As a design-led printing studio here at ICON, we apply a range of design principles which inform our advice to clients for their choice of personalised merchandise styles, colours and artwork. Although beauty is a subjective concept that is often difficult to define, we’ve devised a list of our top considerations that explain why we find some things more beautiful than others. Let’s break it down.
One of the most important design principles that contribute to our perception of beauty is simplicity. We tend to find things that are simple and uncluttered more beautiful than those that are complex and chaotic. Therefore, simplicity allows us to focus on the essential elements of an object, without being distracted by unnecessary details. For our clients who cater towards more high-end fabrications, such as densely textured Polo Styles, we recommend applying more minimal artworks, i.e the company name in their chosen font or a simplified company logo, both of which result in a more aesthetically pleasing personalised merchandise offering.
Another important design principle that contributes to our perception of beauty is symmetry. We tend to find things that are symmetrical more beautiful than those that are asymmetrical. This is because symmetry creates a sense of balance and harmony that is pleasing to the eye, and one we associate regularly with everyday items around us. As a result, our brains are hardwired; whether we like it or not, to be attracted to shapes and artworks which are balanced. When considering printing multiple designs across your choice of personalised merchandise, have a play around with positioning these standalone artworks in a manner that promotes balance, using a combination of harsher lines with softer components.
Proportion forms our judgement of what we would be comfortable representing, especially when viewed through its application on T-shirts, Hoodies and front-facing designs. Amongst the most influential design principles that informs our perception of proportion, The Golden Ratio – a mathematical ratio of 1:1.618, is found in the proportions of the Egyptian pyramids, the nautilus shell and faces in art we deem beautiful, such as the Mona Lisa.
Did you know that the colour Blue is the most loved colour by humans, preferred by more than 35% of the world’s population – which basically means that every 4 people in a group of ten favour blue over any other colour. A lot of this can be attributed to colour psychology and the associations people have with them, with the colour Blue nuancing peace and calamity.
However, all audiences of people are different, and when choosing the base colour of your personalised merchandise and subsequently of artwork – key design principles such as what colours complement each other on the colour wheel are a great place to start. For a more in-depth view of the power of colour, read our dedicated blog post here.
We look forward to hearing from you! To get an instant quote, click here or contact us at email@example.com and one of our team will be in touch to get you started.
It all starts with a T-shirt.
As a content creator, you’re always looking for the next big thing that drives your personal brand: attracting new audiences, building credibility and creating new opportunities to connect in-person and online. If this sounds like you, our team at ICON have got you covered. Let’s break it down.
Why sell personalised merchandise?
With its plethora of benefits, personalised merchandise acts as the ultimate brand awareness tactic. Growing your brand awareness can help attract new audiences to your content, as well as solidify existing ones. When people become aware of your brand, they are more likely to generate a lead towards your social platforms and become a part of your community, increasing your overall reach – a key KPI to help increase access to monetization and passive revenue schemes.
Similarly, growing your brand awareness can help build credibility. When people see that your brand is well-known and highly engaging, they are more likely to trust you and your content. This can help you build a loyal audience who will continue to support you and create avenues where you’re able to market new products.
With credibility and brand awareness on your side; at ICON, we work one-to-one with clients to create bespoke merchandise that is tailored to your audience and creating pieces that sets you apart. For more, read our more in-depth blog on content creator merchandise and how you can unite your audience, by clicking here.
Why T-shirts are the way forward:
As the most worn clothing item in the world, it is no surprise that T-shirts are at the heart of our printing services here at ICON, and a growing client favourite. A holy grail community engagement tool across the entertainment industry for their versatility and non-gender conforming style, T-shirts are the ultimate method to differentiate your brand and nourish an online audience through the launch of high quality, limited quantity individualised gear. This is why:
T-Shirts Foster Brand Awareness
Personalised T-shirts are a great way to create brand awareness and promote your content. When people wear your T-shirt, they become walking billboards for your brand, spreading the word about you in places you wouldn’t have organic access too, increasing the access you have to a new audience.
T-Shirts Build Brand Loyalty
Personalised T-shirts also help build brand loyalty. When people wear customised personalised merchandise, they feel like they are part of your brand’s community. An interesting study by Hajo Adam and Adam D.Galinsky in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology founded the word “enclothed cognition,” – simplified to mean “the association a community feels through consuming a product or service that builds explicit signals to a wider audience” such as wearing merchandise belonging to a specific brand, content and influencer fan base. These consumers become your brand ambassadors, spreading the word about your content and building a sense of loyalty among your audience.
T-Shirts are Cost-Effective
Lastly, T-shirts are one of the most cost efficient solutions to creating personalised merchandise. Our best-selling Softstyle Adult T-Shirt is an affordable option for first time content creators, making it a great option for those who are just starting and have a limited budget.
Keen to get your first collection of personalised merchandise underway? Click here for an instant quote or contact our team for a more in-depth review into how we can take you from design to delivery in less than 14 days!
Undeniably recognised as the most popular personalised accessory, the Tote Bag is our best-selling accessory for events and promotional merchandise alike, with our Organic Cotton Shopper Tote quickly becoming a client favourite, and with good reason. Let’s break it down.
Reusability and Sustainability
Tote bags are reusable and can last for a long time, reducing the need for single-use plastic bags. This makes them an eco-friendly choice that aligns with the values of many consumers and is a great hack when wanting to do more implicit marketing launches, as clients are likely to re-use these in more organic settings that would be unreachable from a company without extension marketing budgets. By offering personalised tote bags as a core personalised merchandise offering, company’s can showcase their commitment to sustainability and attract customers who prioritise eco-friendliness – a growing trend between Gen Z’s and Millennial shoppers; with 90% more willing to make a purchase that is more sustainable.
Practicality and Versatility
Tote bags are an everyday practical and versatile essential, making them suitable for a wide range of purposes. They can be used as grocery bags, beach bags, gym bags, or even as a stylish accessory for everyday use. Personalised tote bags can also be used as promotional items at events, conferences, or trade shows, showcasing your brand and increasing visibility.
Cost-Effective and Customizable
Tote bags are one of our most cost efficient merchandise options and at ICON, can be customised to reflect your brand’s identity and message in so many unique ways. Our Long Handle Shopper Tote is amongst the most popular styles we offer; averaging to just under £1.50 per unit, and can be designed with your company logo, slogan, or artwork, making them an ideal personalised merchandise option. Our Tote bags also come in a variety of sizes, colours, and styles, allowing you to choose the best option that suits your brand and target audience.
Trendy and Fashionable
Tote bags have become a trendy statement piece and fashionable accessory, with many designers and brands incorporating them into their collections. Personalised tote bags can be designed to reflect current fashion trends or to showcase your brand’s unique style and aesthetic, with Tote Bag sales reflecting an upwards growth trend regardless of niche or industry. By offering this in-trend form of personalised merchandise, companies are able to appeal to a wider audience; especially those who prioritise eco-friendliness, and increase overarching brand awareness.
With their reusability, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and customisability, Tote Bags offer an edge over choosing your brand’s next merchandise offering, creating an opportunity to showcase your brand’s values and increase visibility. So, why not make tote bags your company’s next personalised merchandise choice?
Keen to find out more? Our passionate team of experts is waiting to hear from you and help you guide your next order, Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here for an instant quote!
Design is a tricky thing. It’s subjective, can be difficult to define, and it’s often used as an excuse for something that’s not quite right or good enough. But what does good design look like? Here at ICON, we work with our clients and tailor the experience based on your needs: from design, choosing the most appropriate base garment and printing techniques, right down to the final product. Here’s our list of top tips breaking down the basic elements of good design and how your business can engage with these for your next custom-made merchandise orders.
Good design is innovative.
Innovative design is the best design, because it’s most relevant to the customer and their needs. When defining design in terms of proprietary artwork and company branding, continuous innovation within your decision of typography, juxtaposition of colours, graphic choice and placements is a key way to differentiate from the crowd. Our clients at Minor Figures did just that, with their unique use of elegant typography and targeted use of playful yet minimal graphics which address their target customer’s needs, have created a design that is one of the most effective within their operating industry.
Aesthetic plays a large role in design
Design is a way of communicating. It’s how we share things with each other and how we express ourselves, our ideas and feelings. Without design, us humans would find things mundane and utilitarian, and effectively remove the joy of effectively connecting with a brand/business. To make complete use of your design, consider implementing traditional design principles such as utilising white spaces, playing with proportions and creating patterns. Top tip: patterns are a great way of giving your design that extra bit of oomph and are extremely pleasing on the eyes, for more, why not check out: The Power of Colour.
On T-shirts, utilising aesthetic company designs and artwork further encourages your customers to wear your personalised merchandise often and in settings your brand may not be able to organically reach, building an even stronger force of brand awareness your way.
Quietness is a sign of quality
It’s quiet when you don’t have to shout to be heard and it’s quiet when there are no extraneous sounds coming from your design, whether they’re in the form of too many colours, mismatched fonts or other distractions. Minimal design is a classic style of design that is characterised by simplicity, clean lines, and a monochromatic palette of colour enhanced with accents, and one that will live on beyond its time. Famously seen with luxury brands like Hermes, the sleek choice of typography and intricacy in line design make it easy to associate with and timeless in nature. Similarly, consider using symbols where possible to keep your designs clean and feeling minimal, and for the ultimate accompanying fonts, read our infamous article on: The most Successful Typefaces, backed by Science.
Good design is as little design as possible
It doesn’t need to be complicated, just do the job well. In a world where we are bombarded by design sub-genres, styles and trends, it can be hard to differentiate what makes one good design different from another. While there may be no easy answer (it depends on who you ask), there is one thing all good design has in common: it’s as little design as possible. It’s about being honest and authentic— and designing something that’s still beautiful and meaningful but still fitting the formality of the nature of your customer, product, service or industry offering.
So the takeaway is, good design is good design. But not just any old good design—it has to be innovative and make sense in context, whilst making use of our favourite design elements. In other words, it’s not just a matter of making what looks good, but what makes you feel good.
Keen on finding out how we can take your dream merchandise designs and make them a reality? Get in touch with a member of our sales team at email@example.com or click here for an Instant Quote!
More than 2 Billion T-shirts are sold per year, equaling to 64 T-shirts sold worldwide – Every. Single. Second. With the significance of this rather simple and universally worn clothing item, the T-shirt has dominated regardless of time and culture, and here at ICON, is our absolute favourite way to help brands and businesses increase their awareness and customer loyalty. To really understand why the T-shirt is amongst the most widely adopted; and preferred form of personalised merchandise by our clients, let’s break down the history behind where this classic, all-American wardrobe staple comes from.
How it started:
The iconic “T-shape” of the T-shirt has origins that date back to the late 19th century Rome, where the tunica, a simple undershirt, was worn by both men and women. Used widely as a layer of protection between the skin and other clothing by many, hygienists of the time recommended the use of thick knitted wool ‘t-shirts’ under your clothing as a means to fight the cold and other flu-like illnesses, evolving into the thermal, heat-tech technology T-shirts and undergarments we have today. Adopted soon after during World War I as a staple undershirt for the United States military and naval services alike, a T-shirt made of a lightweight, breathable material and was worn under the sailor’s uniform and was born to be the most versatile piece of apparel ever created.
How it changed:
In the early 1920s however, the functionality of the T-shirt being utilised as only an undergarment was challenged. Known as the founding fathers of the T-shirt rebellion movement Marlon Brando’s “A StreetCar Named Desire” and James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause” were both the first; and most famous on-screen performances where both key characters wore T-shirts as an outer-garment, beginning the business boom of T-shirts world wide. Quickly after the movies were aired, wearing T-shirts outside of work as an outer garment became a sign of rebellion – an association made through the characterisation of the infamous pop culture icons.
How it grew:
The growing political and social unrest of the 1960s catapulted the significance of T-shirts, altering their role beyond fabric and functionality. T-shirts were starting to be used as a means of activism, signifying what we now recognise as the most powerful canvas used of expression, whether political, advertorial, graphic or humorous. Technological advancements in the printing world, specifically screen printing, only enhanced this, making it faster, easier and more inexpensive than ever before to print designs directly onto T-shirts.
By the start of the 70s, custom-made, personalised T-shirts became the ultimate wardrobe staple, and since have grown to become the leading choice of merchandise for creators, brands and businesses of all kinds.
Keen to find out more? Click here to find out how personalised T-shirts can boost employee morale and to find out more about working with us, contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org or click for an instant quote!
If you’re an influencer in the Gaming space struggling to widen your reach and strengthen your fan base, this one’s for you.
Today, 2.8 Billion people make up one of the largest communities in the world — Gamers. With one in three people worldwide engaging in playing video games on a weekly basis; a number continuously growing as you’re reading this, the gaming industry has experienced a boom like no other, with a projected market value of $300 Billion by 2025. This surge of players online has created a new opportunity for gaming enthusiasts; to quit their day jobs and generate full-time incomes as Gaming Influencers; Streamers, Pro-level gamers, E-sport players and more.
With a cult following built on platforms like Twitch, Discord and Youtube Gaming, Influencers in the industry have marked their territories online by accumulating an impressive fanbase. Gamer turned Youtuber PewDiePie is the most subscribed to person on Youtube till date, with a monumental 111 million watchers. What keeps the gamer audience growing? According to a study published in the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research: fan-themed custom apparel.
Personalised merchandise has been named the holy grail community engagement tool across the entertainment industry. In a growing yet saturated space for upcoming Gaming Talent, the ultimate method to differentiate a brand and nourish an online audience is through the launch of high quality, limited quantity individualised gear.
Ex-pro-level player now Twitch sensation; Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, was amongst the first gamers to launch a collaborative collection for his impressive 13 million Twitch streamers with Adidas, selling out within minutes. Back by popular demand, Ninja’s second personalised merchandise collection with Adidas Originals launching in October of this year: Chase the Spark, has already gained significant popularity amongst his fans and is projected to sell out even faster. Similarly, E-sports expert Juggernaut, whose team worked with Gucci on the release of a limited edition watch; priced at $1,620, sold out entirely and is amongst one of the most sought after pieces for E-sport aficionados.
The performance of these collections is nothing short of magic, and is reinforced by the fascinating concept of simplified consumer psychology. With it’s foundations in signalling theory, a notion developed by Economist Micheal Spence, members of an audience are likely to feel “more connected to a product, an organisation and one another through explicit association or signals” such as wearing merchandise belonging to a certain game, gaming community and influencer fan base.
This enclothed cognition; a term used to describe “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes” studied by Hajo Adam and Adam D.Galinsky in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found similar findings. Those who wore attire which is closely associated within the nature of a particular activity, such as wearing lab coats to perform tasks commonly associated with attentiveness and carefulness, found an increase in selective and sustained attention spans in their trial subjects. With gamers evolving to now break stereotypes of gamer attire and “what a gamer should look like,” fan-themed customised apparel bridges the gap between the creator and their online community like never before.
At ICON, we’ve worked with forward-thinking brands and creators alike, to create bespoke, sustainability driven, custom made apparel that lasts for the people we value the most: our community.
Keen to get your first collection of personalised merchandise underway? Click here for an instant quote or contact our team for a more in-depth review into how we can take you from design to delivery in less than 14 days!
Christmas jumpers are a popular choice of clothing this time of year, but many people aren’t aware of just how damaging these novelty garments can actually be to the environment.
A report last year warned that these festive sweaters are actually helping to fuel the world’s plastic pollution crisis – with many made wholly or partly from plastic materials. The eye-opening research from Hubbub also revealed that two out of five Christmas jumpers are only worn once over the festive period, yet one in three under 35s buy a new one every year!
These findings didn’t sit very well with us, so we set out to offer a more sustainable option to consumers this year – through launching an innovative new limited-edition collection of alternative Christmas jumpers, with a real difference.
All three jumpers within the range are:
Reversible – with one side featuring a Christmas design and plain fabric on the other, it makes it the ideal winter staple
Designed with a serious environmental issue in mind – subtle environmental messaging has been weaved into each creative in order to raise awareness
Made from 100% organic cotton – no plastic materials or embellishments are in sight!
Raising funds for an environmental charity – proceeds from every sale will be donated to Hubbub
Part of a ‘swap shop’ initiative – once purchased, customers are given the option to send their old Christmas jumper back to get upcycled/donated to charity
View the collection here: https://www.iconprinting.com/icon-christmas-jumper-collection
100% of the profits from the ICON Christmas jumper collection will be donated to Hubbub (which equates to £10 minimum per sale).
Hubbub is an environmental charity that designs creative campaigns that raise awareness and engage the mainstream in important sustainability issues. They focus on things that are relevant to people’s day to day lives such as fashion, food, our homes and where we live and work and empower people to take practical every day actions that make a difference. They recently won the Charity Awards’ Charity of the Year 2020 for their work.
Charity Number: 115870
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