10 Examples of Instagrammable Merch and Swag

January 22, 2021

Whether it’s deciding on Youtube influencer merch, choosing between high-end corporate event gift bag ideas, or creating the coolest company swag that reflects your brand’s ethos and values - we can help.

On the hunt for Instagrammable gifts and merch? Finding the right swag and merch that merges utility, design, and longevity is a tricky balance, but we’ve broken down the formula (and provided examples as well!) to find and create products that are not only “instagrammable” but also stand the test of time with your recipients. 

Must-Know Instagram Gift Tips 

- Choose high-quality materials for your items

We already know that, since Instagram is a primarily visual platform, aesthetic is everything. And while we’re sure that you already have on your swag to-do list the phrase “make it look beautiful” - we’re here to remind you that, whatever item you create, the colors, fonts, and design all come secondary to the quality of the piece itself. In other words: ensure that the materials your items are made out emanate quality and longevity, above all. By marrying stylish design with beautiful (and even unusual) materials, you can create a one-of-a-kind product that captures viewers’ attention. For instance, one way to do this is to take a “tried and true” everyday product like a hoodie or a water bottle and make it out of a high-end material that’s slightly untraditional. 

Let’s say you’re in the influencer merchandise market, or you’re wanting to send noteworthy merch to Youtubers: try out a unique twist on a traditional product. Since most hoodies are usually bulky, oversized, and made out of 100% cotton, don’t be afraid to switch it up by using a comfortable, luxury jersey fabric that’s 100% recycled and super-soft - then use customized services like screen-printing, embroidery, or leather embossing (like Gemnote offers) to make it visually dramatic. And remember: quality is key here. Beautiful textures help add interest and texture to photos, and so your merch is more likely to be posted - and reposted! - if it’s 1) high quality, 2) wearable, and 3) interesting/unique in some way (often achieved through cool detailing). 

- Don’t forsake utility for beauty 

We know, it’s tempting to buy that product that looks really cool first, and then think about how it will actually perform later! But think again: look at reviews from people who have actually used the products you’re thinking of purchasing, or independently search out other clients’ experiences and best use cases. (One note here: when you choose certain products by well-known brands - such as fleeces from Patagonia or backpacks from North Face, knowing that these flagship products have been perfected over decades by these brands, you can rest assured they’re probably already top notch!) 

After all, you don’t want to end up gifting a wonderfully instagrammable teapot, for instance, only to find the spout is too short for it to perform its primary function - pouring tea. These are the fine details that you should look into before gifting your lovely, customized item to the recipient - and that goes for social media influencer merch and welcome baskets for employees alike! Now with these helpful tips in mind, let’s explore the best, most instagrammable gift ideas we’ve seen this year!

1. Custom Crewnecks, Accessories, and T-shirts

This might be one of the coolest Instagram gift examples on the internet. Glossier totally nailed their target demographic when they came up with these fashionable takes on classic swag ideas. Specifically, the t-shirts and crewneck sweaters can be considered somewhat “classic swag” that you’re as likely to note when considering what to put in swag bags for a company event as you are when brainstorming the relatively new tiktokers merch niche. And for good reason: the screenprinting used to enhance these classic silhouettes nail the simplicity and elegance of their brand. 

We especially like the way that, although their name is loud and proud on the front of these products, because they prioritized high-quality, wearable fabrics and textures, these items will definitely see everyday use. Last but not least, we really dig the creative instagram gift idea that takes the form of ice cream cups, accompanying spoons, and Polaroids! 

The Polaroid camera (don’t forget the accompanying film!) is especially great when considering handing out gifts at any kind of public gathering or celebration. For instance, if you’re handing out merch at an event, it’s a perfect addition to any Instagram swag bag giveaway - your recipients will be able to capture some special moments on film!

2. Custom Nalgene Bottle

Instagram: Glow Copy

They say great things come in small packages, and they would be right in this case! This cute Nalgene spin off from The Glow Copy is one of the most unique water bottles we’ve seen, and its plastic, resilient material makes it perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. We especially love the attached lid, which makes it extra user friendly for on-the-go! 

3. Custom Hoodie 

Instagram: Odeechic

This Glossier hoodie is an excellent example of letting high quality materials do the talking. Excellent fabrics, combined with a pop of color, is a recipe for success when brainstorming the best instagrammable merch items

Pro tip: when it comes to finding the most instagrammable gifts in the form of apparel, try to choose well known clothing providers like Alternative Apparel, Champion, or white label Bella Canvas (sister company of Alo).You’ll also have peace of mind regarding the quality of the items you’re ordering. Alternatively, consider purchasing a sample of your desired product before you order a larger quantity!

4. Custom Prints, and Reusable Water Bottles


Who said the last word in instagrammable gift ideas was apparel? Certainly not Summer Fridays. Their merch is perfect for not only gifting influencers, but also fits the profile of best company swag for employees due to their utility and quality. So if you’re thinking about producing swag for your own following/brand, practical items like a custom S’well bottle or custom weekend canvas duffel will be crowd favorites.

Their use of calming neutral colors against a bold, elegant font makes these pieces excellent everyday-use pieces, especially if your employees enjoy more outdoor activities - personally we could see these S’well water bottles getting a lot of use both at the office and on hikes, while the Weekender bag will fit in just as well at the beach as on an extended staycation! “Instagrammable and useful?” you may be asking - we think so.

5. Simplistic Designs: Tote bags and Fleeces

When searching for the best instagrammable merch website, especially when your brand/company is more toned down, your first stop should be the finished products on your chosen platform’s product examples or lookbooks page. When there’s no bold colors or designs to detract from any product errors, it’s imperative that the basic materials and construction is done right. 

And we applaud the brand Museum of Peace and Quiet for their sophisticated products (although this may come as no surprise given the company’s Instagram origin story)! They did an excellent job of taking simple, clean colors and fabrics, and then pairing them with aesthetically pleasing foundational concepts and designs to create the perfect stylish, fit-for-everyday-use products.

So it just goes to show: whether you’re working from a small following on Instagram, or you’re currently running a multi-million dollar business, influencers can easily (and sustainably) monetize their brand. It just requires partnering with the right merch company - and that’s why we encourage you to choose a business that has a verified history of 1) working on high-stakes projects, 2) producing fantastic designs, and 3) sourcing the highest quality materials. 

Wondering where you can find one of these companies? Look no further - Gemnote has plenty of experience in this area. Get a feel for the calibre of projects we’ve worked on here!

6. Simplistic Designs: Hats 

Instagram: Sporty & Rich

Sometimes neutrals are the way to go. So whether you’re brainstorming new hire welcome gifts and you want to inspire some company love, or you’re searching for some ‘stocking fillers’ in a instagram swag bag giveaway, we’re convinced a quality baseball cap is a crowd-pleaser. Why? Well, they’re easy, useful, and fit pretty much everyone. They’re one of our favorite inexpensive ways to spread some brand awareness!

7. Textured Designs and Small Accessories 

Why do we have so much love for this Glossier hat? Probably because it takes a classic concept - one of the most basic, run of the mill business swag ideas, a baseball cap - and puts a fashionable twist on it. We’re big fans of prioritizing fun textures, and that’s what Glossier did here: by making a subtle, same-color embossing (this is called ‘tone on tone embroidery’ in the industry) the star of the show, they really made this piece stand out. 

And speaking of small things that pack a punch, we really like these cute, retro, and camp keychains. They’re colorful, cheerful, and use emojis to elevate a basic stocking filler item and turn it into a cute and useful keepsake. 

After seeing these two small yet impactful Instagram gift examples, we just want to reiterate here that the most crucial steps to create swag that we recommend are: 1) don’t be afraid to break the mould, 2) lead with quality materials, and 3) use your imagination to mix textures, pop culture, and brand voice to create truly special products that recipients will love. 

8. Custom Shorts and Polo 

Instagram: The Pangaia

Looking for a twist on the classic tracksuit? Look no further than the viral brand, Pangaia.

They can act as an especially strong source of inspiration for influencers looking to create their own merchandise. We recommend - when searching for merch companies for youtubers - checking out companies like Pangaia to see all the different directions you could take the average athleisure look. Especially since the majority of influencers begin with products like sweatshirts, t-shirts, and crew necks, Pangaia are pros in creating sleek silhouettes and putting together cool collections across a variety of colors and fabrics. 

9. Bright Colors, Classic Apparel 

Instagram: The Pangaia

Similar to Glossier’s famous pink hoodie (pictured earlier in this article), Pangaia’s sky-blue tracksuit was probably one of the most instagrammable gifts we saw this past Christmas (and we’re betting it will be a popular choice next season too!). Why? 

Once again, we return to the principles of: 1) wearability, and 2) fashion with a twist. Pangaia’s quality materials, combined with their environmental values (which you can find blazoned on the right pant leg and right-hand side of the hoodie) are a unique enough design move to create brand recognition, yet comfortable and utilitarian enough to be worn everyday. 

10. Peace & Quiet’s Beautiful Basics 

Instagram: Museum of Peace & Quiet

One of the most popular trends we’ve seen this past year has been a neutral background against a bold, contrasting font - and we’re pretty sure Museum of Peace & Quiet nailed it with this beige baseball hat set against a deep, forest-green font color. 

As this best instagrammable gift guide has emphasized throughout: try to strike a balance between aesthetic, wearability, and utility, and your designs are sure to be a hit with not only your recipients, but their followers as well! 

Oh, and did you know? Gemnote does some of the best instagrammable merch out there - so whether you want to order some for your own brand, or to send as gifts - check out our collection of super ~ aesthetic ~ swag here!

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