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As specialists within the personalised merchandise industry, we can confirm that it’s a particularly great way to showcase your brand, celebrate a special occasion, or simply express your creativity through apparel. But what makes for the best personalised merchandise? Here’s a break down of our ICON certified, top expert tips to consider:

Quality: The first and most important factor is the quality of the merchandise itself. Whether you’re looking for custom t-shirts, caps, or mugs (we custom print on them all!) make sure the item is made of durable materials and is well-constructed. No one wants a product that falls apart after just a few uses, and customised merchandise is often given bad rep for this exact reason. Luckily, at ICON we only work with the most high quality materials, sustainably sourcing premium finish organic cotton for our T-shirts, with our Organic Unisex T-shirt being a top choice for all our personal brand owners and creators due to its high durability and customisation versatility. 

Design: The design of your personalised merchandise should be eye-catching and visually appealing. Consider using bright colours, bold fonts, and clear graphics to make your design stand out. As a printing company that is led by design, our team works closely with each client to perfect their desired design and make recommendations on the ultimate printing or embroidery technique that is the most cost-effective, quick to complete, and most importantly: sustainable, for your type of order. One of our top performing client’s used our bespoke printing services at ICON Printing to create their personalised merchandise, and had to say “the quality of the DTP print was great, i stretched the fabric and no cracking! The quality of the Hoodie is sick! Fits like a charm. I’m ready for the UK Winter!” Click here to read more about our client work and how you can work with us today. 

Functionality: While aesthetics are important, it’s also crucial that your personalised merchandise is functional. Think about what your employees, audience or customers will actually use the item for and make sure it serves a practical purpose. For example, a personalised thermos flask should be easy to carry and use, while a personalised t-shirt should be comfortable to wear. Our brand new customisable thermos flasks are an easy and inexpensive addition to your company apparel, made specifically to improve your work experience during the harsher colder months. Check our catalogue of products here.

Uniqueness: Personalised merchandise is all about standing out and expressing your brand. Consider adding a personal touch to your designs, such as a special company quote expressing your value or mission, a unique graphic or customised embroidered initials for each of your employees, truly making your merchandise one-of-a-kind. 

The best personalised merchandise strikes a balance between quality, design, functionality, uniqueness, and relevance. At ICON, we consider each and everyone of these factors, helping you create long-lasting personalised apparel that your audience will love and use time and time again.

Ready to take the next step in creating your own custom-made collection of apparel? Get in touch with a member of our sales team at sales@iconprinting.com or click here to receive an instant quote! 

Priding ourselves as experts in the field, here at ICON we cover all your printing needs from A to Z. Whilst screen printing is our most loved service, and unsurprisingly, is amongst the most popular fabric printing methods in the world, it is also widely scrutinised under the sustainability radar.

Why? Let’s break it down. 

The History:

Requiring practitioners to use a brush to manually force ink through the screens, the origins of screen printing date back as early as the 1920s. With the invention of Vasilantone’s dual rotary printing press; which allowed for fabric to be placed through sets of rotating pallets and print heads, the traditional transfer method was made obsolete and altered the history of this holy-grail printing technique. Initially, limited to hand-made only, screen printing was slow and costly. However, after Vasilantone’s invention, printing happened much more quickly, cleanly and efficiently, becoming a designer favourite. 

For a more in-depth article on the origins of screen printing, read this super cool piece by experts: The man who changed t-shirt printing forever.

Production:

With the use of screen printing now directed towards the production of mass produced personalised merchandise, due to the cost and time efficiency, its use is deemed unsustainable. However, with now being able to control the production for the same cost efficiencies, screen printing may be made more sustainable through limiting the overproduction of unsold merchandise. Yet, not all of it boils down to scale, but more so – resources.

Screen printing makes use of ink to print. Plastisol inks contain PVC; a micro-plastic named the most environmentally damaging of all plastics. Not only does this cause serious health risks throughout the production process but also contributes to the plastics damaging ecosystems on our planet.

Water-based inks on the other hand: pigments suspended in water, provide us with a more sustainable alternative. This no plastics option is as sustainable as can be from production to product, better for your skin; due to the fabric being left more breathable and the screens and equipment, after printed, are washed with plain water. At ICON, we aim to be as eco-conscious as possible and drive the change towards more sustainable printing by leading by example. As our raison d’etre, we take into consideration your order quantity, use and designs when deciding how we complete your order, and target to be the most planet friendly as possible. 

For more insight on sustainable dyes, read: The Eco-friendly guide to screen printing

Picking your apparel: 

When considering your medium for personalised merchandise, t-shirts are the first form of apparel that comes to mind – and we have to agree! Despite it being the most popular type, screen printing can be done on a variety of custom-made apparel such as baseball caps, reusable bottles and more. As part of our printing services at ICON now extended to include these options, we also advise on giving new, and more sustainable apparel, a go.

In comparison to a personalised, water ink dyed, screen printed sweatshirt, custom printed baseball caps are more durable due to the lack of washing involved, and as a result, last longer. Similarly, take into account when deciding on creating merchandise: are you able to set-up a pre order so the printing quantity can be optimised to only those items sold? Can you consider printing on sustainably sourced, organic fabrics? A lot of our sustainability concerns may also be addressed along the journey of your order.

To find out more about sustainable screen printing for your personalised merchandise, contact our sales team or click here to get an instant quote.

Working within the realms of customised printing, ICON has successful delivered personalised merchandise to thousands of clients in the UK and worldwide in our time within the industry. As part of our expertise, we provide white labelling, and more particularly, re-labelling services, which can readily be used to improve quality, enhance brand image and make significant impact in increasing the perceived value of merchandise.  

Here’s everything you need to know about it.

The What:

White labelling is the process of ordering already assembled products from a manufacturer or wholesaler and then customising these products to include your own labels, branding and unique offering. Here at ICON, we work closely with clients who want to commission this service and provide the product i.e., our Organic Unisex T-shirts, our Heavy Blend Hoodies and other printable apparel we sustainably source, and customise these with their chosen colours, designs and even customised company or logo-specific labelling.

For our current clients and prospect users alike, the method of white labeling has now made it exponentially simpler; and more cost effective, to create their own personalized merchandise. An industry in particular that has been momentously impacted by the widespread growth of white labeling is the Music industry.

Professionals in the industry such as Cochrane (2022) reported a significant rise in the demand, and the corresponding sales of fan merchandise, with Travis Scott’s London O2 show in August of this year, selling nearly £1 million pounds worth of merchandise at these concerts. For smaller or independent artists in the UK within the industry, a study conducted by Spotify (2022) found an identical sentiment, with revenue generated from fan merchandise providing a sustainable financial stream of income for these artists during a time where revenue from streaming is negligible and the cost-of-living crisis is continually impacting ticket sales.

The Why:

With ICON’s white labelling services being simple, sustainable and cost effective to execute, it’s now easier than ever before to start your business, improve your brand awareness and grow a stronger audience. Whether you’re an independent creator or hosting a local triathlon, making use of our white labelling services enables a stress-free journey to design and sustainably executing your ultimate personalised merchandise.

How?

It’s cost effective:

By using a white labelling printing provider, the costs of sourcing a supplier, having to order in large or minimum order quantities, and the price of working with multiple vendors; such aa a graphic designer, a wholesaler and an embroidery specialist, are removed. Here at ICON, we streamline the process of creating your personalised merchandise and manage every stage of the process, all in-house and all within our quoted price. (there’s no surprises!)

It’s simple:

The complexity of creating personalised merchandise, especially with the plethora of textiles, printing techniques and more, can be hard to understand and fulfil. White labelling allows for a large majority of the hard work; and time, associated with production to decrease – or be removed all together. Now, without the need to sample fabrics, find a manufacturer and manage a production team, your time can be used towards building your business or working on making viral content for your audience.

It’s more sustainable:

Without the associated energy and waste used to mass produce merchandise with minimum order quantities for more competitive prices, you can now produce only what you need or what has already been sold. By placing sustainability and environmental impact at the forefront, here at ICON you can purchase quantities as low as a single item, and choose your desired fabric, apparel type and according to your design, a printing technique as well.

Want to find out more? To get an instant quote, click here or contact us at sales@iconprinting.com and one of our team will be in touch to get you started.