Jul 17

Great Promotional Products for Artists or Brands

Promotional PensThere are a many different promotional products available today. The more common ones we’ve all seen are pens with company name and contact information on it. I personally am skeptical that the “usual” promotional items actually do work to promote most businesses. I think giveaways that do work are the ones that are closely tied into the product or service the business is selling. An example might be a hardware store giving away yard sticks or canvas tool pouches.

You can always embroider your logo on quality baseball caps or t-shirts and be seen by many. Fashion brands like NYC and Adidas put their logos on clothing and people “pay them” to wear them (and advertise) their brands. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could have our promotional products pay for themselves?

Visual Mediums

But what do you do if you have a brand or your product is a visual medium? First you want to make sure the giveaway is “useful”. By doing so it increases your chances of getting your brand seen as often as it is used. And as mentioned above, pick a promotional giveaway that “suits’ the product, service or brand that you’re selling.

As an artist, I am always on the look out for great ways to promote my illustrations as giveaways. I want the promotional products to show off my artwork while at the same time being “useful” to the people I give them to.

I believe that if the product is beautiful and useful, that increases the chances that they will be kept and used rather than stuffed into a drawer or worse thrown in the trash. In this article, I am focusing on just two unique ways your artwork or brand can be used on promotional products.

Playing Cards

Character Designed JokerI was at a licensing expo recently and was given a promotional product from Swan Princess Properties. It was one of the best I’ve seen. It was a deck of playing cards that included 53 cards (all suits and the joker). The deck was wrapped in cellophane rather than a box because the 54th card which sat on top of the deck was actually the “business card” of the person I was talking to!

Besides the business card being the 54th playing card, what was also clever was that cartoon characters appeared on the faces of the cards. In the case of Swan Princess, the cartoon characters were the characters that starred in their animations. The cards were also designed to look “old” which added a nice touch.

There were two different cartoon characters for each face card – one character for black suits and another character for red suits. The joker also had its own cartoon character. And secondary characters were placed on all remaining playing cards from 2 to 10. Even the Ace had its own unique decoration which was the swan that appeared on all the backs of all the playing cards.


Swan Princess Playing Cards

Playing Cards as a Promotional Product

For cartoonists like myself who do character design, the idea of showing several characters (full body, upper torso, or just the facial expressions) on 53 cards was very exciting. Of course this type of giveaway would be more expensive to produce. You would need to be very selective as to whom you gave this giveaway to…but you would indeed be remembered and your work seen again and again.

Custom USB (Business Card-Type) Flash Drives

I recently found another great way for artists (or any business really) to show off their work, promote their brand, company mascot, or just turn into a memorable business card…and that was these Custom USB Flash Drives which are about the size and thickness of a business card.

USB Custom Printed Flash Drives

USB Flash Drives Featuring Artwork by Malane Newman

One of the nice things about adding your work to this promotional product was that the artwork can be taken to the very edge of (or “bleed” as it is known in printing) the business card. In addition you can print on both sides of the card as well. Here I opted to put two different illustrations on the front and back. I could have used one side to print my contact information (very similar to my actual business card).

Since this is a USB drive with almost 8 GB of space on it, you could give it away blank or better yet, put samples from your portfolio, or photographs of your product on the drive! Still leaving some room (if possible) so the drive is “useable” to the people you give it to.

Here is a link to the company that makes these Custom USB Flash Drives.

If you have some ideas or have seen other ways for promoting your brand or artwork visually, drop me a line and let me know! I would love to hear from you. And we just may feature those promotional products in upcoming articles.


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