As a band, you already know that your merch must be a top priority. T-shirts and hoodies will remain the backbone of band merch because fans will proudly represent the meaning and essence of what you stand for. Whether you’re going to be selling your merch at gigs, events, festivals or online, you want to get it right. Things like quality of the T-shirt, the printing technique you’re going to use, sizes and so on are things that should come to the forefront of your mind whenever you decide to print a new batch of t-shirts.
1. Go for Quality
From the point of view of a fan, nothing feels better than a comfy band t-shirt that lasts a long time and feels nice. What that means for a fan, is that they get to wear it for longer, the T-shirt won’t wash out that easily and the colour will remain as vibrant as it can. That’s why you want to find a supplier that provides T-shirts or hoodies made from quality fabrics (organic cotton, bamboo). Brands like American Apparel, Anvil, Fruit of the Loom, Gildan are some of the brands that we recommend for your band merch. Don’t forget that the same goes for the printing provider and the quality of their technique.
2. Value for Money
As a band, you want to still keep the costs down while still getting a great value for what you pay for. What most brands usually do is to order a first batch that will last them a couple of months. The recommended average that you’d want to start from is 50+ t-shirts per batch. In terms of the printing technique, you have various techniques that can work for you, but the common practice is to choose screen printing. While you can read an in-depth guide on why we usually recommend screen printing, one of the main takeaways is that it is cheap and looks good on t-shirts.
We’re not going to tell you how to design your own logo or art, but make sure it’s something that your audience will want to wear. You need to know what represents your brand in a way that connects with your audience. That’s the reason why your fans will want to buy your merch and wear it. The symbolism and imagery will play an important role and knowing how to best combine that in a design that fits on a t-shirt or hoodie will make it a successful band merch line.
Once you have decided on the actual design, you will also need to turn the png or jpg file of your design into a vector file and Adobe Illustrator is the best choice you can go for. If you don’t know how, here’s a small guide we recommend.
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4. Printing times
Running times depends on the order size and printing technique. For small batches, it will take less time to get everything printed and this is due to the printing technique. It is recommended to go for heat transfer when printing a smaller number of t-shirts as it will take less time while the costs stay down. When you have a quick gig and suddenly run out of merch, the ideal solution is to go fo a small batch of heat transfer t-shirts.
For bigger batches, it can take up to one week to print your merch. You’re probably going to be using screen printing for this batch, which is recommended when you print more t-shirts or hoodies. It’s also a good idea you ensure you have plenty of time before a gig or festival for your merch to be printed. Don’t forget to print your merch in various sizes as well. It’s frustrating when you want a size S t-shirt but there are only M and L sizes left in stock.
5. Ready to sell it
Promoting your merch across social media is a necessary thing that you need to incorporate once you decide to print new merch. Apart from social media, you will need an e-commerce platform where fans can quickly order their desired item. Having an online store set-up will simplify things for you too and it’s much safer this way. If you don’t know where to start from, Shopify is one of the most preferred platforms for merch to be sold.
The rest is up to you on how to plan it all out but if you have finished reading this article, by now you have a solid idea of what you need to consider when deciding on printing your custom band merch. If you need any other questions answered, don’t hesitate to drop us an email or give us a call. Our team will gladly help you out.