Designing Uniforms for Impactful Branding

Company uniform is often a primary vector for communicating brand identity, as when clients and consumers interact with staff they will always be exposed to the uniform. In the same way staff manners communicate a brand’s values, so too the uniform can provide insight to a brand’s identity, quality, and service.

Ensuring a uniform communicates the right values is a high priority for any design team, so Incorporatewear has shared its approach to uniform design with PCIAW®VOICE to educate the industry on getting it right.

Understanding Brand Identities and Target Audience

Incorporatewear work closely with clients to completely dissect, understand and research their brand identity, values, and target audience. Understanding the brand’s ethos and desired image helps the design team align the uniform designs with their overall brand guidelines.

Based on the brand research, Incorporatewear develop a concept for the uniform collection. This involves brainstorming ideas, sketching initial designs, and creating mood boards that capture the essence of how the designers would translate the brand into fabric, trims and an overall garment design silhouette.

Client Collaboration and Feedback

Regular meetings and feedback sessions are held with the client to ensure that designs align with their vision for the brand. Functionality and comfort are always at the forefront of Incorporatewear’s uniform designs, so understanding the work environment and tasks of the employees wearing the uniforms helps the team create garments that look stylish and enable ease of movement and practicality.

It is important to understand the setting in which the wearers are situated and how the brand is used in that environment. For example, a bank will use elements of its branding within its branches such as wall colours, marketing material and signage. It is important that the uniform complements rather these elements and that the two work in harmony together.

Choosing the right materials and palette

Close attention is paid to fabric and colour selection, to ensure that they are both visually appealing and durable, considering factors such as breathability, stain resistance, and easy maintenance. The colour palette is selected to reflect the brand’s identity and align with any existing brand colours or logos. While it is important to ensure the colour selections align with the brand palette, Incorporatewear also considers how these colours work against skin tone, ethnicity, and age demographic.

Incorporatewear work with trusted manufacturers during the design, development, and manufacturing stage to ensure high-quality production. The quality of the garments is truly representative of the brand and is an overall reflection of the quality of both Incorporatewear, and the client’s product or service. A well-fitting uniform not only enhances the brand’s image but also boosts employee confidence. The designers prioritise creating a range of sizing to accommodate diversity and inclusivity.

Incorporatewear’s design team also explore opportunities to incorporate the client’s logo or other brand elements into the uniform design, ensuring that the garments serve as a visual representation of the brand. This can range from badges and lapel pins, to contrast linings, embroideries and trims details.

Developing identity through branding elements

Thoroughly understanding the brand direction and guidelines is the core foundation in helping clients achieve a strong brand identity in their uniform collection. The company’s logo is a primary visual representation of the brand. Incorporatewear work with the client to incorporate the logo into the uniform design, achieved through many means including embroidery, prints, or subtle tonal variations within the fabric itself.

The colour palette plays a significant role in brand recognition and evokes certain emotions or associations. Selecting colours from the brand’s established colour palette, the design team work to integrate them into the uniform design. This could be done through the choice of fabric, trims, accessories, or even subtle accents or piping. It is important to understand the full palette of both primary and secondary tonal colours, to ensure that those selected work well when used on fabrics, and are suitable for the broad spectrum of ages and ethnicities wearing them.

Brand typography is another key consideration, used in name tags, employee name embroidery, or other text-based elements. Additionally, messaging or brand slogans could be subtly integrated into the design, such as in the form of small, embroidered phrases or subtle logo pattern repeats in scarves or ties.

Incorporating patterns or prints that use company logos offers unlimited possibilities in enhancing a brand’s identity. This can be achieved by designing custom patterns inspired by the brand’s logo or other visual elements. Paying attention to small details is essential for maintaining brand consistency.

Elements such as buttons, zippers, or other fastening elements on the uniform are designed with brand in mind to align with the brand’s aesthetics. Even stitching details, such as thread colour or pattern, can be chosen deliberately to reinforce the brand’s identity. Attention to details like collar styles, sleeve lengths, or pocket placements are also considered in order to maintain a cohesive design language.

Finally, throughout the design process, the design team seek feedback from both employees and the client’s customer. Their input is valuable in understanding if the design resonates with the brand’s identity while also matching expectations of wearer comfort and preferences.

Phone:  +44 (0) 1675 432 200

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member