colorful hoodies hung on a rack with front one showing white geometric print

15 awesome hoodie design ideas to inspire your merch line

Reading time: 6 minutes

When it comes to clothing merch, hoodies are probably second only to t-shirts. There’s a reason for that: hoodies are warm, comfortable and no matter who they’re on, they look cool! If you’re exploring merch ideas for your brand, check out these hoodie design ideas.

But there are a lot of benefits you get with hoodies and other custom sports clothing besides just the revenue from selling merch. Done well, they increase brand visibility or awareness and can generate a buzz through a contest or giveaway. Whatever your goal is, design a hoodie that your customers want to wear and that captures who you are as a brand. 

Below we have 15 hoodie design ideas to inspire your own design. We’ll also explore reasons to design your own hoodie and the steps of hoodie design.

Want to start designing your hoodie now? Use a template or design on your own with VistaCreate, our free design platform. 

Exploring hoodie design ideas

Designing hoodies for business merchandise showcases your brand’s personality and connects with your customers. Designs can incorporate bold graphics, eye-catching text, or a mix of both. Feel free to experiment with placement, too — the front, back, sleeves, or all over. It’s a canvas with impressive creative flexibility.

Hoodies come in various materials, from classic cotton blends to luxurious fleece, each providing a different feel. Lightweight options are ideal for casual wear, while heavier ones are perfect for colder weather. Eco-friendly materials are also available for those focused on sustainability.

Whether you prefer a small logo on the chest or a vibrant full-body print, hoodie design is a stylish way to help your brand pop and connect with your customers. Here is a bit more about different designs to inspire you. 

Let’s start with the classic front and back designs:

Front designs

If you’ve spent time looking at hoodie design ideas, you’ve probably noticed they come in just about every available color and often feature designs across the chest.

Hoodie with logo on the chest

Source: Hoodie design by Simeo via 99designs by Vista

Gray hoodie with circular patches

Source: Hoodie design by diwaz via 99designs by Vista

By no means do you have to stick to the standard “graphic on the chest” formula when you design your own hoodie. There are many other options!

Back designs

It’s also pretty common to add a design to the back of a hoodie, because when a person is wearing a hoodie, the back is a relatively flat, unobscured canvas for a large image — especially when the hood is up. 

Hoodie design with a panda on the back

Source: Hoodie design by eko.prasetyo* via 99designs by Vista

All-over designs

But if you want more than the classic look of a graphic on the front or the back, you can also embrace both, and other parts of the hoodie, like the sides or even the lining. 

Hoodie design featuring dirt bikers

Source: Hoodie design by Alex Paun via 99designs by Vista

Maybe you want to connect the front and back: your design can wrap around the hood!

Blue and black hoodie

Source: Hoodie design by netralica via 99designs by Vista

Pocket design

Don’t forget the pocket! Make your design pop with a pocket that has its own design or a color that contrasts the rest of the hoodie: 

Hoodie with a graphic and text on the pocket

Source: Hoodie design by Digital Man via 99designs by Vista

Sleeve graphics

Graphics look great on hoodie sleeves. They can complement graphics on the chest, back or hood or they can be stand-alone images:

Pink hoodie with text on the sleeves and chest

Source: Hoodie design by R28 via 99designs by Vista

Hoodie design with text on the sleeves

Source: Hoodie design by SANT2 via 99designs by Vista 

Hood designs

One characteristic every hoodie has in common is the hood! Without a hood, it’s just a sweatshirt. So why not make your hoodie’s defining characteristic its focal point by adding a design to the hood?

Hoodie design featuring flowers

Source: Hoodie design by Klasikohero via 99designs by Vista

Hoodie types

You can even experiment with different types of hoodies. The common hoodie type, and the one used in our examples above, is the pullover hoodie:

Black hoodie with allover print

Source: Hoodie design by altheea_adebisy via 99designs by Vista

Maybe your target audience prefers a zip hoodie:

Source: Hoodie design by eightatoms via 99designs by Vista

Or a cropped hoodie:

Cropped hoodie

Source: via Amazon

Why not give a short-sleeve or sleeveless one a try?

Short-sleeve hoodie

Caption: Source: via VistaPrint

Reasons to design a hoodie

There are lots of reasons to design your own hoodie. 

  • You might be launching a campaign and want something wearable to promote it. 
  • Or you might be an artist who wants to share your work with the world. 
  • Perhaps you’re taking a group trip, like for a bachelorette weekend, and you want the whole group to have matching hoodie mementos. 
  • Or you’re creating a cool, comfortable workplace uniform for your team.
Team uniform hoodie

Source: Hoodie design by marcuz030 via 99designs by Vista

Maybe you plan to sell the hoodies or give them away as raffle prizes or giveaways. Or it’s a personalized gift you’re creating for a loved one. 

As you work out the reason or reasons why you want to design your own hoodie, you’ll get a clearer picture of considerations like an appropriate budget and where and how you’ll distribute it. For example, if the goal is to raise brand awareness, you want to create a hoodie that can be given away or sold at a fairly low price point so you can move a high volume, increasing your brand’s presence out in the world. Similarly, you’ll likely feature your logo and/or brand name in a prominent spot on your hoodies, since passersby won’t exactly become aware of your brand if they can’t see its name!

How to design your own hoodie

Your hoodie design should reflect your brand and goals. If you haven’t nailed down your brand’s look quite yet, or the specific look you want for your brand’s hoodie(s), create a mood board. This is a fun, visual way to organize colors, shapes, vibes and ideas about how a finished product should look.

Mood board

Source: mood board design by valelle via 99designs by Vista

Next, sketch out a few different hoodie design ideas, either on paper or with a tool like VistaCreate. Explore how different color palettes and graphic placements fit together to find the design that works best for your brand. 

Remember your goals for the hoodie as you design. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Will my logo be featured prominently, subtly or not at all?
  • How should this hoodie fit?
  • Who is this hoodie for?
  • Where will I feature/offer the hoodie?

All of these considerations factor into your hoodie design. For example, if your goal is for influencers to wear the hoodie to advertise your brand, your logo should be visible, but secondary to a more eye-catching design. If it’s a gift intended to commemorate a longtime team member’s work anniversary, you might want to go with a more high-end material. 

Other design elements, like whether you need a bright color for visibility or something more subtle, become more apparent as you determine who will wear the hoodie, where they’ll wear it, why they’ll wear it and most importantly, why they’ll want it. 

If you still need help with your design, check out our article about creating sports apparel.

Once you have some designs, determine which material is best for your hoodie. If you’re a sports brand or there’s a high likelihood that people will be working out while wearing the hoodie, choose a material that wicks sweat away, like polyester or nylon. Or, if people will be walking, relaxing or otherwise need to be comfortable in your hoodie, go with cotton or a cotton blend. Be sure to consider the climate where people will likely wear it and decide if a heavier or lighter weight material is best.

Hoodie design for vacation

Source: hoodie design by el meyra via 99designs by Vista

Compare a few different designs and once you’ve found the perfect one, place your order. 

Design a hoodie with VistaPrint