With a global market size estimated to cross $16.25 billion by the year 2028, there’s no doubt that the custom t-shirt printing industry is here to stay. And if you already own a print on demand business, or are thinking of starting one, establishing your footing in the market as early as now can give you a huge advantage.
But with the tons of other POD brands all clamoring for attention, how do you make sure that your shirts and other POD products stand out?
The answer is simple: by having amazing designs.
After all, it’s the designs that customers will see first and decide whether or not to make a purchase. However, amazing designs don’t just happen. They’re the result of skill, talent, experience, and the ability to translate customer needs into visually-appealing concepts.
In other words, you need to find and work with the best designers out there. And in this article, we’ll show you exactly how to do that with our five surefire methods.
Why Hire a T-shirt Designer for Your POD Business?
Alright, we get it. It’s your brand, your business, and you want to do everything yourself to keep costs down and have more control over the final product.
But here’s the thing: as your POD business grows, there will come a time when you can’t possibly do everything on your own anymore and you’ll have to start delegating tasks.
Furthermore, having someone from the outside come in and work on your designs can actually introduce a fresh perspective that you might not have considered before.Nonetheless, if you’re still on the fence about hiring a t-shirt designer, here are some of the benefits that you can expect:
They Can Create on Demand
Woah there’s a new trend and your target audience seems to be loving it! You quickly hop on your computer and start looking for design inspiration but come up empty-handed.
What do you do?
If you have a t-shirt designer on hand, you simply send over your design brief and they’ll be able to create on-demand designs that are in line with the latest trends.
Let’s face it, coming up with new designs can be tough, and it’s not something that you can do on a whim. But with an experienced designer, you can quickly get the ball rolling and have new designs ready in no time.
They Help You Save Time
When it comes to t-shirt design specifically, there are a lot of elements to take into account such as colors, fonts, images, and more. Trying to juggle all of that while also growing your business can be overwhelming, to say the least. And of course, you wouldn’t want to compromise on the quality of your designs either.
This is where having a t-shirt designer can be such a lifesaver. They can take care of the design aspect while you focus on other important aspects of running your business. In other words, they can help you save a ton of time.
It Builds Your Brand Faster
Your t-shirt designs are a huge part of your brand identity. And the better your designs are, the faster you’ll be able to build a strong, recognizable brand.
Keep in mind that first impressions matter, and customers will often base their decision to do business with you on your designs. So if you want to build your brand faster, working with a talented t-shirt designer is definitely the way to go.
5 Foolproof Ways to Find the Right T-shirt Designer for Your Business
Now, on to the fun part: finding the right t-shirt designer for your business.
The truth is, there’s no cookie-cutter method to find the designer who will be the perfect fit for you and your brand. Nonetheless, we’ve listed down five tried-and-tested methods that should help point you in the right direction.
Ask for Referrals
Aah—the word-of-mouth method. It might be the oldest one in the book, but it can still be just as effective today. After all, if someone you know and trust recommends a t-shirt designer, then they must be really good at what they do, right?
So start by asking people in your network if they know of any good designers. Let’s say you have a friend who studied graphic design; they might be able to give you some good leads. You can also ask your fellow business owners if they’ve worked with any great designers in the past. Just make sure to be specific about the quality of work you’re looking for.
Create Listings on Social Media Platforms and Design Communities
Sometimes, the best designers are the ones who are hiding in plain sight. So it never hurts to put out feelers and see what you can find.
A great way to do this is by creating listings on social media groups and forums related to design, as well as t-shirt design communities. For instance, you can post on relevant Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or on forums like Reddit and Quora. Just make sure to include all the important details about your project, as well as your budget.
You may also check out design communities like Dribbble which gives designers from all over the world a platform to showcase their work.
Reach Out to Design Agencies
If you want to ensure that you’re working with a team of professionals, then reaching out to design agencies is a great option.
The great thing about working with an agency is that they have a team of designers who are experts in different fields and who can work on your project until it’s perfect. They can also help with other aspects of your branding, such as your website design, logo, and more.
However, you have to note that working with an agency will likely be more expensive than working with a freelancer or a smaller design studio. So if you’re on a tight budget, this might not be the best option for you.
Find Artists on Freelancing Sites
Apart from Facebook and LinkedIn groups, another great platform to find designers is on freelancing sites. There are a ton of freelancing sites out there that can connect you with designers from all over the world. And the best part is, you can easily filter your search according to your budget and preferences.
Host a Design Competition
If you’ve got a good number of followers on social media, then you can leverage that to help you find the right t-shirt designer.
One way to do this is by hosting a design competition on your social media platforms, and giving your followers a chance to win prizes by submitting their designs. Not only will this help you get a ton of great design submissions, but it will also create a buzz around your brand.
Found Your Prospects? Here’s What to Do Next
So you’ve found a few prospects that you think would be a good fit for your business. Great! The next step is to reach out to them and see if they’re actually available and interested in working with you.
Reach Out and Introduce Yourself
Of course, you should start by introducing yourself and your business. Let them know what you do and what your needs are. It’s also a good idea to mention how you found them and why you think they would be a good fit for your project.
You can do this via email, or even their social media DMs if that’s where you found them. You can also schedule an interview or a meeting to get to know them better and see if there’s a fit.
Get a Feel for Their Work Style and Personality
If you plan to work with them long term, then it’s important that you make sure that you’re on the same page. Thus, apart from gauging their skills, it’s also important to get a feel for their work style and personality.
The best way to do this is by asking for samples of their previous work. You can also ask them about their design process and how they like to work with clients. From there, you should have a good idea of whether or not they’re someone you can work with in the long haul.
Ask for a Trial Period or Discounted Rate
You want to make sure that you’re happy with their work before committing to anything. So a great way to do this is by asking for a trial period or a discounted rate.
This way, you can test out their services and see if they’re actually able to deliver on their promises. If you’re happy with the results, then you can move forward with working with them. Otherwise, you can walk away without losing too much money.
Provide Clear Instructions
Think they’re the perfect fit? Congrats! The next step is to provide clear instructions for your project.
Apart from the details you’ve provided in your job posting and introduction, it’s also a good idea to give them a more detailed brief of what you’re looking for. This should include the overall concept, the target audience, the tone and style of the design, and anything else that you can think of.
The more information they have, the easier it will be for them to transform your vision into a reality and get the hang of your brand’s design style.
Get a Written Agreement
You wouldn’t want to encounter any mishaps or conflicts down the road. So to avoid this, it’s always best to get a written agreement in place before starting any work.
This agreement should include the scope of work, the timeline, the deliverables, the payment terms, and even the copyright ownership. This way, both you and the designer will be on the same page from the get-go, and there will be no confusion or misunderstandings further down the line.
Work With the Right Designer and See Your Business Thrive with Awesome T-shirt Designs!
Looking for the right designer for your brand can be as difficult as finding your soulmate (unless you’re lucky enough to already know them). However, it’s worth putting in the effort to search for someone who’s the perfect fit. After all, a great design can take your POD business to heights you never thought possible.
So don’t settle for anything less and soon enough, you’ll find the one (*winks*).
And once you already have, Awkward Styles is always here to help turn your ideas and their designs into high quality t-shirts your customers will surely love! Just connect your store to our website and we’ll take care of everything else. It’s that easy!