Sombrio’s Custom Program
Custom Made Easy
Words by Sourpatch | Photos by Tyler Leicht
Production Photos courtesy of Sombrio
Sombrio has a long history of bucking trends and offering riders a unique style that is their own. They have had a custom graphics program for their athletes and decided it was time to offer the average consumer a way to liven up their own kit selection too. Sombrio’s custom program has had a great response so far, especially with their retail partners, local organization and teams. Being that our entire Loam Wolf team is all about customizing everything from cars and motorcycles to mountain bikes and helmets, we were more than excited when Sombrio presented the opportunity to create a fun summer jersey.
Sombrio’s goal with their custom program was to create an easy to use and robust program, and we think they succeeded there. There are two methods to choose between before you can start working on a new custom jersey: the first being their quick design option, which is essentially taking one of their predesigned jersey options and adding a logo and/or playing around color options. Pricing on the quick design option is more affordable than the full custom counter part but doesn’t let the truly creative get down.
We went full custom, because why not. If you’re a rather creative individual and have the experience, you can get a template from Sombrio and start designing your own jerseys. If you don’t have the skills or ability then you can work with Sombrio directly by giving them some of your ideas. Simply submit your inspiration and thoughts in their set-up form and wait for a sample proof. This is the option I opted for. While I would have loved to design something from scratch, I just didn’t have the abundance of time nor was I feeling super creative at the time. It’s also nice to see what others can come up with when they are given a couple concepts to work with. The hardest, and most grueling task for me was actually replying to emails to move on to the next step. Since this is most likely the direction most other people will be taking, we’re going to walk you through our experience working with Sombrio’s in-house designers.
(above) An assortment of screenshots from the live art session along with the 3D model of the finished products.
Step 1 – The Set-Up: Alright, well I wouldn’t consider this part fun or creative, but it is the necessary first step on the path to getting a bad ass custom jersey. Before the art process begins, all custom customers need to set up their accounts. In order to do this, we had to fill out the “getting started” form on their website, this is were we listed some of the ideas we had for the jerseys. From there, Adam, a customer service representative reached out to help get our account dialed in. The basic info collected establishes your name, bike shop, club or event in their system so the project can start to take direction.
The set-up form also gives a timeframe so you can know what to expect between conception to delivery. Within the first week, an initial art proof is sent, the following three weeks will be used for sign-off, approval. Within this time frame, art revisions can be made, proof approval will be needed and then the final order information is required (sizing and quantity). Once all is approved, an additional five to six weeks are needed for production time.
Step 2 – The fun begins: This was my probably my favorite part of the custom journey. Once I completed the set-up form and got it back into Adam’s hands, we exchanged a couple emails on creative direction. At the time I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to stick with the usual trend of color blocks and textures with dark colors or have fun with it and go with a fun Hawaiian style design, I pitched both design thoughts to Adam and then just sat back and waited for the first round of 3D proofs to hit my inbox.
The first proofs can take up to a week to receive, depending how busy the custom department is. We received both of our 3D design proofs just 3 days after I finished all the paperwork and concept sharing. With the first proofs in my virtual hands, I shared notes with Adam and his design team about some of the edits I wanted to see on both designs and then we scheduled the live art session with Daniela, a designer in the Sombrio/Sugoi design department.
Live art sessions are an hour long, you’ll need to be at a computer with decent internet to share screen and you’ll need to have a phone handy with enough juice for an hour long phone call. The live art session is a unique experience and super helpful once the overall design is dialed in. We didn’t need to do a ton of tweaking on our designs but we still were able to fill the allotted hour-long session. We removed some elements, played with placement of others and tried a slew of color combos to see what we liked best and ending the session with the final design.
After the live art session had concluded, Adam reached back out with the final proof to get the sign off so they could get them in the queue for construction. I added the option to have my nickname sublimated to the back of the jersey, for which we had a couple more back and fourths for font style and such.
Step 3 – The Wait: Most likely the worst part of the whole process, waiting a month and a half to get the jerseys. It’s a tough part of the custom process, but good things are worth the wait.