Bachelorette Party Shirt Ideas: What’s the Destination?

Your wedding day will be here before you know it—but first, it’s time to celebrate with with all your friends and bridesmaids at your destination bachelorette party! Whether you’re heading to the beach, the mountains, or the city for girls’ night out, make the outing extra-special with custom bachelorette party shirts for your squad. To get this party started, here are some ideas for personalizing gear to match your party’s theme. Continue reading “Bachelorette Party Shirt Ideas: What’s the Destination?”

The Best of Orthodontist Office Custom T-shirts

Orthodontist office custom t-shirts

In the competitive field of orthodontics, the doctors who truly stand out are those who go beyond what is asked or expected. They deliver exceptional service, treat customers like family, and may even throw in some freebies. The most common freebie is t-shirts.

T-shirts act as dual action brand-lift for your orthodontist practice. First, customers are excited that they get something for free (everyone loves free t-shirts–think about t-shirt cannons). Secondly, these customers can now act as walking billboards for your office. Whether they’re a part of an overall marketing strategy, or simply offered as promotional lift to each of your clients, your t-shirts will act as walking representation for your brand–have fun and get creative with them!

Here are 8 memorable orthodontist t-shirt designs to help you get started:

Stop crooked teeth

Stop crooked teeth t-shirt

This is why they come to you in the first place. Crooked teeth belong locked behind bars–or wires? Either way, by-passers won’t forget this clever characterization when they seek someone to stop their crooked teeth.

Straighten it out

Straighten it out

In the end, the real winners are the orthodontists who are able to straighten everything out. This shirt will serve as a reminder to everyone that when there’s some aligning to be done, you’ll be the first to help.

design t-shirts now

Always better together

Funny always better together shirt

No one likes to be alone–that includes your teeth. This design reminds us all that a set of teeth is just that–a set. They belong together. Aligned teeth are happy teeth.

Crowd Control

Crowd Control for Teeth

If an on-looker’s teeth are a rowdy, misdirected bunch, then braces will provide just the crowd control they need. This punny shirt will not be soon forgotten by people who have been considering making their own investment in crowd control.

Align-mint

 Orthodontist alignmint

Okay, we’ll admit–this one’s a bit of a stretch. A mint that cranks out perfectly aligned smiles? Bet you never thought of your orthodontist office that way, but hey–you’ll definitely stand out if you can make people think of something simple in a different way.

Everyone needs their space

Funny orthodontist t-shirts

Being caught in a small space can be uncomfortable, to say the least. With everyone on top of one another, it can be hard to move, let alone stay positive about the situation and smile. This shirt serves as a simple reminder to those who may be feeling a bit crowded.

Nice curve

Funny orthodontist office t-shirts

How do you feel about each of the perfect curves you create? Pretty nice, right?

We love the attractive vintage drive-in vibe of this one, and we’re going to bet your customers will love it, too. It will make a great addition to any wardrobe rotation, spreading more awareness for your orthodontist office than you even expected.

Straight up perfect

Straight up perfect orthodontist t-shirt

 

Everyone knows a perfectionist. You know, the people who have it all together, head to toe. Well, the result of your ortho-artistry is something even the hardest to please cannot deny–straight up perfection.

Making a good name for your practice is as simple as what you put on your patients’ t-shirts. Design them with something memorable! What design do you love for your practice? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share other clever design ideas! I

If you’re interested in one of the tees above, let us know and we’ll create it for you!

Top 5 Street Art and Streetwear Collaborations

Streetwear Collabs

Street artists and streetwear have always gone together like peanut butter and jelly, salt-n-pepper, and aerosol cans and freshly painted walls.  “Street art” has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings. Today it includes countless mediums, materials, and styles. Its most prominent artists have risen through the ranks of the art world to earn high respects, both critically and commercially. 

Some of the most successful artists became entrepreneurs in their own right. These are the artists who figured out how to monetize their artwork using various mediums, such as galleries, clothing lines, commercial design, and much more. Several have even partnered with established brands to get their message to the masses. 

Let’s take a look at five of the best collaborations between street artists and streetwear brands over the past few years.

Kaws x Uniqlo

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Street artist Kaws made a name for himself throughout the 2000s with his cartoon-inspired style. His work quickly found its’ way into pop culture, appearing on collectible vinyl toys, swimwear, and album covers. While most of these pieces were well received, none had the same cultural reach as his collaboration with Japanese retailer Uniqlo.

In 2016, Kaws and Uniqlo worked together to release a limited run of t-shirts featuring Kaws’ artwork. The shirts debuted in Uniqlo retail outlets worldwide. The first run was so popular that the company quickly produced a second collection to keep up with demand.  While many graffiti artist have successful t-shirt lines, few have been as instantly successful as Kaws has been. 

Keith Haring X Swatch

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The 80s are often viewed as the pinnacle of when street art mixed with high society. They were the era when New York City’s new hip-hop and punk movements first began mingling with the established art gallery and dance scenes.  One of the most influential artists of this era was Keith Haring, whose simple figures and childlike letters took the scene by storm. Haring’s work soon ended up on posters, clothing, album covers, and some of the most memorable watches of the decade. 

Keith Haring’s initial collaboration with Swatch is a perfect example of artist, brand, and timing all coming together like the elements of a beautiful mural. The Keith Haring swatch collection featured his unmistakable style. While the line featured products for general release, and it also included limited edition models.  The collaboration was so successful that some of the limited edition models, which were $50 at the time of their release, are now worth several thousand dollars. Over the last four decades, the artist has went on to design multiple other collections with Swatch. 

Shepard Fairey X Obey 

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Shepard Fairey is an innovative artist on several fronts. In the 80s, his “Andre The Giant” sticker became ubiquitous, even beyond the street art scene. In some ways, it even led to the “street team” promotion movement that became popular in the 90s. Later on in 2008, his portrait of Barack Obama became the unofficial logo for the POTUS’s campaign, and helped push street art into the forefront of American culture.

Fairey blended his artwork with fashion when he created his own streetwear brand, Obey. The brand’s logo has arguably become Fairey’s most recognizable work. Obey apparel is sold in malls and merchandisers all over the United States, and is available at affordable prices at stores like Urban Outfitters and Zumiez. Fairey has made street art available for the masses to purchase and wear, and he’s successfully turned young people onto the scene with every trip to the mall. 

Stash X Reebok

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New York-based street artist Stash had been working his subdued blue and gray magic on both Nike (Air Force Ones, Air Maxes) and Reeboks (Insta Pump Fury) for several years before he took a shot at Allen Iverson’s first signature shoe. 

Stash’s version of “The Question” reimagined the familiar silhouette. His design utilized premium materials and unique blue and grey hues in combination with Reebok, Iverson, and Stash co-branding. The shoe was proof that when sneaker companies collaborate with artists, the results don’t have to scream “Look at me!” when they could “Kill Them Softly.” 

Cleon Peterson x HUF

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The L.A.-based Cleon Peterson is known for his monochromatic paintings, which represent symbolic depictions of the struggles of contemporary society. It is no surprise that merchandisers have been all over him for collaborations for years. Back in 2012, Peterson collaborated with the U.K.-based retailer African Apparel on a t-shirt collection featuring his statement-making artwork.

More recently, in 2016, Peterson collaborated with the gritty lifestyle brand HUF to create an entire streetwear collection featuring his chaotic drawings. The exclusive run, titled “In Killing We Live,” includes a bomber jacket, crew neck, duffle bag, hats, and a skateboard deck, and is available at only a couple dozen retailers worldwide.

Each of these artists has learned that the trick to a successful career in street art is monetizing your work in as many ways possible. Even if you can’t collaborate with the biggest brands off the bat, a collaboration with any merchandiser is a great start. These artists have been able to create and maintain a demand for their artwork, and in turn have remained culturally influential throughout their artistic careers.

Angelo Gingerelli is a New Jersey native, stand-up comic, streetwear enthusiast, and avid hip-hop fan.  He has been writing for various publications since 2009 and currently contributes to Pop-Break.com, FifthRoundMovement.com and Rush Order Tees. Learn more about Angelo on his website and on Twitter @Mr5thRound.

Designer’s Guide to Graffiti Fonts

Graffiti fonts in design

In many ways, graffiti is humankind’s earliest attempt to leave its mark on the world. By some accounts, we’ve been doing it for nearly 40,000 years. From the charcoal briquettes and crude tools of the prehistoric peoples of North America, ancient Egyptians, and the earliest manmade art in the caves of Indonesia, it has been a long road to the Sharpie markers and Krylon cans of modern man.  But the intent of graffiti has never changed:  “I exist!  Look at me!” 

The Greek word, graphein, means to write.  But our modern use of the root in “graffiti,” has a much greater context.

The clandestine, illegal, and sometimes gang-related origins of modern graffiti and street art make it taboo to much of the art world, but in recent decades, the form has transcended the realm of crime into city-funded beautification programs, marketing campaigns, and is now recognized as a bonafide art form.

What could be better for your design than the artform that developed out of man’s need to leave his mark, capture attention, and depict a message? Here’s our guide to graffiti fonts that you can use in your own designs:

Just another font?

Graffiti wall
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Many online articles and books on the subject trace the origins of modern American graffiti writing back to the 1960s—some even to the streets of Philadelphia (the home of Rush Order Tees).  Most graffiti letterings take the ornate, but slightly stuffy style of calligraphy, and humanizes, animates, and exaggerates it into a voluminous, pulsing writing that borders on iconography. 

Tagging, bombing, or whatever it is you call graffiti writing, is attention-grabbing. From brick walls to train cars, the beating life behind graffiti writing captures more attention than Times New Roman and Calibri. The canvases of graffiti artists are often larger than the front of a t-shirt, but the dynamic lettering is still effective when scaled down. 

Options

Graffiti spray paint cans
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As long as you promise to keep it legal, Rush Order Tees has compiled some examples and descriptions for some of the coolest, most dynamic graffiti styles available. As styles change from artist to artist, we are featuring a few of the basic stylistic forms inherent in all graffiti writing.

Tag Inspired

Stussy signature
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The tag style is Graffiti 101—consider it like learning how to write your name.  That is its origin. Tagging is a quick and basic stylized form, but it’s not just a novice’s attempt at vandalizing a high school bathroom stall.  Although the tag style is composed of letters, it becomes an icon for the artist—a calling card, a signature, a brand. 

Tag-inspired text can go a long way. Renowned streetwear brand Stussy‘s logo is actually the signature of the brand’s founder, Shawn Stussy. Stussy and his assistant Christian Anicete began selling custom-designed surfboards in the early 80s, each of which Stussy signed with a wide-tipped marker. He soon began putting this logo onto t-shirts, hats, and other apparel and selling it out of his car. So began the brand and recognizable logo that exist today.

Throw-ups

Graffiti font
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No, it’s probably not what you think from the subheading. We’re talking about another general style that is a bit more ornate than a tag. Bombs are basically like tags, with the sides blown out. They utilize bubble letters, and include two or three colors for outline, fill color, and shadowing.

Many effects are added to basic tags and throw ups to give them more magnitude and animation.  Here are some of the basics:

Drips: These mimic the heavy spray of a can. They add movement and gravity to the piece.

Graffiti drip font
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Shadow Letters: These give depth and perspective to either bubble or block letters. The use of shadow letters takes the one-dimensional surface, and pushes the piece out toward the viewer.

Graffiti shadow font
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Fat Cap: Just as they sound—writing from a fatter (wider) orifice on the actuator (basically, paint comes out of the can through a bigger hole).  It can soften tags and sharp edges.

Graffiti font
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The only risk as we get more stylized in our graffiti writing is that the images become a bit more abstract. Check out 1001 Fonts for a more simplified version of a basic throw-up font.  Now, let’s enter the big leagues in terms of abstracting your graffiti writing.

Wildstyle

Graffiti writing
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If you consider tagging as a bachelor’s degree and throw-ups as a master’s, then wildstyle is the PhD.  Wildstyle occurs when an artist pursues aesthetics into the hazy world of abstraction.  How do you get to wild style?  Through something called letter progression. 

Here’s a basic example of how the letter “R” can come out in wildstyle:

Graffiti letter progression
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When you really break it down, it is not all that different from the initial (also called a drop cap) in classical and medieval prints. 

Capital letter style
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Like we said in the introduction, every artist is different, but you have to start somewhere. Getting wildstyle down is up to the individual, but in terms of a font, wildstyle is more aptly suited for a brand logo, as the message is often so distorted, legibility is secondhand to aesthetics. You can check out a great tutorial on letter progression into wildstyle here

Graffiti writing will give your design exaggeration, playfulness, and a dynamism that isn’t inherent in other fonts. The bottom line is that it was developed to capture attention and make claims.  Isn’t that what you want your brand and design to do?  For more information on graffiti fonts, Creative Bloq offers a look at 54 of the best free graffiti fonts available. With a little practice, you’ll incorporate graffiti into your designs like a pro in no time. 

Ryan R. Latini is a freelance writer working in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Check out his website, The Narrative Report at www.ryanlatini.com, or follow him on Twitter @RyanRLatini.

Halloween Costume Ideas for the Whole Family

Family Halloween costumes

With September in our rearview and summer merely a distant memory, only one thing is on our minds…Halloween! 

Halloween is a great holiday at all stages of life. As a kid, it’s all about the costumes and candy. As a young adult, it’s all about the college parties and bar crawls. But the holiday is also really a special time for young families, as they get to dress up the whole squad in coordinated costumes before the kids are too old to think it’s corny. It’s a sacred time when dads can dress up as a zombie without the kids worrying about being embarrassed in front of their friends. 

Let’s take a look at some group costumes perfect for parents and young kids:

Super Hero Teams

Family Superhero costume
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Comic book superheroes have dominated the pop-culture landscape for over a decade, and it is clear now that it’s not a fad–the geeks have indeed won. Rather than fighting this battle, Halloween is the perfect time to join in on the fun. Dress up your family like the Avengers, Justice League, X-Men or Fantastic Four for some great costumes that will be instantly recognizable to people of all ages. 

If you want to go a little deeper and really impress “comic book people” you can do costumes based on TV shows like Arrow (who wouldn’t love a mini-Oliver Queen?), or use more obscure characters, like Doom Patrol or Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Cartoons

TMNT family costume

Between Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Fox’s Animation Sunday, Comedy Central, and the constant stream of animation available online, cartoons have far outgrown their traditional Saturday morning time slots. Cartoons are now regular viewing for people of all ages. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Teen Titans, and Doc McStuffins are all shows with ensemble casts and characters that make great costumes for both parents and kids. 

If current cartoons aren’t your thing, dress up as characters from the classics, such as Looney Toons, Rugrats, or GI Joe. This will be a fun way to introduce something from your childhood into your kid’s life.

Movies

The Incredibles Family costume
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We are living in the era of team-up movies–The Avengers, The Expendables, Batman vs. Superman, Ocean’s 11, Suicide Squad, the list goes on. Dressing up as one of these great ensemble casts is a great way to commemorate a family favorite movie. You’ll also get to take pictures everyone will look back upon fondly. 

Sport Costumes

Family sports costumes
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If rooting for the home team runs in the family, why not dress up like each person’s favorite player? Mimicking player’s trademark facial hair, hair style, or other distinguishing characteristics will make the costumes more fun.  This is one family costume that ends up being pretty affordable because most of the jerseys, hats, or sneakers needed for the costumes can be worn the rest of the year to cheer on the team.

Video Games

Video Game Costumes
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Video games often get blamed for problems ranging from obesity to poor social skills, but the critics often leave out the cross generational appeal of games. Video games allow parents and children to connect and play together as the child matures beyond typical toys. Games like Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic the Hedgehog have been around for decades and continue to be popular among gamers of all ages. 

These games all have characters and mythology that is as much a part of our culture as any great movie or TV series released in the last twenty-five years. They make perfect inspiration for family costumes. The most popular characters (Mario, Donkey Kong, etc.) have costumes available everywhere, but going more unique with a homemade costume of an obscure sidekick or enemy is also a cool way to endear your family to hardcore gamers. 

Coordinated Halloween costumes can be a great way to bring the family together over shared loved for classic characters and create some long lasting memories. Just make sure to do it before the kids are too old to look forward to dressing like their parents! 

Angelo Gingerelli is a New Jersey native, stand-up comic, streetwear enthusiast, and avid hip-hop fan.  He has been writing for various publications since 2009 and currently contributes to Pop-Break.com, FifthRoundMovement.com and Rush Order Tees. Learn more about Angelo on his website and on Twitter @Mr5thRound.

5 Reasons to Sign Up Teams for Your 5K

5k teams

Planning a 5k can be a full time job for one or many people, and there are so many different things to consider throughout race preparation: promoting the event, taking care of logistics, and of course making sure participants get awesome t-shirts.

To continue our on-going discussion about 5k planning, today we’re diving in why it’s important to focus on signing up teams for your race–not just individuals. With their powers combined, teams can take your 5k from ‘okay’ to totally awesome.

Let’s take a deeper look at the importance of signing up teams for your 5k.

It’s More Fun than Running Alone!

happy running team
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If you want people to have a good experience, you need to get them thinking about how they can have the most fun on race day. Running with a friend (or a group!) really is so much more fun than running alone. Once the race is over, a team is there to celebrate, and relax after the accomplishments of the day. Plus, they’ll keep people going and motivate them to finish strong if they’re starting to feel sluggish mid-race. Teams get bonus points if they wear matching team t-shirts!

Built-in Training Support System

Running club training
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Before the race even starts, a team is a built-in training support system. A dedicated team will spend some time running together before the race starts, getting to know each member’s quirks and pace. An individual can push off or ignore scheduled training runs, but a team won’t let them get away with skipping them! Besides support, team members also make for great accountability partners, and will help members to be completely prepared come race day.

Teams Drive (Fundraising) Competition

One of the biggest benefits of signing up teams for your 5k is that they get competitive with fundraising. When you challenge teams to out-fundraise each other, as well as other teams, they respond in kind. Individuals on their own may not have the network or funds to raise a lot of cash, but teams can leverage the power of their connections together, and work off of competitive energy to push the limits and become top fundraisers. If you’ve planned a 5k before, compare the average of team member’s fundraising efforts versus individuals–it’s likely to be significantly higher!

Teams Have a Greater Combined Network

5k team network
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A large network is an asset, and a team has a larger combined network than an individual on their own. Teams will likely share lots of online and offline updates with their network throughout their preparation and participation in your 5k. By tagging or mentioning each other in conversations, team members create a bigger impact for the organization they represent/the run they’re participating in.

How to Find and Create Teams

Are you convinced of the importance of signing up teams for your 5k? Great. Where can you find already existing teams? A few ideas:

  • Local gyms and fitness studios
  • Local run clubs
  • After-work sports teams
  • Local businesses
  • Event sponsors

Focus on getting teams from rival organizations to compete with each other. Tell organization members about the benefit of getting involved, and the cause you represent. Chances are, they can’t wait to show off how awesome of a team they are, and how good they are at working together.

How is your 5k planning going? Have any tips for signing up teams for your 5k? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Do you need custom running t-shirts? We can help you design the best gear for your team. Visit us at RushOrderTees.com or call (800) 620-1233.

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

Hershey’s Brand: Master Merchandiser and Chocolatier

Hershey's brand Merchandise

With the Halloween approaching quickly, a lot of people have one thing on their mind: CANDY. Most stores that sell the sweet stuff have gotten additional stock by the truckload in preparation for October 31st.

Among all the infamous candy brands out there, one of them is pretty recognizable: Hershey’s. Whether your munching on a Hershey bar or unwrapping Hershey’s kiss after Hershey’s kiss, the odds are if you have a sweet tooth, then some form of Hershey’s candy has been in your (literal) system. Reese’s, Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers–pick your poison.

Hershey’s History

Hershey candy was developed by Milton S. Hershey in the early 1900s. A factory devoted to ushering out the popular Hershey food was built in 1905, and the founding of Hershey, Pennsylvania followed soon after. In 1927, the Hershey Hotel and Amusement Parks came to be, delighting people from all over the world with undeniable sweetness and fun!

Today, the company is a hallmark of almost any holiday. Customers can order Hershey’s chocolate bars with customized labels for any occasion, and they even offer customizable gift packages. This is all aside from their exclusive offerings, such as 1 lb Hershey’s kisses and 5 lb Hershey’s chocolate bars.

Because of the popularity of Hershey, Inc., t-shirts both advertising and advocating the candy brand are really far and wide. Let’s take a look at some of the delectable tees that will no doubt bring a chocolatey grin to those that wear them!

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Reese's shirt
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Ah, peanut butter and chocolate. Two great things separately, one amazing thing combined. It may seem like blasphemy to start this list off with a non-Hershey-specific shirt, but there’s no denying that Reese’s PB cups, pieces, and whatever else under the banner have had staying power for several decades.

While several other companies have gotten into the PB and chocolate game, there’s no doubt that Reese’s remains king. You can’t deny two (or four) perfect peanut butter cups melting in your mouth. That’s why this shirt is a must–it says it all about why Reese’s are so perfect.

Milk it for all it’s worth.

Hershey's chocolate shirt
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Okay, so back to Hershey proper. As stated earlier, the chocolate bar has been a Halloween staple for as long as time can remember. It’s name is plastered on one of the most fun and beautiful theme parks in the U.S.. The Hershey company has taken their ownership of the chocolate bar far and wide.

A Kiss You Shouldn’t Miss

Hershey's Kiss shirt
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For those who like Hershey’s chocolate in its smaller form, look no further than the Hershey’s Kiss. A perfect little morsel of sweetness, the Hershey’s Kiss is normally found in candy dishes in a lot of homes. They come in several different flavors so there’s something for everyone! The shirt showcased above dedicates itself to saying, “Hey, have a kiss.” So go for it!

Fo’ Twizzle

Twizzlers t-shirt
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Not a chocolate fan? It’s okay–Hershey’s has got you covered. Another popular name in the candy aisle, Twizzlers are pretty much a solid go to if you don’t want to overdo it on chocolate. Just like Hershey’s Kisses, Twizzlers have expanded to a multitude of flavors, but most people stick with the plain red twisted “ropes.” Whatever makes your mouth happy.

Jolly ol’ Soul

Jolly Rancher t-shirt
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Love Jolly Ranchers? Do you love them, like…a lot? Well then, this is the shirt for you. The colorful candies that have everyone battling over which flavor is best (Green apple? Watermelon? It’s certainly not grape!) place their importance on the mother of all t-shirts supporting Hershey’s little wrapped treats. Only a true Jolly Rancher fan would sport this tee. Are you up to the challenge?

Theme Ideas for Your 5k

5k Theme ideas

Whether you’re a first time planner or an old pro, planning a 5k run is hard work. It’s no task to be taken lightly! Besides all of the particulars that revolve around making sure your event is safe and abides by all the rules, you also have to create something that people are truly excited to attend. Before you launch into the finer details of 5k planning, you first need to decide on a theme that speaks to your target runners.

Here are a few theme ideas for your 5k that will be hard to ignore by your target runners.

Holiday

Holiday 5k theme
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A lot of 5k runs find success by planning their event around a holiday theme. This could be a lesser-known holiday/event (like Oktoberfest), or a widely celebrated event like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It may seem counterintuitive to try and gather participants when they’ll likely have a lot of other holiday plans, but these races tend to attract families and friends who are interested in doing something together after a long separation.

Lesser-known holidays/events are fun, too, because they often go uncelebrated. When you find and take advantage of a lesser-known holiday, you could use it as an opportunity to associate yourself with it in your community – a priceless branding method. If your organization has a natural connection to a holiday, you should definitely consider using it as a theme idea for your 5k!

Food-related

Hot Chocolate 5k theme
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It’s hard for runners to ignore the allure of a 5k run that offers the chance to exercise, and the chance to indulge on delicious food and drink immediately afterwards. The best part of these 5k runs is that you really feel like you’ve earned whatever delicious treat you snack on at the end of the race!

The Hot Chocolate Run is a cold weather run that finds success by appealing to America’s love of chocolate. You may opt to focus instead on beer, donuts, candy, or other indulgences, depending on your audience.

Dress Up

Superhero 5k theme
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There are some truly outrageous dress up runs if you look hard enough, but the key to planning a successful 5k run with a dress up theme is to keep things as simple as possible.

Make it possible for anyone to join in and have fun – don’t require an expensive costume. Instead, offer a prop as a sign up incentive, and encourage people to build their own costumes. These 5k runs tend to result in the best pictures, which will make advertising for the next year easy as pie!

Paint Yourself

Color Run 5k Theme
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You’ve probably seen advertising for (or participated in) a color run of some sort. Some take place during the day, others feature an ethereal course with glow in the dark lights and course markers. Either way, the visuals will be stunning.

This theme idea for your 5k also tends to result in pretty amazing photography for participants and for you, the race organizer.

Obstacles

Obstacle 5k theme
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This theme idea for your 5k is not for the faint of heart. By adding obstacles, or additional liabilities as your lawyer may remind you, you’re asking for a lot more paperwork and more expenses to insure the event and build obstacles.

However, mud runs and other events with obstacles tend to be the most fun 5k events. These events are some of the most talked about and widely attended. It’s worth considering if your organization has the funds and willpower!

There are so many different ways to organize a 5k and choose a compelling theme. Which of these fits the purpose and demographic of the runners you’re trying to target? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the past when picking theme ideas for your 5k!

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

6 Activities to Keep the Kids Busy at Your 5K This Fall

Kids 5k Activities

If you’ve read our previous 5k and charity event posts in the process of planning your event, you’ve undoubtably nailed down the essentials, such as nailing down your sponsors, creating your event t-shirt, and planning for the unexpected. Before you rest assured that your event will be smooth-sailing, however, one thing to consider is what all of the children attendees will do at your race while their parents run.

Although the children may come with babysitters, spectating parents, or grandparents, it’s always a great idea to plan some kid-friendly activities that will keep the kids busy at your event. Not only will this prevent them from becoming bored and bugging to go home as soon as the race is over, but it also allows the other spectators to enjoy the rest of the fun things your event has to offer, such as food, drinks, and other vendors. Not to mention, it buys the runners time to hang out afterwards and socialize while they wait for the awards to be announced.

On that note, here are some kid-friendly activities to keep the kids busy at your 5k this fall:

1. Face-painting

Kids face-painting station
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Especially with Halloween right around the corner, a face-painting station at your event is sure to be a hit. This is one of the simplest activities to set up–all you need to prepare ahead of time is a table with some paint and brushes. The kids will love getting to “dress up” as their favorite animal or spooky character.

2. Pumpkin painting

Kids pumpkin painting
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During the fall season, the pumpkin craze is in full swing. Allow the kids at your event to be their own pumpkin Picassos. Provide small pumpkins and paint for your kids to create their own artwork. This creative activity should take up a good amount time while the race is going on. After the race, the kids will be excited to show off their pumpkins and take them home. 

3. Moon Bounce

Kids Moonbounce
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There is almost nothing in the world kids love more than moon bounces. It’s crowd favorite that will never die. Look up a place near you that provides rentals–many places offer them relatively cheap. This is guaranteed to keep the kids occupied, and probably even begging their parents not to leave. 

If you choose to provide a moon bounce for the kids at your event, you’ll need to take safety into consideration. If you fear there are going to be many kids waiting to get on, you will have to plan on having an adult there to supervise them and make sure than no more than maximum capacity is allowed on at a time. 

4. Kids obstacle course

Kids obstacle course
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Engaging the older kids at your 5k in a fun obstacle course is another great way to keep the kids active, and to let them compete, too. All you need for this is a few simple props, such as hula hoops and short hurdles. Split the kids up into small groups and have them race in a series of fun “challenges.” 

5. Costume relay race

Costume relay race
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A costume race is a simple, relatively low-cost activity you can plan for the kids– and it’s one that they will love! There’s no better time of year than fall to let the kids dress up in goofy costumes.

First, get a few simple costume items, such as a witch’s hat, a cape, and a broomstick. Place the costume at one end of a race course, and have the kids line up at the other end. When the first racer gets to the other end, they have to put on the costume, run back, and then pass the costume on to the next racer. Then, each kid repeats after that! It’s a simple and fun race–you can provide Halloween candy as the prize (as long as it’s okay with the parents!)

6. Scarecrow making

Kids Scarecrow making
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Scarecrows are a fall staple. It’s not too often that kids actually get to make them anymore, but they are guaranteed to love it! A few simple supplies will make for a creative activity that will keep the kids busy For scarecrows, you’ll need:

  • Hay bales
  • Old jeans and flannels–check your local thrift stores for these!
  • Potato sack (for the head)
  • Markers (for drawing the face)
  • Thick rubber bands for securing the ends

You can let the kids split up and create a scarecrow with whoever they’d like for a collaborative, creative, and fun activity that they’ll be proud to show their parents in the end.

Planning a fun activity for the kids at your event doesn’t take too much time or effort, just a bit of planning ahead. Keeping the kids busy will help them and everyone enjoy your 5k event that much more. Have other ideas? Leave your own kid-friendly activity for a 5k event in the comments!

NFL Branding: Ranking of the AFC Teams from Worst to Best

NFL branding

The NFL is all about competition–on the field and off. On the field, the teams fall into rankings themselves. But off the field, it’s really up to each team’s fans to show support. Here’s our ranking of the AFC teams based on the success of each team’s franchise and the durability of their branding.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars 

Jacksonville Jaguars logo
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Despite playing for over 20 years, the Jags franchise has yet to establish a true “brand.” On the field, the organization has seen very little success and has had a revolving door of players and coaches. When it comes to their branding, they’ve experimented with bizarre uniform designs, which are often mocked by commentators.

Most expansion teams take a while to become ingrained in the fabric of their community, but for the Jaguars that timeline is at two decades and counting.  

15. Cincinnati Bengals 

Cincinnati Bengals
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The Bengals have to share Ohio with two of the most devoted football fan bases in the nation, the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes. Unfortunately, they’ve remained in a distant third place for most of their existence.  Outside of their Midwest media market, the Bengals don’t have much of a presence.

With the exception of a few promising seasons recently, the Bengals remain “that other team in Ohio,” and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change any time soon.  

14. Buffalo Bills 

Buffalo Bills logo
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Buffalo, NY is almost in Canada, and for most NFL fans, the Bills might as well be a CFL team. In all fairness, they probably would have won one those four Super Bowls in the early 90s if they had played the Toronto Argonauts instead of the Cowboys. The Bills’ brand has suffered with generic uniforms, rosters, and a stadium that only gets media attention when it fills with snow (yes, it fills up with snow). 

There have been signs of life recently with the signing of the ever-entertaining Rex Ryan as head coach, but until the team does something significant on the field or in the marketing department, it will remain near the bottom of this list. 

13. Houston Texans

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Considering the franchise didn’t exist until the early 2000s, the Texans have done a decent job of establishing themselves in the NFL ranks. Their uniforms are red, black, and intimidating; their logo is an interesting mix of abstract art and Texas pride; and they field a competitive team every few years.

As long as they are sharing the Lone Star State with “America’s Team,” the Texans will continually face an uphill battle. So far, however, that battle is off to a pretty solid start. 

12. Tennessee Titans 

Tennessee Titans
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When the Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee, they kept the red, white, and baby blue color scheme, and applied it to a uniform that would look more at home in the Arena Football League than the NFL.

While that uniform was mocked in the late 90s, eventually a lot of teams (Buccaneers, Seahawks, etc.) followed their lead with similar designs. The Titans got off to a quick start in the their new home when they made it to a Super Bowl early in their existence, but the last decade has not been kind to the team. 

11. Kansas City Chiefs 

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Besides their bright red uniforms and their “good guy” image in their rivalry with the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs are not known for much else. While they do have an extremely dedicated fan base in the Midwest, the Chiefs are normally not on the national radar in terms of nationally televised games, marquee players, or merchandise sales.

10. San Diego Chargers 

San Diego Chargers logo
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ESPN’s Chris Berman contends every year that the powder blue, white, and yellow Charger uniforms are the best in all of sports. The team’s merchandise, however, has not really been a hit outside of southern California. Perhaps it’s because the team has consistently disappointed in the playoffs. Whatever it is, the Chargers have consistently struggled to create a national brand.

9. Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts
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Things were looking up for the Colts during the Manning era, when they were coached by Hall of Famer, Tony Dungy. The team had an electrifying roster including players like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Edgerrin James, and played in two Super Bowls (one of which they won). Once this core was dismantled, however, the Colts took a giant leap backwards in terms of national recognition.

8. New York Jets 

NY Jets Logo
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Similar to the LA Clippers, the Chicago White Sox, and the New York Islanders, the Jets will never be “the team” in their city.

Since winning Super Bowl III, the Jets have had a rough time living in the shadow of the continuously competitive Giants, which has left them with a perpetual “Little Brother” feel. It doesn’t help that they also share a stadium with the Giants, which, until recently, was actually called Giant Stadium.

7.  Denver Broncos 

Denver Broncos logo
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The Broncos play in the somewhat lackluster AFC West and have done a good job of establishing themselves as the classy team of that division. 

The team’s popularity waned somewhat in the 00s but their acquisition of Peyton Manning and subsequent Super Bowl runs gave the Broncos one of the NFL’s truest “feel good” stories of the last few years. 

6. Miami Dolphins 

Miami Dolphins logo
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Few NFL uniforms match the vibe of their city as nicely as the Miami Dolphins. Even when they have no marquee players on the roster, the Dan Marino retro remains a popular seller. 

The Dolphins haven’t necessarily been a dominant team since Three’s Company was a hit show, but the team’s South Florida aesthetic and connection to Miami’s celebrity culture keeps them in the company of the league’s most popular teams. 

5. Cleveland Browns 

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In over a century of professional sports in Cleveland, the city had never won a championship until LeBron James and the Cavaliers brought the NBA title to Ohio this year.

If you look at their rabid fan base, however, you would never know the Browns have experienced decades of futility. The Browns have branded themselves as a working man’s team, and done a great job of selling their blue collar aesthetic to fans across the nation. 

4. Baltimore Ravens 

Baltimore Ravens
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With Brian Billick as head coach, along with a team stacked with star players like Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, and Terrell Suggs, the team won two Super Bowls and put Baltimore back on the pro-football map.

The “Purple People Eaters” have been consistently competitive on field since the late 90s, and have done an even better job of branding themselves as the tough-as-nails defensive juggernaut of this era.  

3. New England Patriots 

New England Patriots
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Until the turn of the 21st century, Boston was clearly a baseball and basketball town that happened to have an NFL franchise.

That all changed in the early 2000s, when head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady started their run of dominance over the rest of the league. The Patriots have since branded themselves with an air of professionalism and excellence rivaled only by MLB’s New York Yankees. 

2. Oakland Raiders 

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For almost fifty years, the Oakland Raiders have been the NFL’s outlaw franchise. The team embraced this image under iconic owner Al Davis, and it has worked pretty well for the franchise over the decades.

They won several Super Bowls before hitting their current rough patch. But even when the team is nowhere near playoff contention, the Silver and Black continues to be a national brand. 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers 

Pittsburgh Steelers logo
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No team in the NFL–or arguably in all of professional sports–represents their part of the country better than the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The team has fully embraced their Blue Collar image since their inception, going as far as naming the team after western Pennsylvania’s most well known export.  This early branding immediately endeared the team to not only steel workers, but to blue collar workers everywhere. The Steelers quickly became the team of the people. 

Over the decades the team has had a steady stream of no-nonsense coaches and players known more for toughness and teamwork than prima donna antics. This formula has not only been successful on the field, but has allowed the Steelers to maintain a brand image that has attracted an incredibly devoted nationwide fanbase that rivals any in professional sports. 

Angelo Gingerelli is a New Jersey native, stand-up comic, streetwear enthusiast, and avid hip-hop fan.  He has been writing for various publications since 2009 and currently contributes to Pop-Break.com, FifthRoundMovement.com, and Rush Order Tees. Learn more about Angelo on his website and on Twitter @Mr5thRound.