How to get the perfect polo

First made famous by the tennis player Jean René Lacoste, the polo shirt is a ubiquitous staple of many a wardrobe these days. Versatile, durable and immensely practical, the polo design has lost none of its high performance pedigree over the years, while its longevity has seen it become a style icon in its own right.

Equally associated with tradesmen and the sporting elite, producing personalised polo shirts as part of your brand’s merchandise offering can tell a number of stories about who and what you are. For your consideration we have gathered here five practical tips for the best results when designing your custom polos.

Embroidery is best 

Generally speaking, embroidery gets best results when it comes to polo shirts. This is because there can be practical challenges with printing on to the fabric, which is traditionally a more textured kind of weave than other garments. Embroidery is also a huge part of the polo shirt tradition, calling to mind the logos found on designs from the likes of Lacoste and Fred Perry, and so further enhancing the air of tradition and heritage that a polo shirt can exude.

Keep it simple

When working with embroidery simple designs get the best results. Because thread is heavier than many kinds of printing, a large or overly complicated design will weigh down the fabric, causing it to pull and distort the shape of the garment. For smaller embroidery it is also best to keep it simple, because squeezing too many colours and lines into a design could end up with a final product that looks messy rather than clean. 

Remember the tradition

As mentioned, embroidery is part of the long tradition of polo shirt designs. If considering embroidered polo shirts for your own business then you might think about adapting your own branding as a nod to some more iconic designs. Do you see your brand as the kind of business a Fred Perry customer would visit?

Or are your customers more likely to be wearing a Dickies polo shirt to work? Emulating an established design can help you benefit from the associations that brand already has, whilst positioning your merchandise in the same marketplace as the rest of your business.

Don’t be afraid to change it up

Remember that you might need to adapt your brand identity slightly when it comes to merchandise, as not every logo or even business name is suited to the needs of a garment.

For example, if your logo is intricate and colourful, you might consider rendering it as a black silhouette on your polo shirt, rather than trying to directly replicate it. Likewise you might want to adopt a symbol that represents your business if you usually just use the brand name for communications – think about how iconic the Lacoste alligator has become over the years.

Think about positioning

Where to embroider on your polo shirt is a question of the impression you want to make. The most obvious location, and the most traditional, is the breast of the shirt, but don’t forget that you can embroider anywhere if you choose to.

Some businesses prefer to keep the branding to the sleeves, while others are more inventive and incorporate embroidery into multiple different areas – along the hem and across the back for example. This is a chance to be a little playful if you want to be, or a way to play it safe if you’re feeling like you want to lean in to something more traditional.

Want to create your own personalised polo shirts? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting a number of clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.