Sometimes, the best collaborations don’t appear to make sense in theory, especially when it comes to big name brands. Often, this sense of nonsense is well founded, and the quick-to-question crowd of Internet skeptics adds another notch to the ol’ smug-belt. But sometimes, these collaborations manage to produce something praiseworthy, even beautiful.
This rings true for a new apparel collaboration between Nintendo and Bloomingdale's. The collection features pieces from a variety of companies and designers, such as Herschel Supply Co. and Paul Smith. There’s a lot to like here, but we’re gonna focus on five outstanding designs that the promo industry can learn a thing or two from. Whether or not you like Nintendo, or even Bloomingdales, we promise there’s a lesson in here for you—somewhere.
Nintendo Socks by Paul Smith
Everyone knows that socks are a big hit in promo. That being said, it should be no surprise that creatively patterned socks have been wildly popular in the retail industry for a while now. With more and more folks looking to spice up their ankle fashion with a pair of unique socks, it’s safe to say that this offering from Bloomingdales will manage to be a huge success. While the characters and items they feature from Nintendo’s Mario series are certain to contribute to this, there’s something to be said for the designs themselves. By imposing a repeating pattern of colorful cartoons on otherwise nondescript socks, these designs make the logos stand out. This could be mimicked in the promo world, by shrinking brand logos to create the same effect. Paired with dress shoes, these socks could allow a professional to give off the “I’m serious, but I like to party too” vibe. Not a bad look, if you ask us.
Nintendo Mario Symbol Swim Trunks by Original Penguin
These swim trunks follow a design philosophy similar to that of the socks. There is, however, a twist, in that the logos on the trunks are more varied and featured in a repeating pattern of 13 separate images. While a brand might not have so many logos or images to use, if there are at least five or so to work with it could provide for an eye-popping design that’s sure to stand out to end-users. Pastels are always a plus when it comes to swimwear, too.
Nintendo Yoshi Egg Baseball Cap by Bricktown
We’ve been seeing a lot of hats like this on the retail side of things recently. Their simple designs, often featuring a single pixelated image right above the brim, are perfect for promo, allowing for brands to put their logo smack-dab in the middle of a stylish hat that people will have no problem wearing. And for brands that would have trouble making their logo concise enough to fit in that small of a space, have no fear. Elon Musk managed to sell over 50,000 Boring Company hats this past year, which proves that folks will be willing to wear words on their heads if they love a brand enough. If a tunnel-drilling company could do it, so can you.
Nintendo Blue Stripe Short Sleeve Tee by Barney Cools
This T-shirt uses the simple, classic design of horizontal stripes to accentuate its single logo. Featured on the upper-left side of the shirt, the cartoon mushroom stands out despite being relatively small. This design would work particularly well for brands with colorful logos, as it’s not as likely that people will wear a shirt that features stripes that aren’t black, grey or duller shades of primary colors.
Grove Princess Peach Backpack by Herschel Supply Co.
There’s a lot to love about this backpack. Its color is an incredibly pleasing shade of red/pink that fits nicely with the gold-colored zipper on its front. The canvas material will appeal to end-users looking for a stylish-yet-simple bag to use on the daily. Best of all, however, is the way the bag inconspicuously features the logo on its pocket, as if it were ironed on by hand. This sort of design ingenuity would work great for brands that want to make sure their promotional products will be able to compete with retail offerings, and win.
Article credited on promomarketing.com