Biz Tips: How to Design Company Swag People Actually Want to Wear

Biz Tips: How to Design Company Swag People Actually Want to Wear


How to Design Company Swag People Actually Want to Wear

So you’re looking to design some swag for your company? Check out our guide to finding the best price and materials, all while designing something people actually want to wear.

Set A Budget

Before you start shopping, it’s good to have a rough idea of what you want and how much you’re willing to spend. Think realistically about who you’re designing these items for. Is it employees? Fans? What are they most likely to wear? And how visible do you want your branding to be? Knowing what you need off the bat will help vendors get you the most accurate price. And don’t feel pressured to go with the first quote you get — there are a ton of businesses out there doing this stuff.

After settling on the types of swag you need, go over a budget with your team and decide on a max amount you’re willing to spend. Discuss timeline as well. Keep in mind that shorter timelines might mean paying more to get the job done in time.

Other things that affect price:

  • Wholesale Licenses– If your company has access to wholesale, this will be the cheapest option. Even if you don’t have a “sellers permit”, some vendors won’t even ask, so it never hurts to try and get the bulk discount.
  • All-in-One vs. Multiple Vendors– While working with multiple vendors will always be more cost-effective, it will also be more time consuming. All-in-One vendors source and produce materials but tend to inflate the price of raw materials. For example, a shirt you might buy for $2.50 will be sold for $6.00. When you choose multiple vendors you’ll undoubtedly save money, but in turn you’ll spend more time picking out the various companies you want to work with.
  • Your relationship with the vendor! If you create a good business relationship, chances are you’ll save some money.

Choose The Material

Once you have a rough budget in mind, it’s time to think about materials. What does your brand look like? What styles of clothing is your audience most likely to wear? If you work with a design team, ask them to weigh in on what branded images should appear on your swag. It might be that some types of material or clothing styles won’t work given the size or complexity of your logos or images, so it’s good to rule these things out up front.

Here’s an example of some of the decisions you’ll have to make:

Material for Shirts/Pants: Cotton, Rayon, Spandex, Polyester,100% Cotton, or 60/40 Cotton

Style of Hats: Trucker Hat, Dad Hat, 5 Panels, or Snapbacks

If you’re unfamiliar with materials or styles, don’t be afraid to ask vendors for free samples, and if you’re having a hard time deciding what will work best — try creating a branded lookbook.

Materials might look the same in photos, but can be completely different in real life (Left: cotton, Right: spandex)

Printing Methods & Colors
Similar to choosing a material, you’ll also need to decide what images and prints appear on your swag. Here are some options for types of printing that are available:

  • Embroidery (3D or Flat)
  • Screen printing
  • Direct-to-garment printing
  • Heat press (also called vinyl printing)

Keep in mind that not all printing methods work equally well with all materials and designs. In our experience, Spandex and Rayon don’t work with most major printing options. So if you need to brand a workout shirt, you’d be better off going with a different material.

And don’t forget about your colors! If you need a certain pantone color of print or thread, be sure to ask your vendor if they can match it.

Choose A Vendor

When it’s finally time to choose a vendor, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind:

  • How good is their customer service? How about their communication?
  • What’s their current workload like? How long will your order (realistically) take?
  • Do they seem customer oriented and can they provide proofs or samples before running the job?

This last point is incredibly important to determine if the vendor is actually as good as they claim to be. Don’t settle for a vendor that isn’t accommodating to your requests or questions — this will just lead to bigger problems later on.

A final note — websites can be deceiving. To get the full feel of what your experience will be with a vendor, be sure to look up customer reviews, check out their social media, and even try to visit them in person. When you’ve finally found 2–4 vendors you like, request a few quotes before making a final decision.

Silicon Drive provides next-level marketing for emerging brands 🌴 ✨ Find us here 📷: silicondrive

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