Screen Printing, Music Festivals and Bands

Screen printing, music festivals and bands (custom t shirt transfer printing): If you’re a music lover you probably noticed 2013 was a great year for summer music festivals around the globe; from Barcelona to Austin, millions have gone wild to the sound of their favourite bands live. After those glorious moments and melodies spent singing along with the rest of the crowd, I bet you couldn’t resist stopping by the festival shop tents to see how to spend that money that didn’t go on beers, right? I can’t think of a single music lover that doesn’t fancy bands and festivals merchandising.

Within that wonderful sea of colourful T-shirts, albums, bags and posters, you can’t help but notice that usually all the the official merchandising products are very similar, in a way. If not using the artist’s own hand draw sketches (most of them are very skilled!), music visual identity pieces are done by illustrators and designers hired by art directors of marketing agencies. They all use colours, typography and original illustrations to give the band (or a specific album) a unique personality.

Festivals brand identity and the Coachella Boutique
Lately there has been a significant increase in how music festivals deal with their visual identity as well – it’s been getting stronger from a marketing perspective, making it more interesting to see what’s going to come next year. This year, the creative director for Primavera Sound, André Cruz, created a modular and metamorphic triangle block system to represent the diversity of the event’s attendees and the eclectic mix of their lineup. And like with every big event, taking good care of the brand image is also a way of selling significant amounts of promotional merchandising later on.

Spending more effort on having a great official shop inside of the festival can also make the difference when it comes to how visitors relate with the brand. A good example of this is the work developed by art director Edoardo Chavarin – alongside a team of designers and collaborators – for Coachella Boutique 2013; a space inside the festival grounds was dedicated to limited edition merchandise and artist/brand collaborations. If you went to the festival shop, you saw lots of all over prints (that appears to be trending lately) and bunches of screen printed T-shirts. The organisation even made it possible for people to screen print and buy personalised T-shirts live at the shop. Besides the unique experience you get from choosing your screens and the order they’re gonna be printed on the top of each other, the quality and long lasting finish it gives (besides looking awesome!) makes screen printing a huge must-have at any music event – even if just printing T-shirts in advance for selling.

Band merch
Band merchandising follows the same path, with the idea to sell at concerts and online. It’s difficult to find one music project that never printed promotional T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags or even posters (screen printing on fine paper is a killer for designers eyes and music lovers). They’re beautiful souvenirs or gifts for any music fan to be proud to have around the house. The funny thing is that, although it involves initial setup costs (one screen per design color, plus a base layer to print onto coloured garments to ensure vibrancy), the end price of screen printing is always going to be the lowest when producing bulk orders – it also offers the best quality print. Choosing the right garment is equally important, after all nobody wants to see all those dear memories of one festival on a warm summer’s day getting teared sooner than expected.

At this point there are two things I’m looking forward for next year’s festivals: let the lineups be awesome in a festival close to me, and don’t stop getting creative when it comes down to powering your festival brand. As a design, music and merchandising lover, I’d thank you.

How to make your business grow?

My name is Jake, I’m 19 years old and just recently started my own, small, screen printing shop out of my basement. I know I’m young, however, I’ve Been working at a high scale sports printing shop for 2-3 years now and have learned the ins-and-outs of screen printing. My boss is retiring in a few years and wants me to take over the business. I got my own equipment at such a young age to try and establish some of my own clients and to get use to the sales aspect of the business.

My question is, how do you go about finding clients? What to you ask them? Who are the right people to ask? I’m sure some of these questions have obvious answers, but I’m really unskilled in the sales department. I’ve done a couple of jobs in the 5 months I’ve owned my equipment, but I’d like to do a lot more work. I would really appreciate some advice from well established people on this forum. I would ask my boss, but I don’t want him to feel as if I’m competing with him.

Thanks in advance and I apologies if there is a similar thread. I did a search and couldn’t find anything.
Re: How to make your business grow?

Jake- first off, congrats on your business and having the guts to just take charge.

As far as getting business. I know when I first started out, I got most of my business just from talking to people. Everytime you walk into a store (small shops are best not big retailers like walmart) just strike up a conversation (keep it real not fake) and then just ask where they get there shirts and stuff from. If they like you they may be willing to stock a design of yours to start. I also had luck with local fire departments and stuff. They always need shirts and usually have softball teams and such as well. You may be able to use your age as an advantage with that type of thing to. People like to see a younger person that is trying to make something of themselves. At any rate….just be yourself, keep working hard, and it will work out.


Re: How to make your business grow?

If your boss finds out, which is very probable, do you think he’ll want you take over his business if he thinks you’re competing with him now? Word of mouth is the best advertising, but the word may get back to him. If it does, do you think he’s fire you? This is just something to consider, if you value your job and want to take over a larger business some day.

Otherwise, good luck in your new venture.


Re: How to make your business grow?

I find that this is the best way to get going get a design or two into a few small shops and you will get noticed.


Re: How to make your business grow?

I have to agree with Mike here. If you feel there is merit to your boss’s claim to want you to take over in a few years, my advice would be to NOT start a competeing business, but learn from your boss, if he wants you to take over, than he would be teaching you all about the sales aspect of the business in the very near future. If you can break into this business with an established client list, your way ahead of the game.
Re: How to make your business grow?
Yeah you dont want to start competing with your boss. If you are given the company that your boss says he wantt to give to you, would you want to be running another company at the same time? compeing with yourself? Your boss already has a business going and has clients and such, so just wait it out for a few years.
Re: How to make your business grow?
Thank you all for your responses! I should have been more clear about the situation with my boss. He DOES know about my basement project. He isn’t worried about me competing with him because he strictly does sports printing. He couldn’t be happier that I’m interested enough in the business to start doing side work. He also sticks to the same towns in which his clients are in. He turns away work from time to time and recommends my business to those people, which helps out. He teaches me a lot about how to run a business everyday, but we haven’t gotten into establishing clients yet so I thought I’d ask you guys first. I know then when I take over his shop I will have a ton of clients, but in the mean time I have the equipment on a lease and would like to start getting a steady cash flow to take care of those payments.

Thanks again for the advice and concerns!