I find myself getting lost in music merchandising sites these days. There are none better than Wilco’s Wilcoworld and Awesome Merchandise . . . They’re the Eameses and Herman Miller’s of the music merchandising world, creating objects that enhance living.
Merchandise is evolving beyond dumb, badly designed, poorly made useless stuff that’s bought to show a tribal affiliation with a band. Now it may be well made stuff with a message and concept … enamel pins handsome enough to be used as jewellery, for instance. Even extraordinary jewellery, Susie Cave’s gold & jewelled charms illustrating Nick’s music are’t merchandise exactly but show a powerful design response to music.
Band designs now increasingly show a coherent design philosophy, marimekko like, that can translate across homewares. . . But I’m currently fixated on coffee cups. I can’t remember if it was a dining table or couch that Steve Jobs went years without, eating off the floor or sitting on the floor because he couldn’t find the right couch / table. For me it’s coffee mugs. Now I want to buy a mismatched set of awesome Merch cups. And I only use tote bags these days not an ‘it’ bag. I think of my beloved Grinderman tote bag as a couture accessory.
The fascinating thing is that I’m now clicking around to find the music that generates the posts Awesome Merch posts of current projects. It’s a new frontier for merchandise. The Merch precedes the music !!!!