Arguably one of the most important parts of any merchandise would be the design. Without your branding on the garment, it wouldn’t mean much to you or your fans, so it is vital to get the design just right! Here are some different aspects to consider when starting with the design process:
We all know this – your design should appeal to your target market. Better than anyone, you should know what your followers expect on your shirts, whether it’s a central theme of your band or simple text design. However, don’t stop doing your research! Analyze what designs are the best-sellers in your category and which ones are not selling that well. Go hands-on and ask your followers what they would like to see or wear, it's the easiest way to get insight into what your followers would like to see from you for your next release.
One of the earlier steps in making merchandise is deciding on your budget for your next merch run. There are a ton of factors that will affect the pricing.
If your artwork does not have a lot of colours, let’s say up to 4, you should be safe going for screen printing as each colour adds x amount to your costs. If your design is super colourful or if it’s a photo type print you should check out DTG (Direct-To-Garment) printing. With this method, you could print any colour or even full-colour designs such as photo prints! Know which type of design would work best with which printing method and see how much the cost difference between them would be.
When speaking to your printing company, it is important to know which type of file they would like the artwork to be in. The best is for it to be a high-resolution vector or PSD file with a minimum of 300dpi (dots per inch). Knowing this could save you and your printing company time and hassle.
Get a Pro
If your budget allows it, it doesn’t hurt to get a professional designer to design your artwork for you. The better your artwork looks, the better it will look printed, the better it will look on somebody when they wear it. It's as easy as that.
Show your designer other artwork you might have, or any reference point to what you would like to achieve with your designs. The more they have an idea of what aesthetic you are going for, the better they can capture your vibe in the design!