Shop Talk

Design Mistakes to Avoid When Uploading New Works

Design mistakes happen, even if you’re a total pro at what you’re doing. Maybe it’s not adjusting the kerning for type, over-designing works, eating macaroni and cheese before it’s had a chance to cool down. A mistake we’ve all made too often.

As a follow-up to our Common Design Mistakes to Avoid, this post focuses on mistakes to avoid when uploading new works to your Redbubble shop. Your art and designs will shine when a little extra attention is given during the uploading process, and it may even increase your chances of exposure and being featured. Every time a customer receives a product with your work on it, you want them to be wowed. These tips will increase chances for maximum wow-age.

Not Adjusting Placement

When new designs are uploaded they are placed in the center of the shirt. Often we see designs placed right where the uploader left them. This doesn’t make for an enticing t-shirt. Normally, designs such as the one in the example should sit 2-3 inches below the collar, or right at the top of the dotted printing area. At this location the design will stand out and rest on the torso in a way that makes the design look more lively. Check out more tips on designing for t-shirts here.

Leaving Whitespace

Without adjusting your design for individual products, you could end up with some accidental white space. One way to remedy this is by choosing a background color that’s dominant in the design, manually adjusting in an image editor using one of our templates, or scaled so that it fits the product. Scaling the design to fit the product may crop some of the image out, but it could make the overall product more impactful. Adjust for what works best for your specific design, just make sure that the end product looks the way you and potential customers would love.

Not Adding Backgrounds

Often, a design that is comprised mainly of white will not be visible on stickers. Instead, you just get a white blob like the one in the example. This can be remedied by uploading a new file for the stickers that has a background color added behind the design. A solid black, blue, or purple would have made this design visible and also look pretty sweet.

Another other common mistake with uploading stickers, is not cutting the design out in order to take advantage of the die-cut feature. Check out some more tips on designing for stickers

Also keep in mind…

  • Avoid uploading images that are too pixelated or not sharp enough. Low quality images don’t look good when printed and can give your fans the frowns.
  • Keep background colors consistent for individual products. When changing the background colors, copy the hex code and paste it for the other products associated with that design.
  • Make sure to clean up any stray pixels in your transparent PNG files. More on this here.
  • Take a look at this design by Ryan Laing as a great example of these tips in action.

Follow us on Instagram for more tips and tricks.

(Header Image: “Imaginary Friends” by ryanlaing)

View additional posts by Josh


Art historian, burrito enthusiast, and Email Marketing Specialist here at Redbubble.