Category Archives: Screen Printing

5 Ways Your Restaurant Can Benefit From Custom Uniforms

A restaurant needs to be a well oiled machine, a chain of communication that works variously between the customer, the front of house, the kitchen and the management, all to achieve a single goal: to give the customer a great dining experience. Of course, the other more unspoken goal in the restaurant business is to make good money (or at the very least keep the lights on). To achieve both of those goals better, your restaurant needs a good quality uniform – an article (or articles) of custom-made clothing from R&P Prints that conveys service, cleanliness, style and teamwork.

Customer Convenience

One of the main and immediate benefits of implementing a uniform at your restaurant is that customers are easily able to spot their servers. If you’ve ever been to a casual restaurant and been unsure exactly who to flag down to get a refill on your drink or put in your order, you’ll understand that it can be frustrating. And for an industry built on satisfaction, “frustrating” simply won’t cut it. Choose custom shirts or sweatshirts that are distinct, and that display your logo or name clearly for customers.

A Clean And Tidy Image

One of the benchmarks of quality for a restaurant is cleanliness. The customer expects a sanitary, tidy dining experience, free of dirt, clutter, mess or grime. The kitchen works hard to keep the back of house clean, but unfortunately the customer often can’t see that, and so they rely on visual cues from the front of house to deliver that message. If your wait staff is dressed in a quality, well-fitting, clean uniform it conveys cleanliness and consistency. Get custom printed t-shirts, or make use of our custom embroidery services on golf shirts in order to create that perfect uniform.

Team Camaraderie

One of the resultant benefits of having staff in a uniform is that there will be a greater sense of camaraderie and teamwork in the restaurant environment. With a business so customer-focused, it can be difficult to express staff loyalty, but uniforms help to do that. Team camaraderie also boosts morale and effective communication, so it’s an important thing to foster among staff, and uniforms are a great way to achieve that.

Brand Awareness

Just because you’ve got people already seated in your restaurant, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take the opportunity to market your brand to them. Everything about the look of your restaurant, from the colour of the wallpaper to the font on the menu, to the uniforms your staff wear, all define your brand. Are you going for a homestyle feel, a modern feel, a farmhouse Italian feel? Express your brand through your choice of clothing articles, as well as design and logo.

Functionality

Finally, restaurant uniforms can absolutely be functional. We offer a full length apron or a waist apron that would be perfect for both front and back of house, allowing you to show off your logo while still ensuring that staff is properly dressed for the job. As for shirts and t-shirts, we have a great deal to pick from, so you can choose something breathable for your staff that allows them to move around without getting uncomfortable. If you’re unsure about which clothing item to choose, get in touch with us and we’ll talk about your best options.

Whether you’re a smaller restaurant or a national chain, a uniform can really help business. With the plethora of new restaurants opening every year in Canadian cities, anything you can do to put your business head and shoulders above the rest is worth doing. Visit our website today to get some ideas on your new staff uniform.

4 Branded Clothing Items To Kick-Start Your Summer Marketing Campaign

Summer is a prime season for most businesses. The warm weather pushes people out into the street, forcing them to interact with storefronts and promotions, and students – historically the pinnacle of disposable income – have a load of free time of their hands. It’s the perfect storm for marketers looking to drive up sales, but your marketing campaign has to be smart, and it has to be seasonally appropriate.

Custom printed apparel, like R&P Prints custom t shirts and activewear, is a stellar marketing tool – a fact we’ve covered here on the blog a couple of times. Using custom apparel as part of a promotion or giveaway not only engages the recipient, but it also makes an impression on anyone who sees the shirt being worn, and in the case of a well-made, well-printed shirt, it could be worn for years. With summer nearly upon us, let’s look at the four most seasonally relevant clothing items you can use for your marketing campaign.

T-shirts

This one is a no-brainer. T-shirts are the granddaddy of all branded apparel for the simple reasons that they’re relatively inexpensive, ubiquitously worn and provide a large canvas upon which to put your logo, name, info and whatever else you’d like. At R&P Prints, we deal with a lot of t-shirt orders, making custom t shirts in Montreal and Toronto for a number of clients, always happy to work within whatever budget and time constraints might arise. If you want an item of clothing for a promotional giveaway that you know will make an impression in the warm weather, this is the way to go.

Hats

Sure, sunscreen works well to keep those harmful rays off your lovely face, but a hat definitely helps as well. And not only do they protect your skin, but they keep the harsh light from putting a strain on your eyes. In the summer months, a lot of people start wearing hats, and you want to make sure that they’re wearing a hat with your logo on it. People tend to really love branded hats (think of how popular John Deere hats got a few years back), so it’s a smart investment. Giving a free hat away as part of a sales promotion will ensure your business some free advertising at a cost-effective price.

Workout Clothes

Summer is a wonderful time to exercise outdoors. The flowers are out, the air is clear and, most importantly, there’s no ice to slip on. Depending on what kind of business you have, ordering custom printed workout clothes can work wonders. Because they’re often worn outside and in the company of others, workout clothes help boost brand awareness. It works best if your business is somehow tied to health and wellbeing – as that’s the kind of business that will benefit most from the association – but any business can benefit from the added exposure.

Shorts

When you put in an order for custom t shirts online you might consider adding an order of shorts to the basket. While not as conventional in the marketing world as t-shirts, shorts are an item of clothing that is just as popular in the summer months. And it is precisely their unconventionality that makes them great for marketing – people don’t expect to receive branded shorts, nor do onlookers expect to see branded shorts, so they make a stronger impression.

Make the best of the summer months by promoting your business with custom printed apparel. You’ll likely see a strong return on investment, as well as a lasting bump in brand awareness. The weather is heating up – it’s time that your marketing campaign did the same!

How To Open A Pop-up Clothing Store In Toronto

The concept of a pop-up, for lack of a better term, “popped up” only about a few years ago, but the format has taken off like wildfire. You’ll find all sorts of pop-ups in Toronto nowadays: restaurant pop-ups, ice cream pop-ups, fitness pop-ups… the list goes on (and in case you were curious, yes, you will be sick of the word “pop-up” by the end of this article.) Even advertising agencies have got in on the idea, hosting pop-up shops for their big clients, like the Harley Davidson cafe on Ossington. It’s an alluring corporate strategy, since it conveys exclusivity and time-sensitivity.

In this article, though, we’re going to talk about opening up your own clothing pop-up, which is really a lot easier than it sounds. Some compelling artwork, good quality clothes and screen printing, and a location that sees a good amount of foot traffic: those are the basic building blocks of a successful clothing store pop-up. Let’s take a closer look.

The Idea

Before you secure a location, before you start selling your custom t shirts in Toronto and well before you turn a profit, you need to start with an idea. For many, this is as simple as creating a striking piece of art, in the form of a logo or design, that you believe will catch people’s attention. It could be something wholly original, or it could be a sendup of an existing logo, like what Leeloodles did – she’s a ten-year-old artist who drew logos for the Blue Jays and Raptors, and with the help of her parents sold them at a popup. A clever, captivating idea! This is where it all starts, so make sure you get input from friends as well as strangers; you want to put at least a little effort into market research.

The Location

As mentioned, you want a location that sees a fair amount of foot traffic. With little time to open, you’ll have even less time to promote, and so it’s important that your location doesn’t rely on a pre-knowledge of the pop-up. You want people to stumble in by happenstance, to see the cool things you’re doing and think to themselves, “I might not be able to get this at any other time or place, so I need to buy it now”. Making those impressions starts with a good location. Look at event or gallery spaces, or even try contacting an existing store to open a “store within a store”, capitalizing on those venues’ pre-existing patrons.

The Clothes

At the end of the day, it’s all about the clothes, whether you’re selling custom hoodies or t-shirts, hats or shorts. You need to go for quality. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to break the bank, but you want to ensure that the clothes look and feel great, which is where we come in. R&P Prints will work with you and your budget to nail down clothing options, and then we’ll take your design and make the absolute best print job out of it.

This is going to be your selling point, ultimately, so you want to make sure that it’s done right, whether you’re selling custom shirts or custom sweaters in Toronto this summer. And crucially you want to ensure it’s done on time. Pop-ups don’t last long, so you can’t risk getting a late shipment from the screen printers; luckily, R&P Prints offers a fast turnaround time.

You’re off to the races. With some clever marketing, including a concerted social media effort and word-of-mouth campaign, your pop-up is all but guaranteed to be a resounding success. Summer is the perfect season for pop-ups, so get started early by contact R&P Prints.

Your Guide To 4 Different Logo Types

Branding a business is tricky stuff, whether that business is new or established. You have to catch people’s attention, hold their attention long enough to make an impression, and convey the right information. Done successfully, your brand will burn itself into the memory of those who see it, and, with some luck, eventually become a part of the larger cultural zeitgeist, as so many past brands have.

What is so powerful about the Golden Arches, the Domino’s Sign, the Nike Swoosh or Google’s multi-coloured lettering? Each of them utilizes a different type of logo, and each does so to great effect. At R&P Prints, your source for custom t shirts and other apparel, we see a lot of great logos, which is why we thought we’d pass on some of the know-how. Here are 5 different types of logo your business can use!

Logomark

A logo mark is the logo in its most direct form, without the aid of lettering to express the company name. Think the Nike swoosh here, Twitter’s bird, or the Mercedes star – the symbol stands in for the name in people’s minds. When you see any of those symbols mentioned, you sort of treat them like a pictogram, and immediately think of the company name. This type of logo is traditionally used by firmly established companies who don’t need to throw their name out there, but it can be used by any business with a compelling enough logo. All you need is a well crafted visual, and then you can hand that over to us, where we can print you custom t shirts in Ottawa or Toronto or Montreal – anywhere you need us.

Wordmark

Standing at the opposite end of the logo spectrum is the wordmark, a logo that – you guessed it – is just a word. Specifically, the name of the company. Think Disney, Google and Coca-Cola, all companies that rely on just their name as their logo. It’s crucial to note that, as you can tell from these examples, typeface and font means everything to this kind of logo – after all, what would the Disney logo be without the flourish on the “D”? Make sure to create your logo in a compelling, preferably custom typeface in order to make the most of this type of logo.

Lettermark

This one doesn’t differ too much from the wordmark, except that it relies on initialism, acronym or abbreviation instead of the full word, creating a more concise, streamlined effect. Think IBM: if they had gone with “International Business Machines” in their logo it would have been too crowded, and too much of a mouthful to pronounce. When creating a lettermark, as with any logo, it’s important to use a program with vector graphics (like Adobe Illustrator) which allows you to scale the image up without sacrificing quality – very important if you want high quality custom sweaters with a clear and crisp logo.

Combination Mark

Combination marks combine both a logo and text to create a more intricate design, one that oftentimes features a smart interplay between the two elements. Think of Adidas, with its iconic three stripes sitting atop a lowercase, sans serif rendering of the company name, or Taco Bell, which features a literal bell atop the name. Combination logos are great for companies looking to get their name out there, as they rope the eye in with an attractive visual and carry that attention to the company name.

If you’re just starting to brand your business, or you’re looking to rebrand, the first thing you want to do is create an awesome logo. Bring that logo over to R&P Prints and we’ll make sure that it is used to the best of its abilities.

School Pride Starts With Quality Clothing

For many, this time of year marks the “end in sight” phase of school. Whether at university or in high school, exam season is approaching and, at around the same time, the anticipation of summer fun is reaching fever pitch. But while the end of school may be right around the corner, it doesn’t mean the end of school pride ought to be as well. For all the heads of schools out there – whether you’re deans or principals, professors or teachers – ordering quality printed clothing like the kind we offer at R&P Prints can help sustain school pride throughout the summer.

So, what’s so important about school pride? As any educator can tell you, school pride matters immensely for the wellbeing of a school and its students. School pride is that unseen force that motivates students to try harder, to achieve more. School pride fills the bleachers at school sports events; it sells out tickets to school plays; it promotes a culture of togetherness and mutual appreciation. And crucially, it drives up applications. There is no better advertising a school could hope for than for its student body to exhibit, in public, a sense of pride.

And the best way to do that? You guessed it: clothing. This isn’t anything new, either – schools have, for a long time, increased their popularity and currency through branded apparel. It’s at the point where, for example, when you see someone in a Harvard sweatshirt you’re not even sure they go there. The branding, in a sense, has taken on a life of its own. It is the chief way in which students (and their parents and grandparents, oftentimes) express a sense of pride in their education, and it is that sense of pride that looks so attractive to prospective students.

At R&P Prints, we offer sweatshirt and t shirt printing in Montreal and Toronto, made with great quality apparel and printed by pros. We handle big orders with ease, offering quick turnaround times and the best prices in Canada, guaranteed. This is important if you want to get those students in some branded apparel before school lets out for summer. With any luck, students will wear that apparel on their off time, advertising your school to several potential students, and thereby boosting your applications.

Aside from being a great way to market your school, branded apparel – and the school pride it generates – can also have a visibly positive impact on school culture. We all need a community, whether it’s an imagined community (like a country), or a community centered on shared interests and ideals (like a chess club, for example). Branded apparel helps position the school as a real community: a logo, creed, philosophy and shared experience around within which people can feel like they belong. Whether that means going to watch a school basketball game in some of the finest custom hoodies in Canada or lounging in the library in a comfy pair of printed sweatpants, students express their commitment to their community when they wear their school logo.

Summer can have a funny way of washing away a student’s memory of the prior year. This NYT article, “This Is Your Brain On Summer” cites some studies that suggest that summer has a  “chalkboard eraser” effect on students, wiping away what they learned. What shouldn’t be wiped away though is the way they feel about their school, the pride and admiration they have for those hallways and classrooms. This summer, when your students choose a shirt to wear out to the mall, or the beach, or the movies, hopefully they’ll pick the shirt with your logo on it. Help them make that decision by ordering quality custom apparel from R&P Prints.

Give Customers A Way To Express Their Loyalty With Branded Apparel

Competition has never been fiercer than it is at present. With businesses vying for consumer attention online, over social media, in-store and out in the streets, it’s important to be able to rise above that somehow and get your brand out there. And it’s not just that you need to get your brand out there to attract new consumers; it can be as much about ensuring that existing customers don’t migrate elsewhere.

That’s why branded apparel, like R&P Prints custom t shirts or hats, is so important. Giving your customers branded apparel has a threefold benefit: first, it works as a gift, meaning that you’re bolstering a positive feeling towards your brand and paving the way for reciprocity; secondly, wearing your branded apparel allows your customers a way to express their brand loyalty; and thirdly, it works as advertising to generate new leads and sales. A well-timed promotional giveaway can have a huge effect on brand loyalty, and on the strength of your business as a whole.

First, let’s talk about the importance of brand loyalty. Studies have shown that it costs a business about seven times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, and that 90% of consumers (in this American study at least) will continue with a continue to spend money at a business they believe values their customers. Brand loyalty and customer appreciation, as you can see, are solidly linked, and both are important to the overall health and success of a business.

Let’s go back to those threefold reasons for choosing promotional clothing for your company as a means of marketing and reinforcing loyalty. To elaborate on the first point, giving away gifts – even if they do double duty as a marketing tool – ingratiates your business with customers, because, as we all know, people love free stuff. Giving away a shirt, hat, or even a jacket as part of a promotion is well worth the cost, and is almost certain to provide you a healthy return on investment, as evidenced by those studies above. But more basic than that is the principle of reciprocity, which is essentially a human tendency to want to return a favour – in this case, the favour is an item of branded apparel, and the return is continued patronage.

To speak to the second and third reason a little further, in order to use that brand loyalty to create new customers, you have to give the customer a way to express their loyalty. When you give a customer a shirt, for example, and they wear it out in public, they are publically expressing their brand loyalty, which can be very attractive to new customers.

To use an analogy: it’s one thing to find a musician on Spotify as you’re browsing, but it’s another thing entirely to hear someone talk about how much they love that certain musician; it’s that vote of confidence in the latter scenario that is more likely to get you to listen. The same is true of business: if a prospective customer sees an expression of brand loyalty, they’re more likely to want to find out what all the fuss is about!

At R&P Prints, we work with a number of businesses, offering custom t shirt screen printing and embroidery services to help them market themselves and reinforce brand loyalty. If you want to promote loyalty, while marketing to new potential customers, custom apparel is the way to go. It turns out the key to success isn’t a key at all – it’s a great quality piece of screen printed clothing!

Gear Up For Your Summer Golf Tournament The Right Way

You might be wondering why you’re reading a golf tournament article in the midst of winter – that’s understandable. But in order to successfully put on a golf tournament, you need to start with months of planning, countless hours spent cold calling sponsors, securing volunteers and schmoozing with a golf course president in order to secure your day. Likely, a lot of that stuff was done months ago, as were the food and beverage menus and much of the actual planning of the day. Now, with just a few months to go until the sunny summer weather, it’s time to start turning your attention to the smaller details: the newsletters, flyers, email blasts and, yes… the custom apparel.

There’s a lot to order for a golf tournament – items that we’ll be looking at in further detail this blog post – and at R&P Prints we know the importance of a quick turnaround. The sooner you have your custom apparel and accessories, the better peace of mind you’ll have and the better marketing you’ll be able to do.

Custom apparel and accessories are of vital importance to a golf tournament because they offer ticket buyers a tangible return for their money. Even if your tournament is a fundraiser (which they generally are), it’s still important to show gratitude to participants by giving them some swag, and, being able to play with custom wearable products bearing the tournament name, they will feel more as though they are contributing to something important.

For shirts, you have a number of tees and polos to choose from, whether the Nike Mobility Heather Pique Polo we offer, to the Basic Solid Polo, or the A-Game Colour Block T-shirt – those are just a few of many, many shirt options we offer. You can also decide whether you’d rather have the shirts screen printed or embroidered. It all depends on the look you’re going for, and the budget you’re working with.

Of course, as part of the participant arrival package, you’ll also want custom branded hats. After all, the hot summer sun is going to be out (knock on wood!) and participants will definitely appreciate the protection. For a great basic, check out the Flexfit Pro-formance Cap we offer, which comes in an array of colours, or for something slightly sportier you can take a look at the Contrast Stitch Sideline Cap we offer. The added benefit of distributing hats is that there is a high likelihood that your participants will wear that hat year round: if you run an annual event, that amounts to some great advertising during the off-season!

And to house the whole arrival package, take a peek at the bags we offer. The Big Dome Duffel Bag and Crunch Duffel Bag are both prime examples of great swag, and we’ll make sure your tournament logo and name are branded in big, bright, crisp colours on the bag. Tournament-goers can easily cart around balls, beverages and personal belongings throughout the day in these bags, and, just like the hats and shirts, they’ll be able to use the bags year-round, whether for travelling or hitting the golf course.

With a couple months to go before the big day, it’s definitely time to make use of our custom screen printing services for your bags, shirts and hats. You want to create a professional, unified and classy event, and the best way to do that – at least from a style perspective – is with custom apparel. Not only will the participants be grateful, but you’ll get some sly advertising for next year as well. It’s a cheesy old line, but we’ll say it anyways: make this year’s tournament a hole in one.

5 Branded Items That Give Your Business Year Round Advertising

Paying for a billboard to stay up 12 months a year is going to get very expensive, as will continuing to buy out commercial or radio spots, and even social media ads can rack up a pretty hefty bill. This is all to say that with most forms of advertising, the time to which you expose people to the ad is factored into the cost – but that’s not the case with branded apparel and accessories.

With R&P Prints custom clothing and accessories, you get durable clothes with a screen print or embroidery job that will last a very long time, meaning that your business’ logo, name and info will continue to make an impression on people wherever it’s worn. And there’s no “renewing” these advertisements; it’s just one reasonable cost at the start, and then your advertisements are out in the world indefinitely. If you want to go a step further, and order branded apparel and accessories that are typically used year round – regardless of season – check out these five items.

Hats

Except for perhaps on the coldest days of winter, the standard ball cap is worn year round – to block out the sun in the summer, the rain in the spring and fall, and to cover your head in the winter. For this reason, caps make great promotional apparel. Give out free hats as part of a promotion when launching a new product or service, and watch as those hats continue to gather you fresh leads throughout the year.

T-shirts

We know what you might be saying – t-shirts aren’t really worn in the winter, are they? And while it’s true that during the cold Toronto winter no one’s strolling outside in a t-shirt (save for a few macho dudes), people still wear their t-shirts indoors. It’s not at all uncommon for someone to layer a jacket and coat over a t-shirt, and then shed the outer two layers when stepping into a restaurant, pub, movie theatre, library, etc. T-shirts are the quintessential promotional item for a reason, and you can’t go wrong with our custom t shirt services for your business.

Tote Bags

Regardless of the season, people are going to carry around their tote bags, whether for groceries (in a growing trend away from plastic bags), books or even to and from work. They are extremely popular, with some, including the one the New Yorker distributed, going on to become a fashion statement in their own right.

Duffel Bags

Duffel bags make great promotional products, because of their durability and versatility. If you own or run a gym, for example, this is a great “sign up gift”, because customers will then use the bag to and from the gym, garnering more attention and visibility. Duffel bags are also great for traveling, which means they’re often used throughout the spring and summer.

Activewear

There is no single season for working out. People do it all year round. That’s why giving away activewear is such a smart move. Gym-goers run out of clean shirts pretty quickly, so they’re almost guaranteed to grab your branded workout tee when they hit the gym. There are many businesses that crossover well with the health movement, who would benefit from the on-brand viral marketing that custom activewear offers – if your business is one of them, give us a call to learn more about ordering.

At R&P Prints, we pride ourselves on the level of care and focus we put into every item of clothing and accessory, whether we’re screen printing or embroidering. Couple that with the quality clothing brands we offer, and you’ve got an advertisement that is built to last.

What Is Screen Printing, And How Does It Work?

You give us a design. A little time passes. You get a perfectly screened piece of clothing that will last you a long time. But wait, how did it all happen? We understand that much of what we do here at R&P Prints may seem mysterious to the average person – that the large industrial machines we work with look like something from a spacecraft! That’s why, in this post, we’re going to answer for everyone a very basic set of questions: what is screen printing, and how does it work?

The History

A form of stencilling, screen printing can trace a line of origin back to ancient China when it was used on silk mesh to create elaborate textile patterns. In its more modern form, it has an unlikely figure to thank for its surge in popularity: Andy Warhol. You’re probably familiar with Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe portraits, but what you might not know is that he did them using screen printing, thereby popularizing the process and moving it into the mainstream. Warhol’s period in American history was all about sharing art and ideas, and screen printing allowed people to replicate art on a variety of mediums.

Then, in 1960, it took a couple of enterprising businesspeople – the husband and wife team of Fannie and Michael Vasilantone – to capitalize on screen printing’s industrial potential, creating new machinery and manufacturing standards for creating amazing, screened clothes. This ushered in the modern age of screen printing, and even up here, our custom screen printing in Toronto is, in its own way, indebted to that husband and wife team of trailblazers.

The Process

Basically, the process starts with a stretched section of mesh pulled to the correct tension over a frame. The smaller the apertures in the mesh, the finer the detail will be on the final product. A stencil of the design’s negative image is then laid down, leaving only the parts of mesh exposed that will form the image. A squeegee then runs ink over the mesh and stencil, with the textile below, pushing a fine amount of ink onto the textile and thereby creating the design. Of course, this is a big simplification of a multi-step, careful process that requires different colouring and layering, but this is a basic introduction after all! Contact us anytime if you’re curious to learn more about how we screen print here at R & P Prints.

The Need For Quality

Of course, the history and the basic process only gets you so far – at the end of the day, you need very high quality machinery and materials, as well as skilled operators, designers and associates to pull off a great screen printing. Whether we’re doing backpacks, athletic wear, custom t shirts for ladies or men – you name it – we put in a level of focus and passion not matched elsewhere. Not only that, but we do it all on a fast turnaround time for the best prices in Canada.

Screen printing started as an art form back in the Song Dynasty in China, and was continued as an art form by Andy Warhol in the 1960s. Today, we continue that artistic tradition to bring you and your business, brand, sports team or event, the best possible screen printed clothes, using skilled techniques and high-caliber material. Hopefully this article has been educational – we’re keen to spread our passion and knowledge about screen printing to whomever wants to know. If you’re looking for a promotional item that’s both artistic and practical, we’ve got you covered!

Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing

Digital Printing vs. Screen Printing

Many custom clothing designers are heavily involved in the debate of digital printing vs. screen printing. Although digital printing is a newer process and screen printing is a tried, tested and true method that has been around as early as the Chinese Song Dynasty, many designers are still torn as to which they prefer to work with. Usually, when it comes to digital printing vs. screen printing, many people opt for the latter since they are looking to place a bulk order without sacrificing quality. Continue reading