Do T-Shirt Design Skills Matter? (Print on Demand & Selling T-Shirts Online)

You can start your cool T-shirt design for free using either Canva or Placeit or even Envato Elelements. Alternatively, if you prefer using a stand alone software you can download to your computer without eating up your wallet, then, my favorite is Art Text Design for Mac, though you may still use softwares like WordArt or simply check out Envato Marketplace for some cool and affordable products that may be used for the same purpose. You may also use free print-on-demand websites like Teepublic to sell items with your artwork designs printed on them and make some cool money from that.

Please don’t forget to share this on your social media platforms and bookmark this website for future tutorials! You can also join us on Telegram at

I Come With Peace and Love Pullover Hoodie

Remember Safety – A campaign Safety Officers Slogan T-Shirt

Be Safe Always! – Safety Campaign Slogan Wear T-Shirt

Be Careful Carelessness Can Hurt You – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

Before You Start Be Safety Smart – Safety Slogan Sweatshirt

Before You Start Be Safety Smart – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

Safety First – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

I’m a Safety Champion – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

Follow Proper Work Procedures Sweatshirt

Safety Is My Goal, What’s Yours? – Safety Slogan T-Shirt

No Racism, No Terrorism, No Islamophobia T-Shirt

Kiss me I’m Pretending To Be Holy Sweatshirt

Simenual Bandage Tie Dye Hollow Out Rompers Womens Jumpsuit

Simenual Bandage Tie Dye Hollow Out Rompers Women’s Jumpsuit

Simenual Women's Workout Ribbed Rompers Jumpsuit Active Wear

Simenual Women’s Workout Ribbed Rompers Jumpsuit Active Wear

Laamei Women High Waist Fitness Workout Push Up Leggings

Laamei Women High Waist Fitness Workout Push Up Leggings

Laamei Winter Loose Denim Women Oversized Fur Collar Plus Velvet Padded Jacket

Laamei Winter Loose Denim Women Oversized Fur Collar Plus Velvet Padded Jacket

Women's Casual Large Size Fashion Long sleeve Sexy Turn-Down Collar V-Neck Print Loose Zipper T-Shirt

Women’s Casual Large Size Fashion Long Sleeve Sexy Turn-Down Collar V-Neck Print Loose Zipper T-Shirt

New Fashion Women's Sexy Off-shoulder Long-sleeved Solid Color T-Shirt

New Fashion Women’s Sexy Off-shoulder Long-sleeved Solid Color T-Shirt

You can start your cool T-shirt design for free using either Canva or Placeit or even Envato Elelements. Alternatively, if you prefer using a stand alone software you can download to your computer without eating up your wallet, then, my favorite is Art Text Design for Mac, though you may still use softwares like WordArt or simply check out Envato Marketplace for some cool and affordable products that may be used for the same purpose. You may also use free print-on-demand websites like Teepublic to sell items with your artwork designs printed on them and make some cool money from that.

Please don't forget to share this on your social media platforms and bookmark this website for future tutorials! You can also join us on Telegram at


  1. I love your videos i have questions if i want to use adobe spark post free is the elements and icons commercial use to use in t shirts

  2. Love you Lisa, and as a designer, I certainly would not criticise someone’s work if that work is MAKING THEM SALES! Even if I saw room for improvement. There is always room for non designers in POD, especially if their marketing game is on point.

  3. This video made me subscribe. I’ve been a designer for 15 years, but my marketing is bad. I always thought that people who can literally sell anything to anyone are amazing. It takes skill and know how. I’m now learning how to do that… your video’s are amazing.

  4. Hello Lisa, I’ve just purchased procreate to design my T-shirts. When I make a design for a large canvas in procreate it doesn’t fit the A-line dress or larger items correctly. However when I use Adobe Fresco to make a large canvas design it works fine. Can you tell me anything about Procreate and RedBubble design dimensions? I read online it is because procreate does not use vector images. Or is it something I’m doing wrong. thank you

    1. Right. So I turn my designs into a vector after I import them into Illustrator. Do you have a program you can use to vectorize your images?

      Once you do that, you can scale them up to any size.

  5. look you don’t need to go all out on graphic design just know some basic layout knowledge so it does not look shitty, my best designs are typographic designs but I kept in mind how to utilize space effectively

  6. Great video. I’ve been doing this since January and have made just under $100. I would consider myself a designer as well. I’ve joined a few Facebook groups and quickly learned that people just don’t understand the markets they are trying to reach with their designs. Unfortunately most are people where English is a second language and their text based designs just don’t translate well. Example, someone had a shirt “Feel Fresh Today”. I had to explain that it sounded and looked like a feminien hygiene product and not something you would wear on your body. Now I just need to learn how to succefully turn Instagram “likes” into sales.

    1. That is so true. I was helping one of my students the other day who is from another country, and I was trying to help her with the phrasing because you could tell that the language barrier was an issue.

  7. Amazing video Lisa! I have seen several awful designs do really well just because they were genius with their marketing! Crazy what sells! I had zero design skills when I started selling POD and still have been able to make a great income with it! Thanks for the awesome content you make!

    1. @Lisa Irby thanks so much for your honest feedback, most gurus want that commission so bad they go out of their way to make us believe it is necessary

    2. Almost zero. They gave me a free copy to be an affiliate and I told him I would only promote if I could get it to work for me. I haven’t. I do so much better with manual research.

    1. @I am Sam Gotcha!!! I was having a slow moment. LOLOLOL Now I get where you’re coming from. I thought it was a question for me at first. Ha ha ha

    2. Not sure what you mean. The goal is always so someone can find it. That’s the point of niching down. Wasn’t sure if you were asking a question or just making that point.

    1. @Lisa Irby mostly the creative idea. What niche to explore and so forth. I do have problems with title and keywords for Merch. Because of the format they want you to use, I do better with just tags. I just find Merch so fussy.

    2. When you say marketing, do you mean the creative idea itself or obsessing over keywords/titles. Or maybe even a combo of both?

  8. Design skills and software knowledge is good, but everyday as I improve, I keep discovering the aspect of connecting to buyers through textbased shirts is a whole different P. Also, learning how to sell is the livewire of POD. In this space, I have been safer following you Boss, your insight is outstanding. One said ‘upload to only Tees”, I find out from you sticker sales give that design ranking through time. I seek to improve my art, but after meeting you, I’d rather know how to sell if I were to choose, because Canva, Typorama and word swag can wip out nice textbased art that connect to the buyer instantly, sorry for my long reply😊

  9. My grandfather talked about how in his grandfather’s time people were hired based on experience, not degree as most people in his class couldn’t go to college. Then the college graduates got into management and would only hire college graduates. Degrees help but yeah, experience is helpful with or without a degree.

    1. Yesss! I tweeted about this very thing a few months ago. Even though my degree is in business, I didn’t really learn about business until I started one, and honestly most of what I learned in college didn’t even prepare me for this.

      The EXPERIENCE is what taught me. Education gives you a foundation, but experience is how you truly learn!!

  10. Thank again Lisa for sharing your awesome knowledge. I always find your videos inspiring and extremely helpful.

  11. I have been a Graphic Designer for 30 years. Just started POD in 2020. I am still learning so so much from you and a handful of others on youtube. Nothing wrong with that. Share the wealth!

  12. Software v design skills – very interesting. POD is very competitive and maybe some ppl seem to think it’s a get rich sprint not a marathon. But then there will always be tge lucky ones. Also there will also be professional jealousy but it is an open platform – focus on yo’self! BTW this is a great channel & the stickman ij the thumbnail is so funny ☺️

  13. I have no experience but I’m learning I subscribe to Adobe and have learned so much from you Lisa! Thank You This industry takes time❤️🥰😷

  14. For new guys in merch don’t open a store in teepublic, they will let you design at least 20 for you to show up on search results as per the manager which was a big lie, once you done uploading 20 or over, they will close your store without giving you any valid reason, they got your designs, and you don’t know what they are goin to do with your designs?, if thats you are you just goin to trash it?, imagine how many thousand designers opened up a store on them and was closed, there are buyers around the world, who buys tshirt designs print and sell it to public.

    1. @Lisa Irby once they had enough of your designs, they will close your account and get your design. we dont have a clue what they do after on your designs but i doubt that they are just goin to trash it like that, its like money in the garbage, you know what i mean, would you be ever find it out right away if they sold it somewhere far away from the place where they know you are., if its not rampant closures of artist store i would not think this way. but i have been seeing and reading in every videos about merch or a video topic about teepublic comments that its not only me but lots of artist are complaining.

    2. I’m not sure what happened with them. They’ve really changed things. A lot of people are telling me they are no longer showing their designs in search results. This seems to be what they’re doing with new users. Strange.

  15. Talking of Text designs Lisa – are you also getting designs ‘reviewed’ by the platforms because of certain words you’re using that ‘you’ think are just every-day innocent words?? – Mainly because of the #Woke agenda I assume 🙁

  16. As a major brand designer for over 20 years…I can say for a fact, marketing skills beats design skills 9 times out of 10. Hands down! I know this for a fact. Outstanding video Lisa. Keep getting those sales.

  17. The hardest part is getting people to actually see your designs, I uploaded some designs that haven’t received any views but when I showed someone in person they said wow I love those and asked me what my website was.

    1. @Sensations Of Music OK, yes that’s what I use for RedBubble. I didn’t know which POD you were using it for.

    2. How are you able to see that you aren’t getting views? Most PODs don’t show views unless you use Google Analytics on RedBubble, etc.

  18. Hello question how can anyone or myself become one of your students? You seem to be very knowledgeable n the Amazon Merch T-shirt industry

  19. Than you for so many years of valuable and worthwhile videos, honest content, integrity, and sanity. You are a blessing!

  20. Great Video… Creativity is the base and the key- and from that comes Design. Creativity is not only designs, but words and expressions. A witty double-entredre works just as well as a fancy design. It’s all based on the message you’re getting across, and the audience it’s intended for. Tools are just that… Tools. Anyone can learn/use them, but do you have the imagination and creativity to maximize them. Thanks again for this video…

  21. I love this so much, I subscribed. And, I’m very, very stingy with subscriptions! I’ve actually been on both sides of this professional jealousy and you’re absolutely right. Talent is only valuable on the right platform. Savvy works everywhere!

  22. Yes. Creativity and design is everything.

    Unfortunately, 98% of the designs on POD were seem to be created by people that don’t have design skills or any originality. Crappy copycat designs flood POD.

    And there’s a big difference between slapping text on a shirt and designing a text based shirt. 🙂

  23. screw the people who have bad comments you do a awesome job Lisa and I have learned things under your teaching and others as well. Those people also started from square one and probably taught at that stage as well. You have a great learning page and I will continue watching cause my shop has basic text and vibrant color designs and I need to learn better text. Actually I need to learn more about everything that is why I follow 10 different people cause everyone has there own view and so far I have learned from all 10 artists such as yourself I dropped one cause I was getting nothing from that station so if I am not learning why stay with that page. Once again Lisa great channel and great teaching.

    1. @Lisa Irby I have learned lots from you and you bring awesome shows and you speak well and at a good teachable speed some people go way to fast and that is not a good teacher. Keep up the great work and fantastic videos.

    2. Thank you, but it doesn’t really bother me. It comes with the territory. These comments are few and far between, but I thought I’d bring it up to make the point about the balance (design/marketing). A lot of people don’t realize how important that really is.

  24. I believe it’s a balance, thinking of concepts that will connect with buyers and having the talent to execute them in a visually appealing way. In my opinion, the former is actually more important – I can’t remember how many times I’ve looked at a design of mine that just sold and thought ‘yikes’, what was I thinking uploading that visual bs?!’ And yet, there was a good idea behind it (so I make a new design based on the same concept)

    1. Yes, a balance. What a great way to put it. Once you do grasp the keywords, niches, etc. then you’ll have a ton of variety at your disposal because you actually do have some design experience. But I feel a lot of people rely too heavily on one or the other. It’s not just about keywords and it’s not just about design. A balance, as you said.

      I can relate to your strategy. When I started selling in the early days, I went back and improved/re-created a lot of my original sellers because I had more knowledge under my belt.

  25. If you have great design skills and the ability to market it with keywords or ads, then yeah, you’ll have an advantage. But having that design advantage is diminishing with programs like Canva/Placeit and the popularity of text based designs. Like you said, if they can’t market their designs, then people aren’t going to see it, thus are not going to buy it. I know a few artists that have their style, but could be killing it if they chased trends or niches in their art style instead of doing their own thing.
    Reminds me of the front end web designer debate. Some coders get so mad that there are web designers that are successful without really knowing how to code. Just how Canva/Placeit and others made POD easy for nondesigners, software like WordPress or sites that use templates like Wix/Squarespace/even Shopify make it so you don’t even know how to code to have a dope looking web site.

    1. @3polygons Yes! I, too, can recognize certain Canva clipart and the same with certain other ones. I see that broken box sunset style, I think from all sunsets and maybe vexels, in so many designs now. But yeah if you’re a good designer and have good business sense, then that’s the deadly combo, but usually it’s one or another from my experience. Some are getting better at it, I follow the Clean Break podcast with Matt Gondek that talks about both.

      I do remember the days when html wasn’t considered coding. CSS has come such a long way that I don’t even question it anymore. And congrats on being a business oriented artist, that’s a hard thing to accomplish.

    2. There are also designers (indeed, I lived it, we web designers were first into the web making scene, as coders never considered it real coding…) that get mad that coders are making “web designs”… I mean, at the end of the day, it’s a bit of nonsense; each person has a set of skills and advantages, each one should use own ones to the maximum advantage, IMO. That said, Canva (and other stock art/photo solutions) still makes not “stellar” designs, as they work more for the numbers than making each design perfect or rich. Also, there is actual saturation of the Canva’s clipart, specially in t-shirts; they are quickly recognizable, and repeated, kind of. This is not that good to pop over zillions of similar shirts (IMO is happening a bit also with the just-sentences ‘designs’). But still those will keep selling very well, as a percentage of buyers won’t care. Just saying, as a designer/illustrator , I know things can be done better (in the design/illustration aspect) .But I’d say… A good artist , even a very good one, if depending ONLY on the art or design (been there, done that)…. has it a tad harder than a business oriented person that pays a designer, or even that just uses Canva or text-only t-shirts and other products, harder to sell in good numbers if completely disregards (and illustrators and designers most often do, are very unaware of all this) the techniques for selling, promotion, growth, targeting a type of customer, SEO, FB ads, A/B testing, etc (there are some artists/designers very business oriented, but IMO most of them get afraid of those concepts, or bored, or feel them too far from their vocation). Of course, if applies the same techniques for getting traffic and selling than a business oriented person (I’m kindda a business oriented artist, lol), etc, will count with an edge, surely…. But ONLY if is both a good designer (many aren’t) but also is able to understand the target audience preferences and is ready to adapt to it, and is aware each time of the best way to get traffic, etc. I’m not saying I’m that person, but have worked with many other designers, and I know that is rare to have the two skill sets, so, in a way, is not such a threat for non-designer sellers, IMO . Plus, anyone can also pay a designer to do it, but I understand that considering the average starting person’s budget (specially if planning making a huge number of designs/illustrations), paying a designer or illustrator could make sense, specially if it’s only a few designs.

  26. Wow, completely off topic but I’ve never seen anyone make a turtle neck look that good. Thumbnail looks real nice👌 💗.

  27. Lisa have you had any success with Teepublic? Since Teespring is no longer a POD company (Spring now and requires domain names to campaigns and storefronts) And regarding Redbubble, is it better to go into a broad term of niches or a niche specific account?

    1. Yes, I do sell on Teepublic. They’ve also changed a lot, though. It doesn’t seem to be as easy for newcomers. A lot of people have stated they don’t show all designs in the marketplace.

      I even emailed them about this and they sent me a stock reply stating some designs may not appear due to creativity, etc.” Not sure what’s going on there, but they are being very vague about it. So they appear to be doing what Spring is doing for some people anyway.

      I personally haven’t had problems ranking my designs, but a lot of new people have.

  28. So cool that you picked up the facebook post recently and made a video 🙂 toooooooo important!!

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