Is your logo merchandise friendly?

Principles of Design

The design of your logo is a crucial ingredient when embarking on a new business venture or re-brand. In an instant, it can distinguish you from the competition or capture an audience’s imagination.

The font, colours, size, shape and tagline must all fuse effortlessly to create a memorable, versatile and meaningful design. Some of the greatest brands boast logos that have stood the test of time, whilst others have failed.

Some logos are so etched in our psyche, they no longer bear the company name, preferring instead to remain subliminal or create mantra like taglines that nonchalantly instruct us to ‘just do it’.

This said, even the biggest and bravest brands are guilty of overlooking a key ingredient when designing their logo – promotional merchandise.

Despite ticking every box when designing a logo, its ease of application to promotional products and clothing is often an expensive oversight.

The Role of Merchandise

More and more, promotional merchandise is considered a crucial element in the marketing mix. In the UK alone, the estimated industry value is £800 – £1billion. Be it budget plastic pens, bespoke USB’s, printed mugs or polo shirts – promotional merchandise is integral in reinforcing brand awareness and loyalty.

Even politicians recognise the significance of promotional products and clothing, as evident in the high profile US Presidential and UK Brexit campaigns. Flags, cups, badges, caps, t-shirts and banners are shrewdly positioned to reinforce the tidal wave of rhetoric.

Key Ingredients

The choice and possibilities when choosing promotional products is literally endless, so a ‘one fits all’ logo is not even a consideration.

A landscape style logo might engrave elegantly onto a corporate metal pen, whilst a portrait logo might ‘pop’ when printed onto a sports bottle.

This is where versatility, simplicity and budget are crucial. Many brands ‘trip up’ when dipping into the promotional merchandise arena, especially when printing more than 1 colour.

Core Considerations

Does your marketing/merchandise budget allow for multiple spot colour print? If not, can the logo switch effortlessly to mono?

Can the tagline be re-positioned to accommodate different promotional products and branding areas?

When switching from a dark to light product background, can the design be reversed out?

Will switching from full colour to mono compromise visual impact?

Does the logo lend itself to different branding methods? Perhaps it’s too large to embroider onto a sleeve, or too intricate to spot colour print?

Stick or Twist?

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the desire for more innovative, diverse and full colour branded merchandise. The industry has responded in kind. The quality of promotional products and associated branding methods is noticeable.

In an ideal world, a logo would lend itself effortlessly to every product, branding method and media type – remaining untouched and intact.

However, there are naturally limitations and the demands on companies to consistently deliver and reinforce their brand image cannot be ignored – especially with the evolving impact and pressure of social media.

Therefore, should a brand tweak or manipulate a logo to support diverse marketing campaigns, platforms and promotional merchandise? Whilst to some this is an unimaginable compromise, many would argue it is simply….clever.