How to Design and Sell Posters Online

Posters may typically be associated with college dorm room decor – who hasn’t seen a Lamborghini or Audrey Hepburn poster taped to a cinderblock wall? But posters aren’t just for dorms. They can add an artistic touch to any room or space. Printed on the right paper, it will look, feel, and be a high-quality work of art.

Depending on the design, posters can be marketed to any age group and niche. And as a bonus – it’s easy to start selling them online. How, you ask? With a print-on-demand (POD) dropshipper. Read on to learn more about dropshipping, creating designs, and trends you can use for your posters.   

First things first: what’s dropshipping?

There are plenty of ways to sell posters. You could work with a local print shop to print them out for you. Or maybe you feel like buying your own equipment and printing everything yourself. But the easiest way to get started is by partnering with a print-on-demand dropshipper.

Why is it so easy?

The biggest pro to using a dropshipper is the time and money you save. You don’t have to invest in a printer, paper, ink, or inventory — so no upfront financial investment is required. And most POD dropshippers are free to use, with no fees or subscriptions: you only pay a cut to the dropshipper once an order is made.

You also don’t need to spend any time on the printing, packaging, and shipping. Since the dropshipper handles all of that for you, it gives you more time to work on your marketing and store maintenance. Most dropshippers are also white-label, which means their branding isn’t visible anywhere on your orders. It all looks like it comes from you.

Of course, there are some dropshipping drawbacks you should keep in mind. For one, it’s a big leap of faith trusting your brand to another company. You also might not get as many options to customize your orders as you like, and since there’s low barrier to entry, it’s a crowded market with stiff competition.

That being said, dropshipping is still a low-risk and affordable way to launch into the world of eCommerce.

OK, how do I actually find a dropshipper?

Shop around for which dropshipper meets your needs. Here are some factors you should look at to narrow down your choices:

Poster Specs

First, you want to look at whether they even sell posters. Then take a look at some extra specs: what sizes are their posters, what kind of paper do they print on, how much do they cost?

eCommerce Integrations

It’s helpful if you find a dropshipper who has an integration with the platform that you use for your store. Basically what this means is that you connect your dropshipper with your store, and then orders will go to your dropshipper automatically for printing. Otherwise you’d likely have to manually submit orders to your platform or use some kind of work-around app. An integration (or lack thereof) isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but it’ll help simplify your operations.

Customer Support

Chat with each dropshipper’s customer support. Ask them all of your questions and take note of how they respond. Are they friendly and helpful? Do you like communicating with them? How easy are they to reach?

Order Samples

Most dropshippers will offer discounted sample orders, so take advantage of this! Test the product quality and how your design looks in real life. You need to stand by the products you sell, and you can’t do that without physically seeing them first.

Bottom line: understand your priorities and evaluate how each dropshipper suits your needs.

Printful  is a great option to check out. Their support team is helpful and proactive, they offer sample orders for 20% off and free shipping, they provide extra branding options and other services like eCommerce photography  to help get your store off the ground.  

Here’s a list of some other print-on-demand dropshippers to help your search:

Poster Design Tips

Almost anything works on a poster. It all depends on your niche and what appeals to them. As a general tip, designs with bold fonts and typography work well.

example of poster design for eCommerce

Source: Startup Vitamins

Here are some places where you can download fonts for your poster designs:

Photography also works, especially on premium luster paper – a fingerprint-resistant, semi-glossy, semi-matte paper. Luster paper prints excellent photos, as the semi-matte texture is similar to what you use to print regular photos.

Keeping Up with Trends

Another bonus of dropshipping is that you can turn around new ideas fairly quickly. You just have to create the design, add it to your store, and start selling. That means you can keep track of trending topics or motifs, and ride the wave of sales. Once the trend dies out, you can remove it from your store – no outdated, leftover inventory for you to push.

If you’ve got a hunch that something might be a popular seller, or want to check on a trend, you could use a tool like Google Keyword Planner  to look up search volume. If you see a lot of people searching for, say “inspirational poster,” then that might be something you can look into.

These are some trendy themes and motifs to watch:

Bold Fonts and Typography

As mentioned above, posters with interesting fonts usually turn out great.

poster font trends

Source: Zazzle

Political Statements

Keep tabs on current events in politics, pop culture, and around the world. What topics are trending in the news, and what are people talking about?

make trending political posters

Source: Redbubble

Patterns

Look at motifs popping up in design magazines. How are people decorating their homes? What’s cool in the world of interior design?

trending poster patterns

Source: Inktale

Minimalist Design

Simple and elegant, minimalist designs can work in almost any space.

Trending posters for sale

Source: Etsy

Note that when creating designs based on trends, always be aware of copyright laws. It’s best to only create original designs, or use something that’s in the public domain. A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, consult a copyright lawyer.

Design Tools

 

When you know what you want to print, it’s time to design! This can be the biggest hurdle, because not everybody is a seasoned photoshop pro. But don’t get discouraged – there are plenty of tutorials available online to walk you through it.

Here are some tools to create your graphics:

If you feel like you don’t have the necessary design chops to create your graphics, use the power of the internet and find a freelancer who can design for you. Here are some resources to check out:

Start selling posters!

Convinced you need to create and sell posters yet? With a dropshipper handling your fulfillment, all you really need is a design and a platform to sell on– so get to it!

 

Nora Inveiss

Nora is a content marketer at Printful and regularly contributes to their blog. She recently relocated from Toronto, Canada to Riga, Latvia and spends her downtime reading, running, baking, and exploring what Europe has to offer.

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