custom screen printing

4 Reasons Why You May Need Custom Screen Printing

A Versatile Option

There are many reasons for custom screen printing. Screen printing is versatile because it is appropriate for a variety of personal, organizational, and business needs.

There are a variety of choices when applying graphics and branding to your apparel.

Options include:

  • Screen printing
  • Embroidery
  • Sublimation and heat press
  • Digital full-color imprints

Before choosing screen printing, consider the process that would best serve your concept. The design team at T.R. McTaggart can help you with that.

Why Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the most popular method of garment decoration. It’s also very affordable and is a highly economical and efficient method for printing in bulk.

Color and Design

When choosing the color of your shirt, think about it in relation to the colors of your design that will be printed on it. This will affect how stiff the print is, as well as the price.

It’s cheaper to print on light fabrics, such as white or heather grey, because the ink is more visible. If you select a dark fabric, you have to print a white under base so the colors in your design can be seen despite the dark background. This additional layer increases both the price and thickness of the print.

Each color adds to the cost because a new screen is made for each color. So, think about how many colors you actually need. Is there a way to get the same message across (and still make it look cool) with minimal colors? Could you strategically use the fabric’s color as part of the artwork? You want to consider cost versus effect gained.

On the other hand, maybe you have a design that demands a lot of layers to meet your vision. Sometimes this is the case. Just make sure you’ve weighed the alternatives first before you come to that conclusion.

No worries, though, because the design and sales team at T.R. McTaggart are here to assist you every step of the way. We can make your ideas come to life, and at an affordable price!

So what are the four main reasons why you may need screen printing services from T.R. McTaggart?

1. Outfit Your Sports Team

Custom screen printing is a great option for outfitting your sports team. At T.R. McTaggart, we offer screen printing on garments for nearly any sports teams, including:

  • Baseball / Softball teams
  • College intramural
  • Church leagues
  • Youth soccer
  • And more!

2. Boost School Spirit

Screen printing is great for apparel worn at school events and can boost school spirit through pride in school colors and showing off a beloved mascot. Whether you’re outfitting the math club or robotics team or want to give the glee club or the band a unified put-together look, screen printing is a fun way to accomplish that goal.

Order shirts with your school’s logo or mascot and students will be proud to wear it – and maybe even hang onto it as memorabilia. Custom screen printing is a great way to build and preserve memories.

3. Outfit Your Organization or Business

Whether you are a nonprofit or fortune-500 company, screen printing is a great option.

Maybe you want to show pride as a member of the PTA or show unity at a fundraiser. Perhaps you want to add to the festivity of your company’s or organization’s picnic. Or, maybe you have a trade show coming up and want shirts for employees to wear and for promo items to give away.

There aren’t many instances when screen printing wouldn’t be a good option.

4. Merchandise for resort and gift shops

We also screen print on merchandise designed for resort and gift shops. We create custom designs or print your designs.

Apparel and other items available with print include:

  • Flags
  • Umbrellas
  • Tote bags
  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Jackets
  • Youth garments
  • Large and tall garments
  • And more!

Why trust your custom screen printing to T.R. McTaggart?

T.R. McTaggart is an industry leader in custom screen printing design. We have the knowledgeable and experienced team to get it done right, in a timely manner, and at a reasonable price.

From design to fabric, we use one color to eight colors and four-color processes. No project is too big or too small for our screen printers. We are equipped with manual and automatic presses, a large selection of ink colors, and Douthitt advanced computer-to-screen imaging technology.

At T.R. McTaggart, our dedicated team prides itself on making fashionable apparel and promotional items. We service clients nationwide, including resort retailers, souvenir shops, and a variety of gift markets.

We’ve provided quality screen printing for almost four decades and have completed over 66,000 projects and served more than 5,000 satisfied clients. We guarantee satisfaction with every order.

There is no job too big or too small and we give all jobs equal attention.

We also provide a free online store service that allows employees or teammates to buy your company’s branded apparel 24/7.

Bring in your design or have our designers work with you to make something great!

Our screen printing designs are featured at:

  • Athletic departments
  • Family gatherings
  • Fundraising events
  • Holiday parties
  • Promotional campaigns
  • Resorts and gift shops
  • Special events
  • Team building functions
  • And more!

Reasons to choose T.R. McTaggart:

  • Dependable
  • Durable
  • Economical
  • Experienced
  • Knowledgeable
  • Professional expertise in screen printing
  • High impact
  • One of the largest selections of apparel
  • Versatile
  • Gets it done on time

Contact us today to discuss your needs in greater detail or to request a quote. We welcome clients from all industries!




corporate apparel

8 Things Your Boss Needs to Know About Corporate Apparel

Establish an Identity

The importance of corporate apparel cannot be overstated. It presents a unified front, shows professionalism, and promotes brand awareness. These benefits make it paramount for your boss to know what corporate apparel can do for your business and brand. So, what exactly should your boss know about corporate apparel?

People have strong reactions to “uniforms.” Doctors in white lab coats garner respect. The police establish authority with their badges and octagonal hats. We wave to mail carriers and we nod to soldiers wearing camouflage and thank them for serving our country.

The apparel garnered in these professions has established identities synonymous with the service the people who wear them provide. In these professions, the work apparel conveys an image representing the larger organization and has become iconic.

These apparel/brand relationships took time to develop, but ultimately they became memorable.  In the same sense, corporate apparel can help brand your business and establish or strengthen your relationship with customers, especially with repeated, consistent exposure. Likewise, corporate apparel can bring a group of employees or teammates together.

Indeed, whether you work for a business or are part of a non-profit organization, the benefits of corporate apparel apply to businesses and organizations of any size.

Here are 8 things corporate apparel can do:

  1. Promote your brand
  2. Allow others to advertise for you
  3. Support employee unity
  4. Encourage employee collaboration
  5. Foster a work environment of equality
  6. Assert professionalism
  7. Synergize brand identity
  8. Contribute to an effective strategy

1. Promote your brand

Consumers today are savvy to advertising and don’t like to feel manipulated. This makes the word-of-mouth approach to business all the more important. A Nielsen study revealed 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing more than any other form of advertising.

If you do it right and develop a compelling brand logo with corresponding corporate apparel, people will seek out information about your company instead of the other way around. A compelling story also doesn’t hurt. Get people talking about your brand and reinforce it with exposure through corporate apparel. Clothing functions similarly to word-of-mouth advertising in that an actual person vouches for the brand, rather than an actor or a slick ad. Word of mouth creating a buzz paired with clothing to support the buzz is key to getting your brand recognized.

Keep in mind that, besides your brand name sewn or printed on the clothing, the apparel itself communicates a message. Polo shirts suggest professionalism, while T-shirts are more appropriate for brands with a casual image. You don’t want to confuse potential customers about who you are by having an inconsistent identity.

Uniforms also reinforce trust and establish familiarity with customers. People like knowing what they’re going to get. Just look at McDonald’s and Starbucks across the globe. People appreciate consistency.

The bottom line, however, is that the more people who see your brand, the better – and the more impact your brand will have.

2. Allow others to advertise for you

Corporate apparel promotes your business outside of the company. If you already have a fan base it lets your brand advocates, also known as brand ambassadors, promote your company for you. Make their job as easy as possible!

Offer corporate apparel that can start a conversation about your business. Get creative. All the thought that goes into making Super Bowl ads pays off as the next day people talk about them at the water cooler. People who haven’t seen the ad might even seek it out on YouTube and post it on their Facebook page. Putting careful thought into your brand strategy might seem time consuming, but it can also pay off big time.

As with fans of the brand, when employees walk around they are promoting your company’s brand. Exposure leads to brand recognition and ultimately brand loyalty. So, why not seize every opportunity to get more exposure for your business?

3. Support employee unity

Not only does corporate apparel present a united front, it also makes employees feel united. This is especially important if you hold an event for employees and your business has multiple locations with staff who haven’t met each other. If employees are dressed similarly they feel a sense of belonging. This lifts team spirit and inspires a positive attitude among employees as well as company loyalty. The result is colleagues working together to achieve business goals.

When people wear their own clothes, the clothes function to define the person wearing the attire. The clothes highlight the person’s individuality. However, donning the same clothing puts the attention on the group. For example, orchestras wear all black so audiences concentrate on the music rather than individual musicians’ fashion statements.

Corporate apparel can also be used as one of the perks of the job. In some organizations, receiving a uniform is an honor. It signifies that an employee has reached a high achievement and is well regarded enough to represent the company. More practically, corporate apparel saves employees time and money, as they do not have to spend money or decide what to wear every day.

4. Encourage employee collaboration

This unity creates an environment for collaboration to thrive. When employees feel more unified, they are more apt to feel comfortable communicating and collaborating on projects.

5. Foster a work environment of equality

Corporate apparel creates a caring environment. It functions as the great equalizer, putting employees on a more equal level. Employees feel a greater sense that they are in it together, which ultimately benefits the company.

Similar to the debate over school uniforms, consultants debate corporate apparel’s effects on employees. Many experts view identical clothing as an equalizer. Without clothing sending messages of hierarchy, there is more focus on conversation and ideas rather than rank. This outcome is one of the best reasons for investing in corporate apparel.

6. Assert professionalism

Corporate apparel promotes professionalism. When a person wears clothes they often transform. Like an actor wearing a costume, employees step into the professional roles their work demands.

This is especially important in industries such as retail stores, hospitals, and restaurants which demand brand exposure that puts customers at ease.

When customers see the uniform it also lends an authority to your employees. Customers view your employees differently. By wearing corporate apparel, employees appear more official, both to customers and the employees themselves. For practical purposes, it also makes staff easily identifiable so customers can efficiently ask for assistance.

7. Synergize brand identity

Corporate apparel promotes brand identity. Ultimately, your brick-and-mortar store, your online presence, and any printed materials should coordinate with your corporate apparel to promote a consistent message across your brand. Keeping this in mind, when you select apparel, make sure it ultimately suits your particular business. Our designers here at T.R. McTaggart can help you through this process.

8. Contribute to an effective strategy

So, you’re convinced that your business should invest in corporate apparel, but what clothing items would be most effective?

Ask the employees. Whatever they will wear out and about the most will give you the most mileage for your money.

Whether your uniforms are formal or informal, consider providing a variety of corporate-branded apparel items to employees to fit their sense of style, their body type, and the weather conditions in their geographical area.

If you are also planning to give away apparel at a tradeshow or other promotional event, consider past consumer behavior. According to a Global Advertising Specialties Impression Study by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), promotional products kept by U.S. recipients breaks down as:

  • 58% T-shirts
  • 50% Outerwear
  • 41% Caps and headwear
  • 33% Polo shirts
  • 27% Performance wear

This list is consistent with industry trends.

Common corporate apparel includes:

  • Shirts (polos, t-shirts, oxfords)
  • Outerwear
  • Hats or visors

Note, a recent trend is “Made in the USA” products, so consider the country of origin label when choosing corporate apparel.

Make the brand identity yours

Work apparel can establish authority or be fun and link that fun to the brand. For example, firefighters have functional apparel that immediately communicates who they are to the public. On the other hand, clothing stores might have employees wear clothes the store sells. Bars and restaurants often have T-shirts with the brand’s logo that bartenders and wait staff wear.

The logo that is worn on corporate apparel is just as important as the style of the apparel, if not more. Make sure to be thoughtful when you establish a logo; once you establish a brand it’s easier to keep it and promote it than to try to re-brand yourself.

McDonald’s, Mickey Mouse, Coca-Cola… these are powerful brands. The combination of their colors, typography, and logo make them instantly recognizable to millions of people worldwide. This brand recognition, and the emotional reaction people often have to them, didn’t happen by accident. It took a lot of planning and years of fostering a brand image. So, now it’s time to get to work!

The take away

Corporate apparel with your logo on it serves as advertising to reinforce brand loyalty with your customers. You can cross promote your website with your work apparel, forming a cohesive message defining your brand.

Corporate apparel plays a big role in advertising your business. If you tell your boss these eight cases for investing in corporate apparel, he or she will be glad the office door was open!

Trust T.R. McTaggart for all of your corporate apparel needs

T.R. McTaggart has been providing quality corporate apparel for nearly four decades. Let our expertise in providing corporate apparel support and improve your brand by contacting us today!

We also offer a free online store service that allows employees to buy your company’s branded apparel 24/7 from your very own custom online store. So don’t forget to also tell your boss about this valuable service (okay, so we slipped in a ninth).

Contact us today to discuss your needs in greater detail or to request a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!



custom online store

Why You Need a Custom Online Store for Your Employees

Stop the Hassle

With a busy workplace, the last thing you want to do is add another thing to worry about. However, like rain in the spring and snow in the winter (at least in Michigan), some things never change: Employees still need uniforms. So, instead of passing out a catalog to employees once or twice per year and collecting their style, color, and size as they hand you money or a check – why not have a custom online store that employees can shop from? An online store simplifies the process and frees you from the hassle of organizing the clothing order. An online store provides easy access to employee uniforms where employees can purchase corporate branded merchandise on demand.

Starting a traditional online store, however, takes a lot of work and money. You would need to hire a web designer, find a host for your website, and hire someone to manage packing and shipping of merchandise. You would also need an accountant and you would want to hire a lawyer to write your privacy policy, terms and conditions, and returns and refunds policy.

If only there were an easier way…

What Is a Custom Online Store?

A custom online store is an online platform that allows members to purchase branded items on demand directly from the store that provides them.

At T.R. McTaggart, we can set up a custom online store to provide branded merchandise and handle your distribution needs.


Amazon, Airbnb, Uber … Customers, especially the younger generation that grew up with computers, expect shopping to be at their fingertips and on demand. A custom online store caters to this market. Goodbye paper forms; it’s time to embrace change.

The 21st century has seen an extraordinary amount of innovation in technology – so take advantage of this and use it to improve your company.

Easy to maintain

You never even have to come into contact with the actual product. A custom online store is easy to set up and then we handle the rest, including stocking, taking orders, processing payments, and shipping. This will save you a lot of time. We worry about the details so you can concentrate on what you do.

Many types of businesses can benefit:

  • Sports teams
  • Athletic departments
  • Corporations
  • Small businesses
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Churches
  • And more!

Benefits for sports teams

A custom online store is useful for sports teams. Instead of keeping track of paper order forms and collecting and counting the money to put in a lock box, you can pick what items you want to offer in your online store.

No more hounding students to remember their order forms!

Players pay individually online and you sit back and focus on strategy for the upcoming game. In fact, coaches spend 78% less time managing orders by using a custom online store.

Friends and family of organizations

A custom online store also makes it easier for parents and friends of the team to get their branded apparel to support the team. If there is a school spirit store at your school, parents’ and friends’ schedules might not align with business hours. It discourages sales if people have to make an extra effort to make purchases.

However, with a custom online store, if fans want to get decked out for the big game, they don’t have to worry about a long wait before they get their gear as orders are physically collected. In fact, they don’t even have to wait in line at the store! This can increase purchases and lift team spirit. It’s a win-win-win.


Better yet, you can also use the custom online store to fundraise for your team or nonprofit organization by selling your branded apparel and allocating some of the money to the cause.

You can also decide if you want your virtual store to close and when. Sometimes deadlines motivate people to act and make their purchases, rather than putting it off to a later date.

Work uniforms

Once per year you get a catalog, take orders, and collect money. You get all your employees outfitted in branded-wear for your business … and then next month you hire another team member.

A custom online store will provide easy access to employee uniforms. This makes it easy for new employees to get up to speed with not just the work culture, but the clothes that go with it. Further, veteran employees can purchase corporate branded merchandise to replace old items at their leisure. Everyone fits in and looks polished.

Increase Your Business Presence

Employees wearing branded clothing and other gear outside the workplace can serve as a form of advertising. If workers wear their uniforms outside of work or carry around branded merchandise it expands your business’ presence. Offering useful items increases the likelihood of your employees wearing branded items in public.

One way to encourage employees to buy more branded items is to consider subsidizing the cost. If a polo shirt in your custom online store costs the same as a regular polo shirt, most employees will probably buy the unbranded one. The exception is if your company is a hip record store, a coffee shop, an iconic brand, or a nonprofit.

There are other exceptions too. However, think realistically. If you deal business to business, it is less likely that employees will buy logo wear. However, if employees can get a good deal, they might be willing to be a walking billboard for your business.

Also consider using branded merchandise as a gift or reward to increase your presence around town.

You can offer a variety of items for purchase in your custom online store:

  • Jerseys
  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Visors
  • Scarves
  • And more!

We also offer a variety of applications:

  • Screen printing
  • Embroidery
  • Dye sublimation
  • Laser etching

T.R. McTaggart’s custom online store service is also set up to make things personalized.

We offer:

  • Player names
  • Roster numbers
  • Branded gear

Sell non-clothing items emblazoned with your brand as well

For example, tumblers, umbrellas, and tote bags would be items people would be apt to carry around in public, increasing exposure of your brand. People carry tumblers to work and tote bags prominently display brand names.

In sum:

  • Tumblers
  • Umbrellas
  • Tote bags

The key benefits of having a custom online store:

  • Convenient for employers
  • Convenient for employees or team members
  • Processing orders is easy
  • Easier to keep up with demand
  • Employees or team members can order 24/7
  • Offers control, transparency, and visibility for fundraising
  • Limits financial liabilities by eliminating checks and paper order forms
  • Offers a wide selection of products
  • Promotes sales year round
  • You have the option to close the virtual store at a specific date
  • Employees can pay individually or with coupon codes
  • Detailed order reporting available to management
  • R. McTaggart provides all these services! Some companies charge anywhere from $10 to $700 per month to run a customized store. We do it for free!

In summary, having a custom online store with us is free and most likely to be faster and more convenient.

Contact Us Today

Contact T.R. McTaggart today to work with us to create your custom online store. Call us at (800) 433-0983 or visit the Online Stores page on our website.

We look forward to helping you set up shop!





Promotional Items

Using Promotional Items to Boost Your Organization’s Presence

Get Your Organization Noticed

For many organizations, particularly nonprofits that are running on a Spartan budget, using promotional items to boost your organization’s presence at fundraisers and exhibitions is the most effective way to spend your marketing dollars.

Ads are everywhere. On TV and newspapers. On the side of buses and on grocery store floors. When we surf the web pop ups momentarily prevent us from getting to the content. Digital ads follow us online. There are even digital video ads on bathroom stalls at restaurants.

The public is savvy about being manipulated by advertising. Yet, advertising is vital for promoting your organization or business. So, how does one reach customers without putting them off? And, better yet, is there a way to do it cost effectively?

While consumers might fast forward through TV ads or ignore banner ads while they are surfing the web, they love free stuff!

Some cite the first promotional product as a commemorative button for George Washington’s Presidential election in 1789. However, promotional products didn’t become prevalent until the twentieth century. It is puzzling that it took so long to catch on because promotional items have traditionally had a great Return on Investment (ROI).


Nonprofits are one of the top ten purchasers of promotional items. One study found that 41 percent of U.S. consumers bought a product because it was “associated with a cause or issue,” so this shouldn’t be surprising. However, there are many reasons why promotional items that will promote your brand make sense for your nonprofit organization.

Some reasons include:

  • Helps fundraising for your organization when soliciting donors or offering products for purchase
  • Increases response rates to mailers soliciting donations when an item like a refrigerator magnet, key chain, or pen is included
  • Educates people who see others wearing shirts or carrying totes in public
  • Makes a nice “thank you” gift to volunteers and donors

Make a positive impression

Whether you’re a for- or nonprofit organization, promotional items leave potential patrons with a significantly more favorable impression of organizations that provide them compared to other forms of advertising. The following breakdown details the percentage of people who felt more favorably towards an organization after being exposed to various types of advertising:

  • 9% who saw online advertising
  • 7% who saw a television commercial
  • 2% who saw a print ad
  • 42-52% who received a promotional item

How cost effective are promotional items?

So, we know promotional items work, but how do they stack up cost-wise?

It turns out promotional products have the best ROI compared with the other main forms of advertising. Many companies calculate the Cost Per Impression (CPI) of their advertisements and research reveals these averages.

The CPI for various media buys:

  • $0.019 for prime time TV spots
  • $0.019 for half-page black and white newspaper ads
  • $0.006 for syndicated daytime TV spots
  • $0.005 for radio spots
  • $0.003 for billboards

The average CPI for promotional items? Just $0.004!

Why promotional items work

Promotional items are effective because, depending on the item, people hang on to them and use them; they might even use them every day. Each time someone uses a promotional item they are essentially advertising your organization to others who see the person using or wearing it.

In addition, promotional items work because when someone gives you something, psychology dictates that you will feel like you owe the giver a favor in return. In this case, buying the giver’s products or donating to their organization.

To sum it up:

  • People like free things.
  • Promotional items provide a lot of brand exposure at a low price.
  • People experience positive feelings toward an organization after receiving an item.

Social media

Why not go the extra step and have a little fun with it?

Pairing promotional items that will promote your brand with social media is also a good strategy. It’s a good way to both retain and gain patrons or donors.

People like to feel appreciated, so show your loyal clientele or benefactors that you appreciate their patronage with free gifts every now and then. Word of mouth is powerful. When people feel goodwill and appreciation from your organization and like your brand, they will speak kindly of you to their friends and colleagues.

On social media it is also easy for people to share your organization’s page with their friends. People like to be the trendsetter and find good deals so that they can be the one who shares them with their friends.

A trendy promotional gift can also be effective on social media. Take some of the excitement for the hottest new product and direct some of that excitement to your organization!

Why not extend the reach offered by social media even further by also requesting information from visitors? Besides, if people are asked to sign up for a newsletter they may be apt to buy or donate later, having remembered a good experience with your brand.

Ways to implement social media:

  • Offer promotional items for liking your Facebook or Twitter page.
  • Offer promotional items for signing up for an e-newsletter or giving you their email or mailing address.
  • Encourage people to post or send you pictures of them using your promotional products. This is good publicity for potential customers or donors to see the pictures of others using your products and it gets people actively engaged with your brand.
  • Print QR codes, twitter handles, or other social media sites on your promotional items.
  • Include a big-ticket item contest or drawing advertised in store, at a conference, at a trade show, or on social media.

Potential Pitfalls

Like any form of advertising, there are drawbacks and things to consider.

  • Some experts claim effective promotional items have at least a $5 to $10 perceived value. This can be an expensive investment.
  • Consumers will hang on to the item for varying lengths of time depending on the item. For example, food will expose your brand to the consumer for a shorter time period than other items.
  • This year’s hot colors might go out of style next season. How many T-shirts are do you plan to distribute? It’s OK if you give away all of them; however, if you buy in bulk for a discount and plan to pass some out next year, choose something more traditional that will still be in fashion.

The most effective promotional items

Pens. Pens. Pens.

While there are many options, pens are at the top of the list because they are used more than any other item. Everyone needs a pen and one study showed 40% of recipients used their pens twice per day. Pens also last a long time. This is a lot of brand exposure for such a small and inexpensive promotional item.

However, don’t make your pens so inexpensive that they are poor quality, as this will reflect poorly on your organization. Other than that, you really can’t go wrong.

Tote bags are another great option. Research shows bags are the most frequently used promotional items by consumers, averaging nine uses per month. Because consumers carry them around in public, each bag creates about 1,038 impressions per month. That’s huge!

Consumers also keep bags for nine months, a relatively long period for promotional items. Apparel is also kept around a while, averaging seven months.

The other promotional items people most often keep are items they find useful in the kitchen or the office.

In sum:

  • Pens
  • Bags
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Office supplies

Effective promotional items are:

  • Used regularly
  • Kept nearby

The most preferred promotional items include:

  • Clocks and watches
  • Digital picture frames
  • Food baskets
  • Luggage
  • MP3 players

While these are the statistics, keep in mind what will work best for your organization’s budget. It is important that your promotional items relate to your brand. This makes it easier for potential patrons to remember you and make connections between the promotional item and your brand.

For example, if you’re a yoga studio and you take away people’s watches at the door to meditate without regard to time, a watch or clock wouldn’t make sense as a promotional item and would certainly confuse your brand’s message!

Promotional Items for Nearly Any Need

T.R. McTaggart provides promotional items that will promote your brand that are high quality and customizable. This reflects well on your brand. We can create items to your specifications to increase your brand recognition.

The products we provide include:

  • Automotive
  • Badges
  • Lanyards
  • Bags
  • Calendars
  • Computer accessories
  • Desk items
  • Eco friendly
  • Food and beverage
  • Games
  • Golf items
  • Healthcare
  • Key tags
  • Kitchen and home
  • Mugs and drinkware
  • Pens
  • Sports and outdoors
  • Stress balls
  • Tools and hardware
  • Travel items

Contact Us Today

T.R McTaggart has over two decades of experience and expertise producing promotional items. If you want to find out more about how we can work with you to design and develop promotional items for your organization that will make your brand stand out, call us today at (800) 433-0983 to talk to a friendly representative about your organization’s needs.






keys to a successful trade show

4 Keys to a Successful Trade Show

What to consider when planning a trade show

You’ve decided it’s time to represent your business at a trade show to expand your customer base and grow your business. However, the first time planning a trade show can be overwhelming. There are a lot of logistics involved in the process and a lot of things that could potentially go wrong. So, how do you achieve a successful trade show appearance? While there are many things to consider, there are 4 keys to a successful trade show that are paramount:

  • Be strategic
  • Plan
  • Maximize the time you are there
  • Distribute promotional materials 

Be Strategic

Before you commit to a trade show, do your research to make sure your efforts will be worthwhile. If only a small fraction of the demographic you’re trying to reach is going to attend, don’t invest time and money. You could plan an impressive display only to be disappointed. Also make sure that you project the cost of participating in the trade show to be made up for in new business revenue.

On the other hand, if your business makes sense in the context of the trade show, it can be a great opportunity to connect with potential clients. Once you’ve decided that participating at a trade show is a good investment, it’s time to figure out how to make the most of the event.

Potential clients or buyers come to the event ready to learn about what your business has to offer. However, there’s also going to be competition, so try to get a prime location. Though it costs extra, it’s worth it. Book your spot well in advance because this real estate goes fast. If you plan to attend every year, you might even be able to strike up a discount with the organizers.

Another way to increase traffic to your booth is to market it before the exhibition. Offering an incentive to stop by via social media is one tactic.

Usually a list of registered attendees is available beforehand. Make use of it! You can research these perspective customers to better understand the demographic attending and tailor your presentation to them. Perhaps you highlight specific products or services that you think would appeal to the demographic attending.

Then, once you attract people to your booth, make the most of it. Just like in networking, many people who meet a professional contact have a quality conversation, but then never follow up. If you have a great lead, pursue it! Things might not pan out, but why put in all that effort just to neglect what could become a great business relationship? Make sure you follow up with potential clients within six weeks.

Personalization is also important. Try to incorporate specific information from your conversation at the show when you follow up. It shows that you were listening to clients’ needs and would be responsive if they decide to work with you. 


Probably one of the most important keys to a successful trade show is planning. To plan effectively, make a budget, allow yourself enough time, and carefully consider your exhibit. 

Make a budget

Doing this helps you evaluate the true cost of the exhibition. Separate expenses into categories. For example:

  • Exhibition space rental
  • Exhibit design and accompanying technology
  • Promotion
  • Travel and staffing

Add a cushion to your budget in case anything goes wrong. For example, you could add on 10% of what you think the total cost will be. If you need to replace a computer cord or battery you want the hassle to be the time it takes you to go to the store, not getting approval for the purchase you needed ten minutes ago.

Also, consider using a booth design that can be used for multiple events. This can save you money in the future.

Another way to save on cost is to forego a plywood or laminate booth structure in favor of a design construction that uses poles with stretched fabric. Since this design is lightweight, it’s cheaper to ship. Plus it’s easy to assemble, saving on time. Storing the exhibit compactly is a plus as well.

Allot yourself weeks or even months to plan the event

Figure out what equipment you need so you can place your technical requirements with the trade show organizers to make sure you can be accommodated, especially if things are first come first served.

Ship your exhibit ahead of time. Then if anything breaks in shipment you have time to fix it.

Do a run-through to determine if everything is working. Then you can see if you’ve overlooked something or if technology isn’t working and needs to be replaced.

Think of Plan B and C. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, something goes wrong that is out of your control. If a computer isn’t working or you don’t have an electrical outlet, do you have high-quality printouts of your slides? Is there a way you could improvise and still get your business’ message across effectively?

Also, don’t be afraid to ask exhibit organizers for help. They’ve been doing this for a long time and might know a quick fix you hadn’t considered. 

Put effort into how your exhibit is presented

Make your exhibit stand out and include text that is easy to read from all directions. A trade show is not the time to place similar fonts and background colors together to look stylish but that are hard to read from a distance. Just like multiple ads on a news page or in a magazine, all the exhibits are competing for the customer’s attention. Peruse some magazines and see what sticks out to you and draws your eye.

Include a variety of media that appeal to different people. Like in school, some people prefer videos to learn. Others might want literature, such as brochures and pamphlets, to bring home and read later. 

Then evaluate

Does the display draw in visitors? Does it clearly convey your company’s message?

Maximize your time

Have enough staff available. You’ve invested a lot of time and money to be at the trade show. The last thing you want is to successfully bring in traffic only for potential customers to have no one to make a connection with or to answer questions.

Offer specials only available at the show, advertising it prominently, to make customers more apt to purchase from you during the event. You can engage on social media before the event and have prominent signs to alert potential clients of your trade show promo.

In addition to information about your products and services at your display, also include helpful materials to potential clients. If you become a problem solver, customers will come to you for answers and you will establish yourself as an expert – and gain their business.

This should go without saying, but dress professionally and pay attention to everyone. Like it or not, you are judged by what you wear. On the flip side, many exhibitors brush off people who don’t look important. However, these days you often can’t tell how powerful a person is by clothing. Think of Mark Zuckerberg. If you ignore people in flip flops or a t-shirt, you could miss out on a potentially lucrative client.

Distribute Branded Items

Contests and prizes are a fun way to draw in a crowd and create an atmosphere of excitement at a trade show. Select items that prominently display your brand and that attendees will keep with them for a long period of time, such as mugs, notepads, and pens. This places your brand in their daily lives. Maximize the opportunity by requiring that attendees either take information from you or provide you with contact information in order to be eligible for the prize.

Brand drinks or snacks with your logo. While these items don’t last long they do advertise your display as people walk around.

Unlocking the Keys to a Successful Trade Show

While it might seem daunting at first, planning a successful trade show is doable if you think strategically, plan ahead, maximize your resources, and distribute promotional materials to your key demographic. T.R. McTaggart is here help you plan your events and to brainstorm strategies to selecting promotional materials that are right for your business.

We have expertise in providing comprehensive solutions for trade show success, from planning to promotional materials. Servicing the retail and gift industry as well as corporations and non-profits, for almost four decades, T.R. McTaggart has helped clients find the perfect promotional items to increase brand awareness.

Whether you are looking for something specific or browsing for ideas, we are your one-stop trade show success source. Contact us to discuss your needs in greater detail or to request a quote.

We look forward to working with you!




Sports Apparel

Sports apparel to outfit your team in mid-Michigan


You’ve assembled your sports team and have already begun strategizing how to “win the season.” There’s a lot to think about: practice, diet, and having the right mindset to complete at the highest level. However, have you considered how sports apparel plays a role in your team’s performance? Properly outfitting your team with sports apparel is a crucial detail that supports your team’s goals. Meaning, that in order to “win the season,” you should also add the task of locating a company that provides sports apparel in mid-Michigan.


Some questions to consider when selecting what sports apparel will serve your team the best include:

  • What fabrics are best suited for my team’s needs?
  • How do I properly care for my sports apparel?
  • What sports apparel items should I offer my team?
  • What graphics will enhance my team’s sports apparel?
  • What is the “track record” of the company providing the sports apparel?
  • Is it customizable?
  • Is it convenient?
  • Is it high quality? 


Choosing the right fabric can seem daunting at first, but it’s important to wear sports apparel that fits its purpose. Whether you need sports apparel that allows movement, breaths and wicks away sweat, or keeps you warm or cool, T.R. McTaggart can help you select what’s right for your team. One important factor to consider when deciding on a team uniform is whether you want to go with a natural or synthetic fabric, which is largely determined by the sport. 

Natural fabrics

There are pros and cons when it comes to natural fibers. For example, cotton, once the go-to exercise fabric, is used for activities with minimal sweating. One of cotton’s drawbacks is that it absorbs moisture. Cotton can hold 25-times its weight in water, which can become heavy and uncomfortable. This can lead to chafing and hypothermia. It also takes a long time to dry. Avoid cotton when looking for activewear.

Another drawback is that cotton items can wrinkle or shrink in the wash. Because natural fiber fabrics shrink when washed in hot water and dried on high heat, we recommend washing your uniforms in cold water and drying on a lower setting or simply air drying your sports apparel.

However, for activities with minimal sweating, cotton is a good choice. Cotton’s advantages are that it is a natural fiber and it doesn’t smell after a workout like polyester sometimes can. Also, natural fibers are typically more comfortable and allow your skin to breathe better than synthetics, an important consideration when it’s hot out. 

Natural fabrics include:

  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Wool 

Synthetic fabric

Natural fibers have their uses, but there are now more options. Until 1935, the fibers used to make clothing were exclusively plant or animal based. Then DuPont created nylon and the clothing industry was forever changed.

Made from polyester, synthetic fabric is more resilient, lasts longer, and wrinkles less. Synthetics are also soft, stretchy, mildew resistant, and dry quickly. It breathes and wicks away sweat from your skin through to the fabric’s surface where it evaporates. This allows you to sweat and feel cool while exercising. Some synthetic fabrics are even waterproof.

Polyester is the most common synthetic fabric used in sports apparel, specifically for team uniforms. It is durable, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, breathable, and non-absorbent. It also provides insulation and repels UV rays.

One drawback is that it can retain an odor after a workout and doesn’t dry as fast as polypropylene or nylon.

Still, there’s a lot to love about synthetics and many reasons to make synthetics your choice. For yoga and stretching, polyester and spandex allow the wearer to bend more easily. For running and aerobics, moisture-wicking nylon is great for staying dry while sweating.

Since synthetic fibers are basically plastic they are a nonabsorbent material. Moisture from perspiration moves over the surface of the fiber but, instead of being absorbed, the moisture is drawn from the inside of the clothing to the outside of the garment, where it evaporates when it makes contact with the air.

Common synthetic fabrics include:

  • Acetate
  • Acrylic
  • Lycra
  • Nylon
  • Polartec Thermal Pro
  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • Rayon
  • Spandex

The best of both worlds

Clothing made from natural fabrics is more comfortable. Clothing made from synthetic fibers wick sweat and can stretch. Can’t I have both?

The garment industry wondered the same thing and experimented to find combinations that provide the best of both worlds. Often you’ll run across labels with a 50% Cotton / 50% Polyester mix. Natural/synthetic blends combine both natural and synthetic fibers to create fabrics that are stain resistant, comfortable, stretchy, and wrinkle averse.


Natural fabrics

Turn your garment inside out when you put it in the hamper. Don’t wait until right before you wash it. This way the clothing can air out, reducing the bacteria that come with moisture. Make sure to follow the rules of separating whites, colors, and darks; or, at least whites and darks. Whether you put your clothing in the washing machine or hand wash it, use cold water. 

Synthetic fabrics

While it’s handy that synthetic fabrics repel water when we want it drawn away from our skin, its same repelling property is still true when it’s in the washing machine. To combat this, pre-soak your sports apparel in a vinegar solution or use antimicrobial detergent.

Don’t use fabric softener, as this prevents the detergent from reaching the dirt and also removes coatings that might have been applied to the fabric. Be aware that some synthetic fibers will melt on high heat in the drier or if you use a hot iron on it. Wash your sports apparel inside-out in cold water and avoid tumble dry on high heat.

And remember, always read your clothing labels and follow their specified care instructions!


T.R. McTaggart offers a huge selection of color, size, and design options, and work closely with you to guide you through the process of outfitting your sports team. We devise custom sports apparel solutions tailored to your specifications. Our in-house design team will use its creativity to design something customized for your team. We’re here to make your vision happen.

Types of techniques we offer:

  • Screen printing 
  • Embroidery
  • Dye sublimation
  • Laser etching

Variety is the spice of life

Everyone has different preferences. T.R. McTaggart provides a variety of custom sports apparel choices to outfit your team, including:

  • Jerseys
  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Visors
  • Scarves
  • And more!

Customized Team Shop

When outfitting your team with sports apparel, T.R. McTaggart can help you set up a custom shop where your team members can purchase their sports apparel. For more information about how you can create your customized team shop, visit the Online Stores page on our website.

Experience, Quality, and Affordability

If you are tasked with selecting where to get your team unoforms in mid-Michigan, you no doubt are looking for three things: an experienced and knowledgeable company, quality products, and affordability.

With an international reputation for our innovative and creative designs, McTaggart has over 20 years of experience and expertise in the apparel industry. We provide the best selection of apparel items made with the highest-quality materials at prices that won’t break your team’s budget.


Contact T.R. McTaggart today for all of your custom sports apparel needs. Outfitting teams with sports apparel in mid-Michigan is our passion! If you want to find out more about how you can outfit your team, call us at (800) 433-0983 or visit the Sports & School Spirit page on our website.

Trust in T.R. McTaggart’s track record of winning the apparel game so that you can focus on winning the game and the season!



Resort and Gift Shop

3 Must-Haves for Your Resort and Gift Shop

The Season is for Traveling!

That time of the year is upon us, everyone! The time when the sun is shining and people are active and ready to explore new travel destinations. Resort and gift shops benefit tremendously during the spring and summer traveling season because the products they offer allow vacationers to take a little piece of their travels home with them. To have a successful tourist season, resort and gift shops must capitalize on visitors’ tendency to indulge more during their stay, in the hope of making their experience magical and unforgettable. There are 3 must-haves for your resort and gift shop that are sure to promote such indulgence.

  • Personalized Items
  • Apparel
  • Candles

Help Them Make Memories!

Everyone has friends or relatives who never fail to remind them to bring back souvenirs from their vacation travels.  These souvenirs act as a sentimental offering that shows friends and loved ones they were thought of. Souvenirs are precious items that help people preserve memories of their stay or travels that mean the most to them, so that they may in-turn share those memories with others. Your resort and gift shop should always have something special in-store that represents your establishment’s brand, the region, the city or town, or a particular local landmark of interest. These items help visitors identify with their stay and make lasting memories. The takeaway for you is that these items help to promote your brand!

Think of your resort or gift shop as a treasure chest!  Tourists come to your locale during the travel season in search of a getaway; they also often search for special items that help them tell the story of where they’ve been. National and international tourists alike love finding symbols of their enjoyable experiences that they can share with others, and these items can encourage those who they share their story with to come and visit as well. However, finding the right gift items to have in-stock can be difficult with a variety of so many different items to choose from.

T.R. McTaggart has the industry knowledge and experience to supply your resort and gift shop with exactly what it needs to appeal to customers looking for unique personalized gifts to share with their families and loved ones. Allow us to help you build a reputation for your business and inspire customers to return again and again by stocking the 3 must-haves for your resort and gift shop.

Personalized Items

When choosing a souvenir for ourselves or for others, personality and individuality are two factors we take into consideration. Typically, travelers from all across the globe come to resort and gift shops in search of special keepsakes that scream “This is so me!” Some people may react to items that specifically feature theirs or a loved ones’ name, while others may react to branding that reflects their personality or passion, such as sail boat for a nautical enthusiast. Understanding who your core customers are and what their passions may be is paramount to stocking personalized items that will inspire visitors to purchase. When it comes to buying souvenirs, people tend to seek out personalized items because of how they connect a person to a place. This is why personalized items are a must-have for your resort and gift shop.

T.R. McTaggart can help you identify your core customer and what products they are apt to quickly grab off of your racks and shelves. We offer a wide variety of personalized items for your resort and gift shop that prove to be top sellers season after season, including:

  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Mugs
  • Shot glasses
  • Key chains
  • Totes
  • Towels
  • And More!

We help you find the perfect gifts to satisfy a variety of different tastes and styles for your visitors.


Apparel items are easily the best selling items for resort and gift shops. Who doesn’t like a t-shirt or hat that can be worn as a reminder of a fabulous vacation? Apparel items also serve as great souvenirs and gifts to present to friends and loved ones, commemorating their travels. Rather than being reminded of their vacation from a trinket on their mantel, people love to sport custom designed apparel that reminds them of how much they enjoyed their stay no matter where they are. The key benefit to your resort and gift shop is the exposure given to your brand by the wearer.

T.R. McTaggart provides a variety of custom apparel items to keep your resort and gift shop stocked and ready for pique vacation season – never miss an opportunity for a sale during this vital time. We also feature an in-house graphic design department that allows us to apply your designs or our custom design creations to all of the apparel we supply. Apparel items are THE must-have for any resort and gift shop because of their appeal to shoppers of all demographics, and their ability to promote your brand and bring attention (and potential customers) to your business.

  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Hoodies
  • Hats
  • Jackets
  • Scarves


Candles are a very popular souvenir or gift choice – and for a good reason. What better way for visitors to bring home a piece of their vacation than with a unique fragrance that reminds them of their stay? Candles are symbols of relaxation and serenity, and they make great gifts for anyone on a vacationer’s gift list. Candles allow people to just close their eyes, inhale, and enjoy the lingering scent of their vacation long after it’s over.

Tourists love them, and T.R. McTaggart, through our partnership with Kristin & Company, has a wide variety of candle styles and scents to choose from. We work closely with resort and gift shops across the nation to provide styles and scents that are sure to appeal to your customers. We can help you make your customers’ vacation an experience they’re sure to remember. With such versatility in terms of gift and novelty appeal, a healthy stock of candles is a must-have for resort and gift shops no matter the season.

Give Your Visitors What They Want!

T.R. McTaggart has been a trusted and reputable resort and gift shop supplier for nearly four decades. Our exclusivity, expertise, and extensive industry knowledge gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors. Our team of design specialists takes pride in helping you transform your resort and gift shop into the perfect tourist attractions that not only sells quality products, but plays a vital role in providing memories that last a lifetime.

For more information regarding our exclusive products and services for your resort and gift shop needs, contact us at (800) 433-0983 to speak to a customer service specialist about how T.R. McTaggart can provide solutions to help you give your visitors what they want!




Color Trends of 2017

Top 10 Color Trends of 2017

Why Color Trends Matter

Color Trends of 2017Colors have a tremendous effect on influencing consumers’ everyday buying decisions. They communicate messages without using words and are crucial to creating a successful brand. Colors can be helpful in evoking emotion, persuading opinions, and making lasting impressions. In many cases, colors used in a design make the difference between “That looks nice” and “I absolutely must have it!” Successful businesses understand that the colors they use reflect the uniqueness of their brand and helps build lasting relationships with customers. At T.R. McTaggart, we specialize in helping businesses to develop their brand by offering innovative design options for apparel and promotional items, and one of the most important aspects of good design is effective use of color. While some colors are classic and always en vogue, many colors are simply trendy, so knowing which colors to use in a design for any given season is vital to producing products that will sell. With that in mind, here are the reported top 10 color trends of 2017.

Who Sets Color Trends? – The Pantone Color Report

Believe it or not, there is a science behind setting color trends. The Pantone Color Institute researches and uncovers the color trends for any given year and shares those findings for industry consumption. The institute’s director, Leatrice Eiseman, along with her team of professional color specialists, sets out each year to establish a new color report, and shares it with those who may be interested – particularly those in the fashion industry. The Pantone Color Report can be very useful in helping designers come up with the “next best thing” for the year’s fashion line.

How Can Following Color Trends Help Your Business? 

Many business take their artistic, designer, and fashion queues from the Pantone Color Report because in the past it has been very successful in influencing design trends and driving sales. The development of the Pantone Color Report is influenced by various things, including research conducted on former trends, current world affairs, and patterns and consistencies in fashion, art, and designs studied over time. Taking advantage of this research can be beneficial to businesses because it allows them to communicate more effectively to their customers via rhetorical cues that colors can convey – whether that is B2B or B2C. When creating a brand design for your business, it is important to know how to be as effective and efficient as possible in conveying your message. Any business seeking to bring its brand to life should incorporate the top 10 color trends of 2017 into their overall design strategy.

These 10 colors present a theme representing vibrant tones found in the natural world, through hues such as primrose, which inspires thoughts of sunflower fields, or flame, which brings to mind the deep reddish orange of a grapefruit. The top 10 color trends of 2017 offer variations on every color found in the rainbow, and will no doubt inspire innovative and creative designs for the calendar year.

Top 10 Color Trends of 2017

Niagara is a classic, demin blue jean color that represents ease and relaxation. This classic color will be very popular in the fashion industry this year, and speaks to individuals that are in search of dependability and comfort.

Yellow has always been an inviting color that reflects joy and happiness. Primrose is a shade of yellow that reflects both happiness and warmth. Its tented sunflower tone appeals to upbeat and energetic individuals, and also adds a bit of heat to spring.

Lapis Blue
This bold, navy blue is very confident and powerful. It focuses on accentuating inner radiance and strength. This color is especially attractive to women in business and individuals with a lot of energy.

Flame, as you can imagine, is a reddish, grapefruit orange color that’s very fun and flamboyant. This invigorating color draws you in completely and is attractive to almost everyone.

Island Paradise
This color is widely associated with vacations and relaxation. Island Paradise is easy, calm and caters to the dream of a tropical escape. It speaks to individuals who are looking to get away and relax.

Pale Dogwood
This very soft and airy shade of pink is sweet and gentle. It says “you are a delicate and tender being.” It speaks to individuals who are in search of peace and serenity.

Greenery is a yellowish-green that inspires people to get in tune with nature and the outdoors. Its bright and refreshing hue reveals ones need to explore and be active.

Pink Yarrow
This very festive and bold fuchsia pink is great at drawing people’s attention to it. It reflects energy and liveliness. Pink Yarrow is captivating and exciting, and can be counted on to make a statement.

Kale is a leafy green color that represents earthliness and a healthy living. It’s a perfect accent to brighter colors as well. Like Greenery, Kale reflects nature and encourages people to be more active outdoors.

Hazelnut is a transitional, neutral tone color that can be worn all year round. It is warm and blends effortlessly with all the seasons. Many people appreciate this color because it acts as the perfect default color and can be used throughout the year to bring warmth to all environments.

How Can You Make These Colors Work For You?

If you want to find out more about how you can make the top 10 color trends of 2017 help your brand stand out from the pack, call T.R. McTaggart today at (800) 433-0983. We are internationally recognized for our innovative and creative designs, and would love to talk to you about how this year’s color trends can help bring your design visions to life.

Get more out of your work day

42268004_SWe all want to get more out of our time at work, right? It all comes down to the right habits. Here are some ways that research tells us you can be more efficient at the office.

Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is the kiss of death to quality and productivity. Studies show that multitasking has a host of disadvantages and that focusing on one thing at a time can produce better results than trying to get more than one thing done at a time. Our brains simply weren’t wired for multitasking!

Ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but one of effective leadership. Delegating can be a powerful way to get more done each day and empower those around you. For many people, though, it doesn’t come naturally. Here’s a great guide from Harvard Business Review to successful delegating.

Communicate clearly. Make sure your texts, emails and documents are clear and thorough. Think of any unanswered questions that you can proactively answer as well. Also, be open to follow-up questions and concerns.

Develop routines. Rituals and routines can keep you motivated and focused. Here are some important things to work into — and re-energize — your daily routine.

Take breaks. No one is a bionic man or woman, You need downtime to allow yourself to enjoy something else, and you need mental and physical breaks, including real vacations. Take a vacation — and unplug for the sake of your health.

Seize the day!

Work holiday parties that work

48255884_SWe’re in the midst of the holiday season, and if you’re a company that prides itself on the culture—you will want to host a party for your employees.

Your company’s culture is one of the biggest points of difference between you and your competitors, and a holiday party is the perfect time to show off. Even employees who may skip out on other company-wide events are likely to attend the holiday party, so it’s one of the best opportunities to get in front of your most valuable asset–your staff.

For example, if you want to emphasize the importance of individual employee efforts, consider ways to recognize employee achievements. One way to do this is to acknowledge employees who showed high performance throughout the year with an award or a corporate branded item. Another way is to hand out thank you cards allowing employees to thank each other for the hard work.

The holidays are also a great time to establish philanthropic efforts, which add to your company culture. Employees generally love a chance to give back, and take pride in a company that loves to give back as well. This is a great time to spread seasonal cheer and happiness, while getting your name out there at the same time.

Holiday parties also encourage networking and relationships. A lot of times there aren’t very many opportunities for employees to talk, especially if they are in different departments. Christmas parties allow your employees to interact with each other and build friendships. This will help your employees have more positive feelings toward your company.

Whether you opt for karaoke, board games or a more traditional holiday celebration, one thing’s for certain, if you want to boost company morale, a holiday part is a must!

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