Beyond Aesthetics: Exploring Materials and Finishes in Branded Merchandise Design

In the world of product design, aesthetics play a pivotal role. However, the story doesn’t end there. The materials and finishes used in creating a product can significantly impact its appeal, functionality, and sustainability. This article delves into the realm of branded merchandise design, exploring the importance of materials and finishes beyond mere aesthetics.

The Role of Aesthetics in Product Design

Aesthetics is not just about making a product look good. It’s about creating an emotional connection with the user, influencing their decision to purchase, own, and use the product. Design aesthetics serve as extrinsic cues that help people evaluate quality and form price expectations, especially for new products or brands. But beyond the realm of aesthetics, there’s a world of materials and finishes waiting to be explored.

 Colour, Material, and Finish: More Than Just Aesthetics

In the context of product design, Colour, Material, and Finish (CMF) go beyond aesthetics. They play a crucial role in branding, marketing, and sales. For instance, industrial designer Pippa Webb explores CMF beyond aesthetics, utilizing color theory to optimize branding. The choice of color, material, and finish can evoke certain emotions in consumers, influencing their perception of the brand and their decision to purchase.

The Art of Materials Selection

The selection of materials is an art in itself. It’s not just about choosing a material that looks good; it’s about choosing a material that performs well, is sustainable, and aligns with the brand’s values. The processes used to shape, join, and finish these materials also play a significant role in the final product. 

For instance, the use of high-gloss materials can enhance the perceived value of a product.

Glossy materials have a unique appeal. They reflect light in a way that matte materials don’t, creating a sense of luxury and high quality.

Branding through Packaging

Packaging is a powerful tool for storytelling. It’s an opportunity to communicate the brand’s narrative and captivate the target audience. The choice of materials and finishes in packaging design can significantly impact the consumer’s perception of the brand. For instance, going back to our previous example, a high-quality and glossy finish might convey a sense of luxury, while a matte, recycled material might convey a sense of sustainability.

Sustainability in Branded Merchandise Design

In the contemporary era, sustainability has taken center stage. Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental footprint of their purchases, and this consciousness is driving a shift in their buying behaviors. They are actively seeking out brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices. In response, brands are stepping up, making sustainability a cornerstone of their product design and manufacturing processes.

One such brand leading the charge is UCT Asia. With a deep-seated commitment to sustainability, UCT Asia is setting a benchmark in the industry. They prioritize the use of sustainable materials and eco-friendly processes in their product design and manufacturing, aligning their operations with the growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible products. By doing so, they are not only contributing to the preservation of our planet but also building a strong, sustainable brand that resonates with today’s conscious consumers.


Exploring materials and finishes in branded merchandise design goes far beyond aesthetics. It’s about understanding the emotional connection that these elements can create with the consumer, and leveraging this understanding to enhance branding, marketing, and sales. Whether you’re in the business of manufacturing merchandise or simply interested in the world of product design, it’s worth taking the time to delve deeper into the world of materials and finishes.

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