Types of Merch

Types of Merch

Merchandise is every product you buy or sell from a brand or a company. Different types of merch are available, but when we talk about merch in the printing industry, we refer to branded merchandise.

Whether a company, organization, or a band, merch makes excellent promotional material, allowing you to build recognition and boost revenue. Custom merch is an excellent way for fans to show support for their favorite band. 

Merchandising allows artists to connect with their audience through personalized merchandise. Let’s explore the different merch types available in contract printing.

Different Types of Merch

Contract printing has become an integral marketing tool in promotional and branding strategies. From T-shirts to posters and phone cases, an artist may print their logo on virtually any material.

So, what kind of merch is the most popular? Some of the most popular types of merchandising include the following:

  1. Custom T-shirts
  2. Printed posters
  3. Stickers, badges, and patches
  4. Hats and caps
  5. Tote bags

In fact, Thrive Screen Printing was born from band merch screen printing. In 1997, our team started out by selling Grateful Dead T-shirts, after which our company soon grew into selling licensed rock’ n’ roll T-shirt merchandise. 

Some of the most notable merchandise included Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, and Gibson Guitar. Today, Thrive Screen Printing is among the best screen printing companies, allowing us to pay homage to our roots by providing artists and bands with quality printed merch for their fans.

Types of Merch
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Tsuguliev

1. Custom T-shirts 

T-shirt merch printing remains one of the most popular merch types, especially in the music industry. According to 2022 research, T-shirt sales account for 51% of all band merch sales. They are excellent merch types as they may incorporate various design choices, including:

  • Album artwork
  • Band logo
  • Band image 
  • Specific song lyrics

Apparel as a merch is so popular as it lasts fans for a long time, especially when printed on high-quality materials. 

Custom T-shirts
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Andrey_Popov

2. Printed posters

Posters are another merch staple. They are excellent for displaying album art or promotional band photos. Moreover, posters are cost-effective, making them great as promotional merch that a band may give out as freebies or signed keepsakes. Signed merch is always valued and cherished by fans. More artistic, hand-screened tour posters give fans fantastic wall art they may fondly remember.

Printed Posters
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Alex Yeung

3. Stickers, badges, and patches 

Patches and badges are a long-standing way for fans to customize jackets, bags, and anything else they can attach them to. For decades, fans have been decorating jackets with patches and their favorite bands. 

Patches are available in various sizes and shapes. They can also be customized by bands in the style of a unique custom logo.

As a more affordable option, there are also stickers. Fans may display them on their laptops, phone cases, water bottles, etc.

Stickers, Badges, and Patches
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: KOKTARO

4. Hats and caps

Like T-shirts, these are also wearable. Plus, for some people, there are more functional options for fans to showcase their support for a band when they want to wear something other than their band’s T-shirt. 

Not to mention, hats are great for cold days or bad hair days. And caps provide much-needed protection against the Sun during summer. 

However, artists and bands often overlook hats and caps when it comes to merch types, which is a mistake as they are durable garments. Overall, hats and caps are an excellent merch avenue as they offer style and functionality, which fans appreciate.

Hats and Caps
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Andrey_Popov

5. Totes and bags 

Offering printed totes and bags is an excellent way for bands to get exposure. Fans get a reusable and stylish tote to haul things around while promoting your brand. 

Additionally, for fans who do not necessarily like tote bags, there are backpacks, drawstring bags, and fanny packs. The choice for branding with bags is varied, and it is a good idea for an artist to offer more than one option to fans.

Totes and Bags
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Rawpixel.com

The Importance of Merchandise 

Branding merchandise is incredibly important for bands and artists to gain exposure and connect with fans. Well-designed and printed merch shows your fans you care for them and appreciate their support. 

Merch, like T-shirts, hats, totes, patches, etc., serve as walking advertisements for bands, promoting their music and spreading the message. Merch is also a large part of bands’ revenue. Fans get to support their favorite artists, while bands get to show off their aesthetics and gain new fans. 

Custom Merch: Creating Custom Band Merch

Creating successful merchandise depends on knowing your target audience and fans. When deciding on the types of merch, bands, and artists may conduct social media polls to learn what their fans prefer. This makes it easy to gather helpful intel on sizing, colors, and styles that the fans would appreciate. 


The best decision a band can make is to offer a wide range of sizes, from petite to 3XL, to cater to the diversity of your fanbase. You should keep track of the most popular sizes to know which ones to have more in stock. 


While the most popular color for band merch remains black, especially for T-shirts, you can still experiment with other colors. For instance, you may take inspiration from your music to further establish your brand identity. You may also release limited editions of famous graphics logos. 


It is also a good idea to consider different styles, such as providing tank tops, long-sleeved shirts, and T-shirts. The fans will appreciate being able to find branded merch that matches their styles. 


Branded merch provides bands with excellent promotional opportunities. It also provides the chance to connect with existing fans and attract new ones. So, what are the different types of merch?

In the printing industry, we offer you the ability to provide your fans with different merch. As mentioned, the most popular types are T-shirts, posters, patches, stickers, badges, hats, tote bags, etc. 

You can choose the option that suits you and engage and delight your audience!