Designing for Back to School


Rainbow Chevron collection by Simon+Kabuki

Summer has historically been a quiet time in the design business but we’ve developed a really nice bump in orders since we started creating back to school products. offers binders, folders, notebooks and lunch boxes for resale so you could be enjoying this extra revenue too. Back to school supplies are a $27 BILLION business in the U.S.

When I’m not working on SHQ’s product line or marketing efforts, I’m working on licensed art. Our collections have graced back to school products at Office Max and Target and we do a lot of personalized school stuff for

Here’s what I know about designing for school:

– Bright colors outsell muted colors. By a lot.

– Kids are super trendy, so even if you hate owls, foxes, peace signs or whatever they’re into this year, include those elements in your art and someone will buy them.

– If you’re doing personalized stuff, make sure the kid’s name is the focal point. The moms who are buying love their kids’ names. Subtle won’t sell, particularly when the customer is seeing a thumbnail on her iphone.

I really hated the owl trend. And this design has made use more money than any other. Ugh.

I really hated the owl trend. And this design has made us more money than any other. Ugh.

– Think about design in terms of how it can represent a kids’ interest or personality in a positive way. That’s something we can all feel good about.

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