How to Design a Promotional Tote Bag

A promotional tote bag is an effective way of promoting your brand and raising brand awareness by giving a functional and fashionable product to customers. There is a lot that goes into making the perfect design and choosing the right style of tote bag to impress your target audience best and capture your brand identity. This guide will give you valuable tote bag design tips and insights into how to get the bag done right.

Understanding the Basics of Tote Bag Design for Brand Promotion

To make your promotional tote bags reach their full potential as a marketing tool, you need to understand the fundamentals of how to design a tote bag:

Importance of Design in Brand Promotion

There are two parts to a well-designed tote bag. The first is its design as a bag, for example, how it looks, how much it can hold and the color scheme. The second part is how well it works as a way of promoting your brand, company or product. This is why the best promotional tote bags clearly display the brand’s imagery, are easy to carry and are memorable on their own.

More than just advertising a brand, tote bags are a useful tool for improving brand recall. A well-designed tote bag accomplishes the following:

  • Capture brand identity: Perfectly show and reflect brand personality in a visually appealing way.
  • Tell a story: Your bag should create a compelling brand story.
  • Create a striking impression: The design used on the tote bag should be visually striking and easy to notice.
  • Communicate: Maintaining a positive reputation, showing brand values and promoting the brand strategically are the main communications goals to aim for with your tote bag’s design.

Key Elements of an Effective Tote Bag Design

Striking the right balance between aesthetics and functionality is the key to making a promotionally effective tote bag. Tying brand elements into your tote bag can make it more desirable. Even those who don’t know your brand could still want to buy your tote bag based solely on the design elements. Logo placement and typography go a long way towards making a good design great. The way your elements work with your color scheme and the feelings the imagery portrays are key elements of your design.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Promotional Tote Bag

There are a lot of materials to choose from for your tote bag. Different materials will complement different design choices and the intended use for your tote bags. These are some tips on typical tote bag materials.

Different Types of Materials and Their Benefits

The three most common types of tote bag materials are cotton, canvas and non-woven polypropylene. Each has their own advantages that make them the most popular choices. These are the reasons you should consider each material:

  • Cotton: Getting hooked on corners and edges might damage weaker materials, but cotton can handle things that you like with ease. Cotton is a workhorse material that is easy to wash, durable, resistant to wear and tear and easy to print on. Choosing cotton tote bags is great for customer convenience, comfort and practicality.
  • Canvas: Canvas tote bags are eco-friendly and a good material to easily add your custom logo. A sturdy canvas bag can last a long time, which makes it a functional way of promoting your brand for years. This comfortable material is capable of carrying heavy items without tearing, and on top of it all, it’s easy to wash. There is a wide variety of canvas materials that vary in style, size, feel, colors and weight, making it the ideal material for making a fashionable and functional tote bag for promotional purposes.
  • Non-woven polypropylene: Non-woven polypropylene is a reusable material made from recycled plastic fibers. It is much stronger and sturdier than a typical plastic bag and can carry large loads. Because they’re made out of plastic, they are known for their longevity and their colors won’t fade.

Sustainability and Reusable Bags

Making bags out of eco-friendly materials makes them more attractive for many customers. Environmentally friendly bags show your brand cares about the planet and its future. Finding eco-friendly materials to use is becoming easier and eco-conscious options are popular. These are some eco-friendly materials you can use when designing a tote bag for your brand:


  • RPET: RPET is an abbreviation of polyethylene terephthalate. It’s a relatively new material made of recycled plastic bottles. It’s a great way of recycling harmful plastics into a material that is both sturdy and appealing. The material is cheap to work with and easy to print on, making it a great choice for tote bags designed to raise brand awareness.
  • Jute: Jute bags are made of one of two sustainable materials: hemp and burlap. These materials are used to make a woven tote bag. The material is washable, breathable, non-flammable, non-toxic and flexible.

How to Select the Perfect Size for Your Promotional Tote Bag

The size of your promotional tote bag is affected by many different factors. Price, function and the intricacy of the design printed on it are some examples. These tips help you choose the right size for your branded tote bag.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Tote Bag Size

Price is a major factor when considering your tote bag’s design. For a smaller bag, you want the design to stand out still but not look too crowded. For a larger bag, you want to ensure the branded imagery isn’t lost. Smaller tote bags can hold less, but that doesn’t necessarily make them less functional — smaller bags can be used as a swim bag or to hold things for you on the beach, for example.

Medium and large bags can be made with different compartments for laptops, books, iPads, etc. This makes them ideal for office workers and students. Larger bags also work well for carrying groceries and shopping.

Finding the right size and layout determines what it will be used for. This is affected by who you are trying to target. If you want to get trendy students to show off your brand, then a compartmentalized large to medium-sized bag with a trendy design is the best way to capture that audience’s attention.

Create Effective Branding Opportunities With Our Tote Bags

ePromos is an expert in creating branded products and merchandise. We offer a huge range of different options and our high-quality array of tote bag options can perfectly serve your brand. Explore our entire range of custom tote bags on our online store today. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us online today or call us at 877-377-6667 and we can get started on your next brand promotion.


About Author

Devin Rubink

Devin R.

Reviewed by: Devin R. - SEO Specialist

Devin is an SEO wizard at ePromos as well as an aspiring game show contestant. He can typically be found with his family in the middle of a theme park or camping in the depths of the woods. Devin hopes his addiction to collecting Lego sets will one day fund his retirement.