Branded merchandise (swag) is more than just pens and t-shirts. These products are a way to engage our audience in a brand experience. They drive awareness, recognition, and help us tell the Red Hat story. Good promotional items can deliver more impressions at a lower cost than traditional forms of advertising.
At Red Hat, we are fortunate to have a memorable logo to help make those impressions. Shadowman is a tech icon, and we want to showcase him (and the rest of our logo) in the right way on our merchandise.
Associates, partners, and the community can buy some of our most popular swag items from the Cool Stuff Store. These items have been reviewed for quality, adherence to brand standards, and overall value.
If you need custom swag items, they are available through our approved vendors.
Learn more about custom swag orders.
Associates who would like updates on Red Hat swag should join the mailing list.
When creating Red Hat swag:
1. ALWAYS USE THE FULL LOGO
2. FOLLOW THE RULES
Only associates who have been authorized by the Legal team can approve the use of our logo on promotional products. Always use an approved vendor.
3. REMEMBER NOTHING IS INTERNAL-ONLY
Cups are taken from the office to the pool. T-shirts are worn to conferences and soccer games. Anything with our logo on it could be someone’s first exposure to the Red Hat brand, and making a good first impression is critical.
4. MAKE IT USEFUL
Swag should provide value to our customers. If an item is likely to go straight to the trash, we don’t want our name on it. Think about swag the same way we think about our products—low cost, high value.
5. CONSIDER THE CONTEXT
At large events, choose inexpensive items so you can give away more and get maximum visibility. At smaller or more exclusive events, spend more per item to make a stronger impression. Audience is important, too—executives may not want a backpack, and developers aren’t going to like a briefcase.
A Red Hat logo should appear on every Red Hat promotional item. 4 logo placements are pre-approved for embroidery and screen printing on t-shirts and apparel, and should be used whenever possible.
When you need to use a product, internal, or event logo on the front pocket, use the Red Hat logo on the sleeve or back collar.
STICKERS AND BUTTONS
Stickers are an important part of technology and open source culture. They are collected, traded, and proudly displayed on laptops, servers, and cars. Stickers are an easy and inexpensive way to share our story. How they look (and what they say) is a reflection of our brand.
The limited space on a sticker means messaging must be clear and concise.
The stickers that get shared and used the most are simple and uncluttered. At most, a sticker should have 3–4 elements from the list. Small stickers should have only 1–2 elements and very simple messages to avoid looking messy or crowded.
Every sticker should include clear branding. Choose 1 of the following:
1. RED HAT LOGO
Most of the time, this is the best choice.
2. REDHAT.COM URL
When there’s not enough space for a Red Hat logo, use a short redhat.com URL instead (and ask for approval from the Brand team).
3. COMMUNITY LOGO
Open source communities should use their own branding and logos.
Next comes the elements that relate to your specific event, product, or campaign.
4. PRODUCT OR EVENT LOGO
Keep your message short and punchy. Limit other elements so it stands out.
6. ICONS OR GRAPHICS
Leave a comfortable margin all the way around.
Don’t misuse our logo or use the hat alone.
Don’t put our logo on objects that are silly, juvenile, or are likely to be thrown away.
Don’t make fedora-shaped objects of any kind.
Don’t put Shadowman on anything that would make him blush.
Don’t use our logo to create a pattern or textile.
Don’t use trite or cliché messages. Avoid parody or satire.
THE RED HAT FEDORA
The red hat is a symbol of freedom.
Freed Roman slaves wore them during their emancipation ceremonies. The bonnet rouge became a symbol of liberty during the French Revolution.
Many soldiers in the American Revolution wore red knitted stocking caps. Even today, the red hat is a symbol of freedom in the flags or seals of many states and nations.
Today, the official Red Hat fedora represents freedom of a different sort: the freedom to connect, form communities, and share ideas and knowledge. We use the red hat to identify people who help build and support a technology commons that promotes innovation all over the world. This is the red hat of the information revolution.
We give fedoras to our associates, and as gifts to partners, customers, and contributors who advance our cause and help us live up to our promise. Together we have the freedom to provide innovation to the world.
SWAG IN USE
Teams love fun swag, like this shirt for our workplace planning team. We’re all for fun—just be sure it reflects well on our brand and uses our logos correctly.
Stick to product and corporate brand elements to be sure bulk orders don’t date before you can give them all away.
Choose a primary or secondary color for the fabric of a t-shirt. Red is great for getting attention, but a secondary color like gray or navy might get more everyday wear.
A useful item with simple branding, like this bag from the Cool Stuff Store, will be used over and over.
Our red fedoras aren’t swag. If you want to give away a red hat, we recommend an official Red Hat ball cap from the Cool Stuff Store.