How bespoke can merchandise really be?

So many products, so many options. But just how bespoke can you really make branded merchandise?

Roger Paterson
By Roger Paterson
  • 13 December 2018
  • Reading time: 5 minutes

With so many thousands of branded merchandise options out there, we find that there’s a very ‘vanilla’ feel to the majority of what gets produced. Why? Well, mainly because in general brands are applied to standard products without due attention to those subtle design nuances that add up to the big picture – that all-important final result that your intended audience will use, wear, keep on their desk, drink out of… and so on. 

Show your true colours

The first thing we always urge our clients to consider is colour. What standard colours are available that match your corporate colourways? Printing your brand on a product that’s produced in line with your brand guidelines can make for an incredibly powerful start, that won’t just help establish your hard-crafted brand but broaden its appeal and impact. These notebooks and pens are all standard colours but they reflect Seddon’s accent colours and look even more striking as a set.

Go your own way

On notebooks, there are many ways to incorporate interesting, bespoke brand design features. Take this Combilift production for example. Everything from the cover colour to the debossed chequer plate pattern, the coloured page edges to the elastic strap and pen loop – even the page marker ribbons are beautifully coordinated to the brand

Pens account for a massive part of the branded merchandise market, and probably always will. This means that creating something with real stand-out can be difficult and bespoke clips like these give the option of something special, something that belongs to you and your brand only.

We’re lucky enough to have some clients which relish the idea of how powerful taking the time to create something unique can be. Caorunn Gin in particular is one that comes to mind. For them we produced umbrellas where the whole canopy was black, with the shaft and the ribs in a bright contrasting red. With this one it’s not so much bespoke in terms of design, the umbrella works as any other does, but what other umbrellas don’t have is this particular use of available colours that have been blended to create something that looks not only on-brand but is a real one-off.

Wear it well

Where clothing’s concerned, you have the capability of creating made-to-order polo shirts and dress shirts. Using coloured panels, special buttonhole edges and woven labels, garments can truly be ‘purpose-built’ for your brand, creating a style that exudes the strength of your company and its values. When it comes to sport gear the options are often even wider because printing options often allow edge to edge printing in 4-colour process.

Wrap it up

Finally, don’t forget about the opportunity your brand has to package your merchandise. Just the fact you supply an item packaged makes it so much more impressive – and there’s a lot of quirky packaging styles available. You can look at a sleeve for a writing instrument, a tube for a tote bag and a box for a mug. Then when you have two or more items together you have even more reason to create a packaged set, which offers yet another level of personalisation. 

If your aim is to create a range of merchandise that’s designed and built for you, stands out from the crowd and has that that eclectic feeling, then there’s no reason not to follow your dream. It’s that sort of care and attention to detail that truly makes a brand great.

If you’re looking for some design, merchandise or packaging inspiration, why not book some time with one of our experts for an initial discussion around your requirements?

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