How to Design Promotional Items

How to Design Promotional Products
Scott Kalapos on Mar 13, 2023

Marketing your business requires some creativity. You either have to come up with compelling messaging and content yourself or work with someone who can do it for you. Since your goal is to focus on your target audience and provide value to them, you cannot expect low-quality marketing collateral to work.

Marketing with Promotional Products

Promotional products are one tool that a marketer can employ to increase brand recognition, build customer loyalty, and attract customers to your products or services. Essentially, you choose promotional items to invest in and then have them printed with your brand logo, company slogan, or other details about your business.

Once these items are given away to members of your target demographic, they can be seen by a potential customer, resulting in impressions for the business. Giving promotional products to customers, employees, or members of the public turns them into brand ambassadors, either purposefully or incidentally.

Designing Promotional Items

One of the most underrated aspects of this type of marketing campaign is the design element. It is not enough to slap your company logo or business name on an item and assume that it will grow the visibility of your brand. The item itself needs to be able to catch the attention of others. Otherwise, the promotional product will not accomplish very much, other than making the recipient happy. With this in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a promotional item.

Incorporating Your Company Logo

Sometimes, the logo is all you need to make a design cool, especially if your logo is powerful on its own. But depending on the item, you may have to use the logo in unique ways. Is the item big enough to display the image appealingly or should you ditch it for the company name instead? Does your branding fit with the shape of the product or are parts of it cut off or hidden? It may not matter if you invest in popular items if your brand is not easily seen on the product itself.

If you have not yet designed a logo for your business, you may want to invest in a graphic design professional for the project. This person can help you create a branding image that communicates your message effectively (opens in a new window) and is memorable to customers.

Font Selection

Font Selection

If you are including your company name, a slogan, or other text option on the product, then you will need to choose the type of font. There are many variables to consider like choosing between a larger or smaller font size, italic font, bold font, and the style of the lettering. The font choices should make the text legible while also standing out, though there is an advantage to smaller sizes causing people to look closer and linger on the product.



The colors you choose are another important aspect of a promotional item. Do you want to provide multiple color options for people to choose from? Does the company information clash with the background color? Do you have a brand palette that is being followed for consistency? The point of this advertising method is to promote your business, so if the colors do not catch the eye of potential clients, then you will miss out on segments of the market.

The Design Itself

Custom Logo

Creating an item for printing that is appealing to consumers is difficult. Though simplicity can work in some cases, there are also reasons to customize the design further to create something that people like to look at. If you are not creative, this might be the time to work with companies or an individual who specializes in quality design.

Using an Online Custom Product Retailer

Custom Online Product Retailers

If you go through an online custom product retailer, some of them will allow you to use the website's design tools to create a product. This helps ensure printing quality is high for your promotional item. Using the website's design tool can be useful, but it might be better to consider a professional designer instead. You'll be investing money into this branding opportunity, so you want to make sure that it looks good.

Running a Promotional Product Campaign

Having a great design is just one part of the equation for a successful promotional item strategy. There are plenty of other factors you need to consider before giving away these items, such as which promotional products to choose in the first place.

Type of Product

Choose Promotional ProductType

Unlike digital marketing, this advertising method is a physical piece. That means people will be using the products you give away. But if you invest in items that your target audience does not care about, you are unlikely to see new customers come through the door because of the campaign. You need to understand your ideal customer and what they like. Whether that means mugs, pens, t-shirts, custom calendars, tote bags, or water bottles, the type of product matters.

When and Where to Give Promotional Items Away

When & Where

Giveaways need to be strategic. To keep up with your competitors, you'll need to have a strong promotion strategy. You can give away items at recruiting events, trade shows, as corporate gifts to employees, at local events to the general public, or even through websites that belong to your business. Promotional products can boost visibility in the local community very effectively, so look for ways to share your contact details with customers in your geographic location.

Quality vs Quantity

Quantity vs Quality

What will be more effective at getting your message out into the world, a lot of cheap products or a few high-quality items? That is a question you will need to answer. You can save resources by investing in huge numbers of cheaper items like pens, but will you sacrifice impressions because people do not tend to notice items that are this small and basic? Does it make more sense to print your logo on a few high-quality t-shirts that cost a little more to purchase? you'll have to account for these questions when you choose promotional products.

Giveaways Can Be Powerful Advertisers

Companies use promotional products to share their logo and name with audiences all the time, from the local mom-and-pop store up to Apple. If businesses want to make an impression, follow these tips for running a campaign with promotional products. Have a professional and clean design. Know when and where to give items away, whether it is through your website or in person. Print materials that will catch the eye and provide value to recipients.

With the right strategy in place, promotional products can increase your customer base and boost sales, all for a relatively low price.

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