Here are some more of our custom apparel decoration predictions for 2014. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to figure them out! All you need to do is turn on the TV and watch a little college football, which many of us have been doing these past few weeks. So I’m probably telling you what you’ve already seen, blaring over every college football game, from the Under Armour All America Game
to the Oregon Ducks vs. Texas Longhorns Alamo Bowl game, to the Rutgers vs. Notre Dame Pinstripe Bowl, to the Cotton Bowl to the Rose Bowl (congrats to Michigan State on that win!) and just about every other bowl game you can think of. With over 35 bowl games, that’s a lot of football, a lot of uniforms to watch.
Plus, we’re starting to get a glimpse of 2014 Winter Olympic uniforms, and that will solidify the demand for even more new trends (of course it goes without saying that these sports trends trickle over into the fashion world and vice-versa). Here’s what I’ve been seeing:
1) Attention getting color
Uniform and embellishment colors are brighter, bolder and more eye-popping than ever. It was hard to take your eyes off the championship Mizzou Tigers (bright bumble-bee images) or the neon inspired yellow and bright red Under Armour All America uniforms. Even primary colors are popping more than ever, with teams using brighter hues and taking any opportunity possible to add shine. Even twill is shinier than ever.
Speaking of shine, it’s now possible to add true metallic looks thanks to advanced heat printing technology. (new metallics and much more on digital metallics coming soon) Many teams are taking advantage of the chrome, bronze, gold and silver metallic looks that are now available. We’re seeing metallic numbers, metallics used as an outline or background, metallic logos and more. Just about any team that once had to rely on not-so-special gold and silver printing techniques is now going above and beyond when it comes to adding high-end metallic looks to their uniforms. You will also be seeing color metallics–molten shiny colors. And the fans love it in their fan wear as well.
3) “Liquid” or tone on tone
But how do you make a logo look “updated” and interesting if you’re not using metallics? One of the hottest trends will be “liquid” or tone on tone logos and accents. By using clear films or other 3-D printing techniques, we’re seeing designs that can best be described as “liquid.” A good example is of the tone on tone design across the shoulders of the US Olympic Hockey jerseys by Nike. While some might not like it, we predict it’s going to be everywhere soon.
4) Numbers as design elements
If you think numbers are boring, 2014 will change your mind. Everywhere we look we’re seeing bigger, bolder statements being made with numbers. More than just an identifier, numbers are taking center stage as a design element.
5) Using opportunities to sell more
One thing you might have noticed about college and pro football teams is that they are using every possible opportunity to wear a new uniform. Whether it’s for a fundraising event or to raise awareness about a specific cause, such as breast cancer, we’re seeing teams using their uniforms to send messages. In addition to sending messages, changing the look of a uniform several times each year gives you the opportunity to sell matching fanwear. Consider encouraging your high schools or local teams to dedicating one game to a specific cause and help them create the fan wear they need to raise money.
Everyone I speak with confirms all these trends, and everyone agrees it’s going to be an exciting year for heat printing. What are some of the trends you’ve been seeing that I might have missed? There are always regional or local trends that don’t get as much publicity. I’d like to hear from you.