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Print On Demand

Why choose Print On Demand (POD)

Hello! My name is Anna and in this post I will talk in more detail about the reasons we felt Print on Demand (POD) platforms are a good fit for independent artists as a distribution channel.

A collection of Print On Demand platforms: Threadless, Zazzle, RedBubble, Society6
The choice is vast

Having previously discussed the process of setting our goals and developing the initial idea into an outline strategy. Today let us concentrate on the choice of delivery method for our art.

The sister website of this blog SoapsAndRoses.ART assists a group of friends in raising funds to support our art. We love creating art and love sharing it with other people. However, it was not obvious for us how to make sure that our art finds its way to the hearts and hands of the right people.

Originally, we were thinking of creating limited edition prints using local printers. We felt that there were several benefits of this approach:

  1. We would be able to participate in each step of the printing process
  2. It would be easy to test the quality of the products
  3. The benefits of buying local and supporting the local economy
  4. Sentimental reasons where we would be able to say that our products are made in Ireland and are therefore original.

Having looked into the process in more detail and saw several challenges which by far outweighed the perceived benefits:

  • There are no local fine art printers around to start with. We live in a wonderfully peaceful part of Ireland where creativity is supported by the very fabric of nature. However, this also means that we are remote from any reasonably large city where we can access printing services
  • As a result of N1 above, the services we have been able to find locally did not produce the quality of the prints we were hoping for
  • The prices per print were so high we felt it was too much to ask of our potential customers.

The issue of the pricing of artwork is an eternal one and one that we can discuss at length in a separate post if not a book. Watch out for the more in-depth discussion of art pricing in the next months’ posts.

When working through the potential printers we came across the print-on-demand services.

Those of you who have not come across Print on Demand services yet, it is worth looking into the concept in a few more details.

The best definition of Print on Demand (POD) we found was on www.syntaxxx.com:

” POD (Print on Demand) is a type of service where you upload your designs, they are (virtually) placed on numerous products users can browse and order. When a user picks a product with your design, it gets printed and you get a commission for your artwork.”

Source: http://syntaxxx.com/6-pod-print-on-demand-sites-for-designers-to-sell-their-work/

We have looked at a few blogs and the concept immediately made sense to us because (and there are loads more good reasons, but those were key to us!):

  1. We did not have to pay up front for a large order of prints in hope that they would sell.
  2. The sales process is completely outsourced, so the printing platform is looking after the production, delivery and return services leaving us to produce art and market it to the people we want to see it
  3. The platforms we decided to go with have had thousands of positive reviews and have large production facilities in the USA and Europe.
  4. Print on demand platforms are providing printing services for more than just wall art (i.e. prints and posters). Depending on the platform, the designs can be put onto a wide variety of merchandise. T-shirts appear to be the most talked about items, but we found our designs were best suited for accessories, furniture and other household items.

So all of the above takes out the stress of making those decisions ourselves and gives us more time to make art, which is what we want to do most. What not to like, one would ask!

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