The startups nailing branded merch

You’ve worked your butt off to start your dream business, and now it’s time to get people talking about it. For many entrepreneurs, it’s not creating the product or service that’s the biggest challenge, but getting people to actually give it a go. And competition is high: the number of new startups in the UK grew by 14% last year, according to data from Companies House.

There are lots of ways to convince customers that your company is the one to try, like free trials, giveaways, and of course, creating your own company merchandise. A carefully considered cache of branded swag can go a long way; a way of embedding the name of your startup in the minds of potential customers, branded merchandise also a way of strengthening your relationship with existing users. At ICON, we’re often working with ambitious new businesses as well as those more established in the startup world. Here are some examples of the clients we’re buzzing about, and others to inspire you.


Hive’s mission is to get people working in happier, healthier ways. With clients including Brewdog and River Island, it uses employee feedback to help businesses develop. Its merchandise, like this t-shirt, printed by ICON, helps spread the positive message. 

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This card and banking app has revolutionised the way many people spend, allowing us to track our purchases in real time, and transfer money to others easier than ever before. Plus its bright orange card is impossible to lose! The company says its employee t-shirts have become so sought after that its started selling them to the public.

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Congratulations to our "Tough Monzo" runners for taking on #toughmudder this weekend and raising over £5800 for @turn2us_org 🎉 (📷 – @nigelwalsh)

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This code hosting platform began as a startup in San Francisco, before being bought by Microsoft for a whopping $7.5 billion in 2018. Its branding has proved so successful that the cat logo now adorns t-shirts, hoodies, stickers and even kids clothes, all for sale here.

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So far, our special edition PRIDE tees raised more than $13,000 for LGBTQ organizations, and they're still available in the GitHub Shop ( Pick one up to support organizations that support the LGBTQ community.

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Applying for a mortgage can be a nightmare of fees, paperwork and confusion, and that’s why Habito promises to sort it all out for you. This startup is not only super useful, it’s also stylish – their distinct, cartoon-style graphics are all over their easy to navigate platform. ICON teamed up with the brand to create these t-shirts, which make even mortgage hunting look fun.



This video games firm, headquartered in East London Tech City, carries its simple but memorable logo in black and white on a range of staff t-shirts. Company founder Herman Narula is never seen without one, even when presenting his TED Talk



This excellent file sharing service really needs no introduction, but you might not know that the company produces lots of cool swag for its employees, including limited editions like these LGBTQ pride t-shirts.

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We're excited to be marching in the San Francisco and Dublin Pride parades this weekend! #dropboxatpride

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Launched in 2014, the Cuvva app helps you find quality car and travel insurance easier than ever before. With ICON, they’ve produced a swish range of hoodies and t-shirts, incorporating the brand’s eye-catching purple, and adorned with the company logo in print and embroidery.



The employees of this popular note-taking app firm are unusually loyal – one fan even got a tattoo of the company’s elephant logo, which you’ll also see on stickers, and high quality t-shirts. We’re in.

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Want to create merch for your startup? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting clients such as WeWork, Habito, Cuvva and Hive. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.