Apparel Graphic Academy

Remembering Mark Venit

Mark Venit, custom apparel consultant
Mark Venit
Mark Venit making a t-shirt deal back in the late 70’s

 Mark Venit and NW Custom Apparel

The custom apparel graphic industry lost a pioneer and consultant earlier this year. Mark Venit was the outspoken guru of the custom apparel industry.

Mark consulted Northwest Custom Apparel for over a decade and spearheaded  their re-branding campaign in 2015.  Mark visited us in March of 2015 to help us position ourselves to be recognized as more than just an embroidery company.

Times were changing and apparel companies were offering many different services like promotional products, direct-t0-garment printing and screen printing.  Mark knew that labeling us as an embroidery company would prevent our growth since many people view an embroidery company as a little old lady working from her house.

The first thing Mark wanted us to do was brainstorm a new name for Northwest Embroidery. It was difficult because CEO and my father, Jim Mickelson, created Northwest Embroidery back in 1977 and the change was a big leap for him. Some of the different names we came up with were, Graphic Apparel, NW Apparel, NW Customs and Embroidery Etc. Those names really didn’t tell the entire story of our company. Finally, Mark just blurted out the name, Northwest Custom Apparel and the name stuck.

The next thing we needed to do was come up with a new logo, company colors and a brand. That was a lot of work, but Marked pointed us in the right direction. The logo had to represent the Northwest feel and be memorable and cool to wear on shirts. My brother, Scott, came up with a cool design with an NW with some trees in the letters. Once, I saw the logo, I knew that was it. We then came up with some green and black colors the green we used was  PMS 385 U, which is a lighter green than a Kelly green and a different shade than the Seattle Seahawks green.  Mark gave us a task list and we checked in with him every week until the re-branding was completed.

Mark’s trademark Dollar Bill T-Shirt
NW Custom Apparel, Mark Venit, rebranding, dollar bill tshirt
This was Mark Venit’s trademark when you met him. He would fold a dollar bill in a shape of t-shirt



Erik’s memory of Mark

It was always a pleasure to go out to dinner with Mark because he was such a gentleman to the wait staff (humor). I remember Mark ordering  a beer and the waiter didn’t bring it fast enough and Mark sent it back and had to talk to the manager. I must say, I was speechless as I watched what was going on. However, as I got to know Mark, I realized that was just the way he was and after that I always found humor going out to eat with him.

Mark we will miss you!