Print-on-demand space is crowded and competitive. Yet, some people still manage to make money, and a lot of it. What separates the winners from the losers?

When it comes to print-on-demand, design concepts are what makes or breaks a business, which is why you should be putting a lot of time and effort into making yours exceptional.

Here are 5 ways how you can do that…

print on demand design tips guides

Photo by Alice Achterhof on Unsplash

Think like an Entrepreneur

Okay, so, the number one thing that you need to understand if you want to create designs that sell well is that you are running a business now, and therefore you need to start thinking like an entrepreneur.

You see, when most people think about their designs, they think like artists, focusing on the question “What do I want to create?”. There’s nothing wrong with it if you are just having fun dabbling with print-on-demand as a hobby… However, if you want to build a profitable business, that’s a wrong question to ask. So what is the question that you should be asking?

You should be asking “What do my customers want?”. After all, you aren’t creating these designs for yourself, you are creating them for your customers!

Research What Already Sells

When it comes to print-on-demand, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, because your competitors probably have figured out already what sells and what doesn’t.

Go visit the competing stores. Sort their inventory by what sells best. Pay attention to the results. What design concepts work the best? Take a lot of notes and try to work out the patterns. Then, try to create something that is similar, but also different enough at the same time.

This last point is very important. Note that I’m not telling you to just go out and blatantly copy the designs of your competitors. That would be both immoral and illegal. What I’m saying is that you should understand what works and why it works, and then apply the same principles in your designs.

Draw Inspiration from the Media

Everyone needs to draw inspiration from somewhere. Pay attention to what media your potential customers consume and become familiar with it. Investigate the books, comics, TV shows, computer games, etc. Then, see what you can use in your designs.

For example, if your target audience are atheists, you can use Dawkins’, Harriss’, Hitchen’s and Dennet’s work in your designs, or something from Rick and Morty TV show, or even something from the famous Facebook group “I F*****g Love Science”.

This will not only get your creative juices flowing but will also help you to understand your target audience in a much deeper way.

inspirations from the media

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Get Feedback on Your Design Concepts

Want to know what your potential customers think about your design concepts? Simple! Just ask them!

No, I’m serious, go where your potential customers hang out, whether it’s online or offline, show them your design concepts, and ask them for feedback (then, shut up and listen, without getting defensive!).

The results might shock you. It might turn out that no one likes a design concept that you thought was brilliant. Don’t worry, it happens, and it’s better to know sooner than later. Go back to the drawing board if you need to.

Test Your Design Concepts on Facebook

It’s also valuable to test your design concepts on Facebook before adding them to your inventory (and yes, despite all the recent scandals, Facebook is still the way to go if you want to run paid ads).

Simply create Facebook ads for each concept, run them for a the same amount of time to the same audience, and then see which one performed the best.

I recommend adding design concepts to your store one by one after testing them on Facebook. That way, your inventory is going to be full of products that your potential customers are interested in, and they are going to be impressed when they stumble upon your store.Yes, it’s slower, but it’s a much better approach than adding a bunch of random stuff to your store and hoping that it sells!

Where to Get Your Designs Made?

Okay, so now that you have a winning design concept, the question is, where can you get it made?

In case you are an artistic person, and can draw the design yourself, then congratulations, problem solved!

For the rest of us, UpWork is the way to go. Write up a job description, post the job, and wait for the bids to come in. You want someone who is both affordable and talented. And resist the temptation to go with the cheapest option, because you do get what you pay for!

And if you are looking for an on demand t-shirt printing provider, I suggest you to go with Printify, a company trusted by over 50,000 merchants worldwide (more info here).

where to get your design made

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash


Most people are lazy. You know what that means? It means that most of your competitors are probably lazy as well. And that you can get ahead of them if you are willing to work hard.

So do it. Work hard. Increase your productivity. Cut out the distractions. Focus on your business. Yes, print-on-demand is a cutthroat competitive space, but if you are willing to go the extra mile, you will be able to stand out!

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