Resource DMND.Schule: All the things that professionals advised me not to do (that I've been too afraid to mention until now)

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Freight Train

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Great points all around.

One of the things I love about designing on here is the lack of limitations in what we do because it’s all about making a graphic look good in an RGB colour space, but these are all valuable lessons if you do make the jump into actual graphic, or apparel, design.

By the way great tip on the 30,0,0,100 print, I do something similar (12 instead of 30) otherwise I end up with a somewhat darker version of the BLK Richmond black.
 

DiamondGuy

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Great points all around.

One of the things I love about designing on here is the lack of limitations in what we do because it’s all about making a graphic look good in an RGB colour space, but these are all valuable lessons if you do make the jump into actual graphic, or apparel, design.

By the way great tip on the 30,0,0,100 print, I do something similar (12 instead of 30) otherwise I end up with a somewhat darker version of the BLK Richmond black.
Yes, you're succeeding this year and last with NAFL designs that break the rules, the rules are not absolute. I maintain that last year's winner would be further improved with a light background and a non-recoloured sponsor. Despite the rules, this year's is a real improvement on last year's. I would say a further improvement would be a background that is not the same colour as the jumper. It doesn't matter because it's already very good. You've pulled it off with a coloured background, but a lot can't. This was for those who still go full hail mary on green and orange backgrounds and a green and orange McDonald's logo.
 

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Freight Train

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Yes, you're succeeding this year and last with NAFL designs that break the rules, the rules are not absolute. I maintain that last year's winner would be further improved with a light background and a non-recoloured sponsor. Despite the rules, this year's is a real improvement on last year's. I would say a further improvement would be a background that is not the same colour as the jumper. It doesn't matter because it's already very good. You've pulled it off with a coloured background, but a lot can't. This was for those who still go full hail mary on green and orange backgrounds and a green and orange McDonald's logo.
Yeah 100% agree with you - it’s not easy to pull off a busy background, which is why I’ll often desaturate or have a monochrome photo overlay on a background colour, but it takes so much trial and error to work.

I always recommend people look back at lmach and Bacon Warriors early work for where to start presentation wise, and build from there.
 

DiamondGuy

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I always recommend people look back at lmach and Bacon Warriors early work for where to start presentation wise, and build from there.
This is unrelated now but I posted elsewhere that it would be cool if there was some kind of portfolio repository here. I don't know if I've seen what you're talking about and I'm not sure where to find it other than to go trawling through old threads.
 

Freight Train

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This is unrelated now but I posted elsewhere that it would be cool if there was some kind of portfolio repository here. I don't know if I've seen what you're talking about and I'm not sure where to find it other than to go trawling through old threads.
Had the same idea but never gained any traction.
 

fancyscum

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Some really interesting stuff here. There's a fair bit here that I agree with, but there is some stuff that I also feel depends on how you look at designing on the board. I get that if you are looking for realism then you wouldn't go around recolouring logos, but at the same time these brands aren't paying to be on my guernseys, so I'm not going have my deliveroo logo on a big green square for example to please them.

Put the most important part of the design towards the right
I think I remember this being to do with when we turn pages in a book/newspaper. the right side of the spread is the first thing you see as you flip the page, so it is where your eye is drawn to first. Never something that I have thought about when it comes to my designs on here actually, has always seemed to be the convention on here that your jumper goes on the left.

Don't use Helvetica or Impact
yeah, neither of these are generally a good idea for sports designs, would certainly encourage anybody on here to continually expand their fontbook with a variety of good quality typefaces. Adobe fonts is fantastic for anyone with a cc subscription, but would also say that looking to download soccer and American sports fonts is something folks could look at doing if they want any easy way to get good looking numbers. I will often look on 'design freebee' sites for title fonts too to present stuff, they'll often ask for your email to download but for a lot of them it works out alright because they will send you a bunch of free fonts without you having to go looking.
 

DiamondGuy

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Some really interesting stuff here. There's a fair bit here that I agree with, but there is some stuff that I also feel depends on how you look at designing on the board. I get that if you are looking for realism then you wouldn't go around recolouring logos, but at the same time these brands aren't paying to be on my guernseys, so I'm not going have my deliveroo logo on a big green square for example to please them.


I think I remember this being to do with when we turn pages in a book/newspaper. the right side of the spread is the first thing you see as you flip the page, so it is where your eye is drawn to first. Never something that I have thought about when it comes to my designs on here actually, has always seemed to be the convention on here that your jumper goes on the left.


yeah, neither of these are generally a good idea for sports designs, would certainly encourage anybody on here to continually expand their fontbook with a variety of good quality typefaces. Adobe fonts is fantastic for anyone with a cc subscription, but would also say that looking to download soccer and American sports fonts is something folks could look at doing if they want any easy way to get good looking numbers. I will often look on 'design freebee' sites for title fonts too to present stuff, they'll often ask for your email to download but for a lot of them it works out alright because they will send you a bunch of free fonts without you having to go looking.
Thanks for the reply!

By "don't recolour", all I mean is don't put the deliveroo on a royal blue or brown square. By all means manipulate it realistically, like without the box, onecolour white, onecolour black. It's the childish colours that can bring the whole piece down.

Honestly, the more you think about and remember the "important on the right" principle, you will see it everywhere. Yes, most people are still putting the front on the left, and I (at least) am looking at their rear end.

If you take an hour every now and then to dedicate to looking for interesting fonts and just bookmark them to start with, you will have a wealth of good options ready to draw on when the time comes to make a choice, rather than starting the search from scratch.
 

magpienato

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This is really cool DiamondGuy, guess I don't have to take a Graphic Design course now :p

But just on the point of recolouring sponsor logos, I was just under the impression that recolouring them was just a way to keep the attention on the actual design, because having a black jumper with a very bright sponsor logo sort of stands out more than you want for a competition about presenting a really good jumper design. I guess that's another skill to work on, integrating sponsors well without having to change the colours.
 

Freight Train

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For what it’s worth, sponsor recolours aren’t entirely unrealistic, with my prime example being European football clubs, where you see a lot of sponsor logos recoloured to match the jersey, especially for away and third jerseys.

There’s even precedent within the world of the AFL, with West Coast having a recoloured gold SGIO logo on their guernseys through the 90s, and Melbourne and Carlton having Zurich Insurance and Dan Murphy’s sponsor logos adjusted to match their colour schemes, respectively.

Doesn’t happen often and companies are probably more protective of their branding guides these days, but I don’t see too many issues with sponsor recolours given the precedent is there.

In my professional experience as well, I’ve not had many issues approaching local team sponsors to get permission to allow for recolours to best integrate into a team’s apparel.

Just my two cents though. 🤷‍♂️
 

DiamondGuy

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For what it’s worth, sponsor recolours aren’t entirely unrealistic, with my prime example being European football clubs, where you see a lot of sponsor logos recoloured to match the jersey, especially for away and third jerseys.

There’s even precedent within the world of the AFL, with West Coast having a recoloured gold SGIO logo on their guernseys through the 90s, and Melbourne and Carlton having Zurich Insurance and Dan Murphy’s sponsor logos adjusted to match their colour schemes, respectively.

Doesn’t happen often and companies are probably more protective of their branding guides these days, but I don’t see too many issues with sponsor recolours given the precedent is there.

In my professional experience as well, I’ve not had many issues approaching local team sponsors to get permission to allow for recolours to best integrate into a team’s apparel.

Just my two cents though. 🤷‍♂️
When was the gold SGIO? Don't remember seeing that. Zurich and Dan Murphy's are good examples, they're just a white version placed on a dark, jumper-coloured background. I've said you can use a white version. These don't count for me as recolours. Note that you don't see the Zurich logo in Melbourne colours (what I call recoloured), i.e. navy on red or red on navy. But that's what I'm seeing here.

I assume the companies you're approaching are small if they let you do that!

As for soccer, I've not looked at it specifically from this perspective, but whatever is going on, it will be within brand guidelines. Interested to see an obvious example. If there are wacky colourings happening I'm going to say they are almost certainly wordmarks. It goes deeper and deeper. There is plenty of scope to recolour a wordmark as it's only one colour to begin with. There was a Coca-Cola campaign when they were sponsoring the Championship which had the classic two-colour script logo in the colours of all 92 teams. You would imagine this is unthinkable. Some were a bit funky (good ole Norwich) but it worked and I've remembered it.
 
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Freight Train

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When was the gold SGIO? Don't remember seeing that. Zurich and Dan Murphy's are good examples, they're just a white version placed on a dark, jumper-coloured background. I've said you can use a white version. These don't count for me as recolours. The guidelines are there for people who are unsure. Note that you don't the Zurich logo in Melbourne colours (what I call recoloured), i.e. navy on red or red on navy. But that's what I'm seeing here.


Front logo was in the official colourway, but the rear logo was a recolour. Also, Zurich was probably a poor example, but the precedent is there, especially when creating fantasy designs which let's be entirely honest, most of which aren't realistic options for a professional Australian rules football club.

I assume the companies you're approaching are small if they let you do that!
They are, but again, it's not entirely unrealistic. I do work for a small apparel and promotional goods company in Perth, who supply mostly to local and social sports clubs.

As for soccer, I've not looked at it specifically from this perspective, but whatever is going on, it will be within brand guidelines. Interested to see an obvious example. If there are wacky colourings happening I'm going to say they are almost certainly wordmarks. It goes deeper and deeper. There is plenty of scope to recolour a wordmark as it's only one colour to begin with. There was a Coca-Cola campaign when they were sponsoring the Championship which had the classic two-colour script logo in the colours of all 92 teams. You would imagine this is unthinkable. Some were a bit funky (good ole Norwich) but it worked and I've remembered it.
It is often wordmarks when it comes to recolours, you are correct, but it's still going outside of set brand guidelines, but I imagine this is because there is more incentive in terms of exposure for brands to allow this with European football clubs. Although, you do see this again on a local level with Western QBE allowing purple recolours of their logo for the Perth Glory, but, again a wordmark.

That being said though, I did think of another example and that's the NBA. Sun Life Financial are the jersey sponsor of the Toronto Raptors, and their logo (which is navy and yellow) is always recoloured to match the colourway of the jerseys. The best case of this would be the "City edition" jersey where the logo has been recoloured into black and metallic gold.

Another example would be the Boston Celtics sponsorship with GE - whose logo is a royal blue but is recoloured to green purely for the jerseys.

***

At the end of the day I do agree with you that for the most part, sponsor recolours are unrealistic, and that's going to be a really nifty feature of your upcoming competition. But, integrating club colours into sponsor logos is a precedented move across a number of sports worldwide, for both wordmark and non wordmark logos, that often leads to a (subjectively) more visually appealing result.
 

DiamondGuy

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Front logo was in the official colourway, but the rear logo was a recolour. Also, Zurich was probably a poor example, but the precedent is there, especially when creating fantasy designs which let's be entirely honest, most of which aren't realistic options for a professional Australian rules football club.



They are, but again, it's not entirely unrealistic. I do work for a small apparel and promotional goods company in Perth, who supply mostly to local and social sports clubs.



It is often wordmarks when it comes to recolours, you are correct, but it's still going outside of set brand guidelines, but I imagine this is because there is more incentive in terms of exposure for brands to allow this with European football clubs. Although, you do see this again on a local level with Western QBE allowing purple recolours of their logo for the Perth Glory, but, again a wordmark.

That being said though, I did think of another example and that's the NBA. Sun Life Financial are the jersey sponsor of the Toronto Raptors, and their logo (which is navy and yellow) is always recoloured to match the colourway of the jerseys. The best case of this would be the "City edition" jersey where the logo has been recoloured into black and metallic gold.

Another example would be the Boston Celtics sponsorship with GE - whose logo is a royal blue but is recoloured to green purely for the jerseys.

***

At the end of the day I do agree with you that for the most part, sponsor recolours are unrealistic, and that's going to be a really nifty feature of your upcoming competition. But, integrating club colours into sponsor logos is a precedented move across a number of sports worldwide, for both wordmark and non wordmark logos, that often leads to a (subjectively) more visually appealing result.
Thanks, I think with all of your comments you are slightly missing the whole preamble about how this is not me saying what not to do, it's me giving a few "rules of thumb" to beginners in doubt, the rules are not absolute, etc.

SGIO comes under Dan Murphy's and Zurich for me. If it was white, it would be fine, it's yellow instead, it's still perfectly fine. If it was purple on navy, it would not be fine. That's why it's easier just to say "caution here, probably best not to".

Ok, then to wordmarks add one colour logos to include GE. There is scope to recolour these. If I'd thought more about this, I would have added "excepting wordmarks and one-colour logos" but for the beginners, easier just to say "caution here, probably best not to".

I meant to advise that people do not take a two-colour (or more) logo and replace all its colours with different ones. You will almost never see this done for real, but yes, as with everything, you will find an exception. Someone who knew what they were doing has successfully recoloured the Telstra logo to pink and to green. 99.99% of people, including me, would not have pulled this off.

Professional graphic designers do all sorts of incredible things, amazing designs do often contravene long-standing, entrenched design rules. But it's only by understanding those that you can break them in impressive ways. A beginner changing a Telstra logo to dark green and yellow is not the same thing.
 

Freight Train

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Thanks, I think with all of your comments you are slightly missing the whole preamble about how this is not me saying what not to do, it's me giving a few "rules of thumb" to beginners in doubt, the rules are not absolute, etc.

SGIO comes under Dan Murphy's and Zurich for me. If it was white, it would be fine, it's yellow instead, it's still perfectly fine. If it was purple on navy, it would not be fine. That's why it's easier just to say "caution here, probably best not to".

Ok, then to wordmarks add one colour logos to include GE. There is scope to recolour these. If I'd thought more about this, I would have added "excepting wordmarks and one-colour logos" but for the beginners, easier just to say "caution here, probably best not to".

I meant to advise that people do not take a two-colour (or more) logo and replace all its colours with different ones. You will almost never see this done for real, but yes, as with everything, you will find an exception. Someone who knew what they were doing has successfully recoloured the Telstra logo to pink and to green. 99.99% of people, including me, would not have pulled this off.

Professional graphic designers do all sorts of incredible things, amazing designs do often contravene long-standing, entrenched design rules. But it's only by understanding those that you can break them in impressive ways. A beginner changing a Telstra logo to dark green and yellow is not the same thing.
Yeah fair enough, and I guess that’s the real takeaway - if you’re a beginner, you’re better off erring on the side of caution.

Graphic design is much like the English language, a tonne of “rules” but then a tonne of contradictions to those rules. 👍
 

DiamondGuy

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Yeah fair enough, and I guess that’s the real takeaway - if you’re a beginner, you’re better off erring on the side of caution.

Graphic design is much like the English language, a tonne of “rules” but then a tonne of contradictions to those rules. 👍
I'm sure the board would be prepared to learn Portuguese for you. Yeah, Graphic Design is a lot like the English language. They're both things with which I get intensely overly occupied and make 75 tweaks to before publishing something I'm not happy with. :D
 

Fizzler

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Excellent post DG, going to drop my thoughts towards each paragraph as it was rather thought provoking.
Don't recolour your sponsors
This is the big one. A company logo is sacrosanct, in the sense that you absolutely do not chop bits of it out, make kitschy customised versions of it, or recolour it. No company would ever let you recolour its logo and as a result, it makes your work look unbelievably childish if you do. Logos come with specifications as to how they are to be used, against what backgrounds and with how much clear space around them. I appreciate why you want the colours in your design consistent but you can achieve this by using a sponsor with similar colours or an understated black and white version, or better yet, choose a sponsor that adds sophistication to your colour palette, the way the red in the Hungry Jack's logo adds something to the blue and gold of the Eagles' home.
Interesting point here. Personally I feel like aesthetics wise, sponsor logos look much better when they’re recoloured to suit the design. But you’re right in saying that it’s not realistic given brand guidelines. It can be a challenge to execute a design when you’re using original colours for the sponsor but when it’s done well it looks great. FWIW I just think there’s something satisfying about having a whole jumper made up of just your team’s two colours.
Probably don't use a photographic background
(e.g. a stadium)
I can't remember if they categorically told us not to use a photo but it is definitely not advisable to use a "busy" background. If you do this, the viewer's eye is taken away from your work and into the background, and will be looking around there. I'm usually thinking, I wonder which stadium that is, and oh look at that little man over in the grandstand. Doing this suggests to me that your work was not strong enough on its own and needed frills. The advice from uni was in order to be safe, present your work against a light grey background (15% black). A bit boring, but it does make the work jump up and speak for itself. You can absolutely still include a photo for some atmosphere, just keep it away from the work, maybe off to the side. (A nice example of this was Fancy's Brighton concept.) The only way I can see a photo background working is if the background is blurred AND very feint AND very light. Your background should not be a similar colour to the work. I suspect a lot of people will disagree and keep doing this, but be extremely cautious with it. If you decide in favour of a busy background, you're creating an additional, more complicated design problem for yourself.
Yeah, I find myself guilty of doing this occasionally, I think the best presentations usually implement background images, but the thing about the best designers is that they do it beautifully by adding other things that complement the background images very well. Look at Freight Train’s Uluru team in the NAFL as a great example of a photo background done right. But yeah, oftentimes I see it done and it’s just not done very well. I think the best type of presentation is the sort of manufacturer style ones. I can’t think of a better term for it, but just look at El_Scorcho’s Sydney NAFL team as an example of it. Looks incredibly authentic and doesn’t use the photo background. Done very well.
Put the most important part of the design towards the right
I can't remember where I got this one, possibly not from uni, but I think it's a gem. By default, people tend to put the front view on the left (shown first) and the back on the right (shown second). The problem is that we read from left to right and as a result, our eye naturally always ends up on the right side. (I think this may even also have to do with how the brain processes the visual field.) If you look at advertisements, you will notice that the focus is almost never on the left. Occasionally it's in the middle and overwhelmingly it's on the right. You don't want to risk the viewer spending more time looking at the back than the front, assuming the front is the focus.
This one was very interesting. I can’t say it’s anything I’ve heard before and I thought “hmm, really?” but it really does make a lot of sense. That being said, I’m not sure how much I rate putting the back on the left and the front on the right when displaying a jumper, just feels wrong almost given everyone puts the front on the left. And given the front is usually more intricate than the back, I suppose having the back on the right kinda balances it a little bit more.

Don't use Helvetica or Impact
Typography is a huge topic, and it's not that relevant here, so I'm not going to say too much. Don't use Helvetica, it's not the best typeface ever. It is a massive cliché from the 1970s, when it was fashionable to start companies with names ending in "co". My lecturer (foremost type expert in Melbourne) had a personal crusade against it, offering "Death to Helvetica" merchandise for sale. It was also known as the poor man's Univers. Don't use Impact, it almost always looks cheap and nasty. Apart from that, you're pretty free to do what you like, but I would say it's best not to use thin, wiry, script faces unless you want your team to come across as thin and wiry, and some of the wackier free fonts are not a good idea. People are making good choices on the whole. If you want to seem sophisticated, check out the difference between the terms font and typeface. Most people say font when they mean typeface. A font is a digital file.
Can vouch for this. Impact just comes off as cheap and unprofessional (why it is so common in local footy I will never know) and I feel every time I see it I think yeah that’s Impact, and it’s usually my first thought, rather than anything positive about a design. Helvetica I don’t think is as bad, but it’s very recognisable and that can be a little distracting. I personally don’t think it’s a great sports font (though the Helvetica rugby team by Bacon Warrior I think was very cool)
CMYK vs RGB colour spaces
I won't go into this but if you don't know the difference, you'd better find out. If you are working in the wrong colour space, your colours will come out dull. This even happens sometimes if you are fully aware of it and accidentally go the wrong way.
That’s weird, I notice that when I use the colour tool to make a colour I get given an RGB value, a CMYK value and a HEX value. Is it really that important? I’m pretty sure I’ve been using RGB by default in Photoshop and I don’t think I’ve had issues with dullness before.

As for the printing tips, very handy. I don’t think there’s anything that anyone could disagree with. While the previous paragraphs are close to suggestions, these are closer to rules. Though I do have one thought here
Don't print black
I think this is the most critical point in the whole presentation. If you get anything professionally printed, it's very important how the file is set up. If you use a black that is CMYK = 0, 0, 0, 100, i.e. 100% black, you would think that will print as a perfect black. It won't. It will come back looking dark grey. Use 30, 0, 0, 100. Adding 30% cyan achieves a rich, dark black. I recently forgot and left this up to someone else and the jumper came back greyish, so disappointing.
I wonder if this was what caused the BLK jumpers to be so grey. Someone might have just not been aware of this and it just so happened they might’ve been in charge of the jumper design.
 

DiamondGuy

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Final clarification on recolouring. Don't get me wrong here.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with respecting some company or their precious guidelines.

It is about avoiding doing something visually clown-like that will sabotage your good work.
 

Gibbsy

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Final clarification on recolouring. Don't get me wrong here.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with respecting some company or their precious guidelines.

It is about avoiding doing something visually clown-like that will sabotage your good work.
Are you baffled at how logo recolouring – of all things – set off a discussion? :p
 

DiamondGuy

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Are you baffled at how logo recolouring – of all things – set off a discussion? :p
Not. At. All.

I am baffled that I made my instructions slightly too unclear and potentially may have misled a few people who didn't return for the discussion in the comments though. :(
 

cosimo

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Not. At. All.

I am baffled that I made my instructions slightly too unclear and potentially may have misled a few people who didn't return for the discussion in the comments though. :(

Your advice has been great, and correct. The one thing I will say, is that I wouldn't get too caught up in the technical side of colour/production/printing etc. Everything done on this board is for fun and creativity and only shared on screen (well, most of it). If any design does go on to be produced then hopefully the supplier or printer will be helpful enough to guide the designer in how to set up their files. (and provide a proof to check before printing...)

Your information is very helpful for those wanting to understand the more professional side of design and I'm sure some will have been very grateful for it!
 

DiamondGuy

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Your advice has been great, and correct. The one thing I will say, is that I wouldn't get too caught up in the technical side of colour/production/printing etc. Everything done on this board is for fun and creativity and only shared on screen (well, most of it). If any design does go on to be produced then hopefully the supplier or printer will be helpful enough to guide the designer in how to set up their files. (and provide a proof to check before printing...)

Your information is very helpful for those wanting to understand the more professional side of design and I'm sure some will have been very grateful for it!
Thanks cosimo! Agreed, the critical printing tip is the one about the black colour though. A number of people are going and getting jumpers printed now for real suburban clubs. The printing is often done offshore, those people will not give you much good advice. It would be an unbelievably accomodating printer in Australia to give that kind of advice.

I only threw in all the other less relevant printing tips as I realised I did not have as many visual tips as I thought!
 

cosimo

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Thanks cosimo! Agreed, the critical printing tip is the one about the black colour though. A number of people are going and getting jumpers printed now for real suburban clubs. The printing is often done offshore, those people will not give you much good advice. It would be an unbelievably accomodating printer in Australia to give that kind of advice.

I only threw in all the other less relevant printing tips as I realised I did not have as many visual tips as I thought!
That's a great point about overseas suppliers, I wouldn't trust them either! I've had many experiences with helpful suppliers and most of the time they offer fairly easy to understand templates or spec sheets, but yes, making something idiot proof from the start is always the best policy, and one I use regularly...
 

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