Choosing the Right Designs for your Brand – POD Weekly #45

POD Weekly #45

Define Your Brand and Choose the Right T-Shirt Designs


In the POD industry, copycat designs and creating a unique brand are common problems. Copying a single t-shirt design idea is relatively easy. Despite the fact that it’s wrong, it’s fairly difficult to control and often not worth the effort. In order to stand apart, it necessary to define your brand – then choose the right designs to support your brand.

Copying an entire brand is much harder. A brand is more than a collection of clothing designs, which can of course still be copied given enough time. It’s a mix of everything: clothing designs, product names, pricing, descriptions and more. As Seth Godin wrote, when more elements are woven together, the end product (the brand) becomes much more unique and nearly impossible to copy.

That doesn’t mean throwing it together haphazardly. Instead, treat a print-on-demand business much like a real brick-and-mortar business. As StartupDrugz founder Maxwell Finn suggests, focus “first on building an authentic brand with a genuine mission and purpose that extend[s] beyond merely making money.”

Merch by Amazon announced some changes to their content policy this week and will allow profanity, drugs, alcohol and sexual content in adult sized shirts. It’s a move that is sure to entice many sellers to rush to create designs with this type of content.

For Amazon, who bills themselves as “earth’s most customer-centric company”, the move was made presumably to offer more products to meet consumer demand. Most likely, Amazon will face backlash for some of these new designs and deal with them as needed, perhaps amending policies. With Amazon’s size, it won’t make any difference to their brand either way.

The same cannot be said for most print-on-demand sellers and businesses, who should consider how this content fits in the bigger picture of their brand. For edgy brands, designs with profanity, drugs, alcohol and sexual content may work. For many others, it won’t.

Like any business, there is no single formula form making a print-on-demand business work. While the  core idea of having merchandise printed and fulfilled by a third-party may remains constant, there are many possibilities of what can be done with print-on-demand merchandise.

Each brand has choices around the platform, marketing strategy, and designs utilized. The right choices go a long way towards helping to define your brand.


Try DesignJar to create great looking designs quickly and easily. Plus you can create & save your own templates to generate your own brand style.




Each week, we share content from a variety of sources intended to help print-on-demand sellers. Get even more links by following us on Facebook or Twitter


“Your work can struggle to fit in. Or you can do the hard work of having it stand out”

In search of your chord
Seth Godin Seth Godin’s Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

“You can’t own a key and you can’t own a color.
But once you start combining elements, the possibilities go way up.”1


“You can now have designs that contain profanity, drugs, alcohol, violence, and sexual content in adult sizes.”

Merch Minds Podcast – Episode 101: Profanity, Drugs, Alcohol, Violence, and Sexual Content!
Merch Minds Podcast with Glen and Yong

“This was a surprising move considering Amazon was quick to pull the plug on these content. If you were on Amazon Merch from the beginning you know that almost everything was allowed back in the wild west. Make sure and review the content policy before starting to upload the new designs.”2


Here’s a piece of Amazon’s new content policy: “Profanity is not allowed on youth sizes but is allowed on designs in adult sizes”

Merch by Amazon

“Remember that profanity associated with hatred or violence against race, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability is prohibited on all sizes.”3


“If you were starting a brick-and-mortar business, you would not pick any old piece of cheap real estate, throw random products on the shelves”

How I Grew My E-Commerce Business From 0-$100K in Less Than 4 Months | E-Commerce
By Maxwell Finn

Oct 5, 2018 5:00 AM PT

“For example, Startup Drugz isn’t just another store selling low-quality drop-shipped shirts. I focused first on building an authentic brand with a genuine mission and purpose that extended beyond merely making money. Consumerism has changed fundamentally in the past few years. Customers are looking for something more than just a good product at the right price. They want to connect with a deeper meaning, and you can give that to them through your company.
This is how you go about creating a tribe of loyal customers who become walking, talking marketing machines. Nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth advertising. People don’t camp outside Apple stores for days to shell out $1,000 just because they want a new phone. There are plenty of great phones at a fraction of the price, available with little to no wait.”4


Get some halloween design inspiration from this collection of designs at RedBubble

24 Spooktacular Halloween Designs to Get Your Boo On
Official news and updates Redbubble Blog

“We’re starting to see more searches for Halloween themes and we’ve spotted some horrifying (in a good way) new designs. If you have new Halloween artworks to upload, now’s the perfect time to add them to your shop.”5



Order custom t-shirt designs with free revisions to take advantage of these opportunities. 

October – December  Holiday Shopping
Wed, October 10    World Mental Health Day
Tue, October 16    Boss’s Day
Wed, October 31    Halloween
Sun, November 11    Veterans Day
Thu, November 22    Thanksgiving Day
Fri, November 23    Black Friday
Mon, November 26    Cyber Monday

Bold entries are new since last week




  6. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.