Promotional Item Best Practices

5 Things to Avoid When Designing Promotional Merchandise

promotional merchandise

Do you have a trade show coming up, and are you looking for ways that you can make faster connections with prospects?

Would you like to ensure that your brand’s name and logo sticks in the minds of your leads and customers long after your first interaction is over?

Are you interested in having promotional items serve as walking, cost-effective advertisements for your brand?

If so, then it sounds like promotional merchandise is right for you.

But your design process can make or break the effectiveness and branding power of these items.

Read on to learn how to get your design right when it comes to your promotional items.

1. Not Including Your Logo

When you’re designing promotional merchandise, the entire point is to increase your brand recognition and use these products to widen your overall market.

But if you don’t even bother to include your logo on your designs, then you’re not going to do much of anything to build your brand awareness.

Your logo is the entire foundation of your branding strategy.

You put it on your website, your business cards, use it as your profile picture on social media, include it in your print ads, and even put it on your building’s signage.

You need to do more than include your company’s names on your promotional items if you truly expect them to have any sort of an impact.

Even if you think you’ve placed your logo everywhere under the sun, remember that, for the majority of people both taking and just seeing your promotional products, this will still be their first impression of and interaction with your brand.

You want to cement company’s name and overall branding in their minds as firmly as possible. You can’t do that without including your logo.

2. Picking Items that aren’t Useful

Another common — and seriously financially inefficient — mistake that we see all too often in the design of promotional merchandise?

Choosing promotional items that everyone either already has way too many of, or choosing items that no one really wants in the first place.

While things like pens are generally always helpful, the world really doesn’t need another fidget spinner, magnet, or tee-shirt that’s branded with a company’s logo and name.

Instead, you need to think outside of the box.

When you’re selecting the items you want to design, think of something that’s actually useful, outside of the box, and able to clearly show off your logo and overall branding.

An awesome promotional item that we can guarantee your competition hasn’t thought of yet?

Branded work gloves.

Not only will they keep your prospects’ hands protected on the job, they’ll also allow them to display and represent your brand on all ten of their digits!

3. Designing a Carbon Copy of Competitor’s Items

When you’re creating promotional merchandise, you want to make sure it’s actually promoting your own brand — not your competition’s.

Originality is key in all aspects of your business, but it’s especially crucial when you’re creating branded promotional items.

You don’t want it to look like you’re ripping off your competitors. Not only does this make you look unprofessional and uncreative, it may even open you up to a lawsuit.

That’s definitely not the kind of hit to your company’s reputation that you need.

4. Picking Hard-to-Read Fonts

When you’re working on bringing your promotional products to life, you’ll likely want to make text a part of the finished design.

This can include your company’s name, any mottos that you might have, or additional information about an upcoming sale or in-store event that you want to specifically market.

Making poor font choices negates all of the hard work you’ve done in creating your design in the first place, because your target market won’t actually be able to read the name of your company.

Plus, it doesn’t exactly make you look like the most professional company in the world.

Always be sure to consider the size, the positioning, the spacing, and the actual font of your overall typography design.

Even order a few test products to ensure that everything looks exactly as you want it to before placing your larger order.

5. Overloading on Images

A final mistake that we see far too many people making when it comes to their promotional merchandise design?

Choosing way too many images and details that end up overloading their design, making it look crowded, hard to read, and unprofessional.

When you’re selecting the right images to include on your items, we suggest keeping it as simple as possible.

That goes for the number of colors that you choose, as well. In general, depending on the size of the item, we suggest that you select no more than three colors.

Additionally, try to keep the number of images to two at the most.

Looking to Create Unique Promotional Merchandise for your Brand?

We hope that this post has helped you to understand how you can avoid making some of the most common mistakes when it comes to designing promotional items to give out at a trade show, to loyal customers, or even on the street!

Remember to always include your logo, pick fonts that are easy to read, and to keep your design simple and impactful.

Above all, make sure you’re selecting interesting and surprising products — ones that people will actually use!

We can certainly help you with that.

Spend some time on our website to learn how we can create products that help your brand to get the right kind of attention.

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