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All the Text That Fits to Print

by Matt DeLaere, Marketing

[Image from http://www.mlbdailydish.com]

Personalization of uniforms and other apparel can be simple when a team is full of Smiths and Joneses, but what to do with that pesky little leaguer, Thomas Gurchumelidze? The obvious solution would be to simply put “Tommy” on his jersey and move on. Sudden inauguration into the pantheon of one-named athletes, such as Pelé, Nenê, and Maradona, may, however, be more pressure than the average six-year-old can handle. So now you’re forced to fit a 13 character name on a jersey. Believe it or not, it can be done.

For example, three Major League Baseball teams have managed to fit Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s name on the back of a jersey. Saltalamacchia holds the distinction of having the longest surname in Major League Baseball history, at 14 characters (you can see why most people call him “Salty”). Sure, his name wraps from his left elbow to his right, but it fits – and not in tiny letters, either. It doesn’t have to be hard for you to decorate the jerseys of the Saltalamacchias of the world.

There are multitudinous (13 characters) factors to take into consideration (13 characters) before beginning. Letter size, font, and kerning (spacing between letters) can affect how each name looks, so you may want to determine each of these based on the longest name on the team, then apply these attributes to the other names on the team. So, when little Tommy Gurchumelidze takes the field, his name will have the same-size letters and spacing as his teammate, Bobby Dow. This approach might work best if you’re ordering pre-cut letters and numbers and spacing them yourself. Be sure to determine the correct size before ordering, though.

Another option is to use smaller letters on the longer names. There is precedent for this, in the NFL for example, where Ben Roethlisberger’s name (14 characters) appears in a smaller font size than do his teammates’ with shorter names. This option might be exceptionally useful if you’re cutting your own letters with heat transfer material and a vinyl cutter, or if you keep an inventory of different sizes of pre-cut letters.

Simply “squeezing” the letters in will also work. The new ordering system for Player Perfect pre-spaced text and numbers will actually do the work for you. Simply choose a letter size, number size, maximum length (up to 14″), material, and quantity, then enter player names and numbers. Each player’s name will be pre-spaced to fit the parameters you’ve entered. To help you get the best look possible, there are suggested optimal character counts for each font. If one of the names is too long for the selected font, the ordering system will even let you know.

So don’t be disheartened (12 characters) when a customer needs a long name applied to a jersey or shirt. There are several sizing and ordering options that can help you achieve the same look as the pros.

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