Designing is hard. From coming up with an idea to choosing the right tool from the countless options on the market, the process can often be time-consuming, overwhelming, and tiring.
That’s where Printful’s Design Maker can help. From a humble mockup generator with limited features, it’s developed into an advanced design tool that lets you create stunning designs and download eye-catching mockups in just a few easy steps.
Want to learn more? Then sit back and let us show you how to make the most out of the design features it has (with free and downloadable typography graphics at the end). Open the Design Maker, choose a product, and let’s get started!
If text-based designs are your thing, then the built-in text design tool is the right option for you. With it, you can transform words into meaningful messages and gorgeous designs in the blink of an eye.
Just click Add text in the Design tab and type in your text.
Here’s what you can do with the text design tool for different types of Printful products.
For DTG products:
For embroidery products:
As a bonus, embroidery text designs made in our Design Maker have a reduced digitization fee—only $3.95 per file (for most designs, it’s $6.50 per file). Digitization is a one-time fee for every new embroidery design, and you can read more about it here.
For engraved products:
We’ve selected our fonts to ensure high-quality results for all fulfillment techniques. But if you have your own font, you’re free to use it too. Create your design in any image editor, upload it as a file, tweak it to your liking, and you’ll be all set!
The Design Maker has a clipart selection of over 50 collections and nearly 3000 individual designs you can use for free. From minimalistic designs and timeless classics to bright and bold design elements for special occasions, you’ll find the right clipart to fit your taste. Search by keywords or browse the collections to create fun and unique designs, all within our Design Maker.
In the Design Maker’s Design tab, hit Add clipart to check out different symbols, illustrations, and emojis created by our in-house designers.
Choose line drawings for minimalist designs or add text designs to create original gifts. Spark your creativity by experimenting with color combos and different styles!
If you want to combine clipart with meaningful messages, our Quick Designs sound like the right fit for you. They’re pre-made compositions of text and clipart. Place them on your product and be all set in no time or adjust colors and wording to fit your taste to a tee.
To access Quick Designs, go to our Design Maker, click Quick Designs in the Design tab, and search for the perfect design either by browsing available categories or typing in a keyword.
If designing from scratch isn’t your thing, you’re in luck! Printful integrates with one of the largest stock photography libraries—Getty Images. For you it means that the Design Maker has more than 80M photos and illustrations in countless searchable categories. So no matter your niche, you’ll find beautiful designs for your store.
The Getty Images library is available in the Design Maker. Under the Design tab, choose Premium Images, and there you can then search for any image. Play around with the images, create stunning designs, and then add the products to your store in just a few clicks!
For using a photo from Getty Images, you’ll need to pay only $1 per placement when you order or get a sale. If you want to skip the cost, subscribe to Printful Pro. With the plan, you can use Getty Images at no extra cost.
Printful’s in-house designers have created fantastic sample designs you can use on your products for free. If you’re not too comfortable with the designing process yourself, it’s another great option to try out.
To use a sample design, hit Choose file in the Design Maker, then go To sample files, and choose a design you like.
Some of the samples make great design backgrounds for all-over print products and many others, some can be used to add a splash of color to your design. And all of them can be combined in exciting and unexpected ways.
Maybe you’ve created a design, but it’s not exactly what you were going for? Try adjusting the size, position, and angle of the design on the product. You can make adjustments to uploaded files and design elements you’ve chosen from the Design Maker.
There are three ways you can make adjustments:
You can also change the size of your design manually by altering the width and height of it under the Layers section (see the photo above).
To get a closer look at the print area and get the design placement just right, use the Design Maker’s zoom tool. It works for all Printful products except all-over print items.
Click Zoom in at the top right corner of the Design Maker. Adjust your design, and press “Zoom out” to see the entire product again.
If several design elements have struck your fancy, don’t worry because the Design Maker lets you combine elements to create complex designs with several layers.
You can upload your own files and use Printful’s sample designs, clipart, and text. Mix and match these elements to create original designs that will stand out!
Experiment with the order of your design layers. Select and drag layers to rearrange them, and find the order that complements your design the most.
Spice up the background of your design with a splash of color and graphics for certain product categories. With the Design Maker, you can customize the background on mugs, phone cases, wall art, and all-over products (like leggings). We offer classic hues as well as some trendy options like tie-dye and dazzling graphics that are guaranteed to print well.
Background colors and graphics will help you save time you’d otherwise spend using image editing software. Choose a color or a graphic in the Design Maker, add design elements, and you’re good to go!
If it’s the other way around for you—you have a design with a busy background and want to tone it down a bit—we can also help. Our Background Removal Tool is a game-changer if you want to get sleek and polished designs that will pop on your chosen products. The feature is available exclusively as a part of Printful Pro subscription plan, and you can read more about it here.
The pattern tool is a life-saver when you’re creating all-over print product designs.
It’s free, easy to use, and it offers endless possibilities for original all-over designs. Pick a product and start designing!
Here’s what you need to do:
You can also:
When you’re finished, go to the Mockup view in the top right corner of the Design Maker to check how the printed product will look. Beautiful, right?
The duplication tool is a game-changer for creating designs with similar elements. Unlike the pattern tool, it places each duplicated item in a new layer, so you can also play around with the size, color, and alignment of each layer individually.
Here’s what you need to do:
This tool comes in handy when transferring designs between print areas. You can choose which areas you want your design printed on for all-over print products or copy it on both sleeves or legs for all long-sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, and joggers. It’s as simple as that!
After that, you can adjust each placement as needed by adding more design elements, text, and a background color to take your design to the next level.
With Printful’s Mockup Generator that’s a part of the Design Maker, creating mockups is as easy as ever. Instead of staging a real-life photoshoot, you can easily get the same result by previewing and downloading the mockups to use on your store. And the best part—the mockups show what your designs will look like in real life even with the tiniest details.
This time I’ll show you how to generate mockups for an embroidered hat, but the process is very similar for other products too. To start designing, follow these steps:
We have over 1400 mockups with different layouts and themes for you to choose from. Having as diverse mockups as possible is also what we’re working on. We’ve already introduced a great deal of new diverse mockup options, and more are still yet to come.
Want to take your mockups to the next level? Then our Custom Mockup Maker is exactly what you’re looking for. With it, you’ll be able to fully customize your mockups with 300+ built-in backgrounds and layouts, 100+ versatile design elements, as well as your logo and branding.
The Custom Mockup Maker is available exclusively as part of our Printful Pro subscription plan. Try the Custom Mockup Maker out for 14 days at no extra charge and create one-of-a-kind mockup images for your products. Click here to get started.
Design options that you can create with our Design Maker are endless. Check what awesome and unique designs our customers have created by using only this tool.
Kristy Messler-Hunt, HEART and SOULace:
“I created this design solely using Printful’s Design Maker tool. I love working with Printful because of its user-friendly interface. It’s easy to add products directly to my Etsy shop.”
Ciprian Petre, Tee Gift:
“A little creativity might lead to some unexpected results. This design was made only with Printful’s Design Maker—very easy to use and provides realistic mockups so you’ll know how your product will turn out.”
Kathy Kayhour, Crimson+Clover:
“The Printful Design Maker is so easy to use. I was able to design a fun, festive holiday look for my shop in minutes.”
Now that you know all our Design Maker insider info, you can get your creativity flowing, play around, and create your next bestseller. Refer back to the tools and features we’ve covered and get to designing!
For more inspiration, make sure to watch our step-by-step video tutorial on how to design in our Design Maker.
And in case you’re looking for free, ready-to-use designs, make sure to download some awesome typography graphics below.
This article was originally published in November 2017; it has since been updated.
Daniela is a Content Marketing Specialist at Printful with a Bachelor’s degree in PR and a MBA. Her experience throughout the years has formed a strong passion for all things communication, social media, and storytelling.