By RU Rob
You already know that Ranger Up has been bringing you cutting edge t-shirt designs for the last six years. But what you may not know is that Ranger Up offers a program to design, print and deliver custom-made shirts for your military unit, business, non-profit group, or any other reason you could possibly come up with! I was curious as to how Ranger Up came up with and manages this process, so I cornered Nick, Tommy and Luciano and tricked them into an interview by plying them with Twinkies and bourbon.
The custom shirt program was started in earnest last year after Nick and Tommy realized just how many people were interested in the idea.
“Every now and then we’d do the occasional custom unit t-shirt, if they really, really wanted it,” Nick said. “Then one day we realized we were getting 2-3 requests a week and heard the same thing ‘As long as the sands of time have sifted through the hourglass, mankind has yearned for the custum unit shirts with Ranger Up’s penchant for acerbic wit , brash and bold graphics, and unique door-kicking flair,’ so we decided to jump into custom in earnest. FYI, that quote may not be EXACTLY what people were saying, but it is how it sounded in my head movies.”
After swallowing his third Twinkie, Tommy went on. “When we make a custom t-shirt, whether it’s a custom unit shirt, a custom event shirt, or now with the launch of American Sin Bin, a custom rugby shirt, everything is completely unique to the individual client. There is no cookie cutter/drag your file here, clip art, or any sort of formula driven shirts here! When we start a custom project we take all of our cues from the customer, not from anything we’ve ever done in the past or some file we have on a hard drive.”
“We’ve had some crazy ideas from people when they first start out,” according to Ranger Up in-house designer and vodka aficionado Luciano. “One time a unit wanted a Trojan Horse made out of soldiers throughout history. Honestly, do you know how hard that is to draw? I did it. Then they saw it and realized they had just created a Trojan horse made up all the major soldiers throughout history. We started over again. Nevertheless, if you can give us a clear concept of what you want – we’ll do what it takes to make it a reality.”
The guys were all pretty adamant about the fact that Ranger Up will work with the client until it’s done right; no matter how long it takes. Some custom producers will charge for revision work, Ranger Up will work on the project until they get it right.
After another round of bourbon, I asked Tommy if there was any difference between the custom military shirts and those that Ranger Up produces for commercial sale. “We print on the same high quality blanks for our custom projects that we use for all of our Ranger Up products and use the exact same print techniques as well,” Tommy says. “We don’t cut corners on quality for a custom shirt, period. We give every custom project the same high quality treatment we give any Ranger Up shirt.”
“We can do as few as 60 or so, and as many as tens of thousands,” Tommy slurred. At first I thought he was referring to the number of shots we could do during this sit-down but then realized, and thankfully so, that he was actually talking about the number of shirts for an order.
The bourbon consumption was at its peak and we were well out of Twinkies so I thought it wise to wrap this up with pricing. According to Nick, pricing out a shirt depends on how many shirts are printed, the printing technique, how many ink colors, and what type of material the shirt will be made out of. “This really is completely custom job,” Nick stated. “The customer has the power to do what they want on a t-shirt. If they can think it up, we can pretty much do it!”
“If someone is interested in having a custom shirt designed and printed, all they have to do is contact us at [email protected] with as much detail as possible on what they are looking for,” Nick concluded while raising his glass one last time.
So there you have it, Ranger Up’s custom shirt program over a bottle of bourbon and a box of Twinkies. A day later, when sober, I managed to wrangle some of their past custom designs for you to get an idea of what they are capable of. Enjoy.