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Who are you? Building your identity!!

Identity - T-shirt and hoody

Why is identity important?

You define yourself, your identity, by what you do. Your interests, your goals, your habits, your experiences, your history, your ancestors, your quirks, how you feel depending on the day and the clothes you pull out of the wardrobe each morning…It’s quite complicated being YOU! Should you wear the sunny bright yellow t-shirt, or should you wear the black hoodie? 
What would you choose?

Whatever you decide to wear, the message it conveys becomes a big factor on how friends, family and the world around you will judge you! You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it is part of being human to make quick opinions based on what we see with our eyes alone. Colour has been used as an effective tool throughout history to convey messages:- Red seems to be a universal colour of warning, because of its relationship to fire and blood, where Blue is related to more calming emotions conjuring thoughts of the sky and sea! Green is nature, yellow is the sun, white is light and black is dark and so on…
What colour would you say you are?

What is your message?

The messages you send, sometimes unconsciously, are usually things that are important to you; things that you feel define your character, mood or ideals. It could be a political statement, humour, your devotion to a band, film or celebrity, maybe a role in a group that makes you feel like a part of a bigger whole. Humans are essentially social creatures because we have a deeply rooted need to fit in and be accepted. They flock together with people of similar age groups who have similar hobbies, interests, political alignments or jobs and form teams, where they can work together, building skills, socialising and even competing with each other. Because of this, the group needs an identity; a flag or logo so your team can be different and identified from the next team, a slogan so the world understands your agenda and maybe even a uniform.
What would your slogan or logo be? Would it be a motivational quote, a name, a symbol, a shape? Think about that…

Your identity is important, so how you dress plays a big role in other people’s perception of you. A psychologist would tell you that a bulky, all covering black hoodie portrays a darker, more introverted character, a trope we see used in TV and film all of the time. Alternatively a bright yellow t-shirt shows a more exposed and brighter extroverted character. But none of us at B4Branded are psychologists, because we print t-shirts and we don’t care for stereotypes.

Who are you?

Who you are is for you to decide, but just a couple of questions before you leave us.
Did you choose the t-shirt or the hoodie?
What colour did you pick for yourself?
What was your idea for a slogan or logo?

Do you have answers to those questions? Then you have already started designing your own visual identity and maybe even your own uniform or brand. Is this something you should develop? Maybe it is time to wear your heart printed on your sleeve? Think about the possibilities of this and where it could take you…

B4Branded are experts in making your identity a reality, with in-house graphic designers and printing facilities all geared to making you and your team look great! For more information on our services why not drop us an email at [email protected] to see how you can get your image looking just like you want it!

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Going Green – Recyclable & Biodegradable T-Shirt Bags

Green, Recyclable, Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable

It’s not easy being Green…

Whether you consider yourself ‘eco-friendly’, an ‘environmentalist’, ‘green’ or not, it is hard to deny that we, the human race are a messy bunch. The UK alone produces about 100 million tons of waste per year; it would only take an estimated 2 hours to fill up a space the size of the Albert Hall with the rubbish we produce as a nation.

Plastic plays a large role in the waste that we dispose of regulary. It contributes to around 10% of the waste we discard each year. They accumulate in landfills, rivers and oceans, and due to their chemical make-up take many years to break down; a foam plastic cup can take up to 50 years to break down, whereas a disposable nappy could take up to 450 years. The effects they have on the environment, humans and animals alike can be devastating; potentially poisoning the foodchains we rely on, ensnaring wildlife and releasing dangerous toxins into surrounding soil. This can pollute groundwater, thus affecting plants. animals and drinking water for us. The effects they can have are wide and varied, with too many to list here in detail – but it is obvious that something needs to change!

What can we do?

With that in mind, the B4Branded team have been looking at the amount of waste we produce. We’ve listened to some of our customers feedback regarding this issue, but there is no way, currently, that we can produce our products in a fashion that is 100% friendly to the environment. But there are ways we can improve how eco-friendly our processes are. We have been talking with several of our suppliers, who are also looking at taking similar initiatives. Over the course of the next few months we plan to make a few changes that we hope will help our planet and inspire others to follow suit! The first thing we are going to change is the way we package our t-shirts and other garments.

We have previously been using clear plastic t-shirt bags to individually package each shirt, which customer feedback suggested you would like us to continue. A few of you have asked if there is a more eco-friendly alternative; well, there is! We have been talking to a new supplier, PolyBags, and they now produce a clear plastic bag that is Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable and Recyclable. As of today, we will be using these for the foreseeable future… And at NO EXTRA COST to you!

The bags are made from a regular polythene with an additive that acts as catalyst to acclerate the degradation process. You can dispose of them in normal waste. They will degrade and disintergrate  in an operating landfill considerably faster than regular polythene. They are compatible with existing recycling operations. Prior to the onset of degradation, they can be safely co-mingled with conventional plastic recycling. Reusing and recycling these materials rather than just disposing of them after a single use keeps materials away from landfill.

We’re not stopping there…

And we don’t plan to stop there. We recently had a visit from our rep at AWDis to discuss their Ecologie range. Ecologie is a range of t-shirts and hoodies using sustainable, organic cottons and repurposed plastics. We hope to find some of their products that fit into our workflow that we can bring to you soon!

If you have any more suggestions on how we can become a more environmentally friendly supplier, we are always happy to listen! Leave us a comment with your ideas and we will consider them!

 

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Run To The Hillingdon…Marathon Training!

Saeeda Hussain training for London Marathon 2019
Saeeda out Marathon training with her new B4B Water Bottle

Getting involved with local Marathon talent…

As a company, B4Branded is very interested in getting involved with local talent, and have already been involved with sponsorships for the Freestyle School Of Martial Arts Interclub Championships 2018 and the Hollingsworth Taekwondo Interclub Championships 4 in 2019. We get countless requests on Facebook and Instagram to help out semi-pro boxers, football teams and other groups every week, and as a small start-up we just can’t get behind everyone, but this week we would like to introduce you to Saeeda Hussain. Saeeda is a local runner who is entering both the Hillingdon Half and the London Marathon in 2019, and we are getting behind her with some free B4B training gear and helping her get her all important sponsorship money!

When not running or training, Saeeda is a Lecturer at a Uxbridge College, has an eclectic music taste, goes hiking, plays various sports, has done bungee jumps and skydiving and loves to travel, having spent lots of time in Europe and North & South America. It is this love of travel that has inspired Saeeda’s chosen charity for the London Marathon to be Voluntary Service Overseas. VSO works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. The volunteers skills, knowledge and sheer enthusiasm make lasting and far reaching change in the world’s poorest communities.

Saeeda needs to raise £1,800 for the charity before the race, so we ask that everyone get’s behind her and donates a few pounds. You can donate via her Just Giving page here:
www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SaeedaHussain

We’ll be keeping in contact with Saeeda during the course of her marathon training, bringing you updates and photos as she goes. We wish her all the luck and hope that our support helps her achieve her sponsorship target and her personal goals for the races.

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Black On White Dye Sublimation Tests

Black On White Dye Sublimation
AWDis Cool Wicking and Contrast Performance T-Shirts. 100% Polyester, with single colour Black dye-sublimation print.

We took some time out of our busy schedule of printing t-shirts…

to print more t-shirts…

To be more precise, we have flicked the off switch on our Roland BN-20, the heat transfer vinyl printer that we usually use, and turned our attention to our little Ricoh Dye Sublimation Printer. The poor guy sits in the office being quiet for the most part, occasionally flashing up a message on it’s LED screen telling us it is doing some self maintenance, but mostly it sleeps. On the occasion that we have some mugs, water bottles or the rare photo slate to print, he wakes up and with some encouragement and persistence, he spits out what we need, before returning to his slumber.

How does it work?

Dye-sublimation is a process where an image is printed using special inks on to a coated paper stock. That print is then used to transfer the image from the paper onto a different surface. Typically these surface are ceramics, plastics, cards, papers and some fabrics. Using certain combinations of heat and pressure, the dye on the paper converts to a gaseous form, without ever entering a liquid state and bonds with the polymers of the surface it is being transferred to. Once cooled, the gas turns back to a solid state whilst still bonded with the surface material, thus transferring the image from the paper… Yeah, Science!

AWDis Cool Tee, 100% Polyester
Black Dye Sublimation on Arctic White AWDis Cool Polyester Shirts

The science aside, it is a really cool process. It allows us to print onto lots of different things, including the previously mentioned mugs and water bottles, plus plates, key rings, signs, umbrellas and certain makes of t-shirts… Cotton doesn’t work with Dye-Sublimation techniques, but Polyester works brilliantly; so we dug through our small stock box we have here and found some 100% Polyester Performance T-Shirts from the AWDis Cool range.

Dye sublimation print only works on white and light coloured garments, which we can print on in black and white or full colour. We opted to keep things simple to begin with, so started some tests with a stylish and simple black print on the stark Arctic White. The results, as you can see in the photos, look great, but the beauty doesn’t just stop there. Overall they take less time to print, the process isn’t as labor intensive and the inks and paper are cheaper than the heat transfer vinyl that we usually use.

What does this mean for you?

There are limitations to sublimation on garments; they must be polyester based fabrics, must be a light colour material, and our current printer is only A4 in size, limiting our printing area to 297mm x 210mm. I don’t imagine that it will ever replace the heat transfer vinyl process we normally use, but it does mean that we can offer, a cheaper and faster alternative printing solution, even with its drawbacks.

Black On White

With that in mind, we have decided to introduce a new range we’re calling “Black On White”. This is going to feature some cool white Polyester t-shirts, polo shirts and vest tops in different styles, with various options to print a single colour black logo or image in different positions, including sleeve prints. We will be aiming to keep costs lower, with faster delivery times on small runs, making this a great offer when you need tops for stag/hen parties, one off events, charity fundraisers or a quick gift idea. With the performance shirts we intend to include in the range, these will make excellent uniforms and active wear for martial arts schools and sports teams.

If that isn’t enough to keep our sleepy little printer awake, we will also be taking some time out soon to master the art of full colour dye-sublimation printing. That way your logos and images can be printed in all their colourful glory in a very similar way…

Keep an eye out for our “Black On White” sublimation t-shirt range coming soon and let us know if you have any dye sublimation needs in the mean time by dropping us an email at [email protected]

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Christmas Deadlines, Hours & Offers

Hi all,

So Christmas is just around the corner and we wanted to keep you all updated on what’s going on in the B4Branded print room!

DEADLINES:

As most of you know, we operate a 10-14 day delivery time from date of payment. With this in mind, all orders that are required before Christmas should be placed by Friday 7th December. The office will be closed over Christmas from Friday 21st December until Wednesday 2nd January – E-mails will still be monitored during this time, but no printing will be done until we return in January!

SPEND OVER £100 BEFORE CHRISTMAS FOR A FESTIVE TREAT! 

As a little piece of festive cheer from the B4B Team, any orders placed valuing £100 or more will receive 10 FREE SANTA HATS, printed with your logo. We only have a limited amount of these Santa hats, so get your orders in quick to qualify for this great offer!

ARE YOU “NAUGHTY OR NINJA?”

The team here at B4B have come up with an awesome Martial Arts inspired Christmas design, our Santa Ninja, which is yours to own on a t-shirt, mug or water bottle. This is a great gift for the little Ninjas in your life and can be purchased direct from our website here: https://www.b4branded.co.uk/product/b4branded/tshirts/naughty-or-ninja/

You can also try and win a FREE Naughty Or Ninja Mug on our Facebook page, B4BrandedDesign, so go check that out. Competition closes Nov 21st!

Don’t forget to order before 7th December to guarantee a delivery before Christmas!

We look forward to receiving your orders before Christmas and hope to be printing your Santa Hats very soon!

 

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The Heat Is On…

With B4Branded just over a year old now, and 2019 looming ever closer on the horizon, the team at B4B are thinking to the future, with a view on improving our range of services, timescales and general quality of our products. To help us in this effort, we have been talking to our suppliers, and recently took a quick trip up the M40 to Tamworth to have a chat with the very knowledgeable folks at Grafityp UK.

 

These guys and gals are the experts to talk to about printing processes, materials and resources. After spending 2 hours at their HQ we came away with some new ideas, ways to improve our printing, and loads of swatches of new vinyls including metallics, glitters, glow-in-the-dark and more, which we will be experimenting with soon.

 

But we didn’t just come away with ideas…

B4Branded’s first year has been a busy one, and whilst we still have a long way to go to get where we want to be, it was quite successful. We intend to invest back into the business and improve not only our service and products, but our equipment as well… so we spent a little bit of money! Our old heat press was purchased second hand a couple of years ago and has been a vital part of our first year, but just like all of us, it is getting old and tired. Recently  it has demanded more and more attention to keep it going at the rate we now need, so it is a sad but happy day, as we say goodbye to the old heat press and hello to the new Siser press…

This machine, we are assured, is a stalwart in the industry and will be taking on a lot of the pressing work for all your T-shirts, Hoodies, Gis, Doboks and Caps from now on. We got to have a play with it at Grafityp UK and we think it is going to be a great addition to our workflow.

We’re looking forward to introducing you to some of our new ideas soon, and want to extend our thanks to Grafityp UK, (especially Sue), for their hospitality, time and wealth of information.

If you have any ideas of your own that you would like us to consider, why not drop us a line at [email protected]

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Subscribe for a 25% Discount!

Welcome to the launch of B4Branded.co.uk your new online resource for all your custom garment and merchandise printing needs…

To celebrate our launch we are giving all new subscribers a coupon for 25% off of your first order, and all you need to do to qualify is to subscribe to our mailing list!

The coupon is valid for one use and will be usable up to the 8th October 2017, giving you a whole month from our launch to claim this great discount!

We have loads planned here in the B4Branded office, so keep an eye on the site for new designs, new website features, competitions and more coming soon!

We look forward to doing business with you all in the very near future!

Subscribe to our mailing list and receive 25% off your first order!

 

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We’re here…

Yep, that’s right, we have landed on the World Wide Web…

B4Branded is the new name of AB Custom Design, and with a new name comes new products, new ideas, new equipment  and new people, making your experience with us better, bolder and even more brilliant than ever!

We have a whole host of new designs for t-shirts and will be regularly updating the website with new ideas. But we aren’t going to stop at T-Shirts… You can have hoodies, aprons, uniforms or any other garment you can think of, and with our new sublimation printer, we can bring you other goods like Mugs, Mouse Mats and so much more.

We can even help you with standard ink-on-paper printing now, so if you ever need business cards, flyers, posters, exhibition panels or similar items, then drop us a line at [email protected] and we can help make it happen!

Our new in-house designer will be on hand to help you create some fantastic pieces of artwork and can aid you in creating the right image for your business, social group, sports team or whatever it is you are into. With over 20 years experience in the design industry, they will bring a fresh approach to whatever artwork it is you require!

Keep checking back on the site for new designs, ideas, competitions and more, and we look forward to speaking with you all soon!

Take care,

The B4Branded Team!

B for Bold, B for Bright, B for Brilliant – B4Branded!