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Print On Demand

Print-On-Demand platforms – selection criteria

Hello! Today we will look at the selection criteria for Print-On-Demand platforms.

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Well, as it turned out, not all of the reviews about the platforms we were thinking about were positive and quite a few artists are unhappy with the quality of the artwork. We resolved this issue for ourselves by ordering a few testers from various platforms and going with the ones we liked best.

Our criteria were:

Quality of the products themselves

We want to make our art available to a wide audience and hope that many people would get to enjoy having our prints in their lives. We strive to make them lively and colourful. The idea is that a bit of colour goes a long way in making people happy. At the same time, an item should be pleasant to handle, wear or look at every way.

Printing quality

Here we were looking for a nice colour in the printing quality. We did not mind the variation in the colour compared to the original design, but the colours needed to be well defined and pleasant to view. This is a very subjective criterion and every artist would feel differently about the quality of the prints. We felt, that the platforms we selected produced a good quality printing with vibrant colours, which appear to weather well on the different products when in use.

Delivery times to Europe and the USA

Here we were facing an issue that our home-based clients would want to receive something within a reasonable time frame. Being based in Ireland we were also hoping to get the products printed and shipped from the EU location to avoid having to think about the US tax implications (We will think about it later, but one can hope to keep it simple to start with!).

We felt that a delivery time within 2 weeks or ordering was acceptable. We will have to test this time-frame further over time and might need to adjust which platforms we work with on this basis.

Ease of dealing with customer services

This was important for us from two points of view. First, we are the clients of the platforms ourselves and want to be able to have access to the people who are buying our art. We would like any issues resolved as quickly as possible and we feel it is important for us to speak to a real person on the other hand of the phone.

We assumed the same would be at least of some importance to our customers and went with the services that had the best customer support that were patient and helpful and reliable in their communications.

Range of available products for sale

We have decided out right that our designs would not be a good fit for a straight out t-shirt printing platform, which are fantastic and quite a few of them have brilliant marketing programmes and a strong following. We did not feel our art would work well on t-shirts, which limited to a degree the choice of the platforms we had, but at the same time it added another dimension in a way that we could make furniture (https://society6.com/furniture), produce amazing art prints (https://bit.ly/2UUUvEH) , and design clothes with all over subliminal prints (https://rdbl.co/2QBXpiP).

Ease of uploading the designs onto the platform

This was a deal breaker for us, because while it saves time to have all of the benefits of a print-on-demand platform (which I was talking about here), it is still frustrating when the process for uploading the designs is not streamlined and takes hours for each piece of artwork to be fully customised for the individual products on the platform.

We found we could sacrifice a degree of convenience for the more popular platform with amazing products, but eventually we had to walk away from a few of such platforms because it just took too long to turn a picture into a product. Now that is not to say that those platforms were necessarily at fault and that is why we are not naming and shaming them here.

Ireland is well known for its “rural internet access” issues, so we are happy to put our issues with loading massive high resolution photographs onto the print on demand platforms down to lack of speed and consistency in our internet access.

Having reviewed quite a few platforms, which are covered in a separate post here, we eventually decided to go with the following four platforms:

  1. Society6
  2. RedBubble
  3. Zazzle and
  4. Threadless

Hope you found this information useful and till next time!

SoapsAndRoses.ART

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