The New Stuff

Band Merch Tips From Band Merch Experts


Brian Taranto has been rocking the merch industry since 1985. He launched Love Police, a company that has gone on to be a force of the merch industry.

“With the onset of indie bands, trying to be a bit cooler and slacker with design or reference can work well… or bomb miserably. You know hipsters, they don’t always want to look like everyone else, even though they do. Sure, hire a designer if you have a vision you think your fans will go for, but don’t overthink it, and don’t overproduce with too many options. “

“With the styles of blank shirts and garments around these days, it is hard to not produce merch of a decent quality. The thing to be more aware of is how good the printing is. A quality shirt with a shit print job or bad print size is a shit shirt no matter how excellent the actual shirt is.”

“Never charge too little. It’s my belief that if things are too cheap in comparison to what a regular priced shirt is, people may be wary of quality. It’s also something a band should be proud of, so you shouldn’t feel bad charging market prices for your merch. Generally speaking, shirts at a club-level are $30-35, festival and theatres $40-45, arenas and stadiums $45-50. “

“We have done board shorts and leggings which were killer, but didn’t sell. It feels like if the punter doesn’t know his/her size instantly, like they do with a T-shirt or hoodie, they tend to shy away from those items.”


Duane Jackson is the manager of 24HUNDRED, a leading name in online and physical merchandise.

“Please don’t think you’re bigger than you are. Just because you’ve played a sold-out room of 250 people on a Friday night, it doesn’t mean your fans want to buy custom basketball jerseys at $90 a pop or G-strings with your band name on them. Start with T-shirts and singlets because they work. From there, you can dabble in winter wear (hoodies and crews) and summer items like shorts.

“It doesn’t matter how cool your band is, or how cool you think your band is, without appealing design, your audience will not want to wear your gear. Understand your market, do your research. You’re in the market, you probably wear cool shit – would you wear your own band’s merch? You’d want to hope so.”

“Merchandise is completely trend based. Things come and go. design styles come and go, unique items come and go. We went through a huge tie dye phase the last couple of years, for example. We tie-dyed tees, tanks, we tie-dyed crew neck jumpers, we bleach-dyed hoodies, it was crazy, but it worked, but you also have to know when to stop flogging a dead horse. If you’re that band selling a trend after the trend died, you look old and dated.”


“Generally vinyl, CDs, zip-up hoodies, soft, well-fit t-shirts and cotton tote bags sell great. Hats, download cards, boxy unisex shirts, photos don’t sell well. Posters are hit or miss, depends on the graphic. Also, don’t charge for stickers or pins. These are fantastic for getting people to your booth, but no one’s going to pay $1 for a sticker. While on the topic, your graphic on your merch is really important. If you’re slapping just your band name across things in a glaring color, you’re doing it wrong. I’ve personally bought shirts that I thought were really cute/awesome when I’ve only heard the band once. Put some thought into the colors you use, the quality of the shirts… give your graphic design/artist friends a case of beer to come up with an awesome image, then just include your band name somewhere in the mix. When someone is wearing it, and someone else says, “Hey, I love that shirt,” they’ll respond with “It’s from this band I saw last weekend.” Instant word-of-mouth! Also, people won’t wear/carry ugly things, even if you’re giving them away. Just sayin’.

via: Tonedeaf, Ourstage Magazine,
Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and much more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.


Recently Published


Vinyl Packaging: Warp 10-year Anniversary Vinyl

Design: Carosello Lab Project Type: Produced Client: Dim Mak (Steve ...


Music Packaging of the Week: Nakama- Endy Chow

CD package design for a Hong Kong singer Endy Chow, it is not only a ...


The Many Creative Ways You Can Do MultiDisc CDs and DVDs

There’s nothing we find more exciting over here at Unified than ...


Vinyl Record: Inner Dynamics- United We Fly

Packaging and graphic design: Alexandra Alexandridou Project Type: ...

bee gees funny vinyl sleeve artwork

Vinyl Sleeve Artworks That Are So Bad They’re Good

These vinyl sleeves are like B movies…or your first kiss— ...

music mixing studio

Biggest List of Recording Studios in America

NOTE: If you want to receive the full list containing over 500 ...

carton tshirt packaging

All The Design Inspiration You Need For Your T-shirt Packaging

There are so many ways to package your merch to promote your brand ...


Music Packaging of the Week: Dollerz Make Sense

“Dollerz Make Sense” features 10 Hiphop hits with Stickman (Fury ...


Grammy Nominees for Best Record Package 2019

Be the Cowboy, Mitski The record is on clear red vinyl in an spot-UV ...

Read previous post:
How to Be More Creative As a Musician

There will be days when you won't have a single drop of creativity left in our system. Sometimes, these days...