How to Design Print on Demand Products

How to Design Print on Demand Products

Gloria Jeans, Folgers, Keurig.

Recognized any of these names?

Okay, let me give you one more relevant name in this category. “Starbucks”.

Now you know.

These are all well-established coffee brands. But how come you know (love) “Starbucks” a little bit more than the others?


  1. Their toothsome coffee.
  2. Their personalized marketing touch.

Before they started labeling orders by the customer’s first name, they used to do it with the name of the drink. The idea behind writing the customers’ names is to deliver the best experience and make each and every customer feel like an individual.

That’s the magic of personalization.

And when you apply that rule in your business, customers connect with your brand at a deeper level.

While you are in the “experimenting” stage, applying personalization with the Print-on-demand business model can be your savior. Because there is no point in investing thousands of dollars in conventional stuff and holding your own inventory. Here, you don’t need to buy products in bulk. As and when you receive orders, you forward them to your supplier who will take care of the order fulfillment. From printing to shipping.

This business model is becoming popular among emerging entrepreneurs and businesses due to perks like low investment requirements and easy inventory management. As a result, this industry can grow at a compound annual growth rate of (CAGR) of 26.1% through 2030.

Whether you are a writer, artist, influencer, business owner, or a working professional, customized products give you the platform to monetize your originality. If you are new to this market, read this blog to learn how to start a print on demand business for less than $2000.

But before everything else, it is your merchandise that needs attention.

Let’s explore how you can create your own merch.

The Conventional Approach:

Explore the Products:

Head over to marketplaces like Amazon, Esty, and search for the product you would want to design. For example, here I’ve searched for Iron Man t-shirts.

print on demands t-shirt ideas

Now, what I can see is that most merchants are focusing on graphics on t-shirts. So, my “unique product idea” can be based on two things:

  1. Iron Man quotes/memes (Because I see a very few merchants offering such stuff)
  2. Iron Man Graphic T-shirts

And to find good quotes, you can always Google or create your own memes. Here’s what I got while finding Iron man memes.

Iron Man Meme

Iron Man Quotes

The key here is not to copy other’s work. You can always use your own humor and create some original ones based on famous dialogues, movie scenes, etc.

Plus, you can check out the current reviews of these products to understand what type of products customers actually buy.

Other cool places to find ideas for products:

  1. Instagram: Look for the trending hashtags to find the current trending images on your keyword.
  2. Pinterest: On Pinterest, you can have more categorized ideas that suit your needs.Print on demand ideas

The drill would be the same. I will search for memes and quotes to go deeper and create something that is not available on the internet.

Presentation: Print on demand works on a per-order basis. Here, you work with a supplier. They help you customize these products with your own designs. This means after creating the product, you can put it up for sale in minutes. After you get an order, your supplier will be handling the process of printing to shipping.


The “Unconventional” Approach:

Have a look at this t-shirt.

Female Iron Man

A unique, and appealing piece.

With Print on demand business model, you get the luxury to set a theme to your products aligned with your concept. This way your products can stand out from others.

Using the same approach, you can now take personalization a step further by allowing your customers to design their own products. For this, you will need a t-shirt designer tool integrated with your eCommerce store.

It’s a concept where customers design those iron man t-shirts in their own unique way. They might use their own pictures and create the products they will love, use, and refer to others.

Major reason why this concept would work is the number of ideas you get from customers. You can utilize the imagination power of all your customers and blend it with your merchandise. It will power up your brand even more.

Here is how you can do that:

Step 1: You integrate the tool into your e-store.

Pro Tip: To brand your business, you can simply set a theme for your products. Like keeping one common slogan or a symbol that emphasizes that it’s among your merch.

For example, here I have set the heart symbol by default. It will be the theme of my merch.

print on demand example

  • Step 2: After integrating the product designer tool, you can enable the button “design it” on the product page. By clicking it customers can add their choice of Iron Man quotes, images, etc. onto the product to make their own versions.
    Step 3: Then you receive and process orders. And send them to your vendors and suppliers.
    Step 4: Suppliers print, and ship those orders to your customers.

    Benefits of Selling Personalized Print on Demand Products:

    Increased Sales (Literally):

    A study by Deloitte says that on average, 36% of consumers would consider buying customized products. Additionally, one out of every five customers is willing to pay 20% more for a personalized product. Additionally, according to The Motley Fool, customized products can sell for as much as 50% more than those sold in physical stores.

    Thus, if you plan everything while keeping your customers in mind, it will yield the results you want.

    Tap in the Power of Digital Age:

    A study by Invest Consulting says that 59% of buyers look for the personalized products they want online. And since everything is going online nowadays, you will get a competitive advantage to accelerate your product sales.

    Stand out from the Crowd:

    Letting customers create the products, gives them the feeling of exclusivity that nobody else has the same one. This way you would be offering products that your customers would remember.

    Low Costs:

    Let’s count. Your major investment would include your e-store + product designer tool set up. Other than that, you won’t have to make investments on the large product inventory since your business will be working on the drop-shipping model.

    What’s Your Take Away?

    Take a long breath… It might not be an exciting task of just finding, creating, uploading products on your e-store and waiting for sales. It is your business. Always remember that your products should solve the need of your customers. Take some time, get inspired, and add your uniqueness to offer something extraordinary that your customers would love.

All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

Chandni Pandya

Chandni Pandya

With a certification in content marketing and vast experience of digital marketing, Chandni Pandya currently holds the position of Deputy Content Editor at PrintXpand. She loves writing printing-related blogs and keeps reading about the printing industry from various sources. A firm believer of equality and a lover of poetry, she encourages everyone to lead a healthy lifestyle. Offer her green smoothies and not coffee. Smoothies are her love!

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