How to Make Custom Merch You Can Design

From cute customized sweaters to mugs and stationaries, merch are a great addition to your business. Let’s look at how to make custom merchandise and everything else you need to get started.

Custom Merch
Custom merchandise turned into a powerful tool for businesses of any kind allowing them to improve their brand visibility and connect with their customers.  Whether you’re a coffee shop owner, a clothing brand, or a local artist, custom merchandise is an amazing addition to your business.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the process of making custom merch from the initial stage of ideation to choosing the right items and marketing with realistic clothing mockups.

Ready to bring your merch vision to life? Let’s delve in!

1 Choosing Your Merchandise

The best merchandise are the ones that align with your brand identity while also catering to the preferences of your target audience. It is important that your customers not only love your merch but can also use it to form a deeper connection with your brand.

In choosing the merch that your audience loves and are willing to pay for, you must consider certain factors. They are:

Your Brand Identity

Merch are an extension of your brand’s identity and personality. But first, you have to define what this personality is in order to choose the most fitting merchandise. Think about it: how do most of your audience think of your brand? If it’s a menswear brand what do your shoppers look for?

Custom Merch

Your brand personality can be anything from playful, to youthful, sophisticated, serious, rustic, futuristic— it can be anything! Once you have identified your brand’s personality, take a look at your values. Every business has some set of beliefs and outlook on life which their brand and products are built on.

For some, it could be sustainability and eco-friendliness, others could be inclusivity or affordability. Whatever your business values and beliefs are, let them reflect in your merchandise.

Know Your Audience

Before investing in merch, you must understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, and lifestyle. This knowledge will guide you in choosing items that resonate with their unique preferences.

For example, if your target audience are teens, young adults, or school students, you’d want to tailor your merch to items that they’d find relevant such as customized backpacks, hats, pens, and so on. On the other hand, if your audience are perhaps gamers, your merch can be custom hoodies, t-shirts, or miniature game characters.

Consider Utility and Longevity

As you choose merchandise that aligns with your brand identity and story, you’d also want to ensure that they offer practical uses. Your audience will be more attracted to items that are useful and relevant in their daily lives like t-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, or tote bags over Knick-knacks.

Above all, ensure you opt for versatile items especially when you have a broad audience so that they can appeal to various demographics.

Eco-Friendly Options

We live in an era that’s more environment-conscious than ever. Items made from organic materials or those that promote sustainability can enhance your brand’s eco-conscious image and make your merchandise more appealing to your audience. It is also necessary for certain regulatory compliance depending on your region.

Custom Merch


From quality to quantity, material, and item type, your budget should determine the kind of merch you opt for. Before settling for any item, you would want to factor in the cost of production, including printing or embroidery and packaging to ensure that it is suitable for your business financially.

2 Designing Your Merchandise

Once you’ve chosen your merch item, it’s time to get into design. A well-thought-out design is the heart of any successful custom merchandise. Ensure your designs align with your brand identity, using the design elements that truly tell your story. Use the colors, typography, and imagery that will resonate with your audience.

One tool you’d also find helpful in your merch creation process is a 3D mock-up template. Mock-ups allow you to visualize your designs on actual products before production. This step is vital in ensuring your designs look as good in reality as they do on your digital canvas.

From how your logo will appear on a T-shirt or how your artwork will look on a coffee mug, mock-up templates offer a preview of how the real deal looks. You can buy high-quality mock-ups or any design asset on platforms like YellowImages.

3 Printing and Production

With your designs finalized, it’s time to bring them to life. Ensure that you use the most suitable printing method for your merchandise to get the best design results.

Depending on your merchandise, you can choose screen printing, embroidery, or digital printing. Each method has its pros and cons, so it’s crucial to choose what fits the merch material and your budget.

4 Quality Control

Beyond having pleasant-looking merch, it is also important to maintain quality standards. Conduct thorough quality checks throughout the production process to ensure that your items stand the test of time.

You can carry out quality control from the point of sourcing the material to the moment your merch is ready for print. Pay attention to design consistency, seam/stitch quality, packaging integrity, industry standards, and other important quality control steps.

Custom Merch

5 Promoting Your Custom Merch

Now that your custom merch is ready, it’s time to get it in front of your audience. Use social media, collaborate, paid ads, and any other medium to get your items to the right audience. You can also buy premium mock-up templates from platforms like Yellow Images to elevate your marketing campaign.

Remember, your merch is an important part of your brand story, ensure that you treat it more than a commodity you’re trying to sell. Give your audience an amazing brand experience even with your merchandise.

Finally, custom merchandise is not just an extra income stream for your business but also a good strategy to connect with your audience. From design conceptualization to the final product, each step plays a crucial role in the overall success of your business.

Thinking of adding merch to your brand story? We hope this article helps you get started!


Discover Blanco x Dolce & Gabbana Collection

Skincare Gift Planning: Strategies for Black Friday