5 promotional hat design nuances that can make or break your campaign


Among the different kinds of merchandise you’ll order for your marketing campaign, one of the top items on the list will likely be customized hats.

While you’ll want to include your company’s brand name and logo in the pattern, know that there are various additional nuances to keep in mind when designing promotional hats. Choosing an attractive icon for your baseball hat will ensure that recipients like it enough to want to wear it regularly. Or, up to the end of the gift’s lifecycle which is approximately seven years. That’s the average time your custom hats will continue to act as a mobile banner advertising your company, event, or brand name.

Pay Special Attention to the Designs for the Merchandise

If you’re promoting a sporting event, the promotional hat will act as memorabilia for that particular season and could potentially become a valuable collector’s item down the years. If you’re advertising a company, customized hats build familiarity with the business name so customers are encouraged to choose the brand above competitors. Often times, a good design can turn into an icon that shoppers use to instantly connect with the company and all future products you’ll launch. Considering that the logo you choose today will remain in public memory for a good long while, you’ll want it to be exceptionally good. That’s how you’ll ensure that your giveaway recipients will flaunt the merchandise proudly. Anything less than impressive, and you might just make it to the annals of history as some of the worst designs ever created. You’ll find a whole bunch of examples in this article on Bleacher Report.

Here are a few tips to consider when placing your order for promotional hats. The agency you work with will likely direct your attention to them when helping you finalize the design.

1.   Match the Hat to the Customized T-Shirts

A smart way to make your advertising campaign memorable is to coordinate all the merchandise and have a common theme. You probably won’t give out more than one or two items at a time, but it makes sense to have a matching color scheme or patterns for the tees. Even if fans are purchasing the memorabilia, the underlying theme will reflect the event. As a result, the promotional hat will be instantly recognizable as belonging to the particular game or season. Often times, team sponsors may choose to quickly design and release special edition items to commemorate a sensational moment in the game. A good example is the “Double Doink” tee printed to celebrate the losing kick by Codey Parkey in the 2018 NFL playoffs. If you can pick up one such instance and incorporate it into your theme, you’re sure to have a winner on your hands.

2.   Details and Highlights Matter

In addition to the basic logo, you’ll also want to choose the other detailing of the promotional hats with care. Here’s why:

  • Baseball hats are constructed out of panels, so you can consider adding panels in different prints and colors.
  • If you choose to highlight the seams of the sections, take care that the pattern does not look weird.
  • Piping works perfectly to highlight the edges of the sections as long as they’re designed tastefully.
  • Check the stitching lines on the bill and how you design the color combinations. Adding lines adds an element of interest.
  • Placing a button on the top is good as long as it does not look comical.
  • Place small motifs on the panels on the sides or back. But, take care that they add to the appeal of the design.

A good example of what not to do is the Los Angeles and California Angels hat for the years between 1961-70. The white line around the crown on a black hat looked like a halo. Or, something that kids at a grade school game might wear.

3.   Adopt the Color Scheme of Your State Flag

If you’re conducting the marketing campaign in a particular state, you can always adopt the colors of the state flag for your promotional hats. Check out this feature on Sports Illustrated that has a collection of logos for hats in smart colors that reflect the state theme. Adopting the state theme is particularly useful if you’re promoting a local brand or event like, for instance, a fundraiser for environment protection issues. Viewers will create an instant connection with the logo and want to lend their support. Invoke a sense of pride and belonging and you’ll have instant takers of the merchandise.

4.   Choose the Right Size and Placement

When creating the logo for the customized hat, make sure that the edges have sleek, well-defined lines giving the design an overall balanced look. Adding the state mascot works well and you can always entwine it around the city initial. Just check that the initial you use are clearly identifiable. You could also consider using your company’s brand logo enmeshed with the object, animal, or bird, representing the state. Pick out sizes that are not so big that they dominate the entire front panel. If you need to add more detail, consider placing it on the bill of the hat. On the flip side, while detailing is always good, sometimes, the most simplistic of designs have the most appeal. Sporting News has a collection of the best baseball cap logos of all times. Take a look.

5.   Now for the Obvious Basics

Once you have all these nuances of promotional hat designs in place, all that remains is the basics. Like the agency taking your order for the merchandise will explain, pick out high-grade fabrics that will last the recipients a long while. The printing techniques also matter a great deal and you’ll choose options that match the logo and design you’ve chosen. For instance, thread embroidery is long lasting and available in all the colors you want. Further, you can choose any material for the hat and get it embroidered.

Whatever may be the marketing merchandise you pick out, pay attention to the finer details and you’ll have a brand ambassador and advertising strategy that is a one-time, effective investment.

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash