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finding a designer

7 ways to find a designer to create your t-shirt designs

By Julia Gifford on April 30th, 2015 - Reading time: 3 minutes

We’ve often said that to start a 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, of time to acquire the skills necessary to make those designs. Besides, ain’t no one got time for that!

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 those design resources available. Here’s we’ll outline a few ways to go about getting a design ready when you have zero design skills, be that creating your own, or finding a designer to hire to make your t-shirt.

Here’s a list of resources that you can take advantage to get your hands on a talented individual who has the skills (and programs!) necessary to turn your vision into a tangible print file that you can use on Printful to make your own store.

1. Have a chat with the Printful Design Services team

The help you’re looking for may not take very long to find – the talented and professional designers at Printful Design Services will be happy to help you overcome your design-related obstacles.

designservices-allThey 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.

Be sure to visit the Design Services gallery to check out some of the wonderful work they’ve already done, including a few impressive before-and-afters.

2. Crowdsource with 99designs

If you’re looking for a winning design among many, then you can consider 99designs. The idea is that 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.

You choose your favorite design from all of the applications

You choose your favorite design from all of the applications

3. Find your dream 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 the “Hire me” button on their profile, like this one:

Dribbble - hire me

4. Find a freelancer online 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 include:

OdeskFreelancer.com and Elance.

An excerpt of the Freelancer.com hiring process

An excerpt of the Freelancer.com hiring process

5. Find a quick, cheap option through Fiverr

This differs from the typical freelance sites in the sense that there’s less of a “freelancer” site than it is a site for anyone 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 simply need a hand a executing.

T-shirt designs for a fiver

T-shirt designs for a fiver

6. Offer existing designs to be sold

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.

Bullshit free zone

7. Find a 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 opportunities is using the Meetups option. Go to Meetup.com and and enter “design”. It’ll give you the closest design-related events. Bam! You’ve got a room full of designers!

 No more excuses

We can no longer say “all you need is a design” to start your store. Now the right term will be “all you need is an idea”. And you’ve got ideas, haven’t you?

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  1. Herbert Moore

    Entrepreneurs should work with a graphic designer because generic images won’t influence many sales. When picking designs, always consider the market. If something is trendy, it may make a great t-shirt design.

  2. TAMARA

    I HAVE A PICTURE(S) I WOULD LOVE TO TURN INTO T-SHIRTS, PLUS…JUST DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GET STARTED WITH THE PRINTING OF THEM. CAN YOU/THE PRINTFUL HELP ME WITH THIS?

  3. David Singletary

    Truly amazing post… You can also opt for web to print solution for print commerce personalized product. These software are so flexible that any one can edit or add the design and make them personalized with their own messages.

  4. John Mahoney

    I agree that making sure you find a good designer in real life can help you get the most out of custom t-shirts. I can see that understanding how this industry works can help you get the best design and get the best service possible. I would want to make sure I hire reputable people to help me with the process and make sure my money is well invested.

  5. Julian

    Hi Julia,

    Great name! ;-). Great article! We have tried freelancer and its hard to get good designs from freelancer sites because the designer does not have the time to learn more about the brands identity & look. Most likely they wont have a clothing line that works together. You need to have your entire line be cohesive and in sync.

    Thanks,
    Julian

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