Are you ready to start selling with print on demand? This tutorial will walk you through creating your first design with Inkscape and listing it for sale in Teespring all without any startup cost.
If you aren’t sure what Print on Demand is or if you are ready to start selling with print on demand, visit our Introduction to Print on Demand before completing this tutorial.
Inkscape is a free design software that is similar to Adobe’s Illustrator, but it is absolutely free to use and is available for Linux, Windows, or Mac!
Size the document for T-Shirt Design
You need to make sure you correctly set the size and resolution for your design. The Amazon Merch platform requires that your shirt be 4500 x 5400 px and for print you want to aim for 300 DPI/PPI. Therefore, you want to set your document size to 15 x 18 inches to achieve the correct size when exported as a PNG.
To size your Inkscape document, select the File -> Document Properties option from the utility menu. In the properties box, adjust the units to Inches (in) and enter 15 for width and 18 for height.
Find a font for your design.
Just because you find a font online, you can use it in your design right? Not necessarily! You need to make sure that the font is royalty free or that you have purchased the proper license with the creator of the font for commercial use. Otherwise, you might risk penalties, fines, your shop getting shut down, and serious legal consequences.
For this tutorial, we will make a birthday t-shirt gift. I wanted to use the humorous phrase, “I’m not old, I’m vintage”, but a search in uspto.gov shows that this phrase has an active trademark for class 025 (clothing). Instead, let’s use the phrase: “Vintage and Classy”. Another search of uspto.gov shows that there is no registered trademark for this phrase.
For this tutorial, download the BlackChancery font from 1001fonts.com. After downloading the font, unzip the file to your computer. On a Windows computer, double click the BLKCHCRY.TTF file. Then, click the install button on the preview pane.
Once the font is installed, it will automatically show up in the font list in Inkscape (and other programs on your computer).
Create the Design in Inkscape
- Using the Text Button in InkScape, select Black Chancery
- Create a Text Block that says “Vintage”, a Text Block that says “Classy”, and a Text Block with an ampersand (&).
- Set the font size on each block to 180.
- Change the color of the ampersand to 4d4d4d and the opacity to 40%.
- Position the ampersand behind the word vintage.
- Select the circle tool and hold ctrl as you drag a circle around your logo. Select no fill. With the circle selected hold shift and select the color black. Holding shift colors the stroke as opposed to the fill.
- In the stroke style, change the width of the stroke to 3 mm.
- With the circle select, hit ctrl + d on your keyboard to duplicate the circle in place. Hold ctrl with the new circle selected and drag it slightly larger than the first circle. Change the stroke style to 5 mm.
Distress the logo in Inkscape
Giving images a distressed look is simple in Inkscape. Each of the visual items are strokes and not paths so we will need to select each item and click Path -> Stroke to Path in the utility menu.
- Using the Pen tool, scribble over top of the logo.
Select the scribble and the circle at the same time by holding shift and click path -> difference in the utility menu. Experiment with different thicknesses of the pen tool. Try doing this same thing over the text until you are happy with the amount of distress in your logo.
Once you are happy with your logo, export the entire page to a png. If you select file ->Export PNG image from the utility bar, an export box will pop up. Under Export Area, select Page. For DPI, put 300. This should change the Image size to 4500 x 5400. Name your filename in the Export As box and make sure to click the Export button with the green check box to actually export the PNG.
Start selling with Print on Demand
Now that your design is created, you need a place to start selling. Merch by Amazon is a great platform to sell on because there are no listing fees and you have access to a huge community of shoppers. However, Merch usually has a waiting period before your account is approved so while you are waiting for your account approval, try listing your designs on an additional platform like Teespring.
Signing up for an account on Teespring takes only a few minutes. Once you have an account you can instantly upload your PNG and select different products to place it on. You can design for US and UK and teespring handles payments and product distribution. They show you your profit margin for each product as you are setting your price.
With Teespring you can also design other products such as stickers, mugs, bags, socks, and leggings and once you upload your design, you can easily place it on multiple product types.
I hope you have found the introduction useful. Let us know your questions and experiences in the comments.