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Tips for Designing a Custom Cycling Jersey

You want to design a sweet bike jersey, but the endless possibilities have you scratching your head about where to start.  At Podiumwear, you'll have a personal designer to help you bring your ideas to life, but while you are brainstorming for ideas, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Make the design do the work

Design elements like color, scale and layout, when used correctly, can make your gear look great.  Perhaps equally important, however, are design elements that can make a jersey function better.  The first thing to think about when designing your jersey is the type of rides an riders you're designing it for. 

  • Are you going to be doing rides where neon colors will help keep you safeon the roads? 
  • Do you want to shred through muddy conditions without worrying about staining your apparel? 
  • Will you be wearing a backpack or camelback that covers up your back? 
  • Does your jersey need to stand out in a pack of riders? 
  • Are you heading into a brutally hot summer that might require light-reflecting colors? 
  • Do you need your jersey to be photo-friendly? podium-friendly? 
  • Is there a message you'd like to communicate - educational, promotional, humorous or otherwise? 

Think about how you can make your design do some heavy lifting and share that up front with your designer.

Get Inspired and take ownership

The world wide web is a treasure trove of inspiration so use it!  Whatever application or site you'd like to use, comb it for images that speak to you.  Think about pattern, layout, scale and color.  We aren't in the business of copying jerseys, but a couple of inspiration photos can go a long way towards helping our designers determine your aesthetic.  And don't be afraid to break out of the cycling box, many of the current bike kit trends look like they were pulled right from a fashion runway - florals, bold patterns, interesting colors.  Get inspired, have fun with it, and - here's an important point - take ownership of your design.  There is a saying that "a camel is a horse designed by a committee."  Nowhere is this more true than in custom jersey design.  If you're working with multiple stakeholders, get their input upfront, understand what they in from a jersey design and agree on your inspiration.  But then hand ownership to a person everyone trusts and leave the process in their competent hands.  Remember that the end result should be a jersey that looks awesome and represents your group, not necessarily each individual in your group. 

You have a great design in you, tell us about it

Your favorite jersey design is most likely not my favorite jersey design, but that doesn't mean it's not the best jersey in the world for you.  You have an awesome design waiting to be created, so don't be afraid to share it.  The best clients are not necessarily the ones with amazing artistic or design skills.  They are the ones with great ideas that actually take the time to share them. In other words, show us what you want and don't worry that it might not look professional enough. Take 10 minutes and sketch out your idea with your kids' crayons.  Draw on the back of a receipt at Chipotle. Download one of our sketch templates and doodle on your lunch break.  Give us a call and tell us about your group, what you like and how you landed on your jersey idea.  Email us photos and sreeenshots and links to your favorite designs.  At Podiumwear you have a free personal designer - use that to your advantage and overshare.  We'd love to hear more!

Written by Robbi Strandemo, Graphic Designer for Podiumwear