Busy Beaver’s first customer back in 1995 was Guided By Voices, so creating buttons for bands and record labels has been in our blood since day one. In fact, many of our own staff at the Beaver Dam actually play in bands when they’re not pressing and pinning buttons.
The making of great band merch, like breaking up, can be hard to do. So to make the prep for your next tour easier, we’ve put together a our favorite insider tips for creating fun and eye-catching buttons to promote your band. Here we present to you our top 5 tips for making great button band merch–
1. Start with a Great Design
What you put on the buttons is the key to making something that people want to buy and want to wear. You can use a band photo, record cover art, or even illustrated lyrics– there are so many possibilities!
Hunx and His Punx is a Beaver favorite, and they make a big impression with this 6-inch button design. There’s no way anyone could miss seeing these humongous buttons on your merch display!
We’re also big fans of this Bow Wow Wow set from the Button Museum’s collection. If you’re using a similar idea, you could try changing out the colors on each button to make them more collectible, and allow fans to mix-and-match styles.
Coming up with great art can be tough if you’re not naturally a design person, so we if you need a little assistance, we offer three design service options if you’d like us to help put together button art for you.
2. Use a Special Finish
Our special finish options can really make your button design pop. Consider matching the look of your buttons to the music you play– metallic for metal bands, cosmic for pop music, etc.
Rapper Real T@lk hands out his trademark glow in the dark buttons at events and concerts. The designs look great during the day, but at night can be spotted from across the room as they glow green.
Above right are buttons we made with Burger Records for SXSW 2013 featuring our cosmic printing effect, which adds a holographic glimmer to bold designs.
3. Don’t Forget the Backrim Text
Backrim text is small printing that appears on the side edge of your button. Instead of being visible on the front face, backrim text appears on the side (for round buttons) and along the back (for square buttons).
Backrim text is a great place to add your band’s website, the name and date of the tour, or even song lyrics. Or you could go for something completely different like the Seinfeld quotes on the backrim of Guantanamo Baywatch’s buttons.
4. Get Merch Delivered on the Road
Leaving for tour right away? We can get the buttons to you on the road! Our free ground shipping option is great if you’ve got two weeks to wait, but just because you procrastinated doesn’t mean you can’t get buttons. We offer FedEx rush shipping that guarantees delivery at a specific location by a specific date. Call ahead to the venue where you’d like your order delivered, and ask them if they can receive packages for you, then ship straight to to the venue.
5. Think Outside the Button
Button packs, like the ones pictured above for Flatsound, are great because you can sell them for a higher price point, they’re less likely to “walk” from the merch table than loose buttons, and you can come up with collectable sets that fans will love. Bottle openers, like the design above from The Mons, go over well wherever fans might have a drink that’s in need of opening.
Got questions about making band merch of your own? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’re happy to help!