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Buffalo Tailgating-Tailgaters vs. Table Slammers

Everyone knows about “Bills Mafia” but not everyone knows both sides.

On social media, tv, etc. all you will find is the crazy table slammers, even babies are baptized through tables. Not to mention some other crazy events that have happened at Bills tailgates. But are there any normal tailgaters in Buffalo?

Well, if you consider getting ketchup and mustard dumped on someone by multiple people normal, then yes there’s normal tailgaters. The Pinto Tailgate, led by “Pinto Ron” has attended over 400 Bills games in a row. At home games you can find them in the Hammer Lot which is a well-known lot in Buffalo but not for table slams. Hammer Lot doesn’t allow dizzy bats, table slamming and many other things that young Bills fans consider fun. As a result this lot is occupied mostly by an older crowd. So, if you like to have fun without the injuries or dangerous games, this is probably the lot for you.

Table slammers and the rest of the younger crazies are known for occupying the grass lot and the bus lot. Because of this the Bills and Erie County started “Tailgate Village” which is where all bus riding fans have to go. They are no longer allowed to tailgate by their busses. At the home opener tailgate village looked pretty empty and the people inside looked pretty miserable. To combat this, there was rumors that ECC was now going to allow busses. On top of that, Bert’s Bikes lot is known for taking busses and being a good time. The Bills can curb insanity on their land but they can’t tame the fans everywhere.

Majority of the videos that go viral you’ll see busses in the background. Many don’t even go viral, so for the amount that get posted by Barstool Sports or other large accounts, there’s 10 more videos of people getting CTE. Barstool Sports has taken a liking to Buffalo fans and even did a short documentary a couple years ago. It was mostly showing the younger crowd. As a result, the world now assumes all of Buffalo fans slam tables.

The question is, what side are you on? Are you one of the mature tailgaters? Is grilling and having a cold one enough for you? Or do you belong to the table slammers? Do you like having some cold ones down a wiffle bat?

Pick your side and let us know on social media! @identityink716

 

 

 

 

The Best Buffalo Instagram Accounts

Sellers, Media, Sports coverage and much more makeup the Buffalo Instagram community. But before we go any further, what makes a good Buffalo Instagram account? Easy, here’s a list of things we looked for:

  1. Buffalo related content (duh)
  2. Humor, excitement, and any other type of content that can arouse your emotions
  3. Giveaways
  4. Good following
  5. Provide some sort of value to followers

To follow an account it really doesn’t take much thinking, all it takes is a click of a button. But we feel the things listed above are what makes you smash that follow button without even thinking twice. Not including our instagram because we’re the best ever (@identityink716), here’s the list:

3. @StepoutBuffalo

Stepout Buffalo provides guides to dining, entertainment and much more in Western New York. Their follower count sits at about 52,900. Stepout Buffalo also finds a ton of humorous Buffalo related posts via Twitter and Instagram just for your enjoyment. On top of all this, they do collaborations with local businesses on huge giveaways like $100 giftcards, $1,000 VIP passes to events, Photo shoots, and a whole lot more.

2. @Buffalo_Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo  captures every buffalonian’s heart on Instagram. Their follower count currently sits at 35,800. So what do almost all of us have in common? We all love cute animals. The Buffalo Zoo is a good follow for your daily dose of cool and cute animals. It’s basically like going to the zoo without leaving your couch. Not only do they have cute animals, but they have amazing videos and pictures that you’ll have to see for yourself.

1. @BuffaloBills

Everyone knows the Buffalo Bills and everyone knows majority of the players. But their social media does a great job of showing those players behind the facemask. Lots of humor on the Bills instagram as well as general team info, giveaways, game updates and more.

Honorable Mention

There’s lots of smaller pages that do a great job on Instagram in Buffalo and don’t get the recognition they deserve! One is @TrainwreckSports who does a great job with Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Bisons, and UB Bulls coverage. They also do a ton of giveaways, podcasts, and much more. That train really never stops! Another is @WestHerr who has some amazing content. They do tons of promotions with other companies/organizations. They also do a lot of giveaways with some cool stuff! Added in there is a page called @Buffalo_AF which is brutally humorous Bills related content and chicken wing reviews, get ready to laugh your pants off when you follow this account. Lastly is @BuffalogrlProbs which embodies everything Buffalo. Tons of humor here, follow them for a good laugh!

Well, there you have it! If you disagree, agree or have any comments shoot us a DM @identityink716

LeSean McCoy Leaves The Buffalo Bills

Some say it’s a good move, some say it’s a bad move, no matter your opinions LeSean “Shady” McCoy has moved on from Buffalo. After four seasons with the Buffalo Bills LeSean has just signed a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In his four seasons with the Bills, Shady had 3,814 rushing yards, 25 rushing touchdowns, 1,334 receiving yards, and 5 receiving touchdowns. Overall, his numbers were better in Philidelphia than in Buffalo but he is still one of the single greatest running backs of all time to come through the Bills organization. 3 time Pro Bowler while in Buffalo, and was expected to do great things yet again this season before he was released.

McCoy took to instagram to give a little goodbye statement, “If there is anything that my 11 years in the league has taught me it is to always expect the unexpected. I never expected to become a Buffalo Bill and I never expected to fall in love with the city and the amazing fans. However, that is exactly what happened. I would like to thank the entire Buffalo Bills organization, Terry and Kim Pegula, Coach McDermott, Brandon Beane, Doug Whaley, Anthony Lynn and Rex Ryan. It has been my pleasure and honor to take the field and represent the proud Buffalo franchise. We shared some great moments together and you guys will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to all my teammates that went to battle with me each and every week. I am going to miss the amazing atmosphere and wonderful #billsmafia fans the most!”

As it will take some getting used to seeing 25 in red and yellow this season, the Bills still have great talent at the running back position. Frank Gore, Devin Singletary, and TJ Yeldon are expected to provide the offense with three different running styles. 

Is Fall the Best Season of Them All?

Many seem to think the fall season in Buffalo, NY is unbeatable. Some argue summer is because, well, winter that’s why. Winter in Buffalo includes:

  • Breaking your back from shoveling snow
  • Wasting money on snow tires
  • Constantly being freezing cold
  • Having to shovel a path so your dog will actually go outside and go to the bathroom
  • Letting that beautiful rust build up on your car
  • And much much more

Being from Buffalo we know no different. Some people even take pride in our winters, for example, the people wearing no shirts to the snowing Bills games. Respect to those people though, that’s about as Buffalo as it gets.

All of that being said, fall gets a lot of love around here for many reasons. One of which is the temperature. Not too hot and not too cold, fall provides a nice cool temperature along with no melting, muddy snow like spring has. Many kids are excited to go back to school and see their friends. Another reason would just be the vibe fall time gives off. Colorful trees, cider mills booming, pumpkin flavored everything, and of course who could forget about football!

Not to mention the whole wardrobe can just about be pulled out! Shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, beanies, jackets, and more depending on the day. Do you think fall is the best season (in Buffalo) of them all? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram or

Facebook @identityink716

Promotional Products Best Practices 2019

Before getting into specific strategies for deploying your promotional products, you should step back for a moment and ask yourself why you’re using promotional products in the first place. The answer isn’t necessarily intuitively obvious. Some companies use promotional products primarily to increase their sales while other companies use promotional products to collect information on existing customers in order to remarket to them.

The Quid Pro Quo

Quid pro quo technically means “something for something” in Latin. In the context of promotional products, a kind of quid pro quo means that you’re prepared to offer prospects and customers one of your promotional products for a bit of information about themselves. A lot of companies have found success bringing higher-end promotional products like headphones to trade shows and providing those products to customers in exchange for more information about themselves, their preferences, and their buying habits.

This kind of exchange is attractive to customers because they get a new toy and your company gets two things – more information on current customers and prospects and, second, the chance to keep advertising through the promotional product that you gave out every time that the customer uses it. You don’t go with a promotional product as pricey as a new pair of headphones. Promotional giveaways at trade shows can work for a variety of promotional products like t-shirts and tote bags. You could further incentivize customers to provide you with more information about themselves by entering their name into a contest with an even bigger prize guaranteed to the winner.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

There’s a time and place for quantity over quality. At the very beginning of your business, it may make sense to favor quantity over quality in order to stimulate brand awareness and get the word out. That said, there’s the risk of associating your brand with cheap products that break easily, which you clearly don’t want. The line of work that your company is in will also play a role in whether you favor quantity over quality. A clothing company that only makes bespoke pieces for four or five figures would be doing itself a grave disservice by handing out cheap plastic pens.

While there’s certainly a threshold of quality that you don’t want to dip below, you should also factor in the expected lifespan of the promotional product that you hand out to customers. As examples, pens last for about six months as they tend to get lost or break. Calendars, on the other hand, should last customers for the entire year since they aren’t suffering the wear-and-tear damage of riding around in purses and car cup holders like promotional pens.

You can, therefore, afford to spend a few more cents on calendars because they last longer. Still, you’ll want to balance the added quality and expense that you’re putting into your longer-lasting promotional products by factoring in the number of impressions that respective products will garner for your company. Pens might be cheaper, but they don’t have to be so cheap that they cast a negative light on your company. Think creatively here – a promotional product like a keychain will be used by customers longer than a pen, all things being equal, and won’t get lost as often because the customer has their keys attached to the end of it.

Consider Your Audience

This point has already been alluded to in the sense that certain high-end companies will do a disservice to themselves by putting out cheap promotional products. Conversely, a service company could greatly distinguish itself from the local competition by spending a few more cents per item on their promotional products. The fact remains, though, that a promotional product that’s not aligned with your customers is going to have a limited utility. Promotional products that don’t align with your customers’ values will get stowed away or thrown away outright.

If you know that your target audience is a bit more tech savvy, then you might want to hand out something that they’ll find especially useful. Flash drives and mouse pads can make a lot of sense here. Handing out promotional products that don’t align with your customers’ value and lifestyles shows that your company hasn’t done its research or, worse yet, that you really don’t care. The bottom line is that your marketing dollar goes much further when you hand out useful promotional items since those will be used more and, therefore, generate thousands more impressions for your brand: a win-win.

~Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for Coastal Business Supplies. She often produces content for a variety of promotional blogs.

Benefits of Promotional Products

Stand Out From The Crowd

All businesses try to differentiate themselves from competitors. When doing this it can be a tricky thing to get a clear image across to customers. One way to help this is promotional products. Even if you choose a simple branded pen for your business, it can generate customer loyalty. Even if competitors are using promotional products themselves, it is still very easy to choose something different or better for your customers. At Identity Ink we can provide wireless bluetooth speakers, portable chargers, security cameras, fidget spinners, bottle openers and so much more all with your logo on it! Unlike e-mail marketing, direct mail marketing, and flyer marketing you can really use your creativity with promotional products and help your brand stand out.

Brand Recognition

Most promotional products are items that are used in a customer’s everyday life. As a result, promotional items will end up being a household item for a long time in most cases. These household items will be seen day in and day out, over time the consumer will instinctively become more aware of your brand and your brand’s personality. Customers perceive promotional items as a gift, this can instill a sense of reciprocality and encourage them to want to more business in return.

Generate Leads

Promotional items can be much more than just a marketing tool. They can also help increase leads and generate sales as well. You can increase the ROI of these items in a few ways:

  • Create digital rewards that get customers to landing pages and captures information
  • Use the items as a referral incentive for existing customers
  • Build promotional products into a sales pitch or a meeting

Create. Relate. Identify.

Promotional products belong to a 15 billion dollar industry with many big name companies leading the way. There is no question promotional products are helpful when done the right way. If you want to feel the benefits of promotional product marketing let us help you at Identity Ink!

Is the NFL Taking The Bills Out of Buffalo?

This isn’t the first time Buffalo has had rumors of the Bills moving. Is it all nonsense like the time rumors flew about the Bills moving to Toronto? Or is it more serious in this case? Many people on social media are saying it’s a done deal and the Bills are leaving in the next few years. This rumor may be a bit more serious than the Toronto one a few years ago, but it’s not too much of a threat yet.

Roger Goodell, a Western New York native, sent a scare through his old stomping grounds. Goodell believes the Bills are in need of new stadium. Automatically people began to think our team was leaving. Goodell also said he would like for the Bills to be “stable” and “successful” here in Buffalo while he was at Jim Kelly’s recent golf outing.

The Bills play in the fifth oldest stadium in the league. Yet, our passionate fans record an attendance percentage of stadium filled at about 90.4 on average. This puts us up there with some of the NFL’s legacy franchises like the Steelers and Giants. The age of the stadium is only an issue to Goodell, to the fans our stadium has character. The stadium’s lease agreement with Erie County is locked in until 2023 so no need to sweat right away about this matter.

Overall, the chance of the Bills moving out of Buffalo is very unlikely. But, the stadium we know as New Era, Ralph Wilson, or whatever else you’d like to call it, may very well get torn down in the future. Jim Kelly seems to think across the street is the perfect spot for a new stadium. Some people think a new stadium in down town would also be great. Regardless, you can sleep well at night knowing there is only a sliver of a chance that the Bills will leave Buffalo.

Screen Printing Vs. Embroidery: What’s Right For Your Design?

T-shirts, tank tops, and jackets have remained consistently popular for all kinds of promotions. Businesses, non-profits, sports teams, and more have all benefitted from promoting their message through clothing. Promotional shirts are an exceptional advertising method because they are a long lasting item, and also because they are an item that customers can use frequently, and for many years. This will keep your message effectively out in the world for a long time, which is a great way to get everyday exposure. But before you begin a promotional campaign using garments, there are a few things to consider.

SCREEN PRINTING VS. EMBROIDERY

If you’re ready to order promotional clothing for your brand, you’ll already have a logo in mind. The best practice is to use a company logo, but most companies that market promotional clothing will be able to help you create a design if you don’t have one. Once you’re ready to order, you will have the option to have your design screen printed on the garment or embroidered. Choosing which method to use is a decision that you should consider carefully as it can greatly affect the final appearance of your products.

Screen Printing This method of putting a design onto a shirt or other clothing is done using ink. The design you chose to put on the item is broken down into colors, and a type of stencil is made for each color. These stencils are created with mesh screens. Ink is squeezed through the mesh onto the garment material in the shape of the stencil. Once the designs from all the stencils have been added, your mutli-colored design will be completed.

Embroidery Unlike screen printing, a design that is embroidered onto a shirt is produced by using thread. Most companies that offer embroidery use machines to stitch the designs. This means that your desired design will need to be created in a digital format in order to use it. The ease of this process depends on your design. For example, if your design includes small text using a script font, it may not transfer very clearly. The appearance may change due to the limits of thread.

APPEARANCE

Another aspect to consider when deciding between screen printed garments and embroidered ones is the type of clothing that you want. Screen printing is generally considered the best method to use on cotton clothing, such as T-shirts and hoodies. This is for several reasons. For one, screen printed designs are often softer and less bulky than embroidered ones. Because of this, larger designs can be used on these softer garments without causing discomfort. In contrast, embroidery is usually the preferred method to use on polo and business shirts. These products often only need a small logo on them, so an embroidered design won’t be uncomfortable. In addition, embroidery is often considered the more stylish and professional option.

COST

When deciding what sort of promotional clothing to order, another factor is cost. The cost of your order can vary depending on your design. For embroidered items, some companies will calculate costs based on how many stitches the design requires. Others will have a flat rate for different design sizes. For screen printing, the price is usually determined by how many colors are in the design. The price can also be affected by how many places need to be printed on the garment, such as front and back. With both screen printed and embroidered garments, it’s usually cheaper per item if you order a large amount. Because of this you’ll want to know approximately how many items you will need in order to get the most accurate estimate for your order.

The Buffalo Bills Playoff Drought is Over!

For Buffalonians and Bills fans everywhere, 2018 started off on the right note when, with a little help from the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills clinched a playoff spot for the first time in 17 seasons.

Living in a city like Buffalo and being a die-hard Bills fan my entire life, I knew just how huge this would potentially be for the city and its fans. As soon as I overcame the silent shock and elation that the playoff drought is finally over, we immediately made our “I Survived the Drought” shirt(s) live and available for Bills fans everywhere to commemorate this momentous occasion.

At the beginning of the NFL season, the so-called “experts” predicted the Bills would finish the season with only 4 wins under first-year Head Coach Sean McDermott. To an extent, we were never even supposed to be close to the playoffs, so finally ending the drought when nobody wanted/expected us to made it that much better. However, the result was not what we wanted as the Bills lost to the Jaguars by a final score of 10-3.

When I mentioned that I knew this would be a big deal to Bills fans everywhere, I’m not sure I/we were ready for exactly how big it actually was. Within the first 24 hours of being online, the orders continued rolling in by the minute. Not just from Buffalo or other cities in New York, but from all over the United States. California, Nevada, Texas, Kentucky, and even a handful up in Canada. We even had a feature story on the evening news!

Even though our first playoff game in 18 years (one day shy of 18 years, to be exact) was underwhelming and disappointing, we no longer have the playoff drought hanging over our heads. That, in itself, is most definitely something to be proud of. This shirt is definitely one that Bills fans will be able to wear proudly for years to come because they know that they’ve officially survived the lowest 17 years in Buffalo Bills franchise history.

Here’s to a happy, successful new year.

GO BILLS!

– GW

Screen Printing Myths

So, you’ve been considering placing an order for some t-shirts but are a little hesitant about the screen printing process. We hear rumors every once in a while about screen printing, and are going to debunk a few of the most common myths.

You can only order in bulk. Though it is true some screen printers have minimums, it isn’t exactly as “bulk” as you might expect. For example, we ask for a 12-piece minimum, which we think is pretty reasonable. We know that you don’t always need 36 shirts, and we can cater to that.

They don’t offer samples. We would never want you to buy something without seeing it first. We can obtain samples of specific shirt styles and/or materials for you, to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for.

 

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You can only ever order t-shirts. Though it seems plausible for many online stores, this is simply not the case. We offer a variety of garments and products to screen print on, such as koozies, tote bags, and shorts to name a few.

Screen printing locally is too expensive. Being a local company means we know a thing or two about our customers, their budgets, and how to provide quality work. Our prices are competitive, and you will receive deeper customer relations than you would with online stores that outsource their services.

If you’re searching for the right place to fulfill your screen printing needs, Identity Ink & Custom Tee is the business for you. We are here to make the process as easy as possible for you, and to make sure you get your custom shirts printed effectively and efficiently. Give us a call today at (716)876-9798.

Printing T-shirts: Screen Printing vs. Heat Transfer

Screen Printing T-Shirts

A screen printing press looks a bit like an octopus. It has multiple arms, each supporting a single screen. Although one name for the process is “silkscreen,” the screens are now usually nylon or metal. Each screen prints one color on the t-shirt, and each color station includes a flat, ironing-board-like support for the shirt. You place the t-shirt around (as opposed to just on top of) this support as though you were “dressing” the support panel. This places only one layer of fabric on top of the support and therefore keeps the fabric absolutely flat once the screen has been lowered.

Once the screen is on top of the fabric, you can pour the thick ink mixture onto the screen and draw the rubber squeegee across the mesh, forcing the ink through the open areas of the screen (but not through the areas masked off by the design). Once this step is complete, the ink must dry. (Usually the solvent is flash dried with intense heat, although UV inks are now often used in screen printing, and these dry instantly upon exposure to ultraviolet light.)

To step back a bit in the screen printing process, the masks used to block out certain areas of the design while allowing ink to pass through other areas are prepared in the following way.

  1. You create the design on a computer using a raster art (bit-mapped) or vector art (line art) program, such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Alternatively, you can scan an image and save it in Photoshop. For this process, you need a positive (rather than negative) image.
  2. A light sensitive emulsion is slathered across the bottom of a screen stretched over a wood or metal frame.
  3. The art (laser printed in black toner on clear acetate) is placed on the glass of a Lightbox. The stretched screen with the light-sensitive emulsion is placed over the art
  4. The intense light within the light box exposes the emulsion on the screen.
  5. The screen is then hosed down with water. The water washes away the liquid from the area that had been blocked by the artwork. The non-image areas of emulsion, which had been hardened through exposure to the light, do not wash wash away.
  6. Then the t-shirt can be printed, as noted above (one color per screen, consecutively, with each color in register with the others).

Benefits of Screen Printing T-Shirts

Screen printing ink is thick and saturated. You can print brilliant colors on fabric, and the t-shirts will withstand many washing cycles without the printed art showing any wear and tear.

T-Shirt Heat Transfers

Both laser printing and inkjet printing can be used to create artwork that can be fused to a t-shirt. Special transfer paper (designed for either inkjet printing or laser printing) is used in the process. The operator prints the graphics and type backwards (in a mirror image) so it will be “right-reading” once transferred to the t-shirt. Using heat and pressure (a hot iron against a t-shirt placed on a rigid surface) the operator can transfer the image from the carrier sheet to the fabric of the shirt.

Screen Printing vs. Heat Transfers

It has always been my experience that custom screen printing allows for thicker ink deposits with brighter colors, as well as more durable designs. That said, screen printing is not cost-effective for short print runs since preparation for a screen printing run takes a lot of time.

In addition, many t-shirt printers can only apply one or two colors to a t-shirt with custom screen printing. However, the more skilled screen printers can actually print 4-color process work (including halftone images). It’s just more tricky to produce this level of detail on fabric using the thicker screen printing inks, so the image will not be as precise as a sample of 4-color offset lithography on paper. In addition, some screen printers have the skill to print on darker colored fabrics while others prefer to only print on white t-shirts.

Heat transfers (laser or inkjet) are cheaper than screen printing for shorter runs since they do not require set-up time. It’s also easier to transfer highly detailed artwork to the t-shirt, since the transfer actually sits up on the surface of the shirt rather than seeping into the fibers of the fabric.

However, heat transfers are not as durable as screen printed t-shirts, and the inks are not as brilliant as custom screen printing inks.

What Makes A Great Shirt?

We talked to a few individuals and asked “What makes a good shirt?” to find out what people really want in the perfect custom printed t-shirt. Here’s a summary of what we heard back:

An abstract message. A creative way to express the message of the company without using a logo. Using logos are cool if they’re a part of the overall design that include other elements, but they shouldn’t be the main focus. Simple designs resonate with me more, but a cool graphic is fun if it’s done well or by a really awesome designer.

How it fits and feels. A shirt that is light and has breathable fabric is the best. It’s nice if they are super soft but have good structure – the cut of it, the neck line and the sleeves are important. Long is good. Something that is fashion friendly and up with the trends, but not clingy and not too loose. Most blends are great because you don’t have to iron them!

It goes with everything. Neutral colors are my go to. Black, white, and grey are the best colors. They go with everything. Other colors are cool too especially if it’s for a good cause or representing my favorite sports team.  I don’t mind wearing bright colors for something like that.

Get rid of the tags. No tags, please! They are super itchy and irritating if they are constantly scratching the back of my neck. If a tag is super super soft, then that’s fine and I don’t notice it.

Buffalo Collage Tees (Available in store & online)