Hitting It Big with Print on Demand Design: Clues to Note

The contemporary globalized world is rapidly turning into an overstandardized one. Being used to a certain set of amenities, a lot of people don’t relish the idea of parting with their habitual environment even if they have to travel a thousand miles to another continent. As a result, wherever we are, we stay at a typical hotel, enjoy the same dish, drive a typical car, and even read the same magazine. It is also true about the clothes and shoes we buy – trendsetters have seen to it that in every corner of the planet we wear what is the latest fashion in this very season.

The uniformity crusade has been probably taking it too far, generating in many people an antipodal desire to free themselves from this tedious homogeneity. Astute entrepreneurs have tapped this human yearning and came up with the idea of customization, which turned out to be an effective solution allowing the recalcitrant to show at least some signs that they are different from the monotonous surrounding crowd. Consequently, manufacturing print on demand (PoD) products emerged as an exceedingly profitable trade catering to the needs of an ever-increasing body of consumers. 

PoD: A License to Print Money

Print on demand is a very attractive business scheme liable to provide quick expansion and considerable revenues with very limited seed capital. The functioning of a PoD design company is simple. From a supplier, you acquire some white label products. These are typically articles of clothing (T-shirts, hoodies, caps, and the like), mugs, bags, stationery, etc. that are devoid of any graphic signs or pictures. The print on demand designers at your studio ornate them with any images (even 3D ones), that their fantasy suggests. After you have received such one-off items, you sell them to customers under your brand.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Yet before venturing headlong into this business, one must realize potential pitfalls you may encounter. First of all, customization has its limitations imposed by printing technologies, the material of the white label items you will use as a surface to illustrate, suppliers’ pricing policy, and other factors. Then, the cost of the finished products will be high since you will purchase white label articles per item which is always more expensive than wholesale. Finally, the shipment issue is the one to be considered as well because delivery prices for various items differ significantly, which is sure to tell upon the final price of your unique merchandise.

Are you now abashed? Well, don’t be. The listed downsides are more than offset by the boons PoD business has in stock. This commerce is generally a low-risk one, what with the lower initial investment required (and consequently, slim chances of losing much money) and no necessity to purchase large quantities of “raw materials” (and thus, no need to keep warehouses and long inventories of items, that eventually may never sell). One more beckoning feature of this business is the high speed of production. If your design templates are handy it literally takes minutes to create a product, with the subsequent exposure it for sale within several minutes more.

With the said in view, it is reasonable for a budding print on demand entrepreneur to focus on creating designs since it is the core summand of success in the industry.

Setting up a Print on Demand Company: An Algorithm to Follow

There is a foolproof procedure that works well with planning your print on demand strategy.

1. Design a Logo for your PoD Business

This is the first step in this design-saturated industry. Making images the focal point and the foundation of the commerce, it is mandatory to have an eloquent logo of your company. How can you procure one? First of all, you should have a clear idea of what you would like to see in the logo. It means choosing the company name and basic characteristics you would like your logo to feature. Conventionally, it must be simple, memorable, enduring, and applicable across versatile media.

 That done, you should employ the relevant software tool available on the internet. For instance, opting for a Shopify design app, you will easily go all the way from choosing a logo template through customizing its shape, color, font, etc. to downloading its free version or purchasing its high-resolution copy. 

2. Designing your PoD Store

An adequate design of your online store is also an important issue instrumental in the ultimate success of your PoD business. If your website looks poor it will hardly attract clients. You should employ the best software so that your prospective customers saw that design is your forte. It is also important to arrange the elements of the site properly supplying the most popular items with “Hot” or “Bestseller” labels.

3. Create Incredible Designs for PoD Products

To do that, you should have proficiency in graphic tools, the most widely-used of which is Photoshop. Once you have mastered working with PSD files, you can embark on a creation journey discovering your artist essence along the way. However unique your talent may seem, it is a rule of thumb to start with drawing upon the experience of trailblazers in the field.

How and Where to Find Print on Demand Designs That Trend

Before starting to look for design ideas you should identify the trending topics so that you could close in on several most popular fields instead of trying to touch all the hot buttons. Detecting huge selling surges is not that hard – just employ the software like Google trends and soon you will have a whole range of breakout topics at your disposal that are sure to attract customers. Another helpful bulk of data can be provided by spy tools, such as SpyNiche or TeeSpy. The information on what, when, how many, and for how long some trendy designs have been sold will certainly be instrumental in shaping your further course.

Once you have detected possible areas of interest and gauged the demand for print on demand designs (the pun is intentional) you can get down to idea search hammer and tongs. What are the best sources which you can recruit?

  • Print on demand and e-commerce platforms. These both feature sales data and design patterns. So combining the search on ebay and etsy with skimming through GearBubble, Zazzle, DevianArt, and Spreadshirt you will end up with tons of design ideas to be implemented on the media of your choice.
  • Free slogan market by Shopify. It won’t help you with images, but it will render assistance in slogan finding. Yet, most of the best seller images are accompanied by a clever or funny phrase that makes the shopper want to sport it. After entering a keyword and pressing the “generate” button you will be offered dozens if not hundreds of slogan options to choose from. The tool is automated so you will have to sort out the suggested options yourself but working with words may serve a good starting point for bringing forth images.
  • Stock photo sites and free public domains. Adobe Stock, iStockphoto, Gettyimages, and Freepik can provide a rich source of inspiration obtained from the images by professional designers while Photo Icons and Unsplash feature photos by expert photographers.

 In addition to the available options, you can be proactive, creating ones yourself. If you have some money to spare you can hold a design contest at 99designs or elsewhere. The larger the prize offered is the more freelance designers you will attract, but even quite a low reward will produce astounding crowdsourcing results.

Sensible Considerations

Being rather attractive as a business idea, print on demand needs a serious approach if you want to leverage it to the utmost. Its implementation will require you to become not only a shrewd entrepreneur aware of the current market trends, but also a programmer, editor, designer, artist, and whatnot. Are you sure you can embrace all these?

 If not, then it is wise to involve other people, especially where you can’t do without competent and qualified brains. One of such fields is PoD software, which is to be developed by seasoned experts. By delegating this job to skilled professionals you are sure to get a top-notch product to be further used in generating maximum revenues.


With the customization trend gathering significant momentum, print on demand niche is rapidly developing into a lucrative business idea. To make the most of it, you should rely upon your creative skills as well as on the help of software engineers – the combination that will ultimately bring you success.

May 29, 2020
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