How To Create Print-on-demand Designs? A Straightforward Guide

How To Create Print-on-demand Designs? A Straightforward Guide

learn how to create print-on-demand designs

When starting a print-on-demand business, learning how to create print-on-demand designs is the first thing to focus on. It is not too difficult, but not everyone knows how to bring it into winning artwork. This article will give you the basics, detailed process, and practical tips to generate catchy and best-selling designs for print-on-demand businesses.

1. Design Basics for Print-on-demand

Designing for print-on-demand is different from digital media. While the digital design is for the screen look purpose, the design for printing is for the realistic look on a specific material such as clothing, canvas, ceramic, etc. Each purpose has a distinct successful strategy.

Hold in hand the below basics when creating graphics for print-on-demand:

  • Target Niche Products: Choosing an extensive product line might make you confused. The advice is to focus on a niche. For example, if pet products are too large, it’s better to create designs for an animal (such as a dog). With a design for dogs, you can reuse it for cats, too.
  • Keep It Simple: The brain tends to skip complicated, unimportant things, including hard-to-understand artwork. Therefore, simplicity is the best.
  • Make Your Design Remarkable: Up to 95% of purchasing decisions are emotional – professor Gerald Zaltman wrote in the book “How Customers Think”. Impressing, catchy, creative ideas can trigger the audience’s subconscious. They will stop surfing the internet, stay longer, and be more likely to buy your product.
  • Same Same, But Unique: There are many remarkable stores out there. How to attract new buyers and keep repeat customers? The best solution is to get popular, trending print-on-demand designs, then make them unique and show brand specifics.
  • Be Consistency: It takes a long time to build a strong brand. Be patient and consistent with your design styles. You will have more loyal customers and a solid launcher to develop.
Designing for print on demand

A good print-on-demand design for door mats

Business tips: There is an ocean of print-on-demand products. Designing and selling high-profit and trending items can help you earn more.

💡 You may concern: Print-on-demand Trends 2023: Top Products & Design Ideas for Sellers

2. 3 Steps to Create Designs for Print-on-demand

Each merchant has its design process and success secrets. Therefore, it is rare to find complete design instructions for print-on-demand. Today, Teeinblue will reveal the mindset and the 3 straightforward steps to learn how to create print-on-demand designs. Wrap it now!

Find Design Ideas

Ideas and concepts bring the right direction to create high-quality designs without distorting brand values. Moreover, they can keep your team working more productively.

It becomes much easier to find excellent design ideas for print-on-demand products with the five steps below:

  • Understanding your brand and products helps you recognize what criteria you want for a design. The vision, objective, market, and target audience are crucial information to be aware of.
  • Getting ideas through many resources is an effective way for both new and experienced merchants. You can learn from successful stores and competitors. Both free and paid design websites are also excellent. Move to the next section to get top suggestions.
  • Brainstorming with your team or yourself can generate unique, creative, and trendy concepts. Don't skip anything; list them all, then turn to the review step.
  • Narrowing the list by reviewing and choosing the concepts that best fit your print-on-demand business and products.
  • Recording the final concepts and getting ready to practice how to make designs for print-on-demand on the computer.

You can apply the above process to find design ideas, print-on-demand business name ideas, and any ideas. Just practice step-by-step to have the most satisfying list.

how to create designs for print on demand

There are a lot of ways to get creative design ideas

Preparing Your Design File

Suppose you set the wrong options; when you finish printing, the print-on-demand design might have unclean edges, color deviation, invisible transparent glow, etc. Here is the checklist to create a print-on-demand standard design file:

  • Dimensions (width and length): Each print-on-demand product has a fixed specific print area (print size). So, it is important to create a design with the same dimension as that print area.
  • DPI (dots per inch): The higher the DPI, the higher the printing quality. 300 DPI is the standard. Lower DPI may cause pixelated and unclear images.
  • File format: ".ai, .psd, and .png" are the most popular formats for the print-on-demand industry. Creating design files with Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop allows you to adjust all of the elements and settings. While a PNG supports inserting backgrounds without changing the original parts and image quality.
  • Color model: CMYK is the professional setting in printing because it can give the accurate color as the digital artwork after printing. You can also choose RGB if the printing technique supports it.
  • The Bleed setting: It is to add extra space around the edge of the design. Thanks to it, the components near the margin won't be cut off.
how to design for print on demand

An example of printing error

Important note: Remember to set the file dimensions to the same width and length as the print area of each product. The system cannot render and process to print that design if they are not the same.

💡 You may concern: Find the Best Fulfillment Providers to Print Your Designs

Design Yourself or Hire A Designer

If you work with a designer, you only need to consider a few design principles above. Sharing product information, customer insight, and your expectation with a designer will create a fluent working process. It is much better to give them some reference templates.

Excellent print-on-demand artists often show their projects on Behance, 99 designs, e-commerce platforms, etc. Prior to the artist that offers an affordable rate and style as you expect.

If you are getting familiar with print-on-demand with a low budget but have expertise in designing, it is much more cost-saving than hiring a professional designer. Moreover, you are the one who understands business the most, so you will create the most suitable artwork.

However, it will be a great challenge for amateurs to gain an understanding of how to create print-on-demand designs. Luckily, there are some ways to help you. The fastest and most effective methods are getting free or buying commercial clipart and artwork.

Are you curious to know where you can find those excellent designs? Don't skip Teeinblue's suggestion in the next part!

3. Best Resources to Find Designs for Print-on-demand

When it comes to being stuck on what you should put on your designs, the top-rated resources below can help.

Get Free Designs for Print-on-demand

Here are the most popular websites that print-on-demand sellers often visit to get free designs:

  • Freepik has no restrictions for any free pictures and digital art. You can also find the newest trends in multiple industries. Moreover, it offers a premium to help you access over 42 million high-quality design items.
  • Pixabay gives more than 1 million images, clipart, and free vectors uploaded by users. Its photographs, graphics as well as illustration art are high-resolution, creative, and stunning.
  • Unsplash is entirely free. You can easily find ideas among over one million photos through an intelligent filter.
how to get free designs for print-on-demand

Some websites don’t permit to use the single design so remember to read the terms and conditions before using their free photos

  • Vecteezy has thousands of free templates and vector graphics for creating print-on-demand designs. It enables users to comment, which is an outstanding feature.
  • Gratisography has a lot of unique stocks in many topics, such as animals, architecture, food, fashion, etc. You can download and edit them for both personal and commercial purposes.
  • Morguefile allows you to download over 400.000 lively photographs and pictures. Don't skip this resource if you sell canvas art.
  • Stockvault has huge graphics and photos when designing for print-on-demand. However, you may need to upgrade your account to use premium materials.
  • Pexels can significantly inspire you. Although they don't permit you to use their original designs, you can still modify them to print on your products.
  • Picjumbo is famous for its vibrant and bright stock photos. Consider it if your want to bring good vibes to print-on-demand products.
  • Pikwizard has over 1 million stock with free royalty and a large community to update and vote for the best images. Therefore, it is easier for you to choose the trending designs.
  • Open Clip Art is another popular free original clipart for print-on-demand designs that sell. If you plan to focus on product personalization, visit it regularly as your best friend.

All the above websites offer free designs. Some of them encourage users to upgrade to have more choices. Commonly, they require to create an account or download it to edit. Take time to look for the most suitable for you!

Buy Designs for Print-on-demand

Everyone can use free designs, which makes you have difficulty in making unique artwork. It's time to invest in paid assets. Take a look at the top recommendations here:

  • Death to Stock provides the latest authentic stock photos with no-limit download. You will receive 100 fresh visuals monthly when becoming a member. They give you a 14-day free trial before purchasing.
  • Shutterstock is so popular that you can easily catch its banner on free websites. There are only ten free images in the trial time. Then, you need to pay at least $0.22 per one.
  • Designers' sites or studios seem to be more affordable than Shutterstock. When searching for a product on any e-commerce platform, you can see the author of the design. Just click to go to their artwork gallery.
where to buy designs for print on demand

A studio of a professional print-on-demand artist

💡 You may concern: Where to find designs for print-on-demand on e-commerce platforms?

4. Best Print-on-demand Design Software and Applications

You've gathered all the essential design elements. The final step is completing the design. Professional software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc., are solid, multi-functions, but hard for beginners to use. You can start with more straightforward tools and applications. Check it out!

  • Canva provides over 1 million templates, photos, icons, and editable elements. It is convenient because it allows you to drag and drop elements online.
  • Photopea is free to make a printable design. You can practice all the tasks online, including image editing, creating illustrations, converting image formats, etc. However, you may see advertisements when using it.
  • Printify is the place where you can both design and sells print-on-demand. You can drag and drop images, scale, add personalized features, etc.
  • Printful offers more advanced design options, including creating text personalization, adding clipart, adding images as layers, aligning, flipping, rotating artwork, etc.
  • Teeinblue POD Design comes to the best product personalizer for merchants who sell customized print-on-demand products. It integrates well with Shopify and co-operates with Printify, Printful, Gelato, Customcat, Picanova, ShineOn, Dreamship, etc.


Get to know Teeinblue POD Application

Yeah, you've got the ultimate guide on how to create print-on-demand designs. The basics, file requirements, and the overall design process must be kept in mind. If you have any questions when designing for print-on-demand, feel free to leave comments below or discuss with print-on-demand sellers at Teeinblue Facebook Community!

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