Big hello to esteemed members of core77 and excited to be a little part of you all.
Here I start with a question. Has anyone designed a promotional item for any company?. Like mugs, tshirt, etc. I want to design and sell something to some company, institution, my college,etc. Do companies buy straight from designers?. Any replies will be helpful.
At some level someone is designing this stuff, but it’s more than likely an off-shore graphics job. With low-volume prices as low as $1.50 for customized company mugs (for example) there isn’t much need to have a “real” designer do the work. But never say never.
The sale of promotional or premium items to operating companies (brands) is typically done by direct mail offers - direct mail catalogs. Those sellers offer hundreds of choices - from bags to mugs to pen to pocket knives. Since the items are typically given away by the companies which purchase them controlling cost is key- like the other guy said, they are typically cheap. The roster of items that these direct mail companies offer is typically pretty stagnant - every couple of years though one sees something new.
To generate any significant volume in sales you will probably be looking at entering into some sort of arrangement with these direct marketers. Shop the item to them and listen to their thoughts. If feasible - their requirements (if they don’t blow it off) will help you focus the design specs.
The roster of items that these direct mail companies offer is typically pretty stagnant - every couple of years though one sees something new.
A little personal background… . .
My grandfather was the Vice President and Treasurer of the U.O. Colson Company in Paris, Illinois, from 1918 until he retired in 1965. The company was founded in 1893 and specialized in the then “new” area of promotional advertising (Creators and Producers of Useful Advertising). Their products ranged from fans given away by funeral homes, to calendars presented by banks, automobile dealers, department stores, pens (fountain), to clocks, bottle openers, stainless steel cutlery, and anything else that was deemed “unique”. Unlike today however, in the area of calendar art, they commissioned noted artists of the day to do projects. This stuff shows up on eBay all the time.
While not nearly as intriguing or valuable, I did stumble across Zazzle.com a while back and while the majority (all ) of the actual products are pre-determined where you can get creative is with the branding and graphic design that you can apply to their products. Interesting business model…
How could anyone, in a day and age when TSA agents confiscate jelly doughnuts because they might contain a explosive substance, be so simple minded as to do anything like this?
How? They must be related to the numb-nuts that had a similar looking package sitting on a shelf, in his office cubicle, inside the protected area of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant a couple of years ago. The Security Forces didn’t find it too amusing and those of us who had to stand out in the rain for for almost two hours while the building was cleared floor, by floor, didn’t either.
He was summarily escorted to the front gate and permanently relieved of his responsibilities.