It may be hot now, but the fall season is just around the corner. Now is the time to start planning ahead for those fall sales. As the temperature begins to drop and the evenings get cooler, hoodies are a popular item for custom apparel. (View our hoodie buying guide for additional tips.)
Hoodies can be tricky to print because of the seams and pockets. At the same time, there are a lot of various printing areas on a hoodie that can really make a custom printed hoodie stand out from the crowd. We covered some of these popular trends in a previous blog post, Unique Transfer Placement on a Hoodie and also some other hoodie customization ideas in Customize Hoodies Using Transfers.
For this post, we are going to focus on the back portion of the hoodie. Printing on the back can be tricky because of the placement of the hood. When the hood is not being worn and is down, it can take up some good real estate on the back, possibly covering up some of your printed design. On the other hand, when the hood is up and being worn, there could potentially be an awkwardly empty space if you tried to lower your design to accommodate for the hood when it is not being worn.
In this situation, there are a few different options you can choose from. It really depends on your design and the intent of your design, along with the look your customer is going for. Talk with your customers to know what they want and what they expect from their finished hoodie. You can offer advice with the pros and cons of the various options. Your customers will appreciate it and value your professional opinion. Consider how much of the design is covered by the hood. Does it change the look if part of the design is covered? What is important for people to see? These are some of the questions to consider when trying to decide on the design placement. Here are a few tips and ideas for overcoming the printing challenges on the back of hoodies.
One way to print on the back of hoodies is more of the traditional look. Names and numbers are popular to add on the back of shirts and hoodies for sports teams. When you want to add names and numbers to the back, you can compensate slightly for the hood position, but mainly keep it the same as if there was no hood. You might want to push the name and numbers down slightly. You may get away with the name being completely visible. Depending on the size, the hood may still partially cover the name but it is mostly visible. Most customers are ok with this look, too.
Some customers want their name to be completely visible when the hood is down. To achieve this look, sometimes you really have to move the name down quite a bit. This looks ok when the hood is not being worn, but when the hood is up and being worn, there can be a visible gap above the name that can make the design placement look a little off. In this case, there is an additional option you can suggest. Try placing a yolk logo above the name to help balance out the space. A yolk placement is typically a smaller design between the shoulder blades. It probably will not be seen when the hood is down, but that’s ok. When the hood is up, it will help to fill in this space. This yolk design is easy to add. You can press it at the same time as your name and number, and it will fit on your transfer sheet, taking up minimal space. Try adding the team or school mascot. Another option is to add a flag with our stock transfer flag packs. With the added yolk feature, you can even add more to the final selling price if you choose to.Add a yolk design to the back of your hoodie to balance out any empty space where the hood is. Click To Tweet
Another option for printing names and numbers on the back of a hoodie is to go with a completely different, more modern look. Place the numbers higher up with the name on the bottom of the numbers. Since the numbers are larger, they can partially be covered up by the hood and you can still see which numbers they are even if you can’t see the whole digit. The name will be completely visible underneath and gives it more of an edgy look.
Design Orientation, Size, and Importance
If you are not using names and numbers, your options will be determined by the design orientation, size and the design “importance”. Let’s start with the orientation, meaning if the design is more horizontal or vertical. If your design is more horizontal in nature, you can place it far enough down under the hood that it will look great when the hood is up or down. However, if it is more of a vertical design or even a large square design, it will be more difficult to push the design down to avoid the hood. If it is important to your customer that the hood does not cover part of the design, help them to create a horizontal design.
You will need to talk with your customer about the “importance” of the design, meaning what they want of the design to be seen, or what needs to be seen for the design to make sense. Sometimes when you look at a design, you don’t need to see the entire thing to know what it says or means. On the other hand, sometimes this is not the case and if a design is partially covered, it may lose all meaning, such as the name of a business.
The size of the design will also make a difference on how much space is needed. Larger designs will need more real estate space, potentially needing the space underneath the hood. If the design is on the smaller side, you will have more flexibility on the placement.
It’s also good to note here, that not all hoodies are created equal. Some hoodies have large hoods while others have smaller hoods. The size of the hood will determine how much space it will take up on the back when it is down.
Keep in mind, like with the names and numbers, if a design is placed too far down so that it is completely visible when the hood is down, it may look awkward when the hood is up. On the front of a shirt, if a design is placed too far down, it will not look right. We like to call these “belly prints”! The same is true for the back. Make sure you know where your horizontal and vertical centers are to align your print as best as possible.
Hoodies are a popular apparel item to customize in the fall but they also come with their own challenges to print, on the front and the back. Printing the back area is common but can be tricky with the hood placement. Hopefully our ideas and tips helped you to overcome this custom printing challenge with advice you can offer to your customers.
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