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How to Design a Band’s Merchandise- Part 2 (Ideas for Merchandise)


Do your research

There are two main ways of doing research on this case scenario:
merch-ideasCheck out your competition

What is your competition selling? Knowing this will give you a strong sense of what people that listen to your kind of music want.

  • Browse their website
  • Stalk their social media
  • Go to their live performances
  • Call their representative and enquire information on manufacturers

Ask your followers

Your followers are the ones who are willing to spend money on you and that’s why you should know what they want. They are an invaluable source of information.

  • Conduct a survey
  • Ask through social media
  • Upload a video to YouTube asking for ideas
  • Ask face to face before or after a live presentation

Do some branding

In order to expand the reach of your band, you’ll need to do some branding.

  • Write down the Band’s core values
  • Come up with a color palette the band wants to be associated with
  • Gather symbols and graphics that the group feels identified with (a Pinterest board might help)


Once you’ve gathered all of the pertinent information, it is time to brainstorm. Gather your band members and whoever else might prove valuable and start gathering ideas. The first part of the design process is the most fun because it does not require any type of formality and at this point every idea is valid which leads to some funny and whacky possibilities. Write down all of the suggestions and leave them somewhere safe. Read the ideas all over again and discard those that don’t fit your band’s message.

designing-band-merchandiseHire a designer

Professional and experienced designers can be pricey, but you have to look at it as an investment. Think of it this way, if you hire a really good designer to do your logo, you’ll be paying him once for a graphic you’ll be using over and over again (years, maybe). A good designer will ensure that the logo is solid enough that it won’t need to be redesigned in a long time.


Whether you’ve hired a designer or not, at some point you have to sit down and start sketching. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Make sure they know it’s your band and not someone else’s
  • Be coherent with the merchandise you create
  • Double-check designs before going into production

This particular step is crucial when designing merchandise. After you’ve come up with your ideas show them to trusted acquaintances like family and friends. Choose only people who will give you an honest opinion.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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