We’ve often said that to start an online store with Printful, all you need is a design. We (together with existing ecommerce platforms) take care of the rest.
But what if you can’t even make a design?!
Photoshop and Illustrator are expensive programs, not to mention not everyone is blessed with an eye for design or with time to acquire the necessary skills to make those designs.
With all of the available tools at our fingertips, it’s inexcusable to write yourself off as a potential apparel store owner just because of the itsy-bitsy fact that you might not have design resources available. In this blog post, we’ll outline a few ways how you can find a t-shirt graphic designer to create designs for you.
Here’s a list of resources that you can use to find and hire a talented designer who has the skills to turn your vision into a tangible product.
1. Chat with the graphic designers on Printful’s Design Services team
The help you’re looking for may not take very long to find – the talented and professional in-house graphic designers at Printful will be happy to help you overcome your design-related obstacles.
They can create and adjust print files not only for Printful, but other print platforms as well. On top of that, the team can redesign your logo, design a completely new graphic based on your ideas, or create a unique piece of art that can be digitized and made a part of your design.
The Printful designers already know how to create designs that match Printful’s print guidelines. If you work with a freelancer, make sure you share our print file guidelines with them to avoid print problems later.
2. Crowdsource your t-shirt design ideas with 99designs
If you have a t-shirt design idea but can’t create it yourself, then consider 99designs. You describe the idea you’re going for and set the amount that you’re willing to pay for that particular job.
Designers will then submit their versions of the design, and in the end, you’ll be able to choose your favorite from the pool of designs. Keep in mind, the amount of designs and quality of designs depends on the amount of money you offer for that particular assignment.
The 99designs’ Find a Designer tool makes it super easy to search for a designer that meets your aesthetic taste and design needs.
3. Find your dream t-shirt graphic designer on Dribbble
This is the platform of choice for established designers. You can browse through their portfolios and get to know their personal style. If there’s anything that particularly interests you, then you can get in touch with the designer and ask them if they’d be willing to work with you.
Designers who are for hire will have a “Hire me” button on their profile, like this one:
4. Find a freelance designer through freelance sites
There are a bunch of tools that facilitate the process of finding, hiring, and paying for freelancers. These platforms also include reviews from other users, so that you have a better idea of the person you’re about to work with. Some of the most popular ones include:
5. Find a quick, cheap t-shirt design through Fiverr
This is less of a “freelancer” site than it is a site for anyone who wants to offer their skills for $5. This is an entry-level space, and the basics are offered with an option to upgrade your purchase.
This might be better for simpler designs that you need a hand executing.
6. Offer to sell existing designs
There are a bunch of great designs out there that aren’t being sold. If you’ve spotted a design online that you think would be great on a t-shirt or a poster, why not reach out to that designer? Offer to put it up on your store, and share the revenue.
That’s what Startup Vitamins did with one of their most eye-catching posters, “This is a bullshit free zone”. Originally designed by the London-based creative agency Sell!Sell!, they agreed to share the design for a portion of the profit from sales.
Another option could be purchasing extended license editable design bundles. Check out Thefancydeal, they offer some awesome designs! Or head over to Envato Elements, where for $29/month, you get access to 500,000 amazing illustrations, fonts, mockups, and more. (Disclaimer: these are affiliate links).
7. Find a t-shirt graphic designer in real life
Last but certainly not least. In fact, you might want to try this one first. It’s so easy to not convey your message online, that you would be much more able to explain face to face, having a conversation with the designer.
There are a few places you can go to look for a designer. One great opportunity is using the Meetups option. Go to Meetup.com and enter “design”. It’ll give you the closest design-related events. Bam! You’ve got a room full of designers!
BONUS: Make use of your store’s logo
Your t-shirt design can also be your store logo. In fact, that’s what a lot of retail giants do. Brands like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste have an entire collection of shirts with their brand logo.
There are a bunch of tools available that can help create a logo at an affordable price. One of them is Logaster logo maker.
Logaster makes creating a logo easy. Type in your company name, choose from 22 different categories and then preview hundreds of free logo templates. Logaster can eventually generate one that suits your needs. You can customize the logos and download them for free. Later, you can download a high-resolution version of your logo for $9.99.
Create your own custom t-shirt design
After reading this, you’re now aware that there are plenty of easy, affordable ways to find a designer for your t-shirt designs.
But if you still want to bootstrap, then take advantage of our mockup generator to easily create custom t-shirt designs yourself. We have a built-in text tool, as well as smileys, shapes, and line drawings.
This is great for simple, or text-based designs. Add your design goes directly on the product, so you don’t have to use any additional software.
So that’s that! We can no longer say “all you need is a design” to start your store. With all the design resources available, now the right phrase will be “all you need is an idea.” And you’ve got ideas, haven’t you?
Download our ebook below for more advice on how to turn your idea into a business!