We’ve launched our #LoveYourLocal program to enable communities to support local businesses through merchandise. Apart from generating additional income, branded merch is a great way to market your establishment and engage with loyal customers. If you’re not sure how to start creating merch don’t worry. We’ve got lots of tools and tips to help you get started.
Start with your logo
Logos are a foundation for building brand identity, they make your business stand out and help people recognize your brand. If you already have a logo you can upload it to the Teespring Launcher and create over 50+ products in minutes.
Have fun with your logo by creating unique all-over print designs, or placing it in unexpected areas such as sleeves or on the back. Check out these examples of how businesses of all kinds use their logos to create merch. As you can see, once you have an eye-catching logo, it’s easy to transform products into cool merch.
Need a logo?
If you don’t have a logo yet, think about your business and define its brand identity. Ask yourself the following questions to spark ideas.
- What does your business do?
- Why did you start your business?
- Who are your most loyal patrons—do they have a distinct style or aesthetic?
Next, research other business logos and make mood boards with the aesthetic that appeals to you most. Many businesses hire a graphic designer to create their logos, but if you’re on a tight budget you can use more affordable tools for creating a custom logo like:
- Placeit: Create beautiful designs and logos within seconds using Placeit’s creative and on-trend smart templates. There are over 7,000 templates to choose from with more being added weekly. Get Placeit for $11.96 per month if you sign up with Teespring now.
- Canva: With Canva you can choose from premade templates, stock photos, cartoon images, shapes, icons, and more when creating a design or logo. Similar to Teespring’s text tool, Canva also has a text generator with over 100 different fonts to choose from.
- 99 designs: A creative platform that helps designers and clients work together to create designs, logos and more.
- Tailor Brands: Tailor Brands’ online logo maker enables you to design a professional business logo with a few clicks plus a variety of promotional assets and more. We’ve teamed up with Tailor Brands to give local businesses who participate in our #LoveYourLocal program a free month trial of their design services. Look for an email from our team with more info.
Expand your design offering
Once you’ve created merch featuring your logo, get creative with your designs and expand your product range. Think about what sets your business apart…if you’re a restaurant, try making your customers’ favorite dish into a design, if you’re a gym use your clients favorite workout routines or classes to inspire a design, etc. You could even collaborate with local artists to generate more interest from the local community.
Can’t think of a design? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is unique about your business—is there something you do that no one else does?
- Why do people like your business—do you have a certain product, class or dish that your customers go crazy for?
- Are there any inside jokes or phrases only your loyal customers will recognize?
Here’s some of our favorite examples of businesses using merch creatively. Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for further inspiration.
GGET and G&B Coffee
GGET and G&B are examples of coffee shops in the U.S. that have created great merch designs. GGET has a wide range of products that extends further than simply t-shirts. Their designs follow a consistent color scheme and take inspiration from classic varsity and streetwear styling. They’re a good example of how to create unique and memorable designs while staying on-brand.
Yard Sale Pizza
Yard Sale Pizza is a UK based restaurant chain that collaborates with artists around the world to create unique designs for their merch. Each design follows the “pizza” theme, but each one is unique and the merch collection features various design styles such as vintage adverts and rock band posters. Collaboration with artists is a great way to produce creative designs that offer a twist on your current branding—as well as appeal to new audiences and customers.
A restaurant chain with locations across the US, Skinnyfats is a great example of a business that uses brand iconography creatively across merch products. Skinnyfats have incorporated their smiley face logo across a variety of products in unique ways. This is an example of how focusing on one element can be an easy method of creating a range of different designs while keeping consistency.
If you don’t have a design start off by creating a basic product collection featuring your logo. T-shirts are a staple item in any merch collection, and don’t forget tote bags, mugs, hoodies, sweatshirts, and die cut stickers too. Don’t forget we offer eco-friendly products for eco-conscious customers too. Once you’ve got your first collection created try expanding your offering with additional designs and products. You’ll also want to consider adding specialty products like hats, backpacks, gym bags, and more (which you can unlock in the launcher).
Starter merch collection
- Hoodies / sweatshirts
- Tote bags
- Die cut stickers
Expanded merch collection
- Tank tops
- Accessories (hats, phone cases, backpacks, jewelry)
- Kids apparel
- Home decor (pillows, blankets, posters, comforters)
Once you’ve created your products and added them to a store it’s time to share them with your community. Utilize social media, newsletters, group chats or email lists to let people know you’ve launched new merchandise. We’ve created a collection of promo guides to help you get started.
We hope you’re feeling inspired!