Print On Demand for Artists

Print on demand sites have grown in popularity over the last few years. Such sites offer artists an easy way to sell their art worldwide, without having to stress about fulfilment and shipping. There are now sites all over the world offering to print up art on a wide range of products. The differences in product range, file formats and most importantly profit margin can make starting out in print on demand confusing. I hope to demystify some of these sites for you and help you decide which one is best for your art.

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Redbubble Profile Page. You have control as an artist over how this looks.

 

Redbubble

Founded in Australia, with offices in San Francisco, Redbubble ships worldwide. They also have printers worldwide, which can be very useful for customers looking for low shipping fees. A page on the site says you can even claim back any customs or extra charges, which is a nice touch.

Uploading

The uploader on Redbubble is one of the best I’ve ever used. You can upload individual design variations to fit specific products. There’s also a great pattern maker, scaling tool and background colour selector on Redbubble’s uploader. This makes uploading designs for sale, quick and easy. File formats accepted are the usual JPEG & PNG.

Artist Profit Margin & Profile Page

You can choose your own profit margins on Redbubble. You can apply one base percentage across all your products, per product or even per artwork. Redbubble also shows what the average profit margin set by other artists is so that you can match this. There are not many sites which allow you to decide your own profit margin at all, let alone across everything.

The profile pages on Redbubble are customisable. You can arrange your work in collections and choose how these are displayed. I’ve never had a problem looking for my artwork under tags that I’ve created, even when logged out. My profile page is also easy to find and share with potential customers.

print on demand, art uploaders, uploading, selling art, profit margin, PayPal, payments, shipping, shopping, buy, art, clothing, homewares, tech cases, stickers, threadless, redbubble, art wow, art rookie,
Redbubble store page. You don’t have any control over how this looks. Works are chosen by sales or popularity to show here.

Product Range

Redbubble has a wide range of products from the usual T-Shirts and Phone Covers through to A-Line Dresses and Home Decor. In fact, there’s so much choice on Redbubble, it’s easier to show the full product range as a graphic.

print on demand, art uploaders, uploading, selling art, profit margin, PayPal, payments, shipping, shopping, buy, art, clothing, homewares, tech cases, stickers, threadless, redbubble, art wow, art rookie,
Redbubble Product Range.

Ease of Contact

I’ve heard from artists and customers alike that Redbubble has an excellent support system in place on the site. Personally, I’ve not had to use this aspect of the site as I’ve never had any issues with uploads or payment.

Other Information

Payment from Redbubble can be done in two ways; by direct bank transfer (for UK, USA or Australian based banks only) or by PayPal. Payments are made once a month, around the 15th and are one month in lieu.

Be careful what you upload here. From personal experience, I have had works taken down, which were fanart. A takedown order goes against your reputation at Redbubble. They can suspend or even close your account if they have to take down what they consider to be too many works.

Art Wow

Art Wow (previously Art Rookie) is a UK based print on demand company. This site was created by artists for artists, who are looking for high-quality prints of their work. Printing and distribution are all done from their London headquarters.

Uploading

Uploading is a touch annoying here, but their uploader seems to now be stable. My main grumble with the uploader is that you have to upload your image to each product separately for each product that you want to sell. Most sites allow the artist to upload one main image and apply to all products. There’s also no scaling nor pattern tools on this uploader. This means you have to accommodate for scaling and such before you upload. Fortunately, this page here shows you what image size is needed for every product printed by Art Wow.

print on demand, art uploaders, uploading, selling art, profit margin, PayPal, payments, shipping, shopping, buy, art, clothing, homewares, tech cases, stickers, threadless, redbubble, art wow, art rookie,
To get this screenshot I had to search for art prints, then for my artist name. This seems to be the best way to share links for Art Wow.

Artist Profit Margin & Profile Page

You get a 20% profit margin across all sales of products apart from art prints (only photographic & framed prints). On photographic and framed prints, the artist can set their own markup. It should be noted that Art Wow charge artists an admin fee for sales made on the site. Since I have personally never sold anything here, I can’t say if this same admin fee is applied to all profit margins, or only for those on art prints.

Profile pages are non-existent on this site, which is a shame. There are a few ways to link to your work so that you can share on social media. In my opinion, these options are not as clean, nor efficient as having artist profile pages.

Product Range

A few unique products are printed up at Art Wow that I’ve not seen anywhere else. Home-wares is where Art Wow excels.

print on demand, art uploaders, uploading, selling art, profit margin, PayPal, payments, shipping, shopping, buy, art, clothing, homewares, tech cases, stickers, threadless, redbubble, art wow, art rookie,
Art Wow Product Range

Ease of Contact

This company are very responsive to emails and on social media. They have a few email addresses and their social media profiles clearly displayed on the site.

Other Information

Payments are by PayPal only. I have to assume a month in lieu, as per most art on demand. There is no clear information about this on the site.

No works which are deemed intellectual property of others are allowed on this site. It’s a one strike and you’re out policy. So if in doubt about your fanart, perhaps best to contact Art Wow first before uploading.

All artwork uploaded to the site has to be approved before it goes on sale. It’s only after the work has been accepted, can the artist then add any tags to help customers find their work.

Threadless

Threadless is a US-based print on demand company which ships worldwide. The headquarters for Threadless is based in Chicago, which is where they print and ship from.

Uploading

The usual formats of JPEG & PNG are accepted for file uploads here. Whilst the uploader is by no means the worst I’ve seen, it could still do with improving. I must have been able to only upload 2 works there so far without asking for help, and I’m used to how these things work.

The main issues lie with the fact the uploader is glitchy. Sometimes it will spit out your carefully prepared file for no reason, other times it will upload but take an eternity to do so. Despite the fact the uploader says it’s most happy with PNG for the initial upload, I’ve found JPEG seems to work better.

There are background colour picker and scaling tools on this site. However, I’ve found there are a few products that just do not like you using the scaler (rugs & towels spring to mind here). For these items, you will have to prepare a specific file with the correct dimensions.

print on demand, art uploaders, uploading, selling art, profit margin, PayPal, payments, shipping, shopping, buy, art, clothing, homewares, tech cases, stickers, threadless, redbubble, art wow, art rookie,
Each artist gets their own storefront. You have control over how this looks.

Artist Profit Margin & Profile Page

Threadless is one of the few places that allows the artists to completely control their own profit margins. No selling a T-Shirt and only making $2.50 profit here, unless that’s how you like to play it.

The artist profile pages here are customisable. Here you get a storefront, all with just your work on it. These pages make for easy sharing on social media.

Product Range

Threadless started out as a T-Shirt printers, so it comes as no surprise here that they still print an impressive selection of clothing. There are competitions which run regularly which allow your designs to be printed up on even more unique products such as baseball caps & backpacks.

print on demand, art uploaders, uploading, selling art, profit margin, PayPal, payments, shipping, shopping, buy, art, clothing, homewares, tech cases, stickers, threadless, redbubble, art wow, art rookie,
Threadless Product Range

Ease of Contact

I’ve had to contact Threadless on a few occasions and have found the chat box on the site the quickest way to get help. The staff are polite and quick to respond. On the odd occasion that I’ve had to contact them by email, the experience is the same.

Other Information

I’m very new on this site and am still trying to get everything set up here, but there seems to be a thriving community with a lot of design completions. Both of which I am looking forward to taking part in. These competitions seem to be the key to getting sales on Threadless and driving interest in your designs.

Payments are again, by PayPal only and 30 days in lieu to account for any customer returns.

Up Next

In my next article about print on demand, I will be looking at another three, free to use sites; Design by Hümans, Woven Monkey & Society6. Demystifying the best and worst of these sites and hopefully helping you decide, which is best for you.

lozmachttp://lozmac.redbubble.com
Artist, podcaster, sound production geek and general all round, self-professed nerd. Passionate about film, horror, art, books & music. You can find my art on Redbubble, Design by Humans, Teepublic, Fine Art America, Society6 & Art Wow.

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