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Blog / Style & trends / 22 Novel Band Merch Ideas + Examples

Style & trends

22 Novel Band Merch Ideas + Examples

22 Novel Band Merch Ideas + Examples
Sandra Ķempele

By Sandra Ķempele

11 min read

Are you looking to start selling band merch and engage with your fans? You’ve come to the right place.

Musicians all over the world build connections with their audience through custom merch that fans are excited to own. Plus, it’s an excellent way to generate some extra income from sales. 

It’s also just fun to come up with design ideas for your fans and experiment with different products—from band tees to pins, posters, and patches. 

So, get your groove on and explore our pick of 22 original band merch ideas! 

Cool band merch ideas

If you’re just starting out and want to sell your own merchandise online or at gigs, there’s a bunch of cool merch ideas to try out. In addition to your own music, you can sell clothing, accessories, and even custom stickers.

1. Caps and hats 

Selling caps as band merch is a great way to add some personality to your fans’ wardrobe while also promoting your music. Caps are practical and can be worn all year round, so they’re a popular choice for custom band merch.

As for your design, think about embroidered details like your band logo, album title, or both for a standout style. Another direction you can take is to release merch for anniversaries, like this hat with “Linkin Park [HT:20]” embroidered on the back to mark the 20th anniversary of their debut album “Hybrid Theory.”

Alt-pop artist RAIGN is using Printful to sell a wide range of merch on her RAIGN BOUTIQUE, including caps and beanies. She started her journey with print-on-demand (POD) by clearly knowing what kind of style to go for—a look that feels vintage, fashionable, and timeless. Just like this twill cap with a washed out vintage feel and subtle embroidery details from her album art.

If you’d like to hop on seasonal trends, have a go at designing a bucket hat for your summer collection. Think of a look that’s a good fit for summer vibes like this colorful tie-dye bucket hat by Maroon 5.

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2. T-shirts

Band tees are best selling items for most bands. They’re essentially walking billboards, and many fans will expect you to offer custom t-shirts, so it’s a good idea to have a wide range of fits and designs.

Custom t-shirts are easy to make with a print-on-demand provider like Printful. You can create a t-shirt with your album artwork on the front and tour dates on the back. Or, use concert photos of your band. With a POD provider, you can experiment with different designs and see what sells best. And you don’t have to worry about dealing with excess stock, tees are only printed once an order is made. This way, you can keep refreshing your designs when new music comes out. And your top fans will be eager to have the full tour merch collection. 

For more t-shirt design ideas, check out our blog post with creative t-shirt ideas to get inspired.

3. Stickers 

Designing unique stickers is a fun way to show off your band’s personality. And they’re awesome for personalizing laptops, water bottles, and phone cases.

For inspiration, play around with your album cover design which already has original artwork. Have a look at these stickers sold by Karol G with text, icons, and characters from the “MAÑANA SERÀ BONITO” album cover art, and take a look at our blog post with 39 sticker ideas for your inspiration.

band merch stickers

Source: Karol G

 

4. Pins

Small and easy to carry, enamel pins are great to collect and trade. They’re often attached to backpacks, jackets, and hats, which means fans can rep their favorite musicians wherever they go. If your band’s music draws inspiration from previous decades, pins can help convey that nostalgia, and will appeal to fans who are into the throwback aesthetic. 

Enamel pins can be customized to feature your band’s logo, album art, or other design elements. Check out these pins from the Linda Lindas with their signature cat designs, logo, and song lyrics “We rebuild what you destroy.”

You could also partner up with a local artist to come up with unique illustrations that capture the mood of your songs. For example, having a badge set with artwork that’s inspired by Dodie’s music videos and song lyrics. 

5. Patches

Patches are iconic band merch, and are especially popular with rock and heavy metal bands. Just like enamel pins, they’re collectible items that fans love to own, and they look great on jackets or jeans.

Another plus? Patches are cheap to produce, so you can sell them at a lower price point than clothing. This is a good fit for fans who may not be able to afford higher-priced band merchandise like vinyl records but still want to show their support. 

6. Bandanas

Bandanas are super versatile as band merch items. They’re often used as headbands, scarves, and face coverings.

Similar to t-shirts, bandanas can be customized with your band’s logo, album art, or design elements specific to your band. They’re also great as tour merchandise. For example, Twenty One Pilots have designed a special bandana for their Takeover tour.

band merch bandana

Source: Twenty One Pilots

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Unexpected band merch ideas

T-shirts, patches, and pins are popular band merch ideas, and your audience will expect to find them on your band’s merch table or online shop. But if you’d like to surprise your fan base and sell some offbeat items, we’ve got some more ideas for you.

7. Beach towels

For truly inventive band merchandise, try to lean into your most popular songs and their lyrics. 

Here’s a great example from Glass Animals and their hit “Heat waves” which has inspired a funky beach towel design with bold lettering featuring the song’s chorus all about summer nights. Added bonus? Notice how the design is in line with the band’s vibe by having similar colors as their album cover art. 

band merch beach towel

Source: Glass Animals

8. Biker shorts

There are few clothing items that have experienced such a renewed interest and popularity in recent years as the classic biker short. Worn as athleticwear or the ever-trendy athleisure wear, biker shorts have become a staple piece for many. So, it might be worth cashing in on this trend.

Have fun by adding custom design elements like your band’s name, logo, or album title on the front and back. For example, the rapper 21 Savage released these black biker shorts with bold red letters that proudly state “Savage” and “Savage mode,” the title of the rapper’s EP record.

band merch biker shorts

Source: 21 Savage

9. Baby onesie

Many fans eventually become parents and want to instill their love of their favorite band in their offspring. As the metal band Five Finger Death Punch states on their merch website—you’re never too young to become a fan.

Baby onesies are a quirky merch idea that’s gaining momentum, especially for metal bands. And no wonder, it makes for a fun baby shower gift and an amusing way for fans to express love for their favorite bands.

band merch baby onesie

Source: Five Finger Death Punch

Cozy band merch ideas

More often than not, fans will be enjoying your music from the comfort of their own home while streaming music on Spotify or listening to vinyl records. Picture this and design with your audience in mind—pick some cozy products like hoodies, socks, and throw blankets to help fans get comfortable. 

10. Hoodies

Custom hoodies are the perfect addition to your store if you’re already selling t-shirts and want to offer more clothing items. They’re comfy and versatile, and pretty much always popular these days as people lean into a more relaxed style for their everyday wear.

Band logo hoodies are an obvious choice, but try mixing things up and adding design elements that fans associate with your group’s energy and style. This can be a particular font, colors, or even your image as part of the brand. For example, a Kodak Black merch hoodie features a printed logo and a yellow and orange image of the rapper’s face.

band hoodie idea

Source: Kodak Block

 If you want more design inspo and tips, have a look at this blog post all about hoodie design ideas

11. Socks

Small but mighty—a pair of cool band socks is sure to be a fan favorite. When it comes to design, there are many paths you can take. If you’re going for a simple style, pick the main base color (white, black, beige) and let the band-inspired details do the rest. 

These white socks by Red Hot Chili Peppers showcase their red asterisk logo as the main design element. Plus, there’s a reference to their “Unlimited Love” tour, making this pair of socks a total collectible. 

red hot chilli peppers socks

Source: Red Hot Chili Peppers

12. Blankets

Cozy throw blankets add a touch of warmth to any room. Customized blankets with song lyrics or band artwork would be the perfect gift idea for fans who enjoy being comfy. A band-themed throw is a great furniture accent or the perfect blanket for an afternoon nap. 

This iconic album cover of “Dark Side of the Moon” released by Pink Floyd in the ’70s looks stylish even decades after the album release. A memento shared across generations of fans, it’s an awesome design piece for families to bond over.

pink floyd bank merch

Source: Pink Floyd

Home & living

Now that your fans are all warm and snug, what other kinds of items could you sell to spruce up their living space? Think about products like band posters, custom mugs, and coasters that could bring your group’s style into people’s homes. 

13. Posters and prints

It’s common to remember the cover art of an album instead of its title. But you can use this to your advantage! Create posters and prints with the cover design that fans recognize. 

If you’d like to design prints that complement your album art but with a different spin, seek inspo from the Gorillaz limited editions prints which feature characters from the “Cracker Island” music video.

Collaborating with an artist on a tour poster? Make it part of your merch collection! Check out this graphic poster for Tame Impala designed by artist Brian Blomer.

14. Throw pillow covers

Your album art can be a source of inspiration for all kinds of custom merch, but it’s especially great for items that can fully showcase an album cover design (think products that are rectangular or square). 

For example, square throw pillow covers are a perfect fit to show off your album art with minimal design adjustments. Check out how the cover of “Innerspeaker” by Tame Impala looks as home decor. 

throw pillow band merch idea

Source: Tame Impala

15. Mugs

Personalized mugs are much loved by coffee and tea drinkers alike. So why not come up with mug design ideas that are specific to your band?

Have a look at heavy metal band Disturbed’s mascot, “The Guy,” who makes an appearance not only on several album covers, but also on a special Christmas edition mug. It’s the perfect Christmas gift idea for fans—or anyone who’s a bit of a grinch during the festive season. 

band merch mug

Source: Disturbed

16. Coasters

For a lot of band merch, the black, red and white color scheme is a classic that looks cool on clothing like hoodies and t-shirts. But it can also fit well with dark-toned home decor.

For small (but useful!) home & living items, check out these “GRRR!” coasters, a nod to the greatest hits album released by the Rolling Stones.

rolling stones band coasters

Source: The Rolling Stones

Handy accessories

If you’d like to step up your band merch game, consider selling band-themed accessories like bags, water bottles, keychains, and even scrunchies! Accessories like these are practical and useful on the daily, and they encourage fans to show their support in a creative way.

17. Water bottles

More and more people are ditching plastic bottles in favor of reusable water bottles. So why not keep your fans hydrated during and after live shows by offering water bottles as part of your merch? 

Check out the Spotify exclusive water bottle released by rock band American Authors.  It features their band logo and a tidal wave design, most likely hinting at their song “Deep Water.”

It’s a good idea to explore how Spotify can help you get your band merch in front of your fans. For example, you can sell merch on Spotify with Shopify. And adding merch directly to your artist profile can help you boost sales. 

18. Keychains

When thinking about useful accessories that fans rely on every day, keychains are a great addition to your merch lineup.

Keychains typically feature band logos, but that doesn’t have to be your only option. You could create a design with upcoming tour graphics and a funky shape like this keychain featuring the “After Hours Til Dawn” tour by the Weeknd. 

the weeknd keychain merch

Source: The Weeknd

19. Scrunchies

When looking for band merch ideas, imagine yourself as a fan. What things would be useful for you? What kind of accessories would you like to rock? 

Here’s a great example: the lead singer from Glass Animals used to have hair long enough to put in a scrunchie. And now the band is selling a pack of 2 scrunchies with a custom cherry pattern and the band initials “G” and “A.” 

glass animals scrunchies merch

Source: Glass Animals

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20. Tote bags and draw-string bags

Printed tote bags and draw-string bags are an awesome way for your fans to carry your band with them after gigs. Another plus? They’re popular items to sell year-round. In summer, large tote bags are great for a beach day, or they can be used for grocery shopping in any season.

Plus, there’s loads of ways to customize your totes. Create a bold all-over print of your album artwork or pick a classic black tote and have your album design as the centerpiece. 

Chvrches tote bag merch

Source: Chvrches

21. Fanny packs

If you’re already selling tote bags and want to expand your product range, fanny packs are the way to go! They’re a firm favorite among festival-goers, so they’re bound to be popular with fans who come to see you play gigs.

For design inspo, think about summer festival vibes and what colors best reflect that. Check out this fanny pack design sold by the Foo Fighters—it’s a twist on their “Medicine at Midnight” album art that’s equally bright and daring. 

foo fighters merch

Source: Foo Fighters

 

22. Backpacks

Last but not least, a classic remains a classic. Backpacks are everyday essentials for students of all ages, so having a well-loved design that reps your favorite music group is a must. 

A popular choice is highlighting your band’s album cover art, especially if it’s well-known and appreciated by fans, like this backpack with the album cover for “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.

pink floyd merch backpack

Source: Pink Floyd

Connect with your fans

To find inspiration for your designs, explore what your favorite bands are selling and how they connect with their audience. But also, don’t be afraid to experiment and let your own music guide your design choices.

Ultimately, owning band merch is a way for your fans to show support, so pick items that your fans will love. With print-on-demand services like Printful, it’s never been easier to start selling band merchandise online. Try it out and let us know how it’s going in the comments below! 

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By Sandra Ķempele on Apr 27, 2023

Sandra Ķempele

Guest author

Sandra is a freelance writer and educator with a background in art and communication. She holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, and in her free time enjoys reading, museum visits, and outdoor adventures.

Sandra is a freelance writer and educator with a background in art and communication. She holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, and in her free time enjoys reading, museum visits, and outdoor adventures.

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Sandra Ķempele

By Sandra Ķempele

11 min read Apr 27, 2023

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