Printing designs on products can be a little daunting, or sometimes a bit of a nightmare! It is however, really rewarding to see your designs in print, in real life, on real products.
Printing Designs on Products – Many Options
Of course you can print designs on a wide range of physical products, for example…
Mugs · cushions · notecards · greeting cards · keyrings · pins · tee shirts · tea towels · wallpaper · notebooks · placemats · coasters … the list could go on.
Print Designs Yourself
You might want the option to print products on your own printer. This could be an option for printing more straight forward physical products, eg: art prints, posters, notecards etc.
However, you’ll have to consider the costs of:
- specialist consumables, eg: printer size, archival inks, specialist papers/card etc.
- any specialist printers – eg: mug printer & essential accessories.
Print on Demand – Drop Shipping
This option is very popular, particularly for those starting or growing a small business. There are many pros and cons to this option, it suits some people and can be lucrative. However, before you dive in, do research this option thoroughly. See note below on quality & quantity.
Bespoke & Custom Printing
This option is the one I’ve used several times now. I’ve had my designs printed on various products, including cushions, greeting cards / note cards and tea towels. Images above show the finished results.
Print Quality – Testing & Pricing
Not all things are equal with regard to either product or print quality, which is where the ‘sometimes a bit of a nightmare’ may come in. Obviously, this will depend on the products you want to print your designs on and your own quality requirements. Plus of course, the supplier you choose to print your designs.
In the case of ‘drop shipping’ – the printed product is (usually) sent to your buyers directly from the printer/supplier, rather than to you. Therefore, you may want to ensure that the product and print quality is consistent.
- It may well take you some research time and financial investment to find the right print options for you, so be prepared.
Along with quality testing – pricing for the product print and the price you can sell each item for (incl. profit margin + other costs) will take a while to establish. Don’t rush, take your time to look into all aspects carefully.
Research: (the internet is your friend…)
- which products you might wish to have printed and/or sell
- suitable office/specialist printer & supplies options (if this is your preference)
- the print suppliers you might wish to use – a few UK based examples:-
- Allow a budget for ‘proof’ print testing the quality of supplied product and supplier printing.
Note: I’m not a lawyer or accountant, so always seek the advice of your professional adviser, where appropriate.
This article is a very brief overview on the subject of printing your own designs on physical products.
If this is something you would like to add to (or start) your small business, then I hope the above basics provide you with a starting point for your research. Wishing you every success on your journey.