Hot products for kids this summer

The memories kids have from camp last forever. Sometimes their swag does, too! They carry, wear, and drink from items they get at camp like a badge of honor. When they see another camper wearing a camp shirt or carrying the camp bag, it’s like a secret club they are both proud to be part of.

So what are the hot items for kids this year? What will kids hold on to almost as long as the fun memories?

cool camp stuff

We can help! Give us a call and we’ll get you ready for summer – or any time you work with kids.

Summer Camp: Keep the fire burning all year long.

Ask anyone who has been to summer camp and – even as adults – they can tell you their camp nickname, their counselors’ names, and can still sing most of the crazy songs. That one week in the summer was filled with enough memories to last a lifetime. And their camp shirt? They probably still have it – tattered, faded and torn – balled up in a corner of their dresser. They’ll still pull it out from time to time and all the great memories come rushing back.

We are fortunate to work with a number of summer camps across the country. The directors and counselors are some of the most dedicated, passionate and fun-loving people we know. That’s why we’re excited to have created camp stores for a few of our clients.

Campers and parents can shop and have access to camp all year long. And camps can raise awareness for their camp in schools, communities and neighborhoods farther than they could reach on their own.

Check ‘em out:

YMCA Camp Copneconic

Camp Kesem

Together with input from camp staff, we can design and produce the apparel of your choosing. We develop the site, the payment processing and fulfill your orders.

Not a camp? We can help you, too! We provide online stores for a number of our customers. Just give us a call!

Today’s Tangerine Tango is Tomorrow’s Limealicious Green

Whether you are aware of it happening to you or not, colors evoke a feeling. They make you feel happy or sad; hungry or angry; peaceful or energetic. Color is also trendy, from the pastel, modern and Scandinavian color palette of the 1950’s (Check it out!) to the avocado  green appliances in the 1970’s. And did you know that Tangerine Tango is the color of the year for 2012 (as declared by Pantone)? Read all about it. Those who work in fashion, special events, interior decorating, or graphic design watch and follow these trends.

We work in Pantone colors every day. According to Wikipedia: The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.

(We love this picture of the Pantone Color guide in his wheel spokes! Call us color geeks.)









Any logo has specific colors that must be matched in print, on cotton, canvas, etc. We take great care to ensure our clients’ colors are correctly represented on their promo items.

As you plan for the Fall and beyond, think about keeping up with the color trends and putting your customers in what’s hot (of course using colors that complement your logo). Any favorites?

Fall 2012 Color trends (full link here to see men’s and women’s trends):


The Swag Bag

We’ve been enjoying unseasonably great weather here in the Midwest. The greening of the grass and pleasant temperatures have us all thinking about golf.  And our clients are thinking about their golf fundraisers.

Sure, there’s the invite list, the booking of the course, food selection, sponsorships, auction items, but let’s be honest about what everyone loves the most: the Swag Bag.

As you plan your event and think about giveaways, you want to be sure you are spending your money on branded items that people will keep, use, and enjoy.

Here’s our take on a few of the more popular items:

Golf balls: a great way to feature your logo and every golfer needs golf balls. Golfers will appreciate a higher quality ball, but they will likely get lost. On a positive note, whoever finds the lost ball will also see your logo!

Divot tools, golf towels, ball markers: fairly inexpensive to produce and have a high likelihood of being kept.

Golf umbrella: will likely be kept, but is a higher cost and may not get much use on the course.  Still, a nice item appreciated by golfers.

Tees: cheap, but a throw-away item with not much imprint space for your logo.

Visors/hats: a highly popular item that will get lots of use, but many golfers are picky about what they’ll wear. They like to wear the brand that matches their clubs, balls, etc. Choose wisely.

Polos or other shirts/jackets: Everyone likes free apparel, but again, choose wisely – you’ll have to order a wide variety of sizes to fit all golfers and, like the hats, many golfers are brand-loyal.

A few top golf brands: Nike, Antigua, Adidas, Titleist, and Callaway. You’ll be pretty safe with any of these choices.

Bottom line: people like free stuff. If you select attractive, high-quality products, your golfers will either enjoy it for themselves or give away to another golfer who will.

QR Codes: Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? What are they? or Who really cares?

You’ve seen them popping up everywhere. Those squiggly black and white boxes (and some a little more graphic and colorful).





QR Codes. Short for Quick Response Code and first designed for the automotive industry, QR Codes are two-dimensional bar codes that marketers are using more and more to capture the attention of their consumers. Download the QR code app on your smart phone and start shooting.

According to researcher comScore, only 6% of mobile phone consumers (or about 20.1 million people) actually use them. Worth it or not? Depends on how you use them.

There’s an increasingly popular website that highlights serious QR code FAILS. Check it out. Pretty funny. And who on earth approved these things?

On the other hand, used creatively and appropriately, it can be a highly beneficial marketing technique:

Here are five steps to making them work for you

And 10 creative (and pretty cool!) ways to use them

Some of our favorites:

  • A virtual store in a subway. Scan your desired items as you wait and have them delivered to your home. No schlepping.
  • An art gallery providing audio tours and more info on the exhibit.
  • Scan the code on the wine label to learn more about the wine and remember it for later.

So what if you see someone who’s wearing a QR code on their shirt? A stranger. Do you point your phone at them and scan it? Are they asking for it by wearing the shirt? What info do you think you’ll get when you do? Scanner beware!

Even sheep wear fleece. (Well…sorta.)

Considering Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow a few weeks ago and we’re facing six more weeks of winter, we’ll keep our fleece handy for a bit longer. It’s our go-to layer when it’s chilly, and based on many of our orders we know it’s also a favorite for people across the country.

Why is fleece so great? Pound for pound, it provides twice the insulation of merino wool and four times the insulation of cotton. (Not bad.)

It wasn’t until about 1979 and the invention of Polar fleece by a company called Malden Mills (now Polartec LLC), that a fabric was able to be warm, lightweight, and perform well even when wet, although those wearing it will likely perspire less, allowing them to be cool and dry when not active and will retain more body heat when they are active. (Great for skiing, snowshoeing, even dog walking!)


But what’s it made out of? Polyethylene terephthalate (say that three times fast) or other synthetic fibers, or sometimes from recycled plastics such as soda bottles. Typically, it takes about 25 disposed plastic bottles to make enough polar fleece for one piece of clothing.

It’s easy to wash. Easy to dry. Vegan. Comfy. Durable. Looks good. And just feels good to wear. It was even named “One of the hundred great things of the 20th century” by Time Magazine in 1999.

From jackets to vests, blankets to hats…we love fleece! Get some for yourself or your customers. They’ll thank you warmly for it!

Mr. Bubble makes a friend.

Last month we talked about our vintage t-shirt collection [here]. While it’s still small, we’re staying on the look-out for shirts and designs that speak to us.

Today, a recognizable classic:






This classic design originated in 1977. Graphic designer Milton Glaser was recruited to work with ad agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. He did the work pro bono, only expecting the campaign to last a few months. Decades later, this icon is still a big seller and instantly recognizable. Doyle donated Glaser’s original concept sketch and presentation boards to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

We just know we like the shirt. And the city.

Source: Wikipedia

Ahhhh….summer camp.

Anyone who has been to camp knows it’s an experience that stays with you forever. You’ll always remember the name of your favorite counselor, the first person you kissed behind the tree (or wish you did!), the crazy camp songs, the smell of the campfire, and the taste of s’mores. Even though you outgrew the shirt you got at camp – the one you wore so much it faded and tattered – you kept it because it was a symbol of one of the best weeks of your life.

We have the pleasure of working with a number of camps across the country. We’re inspired by their passion for camping and for giving kids a great experience. We want to help kids – and their parents – relive the memories of camp all year round. What better way than with some pretty cool gear?

Are you a camp director? Take a test drive on our sample online camp gear store. Tell us a little about yourself and you just might get a little something.  Let us know if you’d like an online store for your camp. (Even though this is a YMCA-focused site, we can tailor for any camp.)

Spread the word to your camping colleagues about this great way to keep your camp top-of-mind all year long!

Not a camp director, but would love an online store for your own customers? Let us know that, too.

Bubbling Kids Clean for 50 Years

Everyone has that favorite outfit or piece of clothing that makes you feel like “you” when you wear it. Might be the perfect pair of jeans or a team jersey or a really comfy pair of pj’s. We’re big fans of t-shirts and there’s something about a vintage tee that – in a strange way – connects us to a bit of history. The more faded the better.

So we’re starting a vintage t-shirt collection. Rather than wearing any holes in them, we’re going to display them like art around the office.

Our first: a 50-year-old classic – Mr. Bubble. (Some fun history here.)








Have a cool vintage tee? Send your pictures to

Birthdays are personal. T-shirts are forever.

Ahhhh birthdays. The one day where you walk around feeling a little extra special – especially when you were a kid.

And it’s no surprise that – even early on – Tyra’s birthday party involved a competition and personalized t-shirts. For her 8th birthday party, her mom planned an Olympic-themed celebration. Everyone got a t-shirt: heat-transferred black felt letters on an orange shirt. As memorable as the shirts, Tyra was kissed by this kid.

And everyone won that day. Especially the birthday girl.

Recently, we created personalized birthday t-shirts for sweet Abigail who had her party at her local YMCA. She looks pretty happy, huh? Everyone should be treated this special on their birthday!

A personalized t-shirt to commemorate a birthday, family reunion, or bachelor/bachelorette party can be a fun way to remember the event for years to come. Even after the party’s over, you can still be stylin’ in your t-shirt.

© 2006–2011 Promolux, Inc.