When is a pen not just a tool for writing, but a way for encouraging the writer's sense of belonging to a group? When is a T-shirt not just an article of clothing, but a symbol that raises awareness? When does a folder not just store papers, but become a source for inspiration? When small everyday items like these are imprinted with a logo or message, they gain the ability to make a tremendous impact on their users, as well as others who happen to see the simple product.
Imprinting school supplies and apparel with the school's name or an image of its mascot is one way to boost school spirit. Schools have the responsibility to make their students feel like they belong to a group that cares about them as individuals and also works to help each individual achieve success throughout their education. Giving a simple gift of a pen or pencil is a gesture that shows students the school cares for them, yet it brings with it more meaning to students when they can look at it when using it and see the imprinting. The message to the students is one that states the school cares about student achievement and that it wants to celebrate the success the students make possible. Having school spirit means that one takes pride in the values taught by the school. Imprinting objects is a simple reminder to students of what it means to belong to a group that cares for them.
Those involved with extracurricular activities are used to receiving items that have been imprinted. For example, it is common practice for sports teams to be given T-shirts, hats, and water bottles that feature imprinting. Often, the imprinting features the school's logo and that is frequently paired with words of encouragement and inspiration. Such wise words become the mottos for those on the team. The inspirational messages serve to remind participants of how to remain focused when working to meet their individual goals and the goals of the team.
The imprinted products' influence isn't limited to their users. In fact, the item becomes a billboard: others who see the imprinting are influenced too. The messages can go as far as indicating how the group or institution ascribes to distinct principles or values. Observers young and old may see the group and its individual members as role models in the community.
Imprinting influences people in other aspects of school in addition to extracurricular groups. It is just as powerful when used for a class as it is for a sports team. It brings kids together in that they can feel a part of the group. They may recognize the differences in each other, but the imprinting shows them their commonalities, therefore boosting their morale.
Imprinting is also used to raise awareness. Each year thousands of people participate in relays, marches, and other events to help raise awareness for causes, often related to health and well-being. In many cases, the participants are given imprinted T-shirts to wear during that special event. There is power in seeing droves of people outfitted in the same T-shirt. Their motto speaks loudly, but to see the participants in this way reminds onlookers of the magnitude of the problems for which the group strives to find a solution. The same impact can be found when imprinting is used in schools. It reminds students that together, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Products that have been imprinted are made to stand out among others like them. In public, a person wearing a hat is just a person wearing a hat, but if that hat has been imprinted with the logo of the observer's alma mater, then the wearer of the hat transforms into an individual who shares similar beliefs and experiences. Imprinting connects strangers by showing them they have more in common because of their community values.
Some products to be imprinted may go a step further in impacting students by adding a touch of personalization. In some cases, the school or teacher may want to add a custom message to individual students who have reached applaudable milestones or those who may need an extra dose of encouragement. Here the message, again, is to make the child feel included in the school culture; however, the personalization recognizes the special uniqueness of individuals.
Schools want students to be the best that they can be. Encouragement and guidance are equally important in the lives of students just as teaching content is. Classroom teachers, staff, administrators and coaches do their best to guide and encourage kids, but they cannot be there for them every step of the way. Imprinted products help fill that void. They are gentle reminders to kids about how they are important to others who want the best for them.