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Merch tips from the experts

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No matter what stage of the merch journey you’re on, it’s always awesome to take time out to pick the brains of your peers, get their advice and spark off new ideas.

We sat down with creatives killing it in the world of merch and got their top tips to help you out whether you’re just starting out, or looking to take your merch to the next level.

Getting into illustration through doodling in her free time, Anastasia soon found a following of people who wanted to buy merch after she started to post her work on social media. Starting out with t-shirts, she now sells a wide range of merch on her website.


1) Don’t just throw your designs on anything

Think carefully about what merch you’re choosing. Think about what design you want to put on it and how those things relate to each other.

 

2) Think about your audience

Think about what your fans and audience want. Is there anything that they’ve requested in the past? Make sure that you’re using something that fits with your brand and that it’s something that works well for you as merch.

 

3) Design with the merch in mind

Make sure that you utilise the merch item for what it is. For example with the metallic badges, make sure that you use the metallic part of the badge. Really think about what the merch is made out of and how that can work with your drawing.  

Originally starting out with badges, Kristyna’s merch offering quickly moved into story lead items like comics and zines. Now having (in her words) ‘too many comics’ her merch range has expanded, branching out into t-shirts and pins.

1) Think about the reasons someone might want to buy your work

Give people as many reasons to buy something as possible. It could be something they can wear, something they can have in their house or something that’s useful,  like a mug. Or it could just be something interesting that they might want to delve deeper into like a comic or zine.

 

2) Have different price points

Try not to price anyone out of buying your merch. Have something that’s fairly cheap, pocket money price, something more intermediate and then something that’s a bit more of a luxury item. Whatever people’s budgets then there’s always something for them.

 

3) Share your work in as many ways as possible

You can share online, Instagram, Twitter places like that but doing in person at shows is really important too. I learnt a lot about my products and what people respond well to by physically selling them in person. If you can share your merch with a shop in a region that you don’t normally sell in, then that’s a bonus.

Starting out with art prints of his original work, Dick’s merch offering has expanded over the years, now including things like patches, pins, greetings cards, mugs and now kiss cut stickers!

1) Start Small

Start with things like greetings cards, postcards or stickers. They might not be as glamorous as things like enamel pins but they are low cost.  If it doesn’t work, then you’ve not made a massive loss on them.

 

2) Research

Look at what’s popular, what’s not, and how much people are charging to get an idea.

of how the market is working.

 

3) Be yourself

The most successful things I’ve made has been the really personal stuff. It’s easy to follow trends but in the long run, it doesn’t always pay off to make something just because it’s popular.

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