Merch Design: Irresistible Ideas From Deer Designer’s Expert Team

Merchandise designs, often called “merch,” are graphics created to be featured on various products, such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, and more. These designs serve as a branding and marketing tool for businesses, artists, and influencers. They are essential because they help in building brand identity, increasing brand recognition, and generating revenue through product sales. High-quality merchandise designs can enhance a company’s or individual’s image, attract a loyal customer base, and promote engagement.

So to ignite your creativity, consider exploring these merch design ideas we bring to you from Deer Designer, a leading unlimited graphic design service. These will provide you with fresh inspiration to make your merchandise stand out no matter where it appears. 

Let’s get started!

6 Irresistible Ideas to Explore

1. T-shirts Designs

T-shirt designs are a crucial merch category due to their widespread appeal and versatility. And they are the #1 promotional merchandise in the apparel category. They act as walking billboards making them a powerful tool for marketing and revenue generation.

Here are some T-shirt merchandise categories that you can benefit from:

Branded T-shirts with the logo

Branded T-shirts with the company or business logo are great merchandise designs.

Let’s take this T-shirt design for example and see what we can learn from this design.

  1. Logo placement is key. For round emblem logos, the center chest is the perfect location. 
  2. Think about color contrast.
  3. The right logo scale is very important. 
Illustrated T-shirts

Illustrated T-shirts can be the most interesting type of merch design. They bring color and life to something as mundane as a T-shirt.

Let’s see what things we can learn from this merch design idea. 

  1. Cartoon illustrations are a crowd favorite and grab attention. 
  2. Pair text with illustrations to clearly communicate the concepts and ideas. 
  3. Make sure that the fonts you use pair well with the illustration style. 
Promotional T-shirts

While all merchandise T-shirt designs can be promotional, there are those that directly get to the point.

Let’s take a look at some things we can gather from this merch design. 

  1. Ensure the key message is scaled up in size. 
  2. Choose visually appealing and contrasting colors along with legible fonts for the main copy. 
  3. Let your customer know how to respond. For example, in this particular instance, the website is mentioned. 

For more inspo, this list of T-shirt designs by the top unlimited graphic design services will be useful.

These designs by Design Shifu are also great T-shirt design ideas. 

Let’s move towards the next merch design.

2. Pin Badge Designs

Pin badge designs are essential in merchandising as they offer a unique and portable way to showcase branding, art, or messages. They serve as collectibles, fashion accessories, and conversation starters, fostering a strong sense of community and identity among fans or supporters. Pin badges can be low-cost, high-impact marketing tools.

The traditional pin badge comes in a round shape like the above design by Deer Designer. By the looks of it, this is a button badge with the main design element being the badger. 

Let’s take a look at what design tips we can gather from this particular merch design. 

  1. Thick outlines are highly recommended to make sure that each element is in their optimal visibility. 
  2. Round-edged characters look best on round button badges like this. 
  3. Ensure that the character sits perfectly within the badge without any parts being cut off. 

Let’s move on to the next one on the list. 

3. Mug Designs

Mug designs are significant in merchandising because they provide a daily, practical canvas for branding and creativity. They remain relevant due to their enduring utility in people’s lives, making them a lasting advertising medium.

And as such customized mugs like the below one by Deer Designer create a personal connection, and their long-lasting nature ensures ongoing exposure for brands and messages.

The mug design above is quite a simple one and the main artwork besides the logo design is the illustration of the 2 animals. 

Let’s list out the tips we can get from this merch design lesson. 

  1. Colorful illustrations make sure the mug is eye-catching. 
  2. If you’re going for a 2-toned mug, making sure the artwork or illustration coincides with the mug’s color helps make a cohesive-looking mug design. 
  3. Keeping things simple and minimalistic when it comes to mug designs is also a good direction. 

Moving on to the fourth merch design idea.

4. Mouse Pad Designs

Mouse pad designs are a compelling merchandising option due to their blend of utility and creativity. They remain relevant as they cater to the modern digital era, offering a daily branding opportunity for computer users. Their ongoing relevance makes them a cool and cost-effective way to promote brands, art, or messages.

There are many reasons why this particular mousepad design by Deer Designer is attractive. One is the use of icons and the other is the use of color. The primary colors used for the design which are apparently the branding colors for this brand make this a vibrant and youthful-looking design. According to professional color specialist Amy Wax, primary colors come with a youthful energy.

Let’s take a look at what things we can derive from this merchandise design idea.

  1. Bright and bold colors are a great choice for this type of merch idea. 
  2. Important details should be placed within the cut-off points to ensure everything gets noticed after print. 
  3. Everything from the logo to the icons and illustrations must be in the highest possible resolution for a professional look like Deer Designer’s. 
5. Cloth Bags and Stationery Designs

Cloth bags and business stationery designs are excellent merchandising options. Cloth bags are eco-friendly and reusable, making them a sustainable branding tool.

Stationery, such as notebooks and pens, are practical and serve as constant reminders of your brand or message. Both categories offer long-lasting and versatile ways to promote and connect with your audience.

Take a look at these design ideas by Deer Designer for a brand named BLUE V. These are excellent examples of merchandise design collections across multiple items. 

Let’s take a look at the design practices we can gather from these. 

  1. Maintaining a cohesive identity across all branded material ensures successful marketing.
  2. Using your combination logo entirely in some versions and just the icon alone in others can help make things look diverse. 
  3. On the same point, using inverted color versions of your logo can keep things fresh yet cohesive. 

Let’s look at the next merch design on this list. 

6. Cap Designs

Cap designs are a fantastic addition to your brand’s merchandise lineup. They offer a stylish and functional way to promote your brand or message. Caps are versatile and appeal to a wide audience, making them a valuable choice for building brand recognition and generating revenue.

Design No. 1

The above cap design belongs to the same brand for which the mouse pad design was created. The cohesive visual style and elements communicate this instantly. Similar to the mouse pad design, this cap maintains a creative and youthful look and is consistent with its branding. Which is what merch design is all about. 

While this cap is bright and bold and is unique to its brand the next cap design example takes a different approach.

Design No. 2

This particular cap design is minimal and maintains a sleek look. They use muted colors with monochromatic logo designs. 

You can see that the 2 approaches are different yet meaningful to each brand. 

Let’s look further at what things we can gather from these 2 cap designs. 

  1. Caps are a very picky type of apparel so the design really matters when it comes to your target audience and industry. Some people wouldn’t be caught wearing a cap with a design that doesn’t bode well with them. The bottom line is, whether you go for bright and bold or minimal and chic keep your audience preferences in mind. 
  2. When it comes to a design sense cap no.2 follows a classic cap design practice of placing the design within a badge. 
  3. Cap no.1 also follows a common cap design practice of having a wide design layout rather than a tall one. The reason is that aspect ratio becomes an issue in cap design. In other words, the dimension to always look out for is the height. 

Ready to Create Your Brand’s Merchandise Design?

These merchandise design ideas are some of the most common and worthwhile merchandise designs that you should consider in your marketing strategies. Along with the tips and design practices we provided, you should be able to come up with awesome merch designs.

It’s worth noting that these are all printed marketing materials. While some may believe that print design is not relevant anymore, these merch design ideas suffice to prove that printed designs are still very much relevant. They have lasting effects that can help promote brands on a daily basis. That’s why we encourage you to try some of these out to help you catapult your brand to your audience. Not only so but they can be an excellent way to excite your employees as well. 

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