Slogan, inside gags, crazy designs, memes: with all of these ideas, how are youth groups supposed to figure out the right shirt that embodies their group at camp or at the next DNow? Are they looking to make a statement? Should they clearly have the name of the group on it so the middle schoolers can be properly returned to group leaders? (Kidding, kind of…)
While we can’t tell you exactly what design is perfect for your group, we can offer some sage advice on creating your next shirt:
Figure out the shirt’s purpose.
Shirts do more than clothe you — they’re a form of expression. This is especially true for printed shirts. We’ve already talked about text-heavy slogan designs, but for a youth group, a shirt means more than a catch phrase. Chances are pretty high that you’ll need multiple shirts for your students — volunteering opportunities, camp, lock-ins, fundraising shirts. The purpose of the shirt often dictates the design, so know why specifically you need the group shirts before cracking in on designing it.
Give your kids a voice.
Your students are both smart *and* creative. While this might manifest itself in “unique” (read: disgusting) food combinations at your lock-ins, we promise your kids have a lot more creativity in them than most adults expect. So give your kids the opportunity to design a sketch or slogan that means something to them. It also gives you, as a minister or volunteer, insight into what they associate with and value about your youth group.
Put it to a vote.
Compile all the submissions from your students and let democracy decide (or as best as democracy can when run by adolescents). Why? It gets kids engaged. They’ll get to say “I voted for this one,” and thus, will likely wear the shirt more than if it was something handed to them. Even among free shirts, some swag garners more meaning than others.
Make sure you know the references…
It’s always awkward to see someone jump on a trend and not realize the full scope of what they’re doing. (*stares at a certain Eminem song that blew up again on TikTok*) Most of the time, your students likely won’t understand the full scope of a meme; they just see it as cool or funny. But there’s a good chance you were there when a ‘throwback’ joke was newly minted and full of a different meaning.
For any meme, slogan, or design your kids push, DO THE RESEARCH. PLEASE. And if you don’t feel like you’re “hip” enough to know where to start, we can guarantee that one of your volunteers likely is. (Poll a kid in your college ministry if you have to.)
Once you get that custom design nailed down, let us help you bring it to life. Our comfy shirts mean your ministry will love wearing the design and repping your group. And if you still don’t know where to get started, we offer a variety of design templates that you can quickly customize and order for your group. Give us a call at 800-242-9166 email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out this handy dandy form to get a free quote.