No matter which print on demand platform you are using, if you’re just starting out in the print on demand industry you are probably wondering where to make designs for RedBubble, Zazzle, Society6, or any other print on demand platform. And which design programs can you use for free?
Each program on this list is great for beginners starting out in the print on demand industry. And I use a bunch of these programs to this day. Read on for a more in-depth look at each of these design programs.
Where to Make Designs for RedBubble, Zazzle, and Society6
I have used Photopea, Canva, Inkscape, Gimp, Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash quite a bit in the past, and still use all of them to this day. Some more than others. I’ve played around in PicMonkey, and I haven’t used iPiccy, BeFunky, or FotoJet. However, I did research on each one, and I’ll tell you what you need to know about each one below.
Photopea is a web-based photo editing software. It’s completely free to use and you don’t have to download a new program on your device.
Photopea is ideal for a desktop browser, it works on mobile. But I can’t imagine trying to use it on mobile for anything intricate.
Photopea is a photo editing software, much like Adobe Photoshop. It’s nowhere near as complex, but you don’t get what you don’t pay for. And Photopea’s $0 price tag is a bargain for what it is capable of.
It was one of the first design programs I used when I started doing print on demand. And one of the designs I created on Photopea has sold more than 10,000 units. So clearly Photopea has a lot to offer as a free program.
Canva is a simple online graphic editing and design software. It’s great for people of all skill levels. It’s easy to learn and the free version is all you need to start.
Once you’re making money, it is worth paying for the subscription if you are using it. It’s $119.40 for a year upfront which works out to $9.95/month) or it’s $12.95 a month.
I use Canva daily. From creating pins and images for this blog to assembling my print on demand and Etsy printable designs. Canva is almost always an open tab on my desktop.
Canva has a mobile app. I only use it to download an image that I created in Canva on the desktop onto my phone. Honestly, the app is alright, but it is way easier on the desktop.
You do need to be very careful with the licensing as there has been a lot of buzz around what the restrictions are when it comes to selling print on demand products. And even after reaching out to customer service, it is still unclear. Here are their terms of service if you would like to take a closer look.
Inkscape is an open-source software that you need to download and install onto your computer. It’s a vector graphics edition software similar to Adobe Illustrator. But it’s free and not quite as powerful.
Inkscape is still a very powerful program, I use it regularly. And even with a paid program like Adobe Illustrator, I still use and sometimes prefer Inkscape for specific things.
You can find tutorials for Inkscape on the Inkscape website and on YouTube.
One really cool thing you can do with Inkscape, is load different brushes into the program to create unique designs and patterns. You can find brushed on DeviantArt. Be sure to pay attention to commercial licenses!
Gimp is another open-source software that needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. It’s a photo editing software similar to Adobe Photoshop and the above mentioned Photopea. Gimp is 100% free.
Whether you’re looking to edit photos, draw or paint your own images, or create a pattern, Gimp can get it done. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube as well.
Just like Inkscape, you can download brushes to use in gimp, from different types of watercolor brushes to leaves and branches to fill a scene.
Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash
Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash aren’t places to create a design. However, they are a place to start the design process.
They are free stock photo sites that offer free commercial licenses. You will need to alter images if you choose to use them on any print on demand products. Be sure that you read the regulations for each site as they vary slightly.
You can use these sites to get a base design, for individual elements to go into a design, or just for inspirations and ideas.
Each site is a little bit different and has different products to offer.
Pixabay has images, illustrations, and vector graphics to choose from, and it’s very easy to toggle between the three. It has a good mix of photography and graphic art to chose from.
Pixabay also offers videos.
Pexels is more photography focus than Pixabay. It has a massive selection of images to choose from. Pexels has a wide selection of photos with people, food, and plant photography.
Pexels also offers videos.
Unsplash is also photography focused. Unsplash has a lot of landscape, architecture, and nature photography images for download.
PicMonkey is an online editing and design software that I have used in the past. It is very similar to Canva with its simple drag and drop design features.
PicMonkey can be used to touch up and edit photos, create and assemble basic graphic art, and to design your own patterns.
They have a 7-day free trial, and costs $72-$155 a year depending on which option you choose.
IPiccy, FotoJet, BeFunky
While I haven’t used the IPiccy, FotoJet, or BeFunky programs, I know that lots of people do and these programs may be worth your time.
Here is the information that I have gathered on each program.
IPiccy is another photo editing software. It is completely free and Starla Moore, a successful Etsy shop owner uses it to edit all of her product images for her shop. (Check out her YouTube channel if you have an Etsy shop.)
FotoJet is another basic graphic editing software like Canva and Picmonkey. They offer a 7-day free trial and then it’s $39.99 for one year upfront or $6.99/month totaling $84.88/year.
BeFunky is a free photo editor much like Photopea and IPiccy. It is free with a pro upgrade available. The BeFunky Plus subscription is $59.88 for one year upfront or $6.99/month totaling $84.88 for the year.
Now that you know where to make designs for RedBubble, Zazzle, Society6, and all the other print on demand platforms, it’s time to get to it and start creating awesome designs!
Want more information about starting a profitable print on demand business? Check out Lyfepyle’s library of print on demand guide, tips, and tutorials here.
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