Beach Rugby is the game of tag rugby played on the beach. The WBR World Beach Rugby clothing brand was created by Lovell Rugby (The UK’s leading Online Rugby Store) in order to fill the quiet gap in trade between the end of season and pre-season training. Back in 2006, we designed the logo and the initial collection which went to retail in May 2007. Now, almost 18 months on and after having sold over 10,000 garments, the clothing range has been expanded to meet with the demand for the rugby fashion wear. In this post we show how we went about creating the Summer 08 range and the promotion to accompany the collection.
The Summer 08 collection of World Beach Rugby clothing is in fact the third range for the brand. The first, Summer 07, consisted of 6 simply designed t-shirts all with a sporty / surfy style. The second range, Winter 07/08 again consisted of 6 tee’s as well as a couple of Winter garments. Both of these ranges were create to test the market and see what, if anything, would sell. After two successful ranges, Lovell Rugby decided that Summer 2008 was the time to expand to a more extensive range featuring hoodies, caps, flip flops, trousers, board shorts as well as tee’s, polo shirts and rugby shirts.
The project began almost a year ago in August 2007, where we met with the guys at Lovell Rugby as well as the clothing manufacturer who briefed us with the list of garments required. We were also presented with figures of what designs had sold previously and after some discussion about where we all saw the brand going we set to work. It seemed that the garments that had previously sold well were those that had designs in unconventional places, ie spreading over the back and sides of garments. We set ourselves a project timeline outlining when initial designs would be showcased, sampling stages and finally promotional deadlines.
We began by breaking down the clothing and sketched where the designs would be on the each item, what type of material would be used and what colour dye we wanted. We started loosely sketching designs to go onto the garments discussing type of prints stitching and embroidery. In doing this we began to build a synergy within the collection. From there we split the collection between the two of us to work on the designs in more detail. This process took a couple of months, usually we find it quite difficult to put a project down in mid flow, however with such a long enduring project it was relieving to work on other projects as we went allowing us to return to the project with fresh and excited eyes.
As well as the garments themselves we also had to develop other ideas for ‘perceived value’ in the form of trims, neck labels, side patches, washing instructions and swing tickets. The patch used in the neck and over the side seams was to be the same design printed on a rough canvas material with a washed out and distressed look. In discussing ideas for the swing ticker which would be attached to the neckline it was clear that we did not want to produce something that would most likely be thrown away. To solve this, we created a dual purpose swing ticket which could be peeled of as a sticker and hopefully be used by the end user to further promote the brand.
In October 2007 we pitched the initial range to Lovell Rugby offering each garment in several colour options. On the whole the designs we received well with only a few being dropped. We then chose a selection of colours to be sampled by the manufacturer. The artwork had to be prepared and guidelines were written for each garment. These included the type of material to be used, garment and design colouring, stitching, print type, embroidery, where the design was to sit on the garment.
By November 2007 we had received initial samples of the collection and overall we were very pleased. Next followed some fine tuning on the range. Some garments were dropped and final colours chosen. There was also an issue with the sizing of the designs which had either come out too large or too small. Laying the samples out we were able to see a fluidity and synergy throughout the collection.
In December 2008 we received final pre-production samples which looked great and were much more in line with our original ideas. We were now ready to start work on the promotion for the range. This would include a range of promotional material, with a completion date set for April 2008:
– New World Beach Rugby website
– Promotional Brochure / Catalogue
– Magazine advert
– Emailer newsletter designs
– Promotional Website banners
As the Christmas period was upon us we started the promotion production in January 2008, where our first port of call was with an excellent local photographer, Mike Evans (www.mike-evans.co.uk) who took some stunning photographs of the range which we would later use for the brochure and product banners, he also photographed every product for use on the website, magazine advert and emailers.
We decided to keep the promotional material clean and simple ensuring that Mike’s excellent photography had full focus. The brochure was the first piece to be created as this had printing lead times. Once that was under our belt we moved onto the website, followed by magazine advert and product banners.
In total, It took 8 months to wrap up the whole project and was extremely exhausting and relieving for it to come to an end. However, it all seemed worth it when in July I was giving a talk at a local college and low and behold one of the students was wearing one of our t-shirts. All of a sudden gushes of pride washed over me as I realised that thousands of people were wearing our designs, I know it sounds crazy but I hadn’t really thought of that until I saw someone actually wearing one.
Although it was a long and hard project, we were really pleased with the final outcome and feel immensely proud to have people out there wearing our designs. What made the project so much fun was having complete control over every aspect of the brand from designing the prints to choosing the material and then completing the promotional work. It really was a very enjoyable experience.
For more information on WBR World Beach Rugby or to view the full collection of t-shirt and clothing designs, visit the new website at www.worldbeachrugby.co.uk
We have just completed designs for the Winter 08/09 World Beach Rugby range and are currently awaiting samples. Once we have some photography we will post some of the designs on the blog.
So what do you think of the Summer 08 WBR World Beach Rugby collection? Something you would wear? I’m interested to know if you have you ever had a huge project where you’ve wondered if there is light at the end of the tunnel (or even outside your office!)? Or any other thoughts or experiences on T-Shirt / Clothing design?
Posted by Lu