Finding the right products for your music producer merch can be difficult. Many producers look at merch with unrealistic expectations and confused looks. While there are millions of products producers can slap their logo on, here are three that I recommend.
This is a quick post covering two merchandise options in-depth, with a third bonus option that I think you will like.
In my experience, artists are big dreamers and terrible salesmen. When you buy merch, use moderation and don’t buy too much than you can sell. You can always order more. No amount of marketing can fix a bad product.
3 Ways to Start Your Music Producer Merch Line
Stickers are the ultimate cheap and easy way to get your brand out there. Stickers are good for any situation. You can order a variety of styles and sell them, give them away to people at your shows, or throw them up places for some visibility.
Tips for ordering stickers
Paper: stickers are generally cheaper and less durable. They wrinkle easily, and are messy to remove.
- Vinyl: Vinyl stickers are more durable & come off cleaner. They look smooth & sleek.
Colors & Design
- Grayscale (black & white): Black & white stickers are generally cheaper than full color stickers (below). Blacks, whites, and greys are extremely popular right now wproducers anyway.
- Full Color (CMYK): Full-color stickers are printed using tiny dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink to simulate other colors. CMYK printing (also called digital-printing or offset printing) produces less vibrant colors. When designing full-color stickers, make sure your design’s color mode is in CMYK.
- Screen printed: Screen printing is the most expensive sticker printing option. Screen printed graphics are the most vibrant of all options. Screen printed graphics also are the trickiest to design. When screen printing, each color requires its own silk screen. The screen acts like a stencil for the ink. Designing for screen printing means that you need to keep track of your colors. Each additional color will add significant cost to your sticker. Also, be aware that photographs and complex images will not work as well as bold shapes or logos.
Where to get stickers
Cheap & fast (square/rectangular options): PrintRunner
Tees are a great way to promote your music. Shirts provide a good amount of visibility for yourself and your music. Tees also give fans the experience of literally wearing you throughout their day. Loyal fans love tees because they can take their favorite artists everywhere that they go. While tees may seem overrated and less appealing than sunglasses (my first merch mistake) or snapbacks or lighters, there is always a demand for shirts. This makes tees an amazing choice for your first venture into merchandise.
Tips for designing tees
- Avoid cliches: The days of making a black & white “#PRODUCERFAM” shirt with your favorite number on the back should be over. Come up with something interesting and unique. Possibly hire a designer friend.
- Your logo is just fine: Just selling a shirt with your logo on the front can be extremely effective. Fans want to identify with your brand, and your logo is the best representation visual representation of you.
- Limit and separate colors: Most shirts are screen-printed. Limit the amount of colors in your design. Also, separate each color for the printer (TONS of tutorials on Google about this).
Tips for ordering tees
- Don’t pay for anything: Don’t pay to make your shirts. Just make money. TeeSpring (and similar sites) let you print and sell shirts for no cost. You don’t spend anything, and shirts are only printed when ordered. TeeSpring even ships the shirts when complete. You get paid, your fans get shirts, and you have 0 hassle to worry about. Awesome. I really, really recommend this for first time merch sellers. TeeSpring will give you an accurate read on how willing your fans are to buy without costing you anything.
- Order from a large printer in your country: If you don’t use TeeSpring for your orders, avoid ordering from small local printers and big factories overseas. It may sound sexy to order 500 shirts from Alibaba, or to support local businsses. It’s not sexy making a mistake on an investment and being stuck with product you don’t like. Find the most reputable online printing services in your country, and order from them.
- Watch your minimum order quantities: Most printers will require you to order a minimum order quantity (MOQ) in order to justify their expenses. Low MOQ’s like 16 & 24 pieces are best to start with until you’re comfortable will selling to your fanbase.
Understand what shirts you like: You don’t want to order a shirt that you wouldn’t wear yourself. Investigate the types of blank tees that are commonly printed on. Everyone’s preference is different
- What I like: American Apparel, Alternative Apparel. These companies make soft, lightweight, and fitting tees.
- What I don’t like: Gildan, Port & Country, Hanes. These companies make make heavy, bulky, and scratchy tees.
Where to get tees
No-cost printing: TeeSpring
This is a fun one, and will be super brief!
For my shelved producer project, I ordered a custom self-inking stamp with my logo on it. I took it around to shows and stamped people in the crowd. I would go up to someone, explain who I was, and then ask if I could stamp them. Arms, boobs, tickets, whatever! I usually got a picture of the stamp for Instagram or Snapchat to help promote myself.
Reliable stamp maker: VistaPrint