Corporate Uniform Design.
Why Do You Need A Corporate Uniform ?
Commissioning the design and manufacture of a corporate uniform is an expensive undertaking. It deserves a great deal of consideration, in order to get the uniform that is best for your brand at a price you can afford.
A company uniform can be a tremendous benefit for even the smallest business. The best uniforms need to be practical, durable, washable, affordable, comfortable, and stylish without being over fashionable. And they need to be timeless.
A staff uniform needs to convey everything about your business brand. If you dont have a discernable brand identity , then you need to develop one.
There are several ways that you could go about the design and manufacture of your corporate uniforms. How you go about it depends on how much work, time, and effort you are prepared to put in yourself. And your budget.
Off The Peg.
The cheapest and easiest way to kit out your workforce would be to buy up some generic off the peg uniforms. There are plenty of companies that provide this service. The kit can be personalised with your own embroidered or printed company logos.
Off the peg uniforms are designed to be functional, washable and durable, but they are not specifically designed for your needs. They are not generally very stylish. And they are very limited.
The High Street.
You could just buy some regular garments from the high street. But they have not been designed with function, easy care, or durability in mind. And they may not be available when you need to replace them.
If you want a custom made, or bespoke design for your uniforms, and you have some artistic flare, you could design the uniforms yourself. This would not be a great idea, as there is a lot more to designing workwear than meets the eye.
You could still have your design input by employing a freelance uniforms designer to work with you in interpreting your concept. You could either allow the designer to manage the entire project, or you could choose to cut costs by doing some of the leg work yourself.
Sourcing fabrics may be best left to the experts, as it can be very time consuming for a beginner. Depending on your requirements, there are a number of specialist corporate wear fabric suppliers.
The best solution for most would be to employ a one-stop-shop uniform design and manufacture service, to take care of everything for you. They would have their own team of experienced professionals such as designers, pattern cutters, and machinists.
How To Design A Corporate Uniform On A Budget.
If you want a custom designed uniform you will need to go about it the right way in order to achieve a great result at a reasonable cost :
1. Determine Your Budget.
You need to determine your budget from the outset. You may need to revise your budget later, but you need a realistic starting point. You will then be able to decide the best corporatewear design service to suit your budget.
2. Calculate How Many Outfits You Will Need.
Each member of staff may require two or three outfits. They may also require more than one outfit if they have several different roles within the company. Each role may require a different outfit.
Workwear tends to be pretty robust and durable, so should last several years at least. You may choose to stock up now, or ensure that you can purchase more when needed.
Our borrowed motto here at The London Pattern Cutter is “Just Do It”. So, we dont generally advocate for too much research. But when you are investing substantially in a company uniform for your company brand, it is essential to get it as right as you possibly can from the very start.
This preparation should help to keep development costs down to a minimum, so should be a great cost saver in the long run.
4. Consider The Working Environment.
When designing a work uniform Its important to take into consideration the working conditions, such as temperature and humidity.
5. Create A Look-Book.
A look book is a collection of all sorts of images, designs, sketches, colours, fabrics, and textures that inspire you in relation to your brand identity.
You dont want to limit yourself to workwear influences. You can find inspiration from all sorts of sources. Google Images is a fantastic source of both information and inspiration.
6. Decide On Your Employee Profile.
For some businesses the age, size and shape of your employees is irrelevant. For others it is an important factor. Different age profiles indicate a different type of fit. As we get older our shapes change, which is why different high street shops have different sizing.
7. Consult With Your Employees.
When you are kitting out your employees, you will of course need to consult with them. They are the ones doing the job day after day. They know what works for them, and what they are comfortable wearing.
Maybe your staff need a special pocket to keep a tool or a notebook in. Different jobs require different functional pockets. Some jobs require more movement in the arms, or at the knees.
8. Collect Reference Garments.
Reference garments can be extremely useful in determining the general shape and fit of your own styles. Once you have determined what type of fit you are aiming at, then it is useful to gather together different types of garments that could form the basis for your uniform.
Rather than make your designs from scratch, use these reference garments. If necessary, draw pockets or design seams on them, or cut them up to obtain the shape you want. This way you eliminate one whole stage from the design development process.
9. Sketch Your Ideas.
If you have any design ideas yourself, it is best to try to sketch them as clearly as you can, so that the designer, or supplier has an idea of what you want. Even if your sketches are really poor, they will be a good source of information.
It is better to provide obviously bad drawings, rather than professional looking designs that are just wrong. If your designs look professional, your supplier may take them fully at face value, without question.
10. Choose A Designer Or Supplier.
You need to choose an affordable designer or supplier that you are comfortable working with. A one-stop-shop supplier would normally designer and manufacture
Sometimes you will be able to save on costs by being able to decide what level of involvement you want in the design and development process. Or you may want to separate the design and sample development stage from the production stage.
If you need a large quantity of garments, it may be cheaper to manufacture abroad. But it is still normally advisable to do the design, sampling and tech packs in the UK.
Sit down with your designer, with all your research materials. Give them all the information you can about your brand.
11. Design Your Logo.
If you have existing colours or logos, you may wish to incorporate these into your new uniform. If you dont have a logo, your designer should be able to assist you with the design.
The supplier should have embroidery and printing facilities available.
Who Owns The Designs And The Patterns ?
You will be paying a lot of money for high quality uniforms, and you may need to purchase more in the future. You do not want to be held hostage by one designer or manufacturer.
When you pay a manufacturer to make your uniforms you are paying for the complete service. Even if you own the designs, you may find that the factory owns the patterns and grades. That would mean that if you wanted to go elsewhere you would either have to purchase them, or recreate them at great expense.
You may want to make sure that you own both the patterns and the designs. You could also create physical or digital copies of the patterns and grades.
How Much Does It Cost ?
It is important for any business to set a budget from the outset. The costs can vary enormously, depending on different factors. You will need to discuss this with your supplier.
What Services Do You Provide ?
We at The London Pattern Cutter are a collection of freelancers and small businesses. Each of us specialises in given areas so we are able to provide you with an associate appropriate to your needs. Emile Carr offers a flexible one-stop-shop design and production service, including design, sourcing, sample development, and production.
Do You Use Experienced Professionals ?
Yes. We have very experienced specialist designers, pattern cutters, tech pack makers, and sample machinists.
Do You Provide Any Workshops ?
Yes, we provide a number of different classes and workshops related to the clothing industry. These workshops cover design, pattern cutting, grading, tech packs, starting and running a clothing business, etc.
Our most popular workshop is the Clothing business startup workshop.