Selling your own designs in POD is an exciting and ambitious project. In this mini-guide, we’ll see how to create beautiful on-demand print designs.
Having a brand and a real identity is all that Print On Demand allows. By creating unique designs, it is possible to create a whole universe more or less vast.
A universe of tee-shirts, caps, bags, iPhone shells, mugs… The choice is large and that’s the interest of a sales method such as printing on demand.
But how can you create designs and patterns if you’re not a designer, or a graphic designer? I’m going to give you some hints, but before I do, you need to take into account a few essential steps.
Find a niche idea
This is the first point that I think is essential if you want to sell products online: find a theme to practice in.
If your brand doesn’t have its own universe, a unique way to define itself, it will have a hard time getting visibility in the ultra-competitive world of the web.
For that, finding a niche to exploit for a first POD store is really important, if not essential!
Your future brand must highlight unique products, because that’s what Internet users are looking for. Why bother buying a T-shirt that’s easy to find on Amazon?
In fact, working in a field that you enjoy offers nothing but advantages. Doing what you like allows you to have a great capacity to work over time.
For example, if you are passionate about astronomy, why not sell designs of galaxies, planets, etc.?
I saw that a while ago and when it’s done right, it can look really good!
Create a print on demand design, the 2 rules
Rule #1: Forget complexity!
Keeping it simple when creating designs or delegating them allows you to offer more models, a catalog with many references, and reduce costs.
You need less time and money if you use designers to create a POD pattern of a few words.
By the way, it’s something that works really well and you must know these t-shirts with funny phrases like…
- “Yes, but no…”
- “I don’t moan I express myself”
- “Attention pipellete…”
- “I don’t care if it’s not my home.”
Personally, I’m not a big fan of this kind of product, but I know that selling t-shirts with short phrases or expressions is a powerful way to get attention.
Moreover, it is valid in any field, even the most serious like science or mathematics.
Rule #2: No need to be an expert
The simplest designs are the most successful. A few words or a logo often do the trick.
It’s up to you whether or not to keep it simple, but if this direction speaks to you, tell yourself that the problem will not come from your ability to use Photoshop, but very often from your imagination.
The big problem in general – and this is also my case – is the lack of ideas. Inspiration only comes after research work, it’s not spontaneous.
If you’re like me, you’ll have to do some research to get ideas to reuse for your own brand. I can sometimes use the Etsy point of sale:
And sometimes even Pinterest, which is a real aggregator of ideas:
That’s why if you’re passionate about a particular field, I strongly advise you to get into it because inspiration plays a central role in the print-on-demand business.
Create POD designs
Do it yourself
To test your ideas, there is no need to spend a single euro thanks to the mockup generators. These are software programs that generate an image of a model with a specific pattern.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, here’s just how it looks like:
The “Upload your image” center is then replaced by a logo, a pattern or a drawing.
Mockups are very practical and not only for ready-to-wear accessories, I use them to create the cover of my ebooks.
But this is for presentation and to see what your design will look like in real life, although it is best to order it to touch the final product.
To really design a pattern, you can use Photoshop – very hard to handle, I don’t use it – or go through Canva for example.
I’ve already talked about it on the blog, it’s a free web application ultra complete design creation!
For more complex designs with various shapes and colors, using a graphic designer is an effective and inexpensive alternative if you know the right sites.
For example, I often use the French platform 5euros.com and its English-speaking competitor Fiverr. The trick is to look for service providers capable of creating a design that meets our needs.
Keywords like “t-shirt” or “graphic designer” will help you find qualified professionals.
For more ambitious projects, 99designs is more suitable but also much more expensive, several hundred euros to start a project on this site.
A few words before the end
This mini-guide focuses on the essentials. There are many ways to create and sell a t-shirt or POD products online.
I haven’t talked here about the technical aspect, because I will do it in detail in a dedicated article where I will present the different solutions to sell t-shirts and other products.
Whether you present them on your own store or host them on a marketplace like Spreadshirt, the solution you decide to choose will be based on your expectations.
Creating a brand takes a lot of work, not just in the print-on-demand environment. Competition is tough and hard work is required.
In any case, it is an ambitious and exciting project to embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship!