De-logoizing conference swag.
October 10, 2010 8:09 AM   Subscribe

De-logoizing conference swag.

I have several very nice backpacks and bags that I've received at conferences. Unfortunately, they all have logos of the conference sponsors prominently emblazoned on them.

I'd like to use these bags every day, but I bristle at the thought of being a walking advertisement.

I ruined one bag already, trying to remove the logo using kerosene - it just left a smeary mess.

Any suggestions on how to remove them, or otherwise cover them up? The surfaces feel rubberized, but I can't guess at the material.
posted by schrodycat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by EtzHadaat at 8:12 AM on October 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've done as EtzHAdaat said, covered a logo with a patch when it was embroidered into the pack. On all of my backpacks, I've always blacked out the logo (on black bags) with a Sharpie. I've also picked out the weave to hack the logo into something else. If it's printed on, sometimes a warm iron and a fingernail is good enough to pick it off.

But rubberized? Are they sewn on? If so, you can cut the thread inside and remove it that way.
posted by nevercalm at 8:17 AM on October 10, 2010

Can you not sell them on to those who do want the logoed merchandise and buy generic bags with the proceeds?
posted by ceri richard at 10:17 AM on October 10, 2010

Our friends got a bunch of logoed bags for free that they then screenptinted for an event. They are professional screenprinters, but I think regular acrylic craft paint would work as well - you know hoe hard it is to remove when you don't want paint on something!
posted by vespabelle at 11:08 AM on October 10, 2010

If the logos are embroidered, use a seam-ripper and remove them from the back side of the fabric.
posted by samthemander at 2:00 PM on October 10, 2010

obliquicity: I'm curious, do you find ethical problems with removing/obscuring logos from conferences? IBM doesn't need advertising from me (furthermore, I'm not sure they'd want it). [I could see your point if it were a 'save the sick children conference', not so much random 'tech industry conference']

to address the question: if you want a punk look, safety pinned patches work well (and are easy to swap out when you want to promote something else). I've used sharpies, and they obscure the logo, but it's still pretty visible.

I like the fabric paint idea: you may want to test this out on something you're willing to ruin to see if this will work for you.

On plastic surfaces (pens, USB hubs, random stuff) nail polish might be a good thing to use.
posted by el io at 2:20 PM on October 10, 2010

In some cases, acetone (or it's watered-down cousin- nail polish remover) will work nicely. In other cases, this will destroy the item, so proceed with caution.
posted by JMOZ at 2:30 PM on October 10, 2010

I have used nail polish remover for this purpose, and also eucalyptus oil (which may also be good for dissolving the smeary mess).
posted by andraste at 3:47 PM on October 10, 2010

You can buy iron-on fusing tape (Stitch Witchery is one brand) wherever basic notions like needles and thread are sold. You can also buy sheets of such fusing web at a fabric store. You choose a piece of fabric to cover up the logo, sandwich the fusible webbing between the fabric and the bag, and iron according to the instructions that came with the webbing. This will work well with cloth bags; I don't know about vinyl, faux leather, etc.

For best results, your patch should have rounded corners. It's a good idea to place a thin cotton cloth, such as a pillow case, over your work before pressing.
posted by wryly at 3:57 PM on October 10, 2010

If the logo is screen-printed onto fabric, a lot of times a heat gun (or a very good hair dryer) some tweezers, and patience will peel it right off. Depending on how many times the item has been washed/worn with the logo still attached, removing the logo might leave a "ghost" image of nice new fabric underneath.
posted by xedrik at 10:28 PM on October 10, 2010

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