Design a Day Challenge 2018 – Print on Demand

Design-a-Day Challenge Print on Demand

Design-a-Day Challenge 2018

So I’ve been doing a Print on Demand (POD) Design-a-Day Challenge on Red Bubble which began on January 1, 2018. The idea was to do a t-shirt design (or merch of any kind) every single day in the year 2018.  The hope was that two things would result at the end year,…1) I’d sell some products and make a bit of extra money, and 2) I’d get better at graphic design. Well that’s the theory anyway…

Halfway Through the Design-a-Day

This week marks the halfway point to my design-a-day challenge. Today is day 182 – so 183 days remaining. Generally, but not always, the designs I come up with are inspired by conversations I have with people that day. Something they say or I say. It could be something I hear someone else say. The inspiration also comes from songs, books, TV shows or films I watch. Really it could be anything from anywhere that winds up as my design-a-day: places, phrases, icons or anything.

Sometimes people ask me to design something for them…which I do for FREE and then upload it for them to buy.*

Today’s design is my own quote – “Perspective is a Mirror Not a Fact”. It’s not one I think will sell many (or even any) but a lot of this challenge is me doing what I please anyway. Naturally I’d wear it, it’s my quote.

Buy Perspective is a Mirror not a Fact on nearly 60 different products like this Tank Top

Print on Demand – Strategy

I will be doing more posts about Print on Demand (POD) in the coming weeks – here and on other channels.

I’ve slowly been compiling a list of tips, tools, influencers to follow, Youtube Channels  to subscribe to and FB groups to join. (Hey if you’re in the UK, I am even an admin on one called Merch Across the Pond)

Merch By Amazon - Merch Across the Pond

One thing worth mentioning is that there is no right or wrong way to do Print on Demand. You can do it on one channel – like Amazon Merch (aka Merch by Amazon). Or you can be a Multi-Pod and upload your designs to several places – like Red Bubble, TeeSpring, TeePublic, Spreadshirt, and the like. (A future post on some of these PODs will be coming soon).

You can do designs yourself or you can outsource it to a professional that you know – or maybe using a site like Fiverr.  (There are loads of ways and sites to find a designer).

You can do research into niches and trends, or you can do whatever you damn well please (which is my current M-O). Again no right or wrong, just whatever works for you!

You've Made a TeePublic Sale...

It Feels Good to Make a Sale

I can tell you right now, it feels great to make a sale. Though I am not doing well on Merch, (organic sales wise), I am doing decent enough on both Red Bubble and TeePublic. I never tire of getting those “You’ve made a sale” emails from them.

Finally, Amazon Merch currently only ships to the USA. Red Bubble and TeePublic ship globally.

Watch out for more POD posts coming soon.

Thea’s T-Shirts: A Design a Day on Red Bubble & Merch Too

Click the pic to buy a Ralph Says Things T-shirt on Amazon

Click the pic to buy a Ralph Says Things T-shirt on AmazonT-Shirts: My Design a Day on RedBubble & Amazon Too

Just a really quick update about the world of Thea’s t-shirts. In particular how I am doing a “Design a Day” on Red Bubble & Merch By Amazon Tees too.

So this whole t-shirt thing started last summer – when I stumbled across a video about Merch by Amazon. I was desperately trying to find ways to make some money for my dad – via Ralph Says Things . I loved the idea of making a few bucks for t-shirts for the auld yin.

The royalties seemed amazing. Like $7.00 if you priced a shirt at $19.99. Not bad eh?

At first, I thought it would take a week, or maybe a month, to be approved by Amazon. How wrong could I be?

Around eight months later, it finally happened. Last week! Yippee.

Week One on Amazon – Tier 10

The first shirt that went live on Amazon Merch was simply the Gaelic word “Cosagach” – meaning “Snug” or “Cosy” if you believe Visit Scotland… Or it may actually have a less favourable interpretation if you were to ask a proper Gaelic-speaking Scot…That said, it may actually mean more about “Wet Moss than Warm Blankets”

Within 90 minutes of the shirt going live – it had a sale! Admittedly it was a friend in Michigan, but still. A sale’s a sale. And it was nice to be off to a good start.

Original Cosagach t-shirt design by Thea Newcomb

So as I am writing this blog, I decide to go get the link to said shirt and I see some ASSHAT has actually copied my design EXACTLY – the same font, same style, making no effort what-so-ever to make it his or her own.

Charles Caleb Colton said “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery” – but what just happened with that shirt was actually lazy forkin’ theft.

Sure go ahead, nick the word, and make it your own, but the asshat stole all of it and that’s decidedly UNCOOL, man.


The Next Day was a Ralph Says Things Shirt.

Have you been following Ralph on Social. He’s “Ralph Says Things” on everything (e.g. @ralphsaysthings). The whole idea was to give him a bit of a reason for living. Something fun to focus on. It’s not making us loads of money but hey it amuses me, him and a few other folk who follow him so that’s cool.

Thea's Ralph Says Things - Face t-shirt
Click his face to buy your own Ralph Says Things T-shirt

Music is Better Than Everything

I’m quite pleased with the next t-shirt (which I am sure will be nicked in a matter of minutes…if my random Gaelic one was…) But it’s about my one, true love, MUSIC. I love music more than everything and so I made a shirt that said as much. If you’re a music fanatic or know someone who is, the please buy it and help me “tier up” to the next level in Amazon Merch. Apparently I need to sell 10 shirts to move up? I think so anyway, we’ll see. 4 shirts in so that means 6 to go. Rock and Roll. Pun intended.

Music is Better than Everything T-shirt by Thea Newcomb - the first on Amazon
Click to buy this original design on Amazon

The next t-shirt I designed this week was the Canyon City. It’s a private, limited edition shirt you’ll only have access to it if you come to the gig. Find out more on last week’s blog Canyon City Glasgow. If you’re near Glasgow do pop along. It’s going to be incredible.

There’s another one about being a non-parent too…

Not sure what I’ll do for tomorrow’s upload.

At Tier 10 you can only have 10 designs live.

Design a Day on RedBubble

Click the pic to check out Thea's Design a Day - Scoop Neck TeesMeanwhile I am seven or eight months in on RedBubble…and on a whim I decided to do a Design A Day for 2018. I’ve mostly been keeping up with it, but rather foolishly realised I’d uploaded the same design twice and now I am one behind (Day 16). So two on Day 17 I guess?

I sort of call what I am doing on RB – more “Positiva-Tees” if you see what I mean. They’re all pretty upbeat…Love, music, life, mind/body/spirit type stuff…

The great thing about RedBubble is that all the products can go on a variety of merchandise – mugs, clocks, apparel of all sorts, stationery, and so forth.

You can check out the men’s classic t-shirts here.

While I am not selling much on RB, I’ve not actually promoted my stuff there much so it’s not too surprising. There are moments I get a bit disheartened but then I remember I absolutely LOVE designing these shirts in Canva and creating these designs.

So at the end of the day it’s about the “MindLESSness” and Joy and less about the moolah. For now anyway.

I’ve not decided whether my “Design-A-Day” will be for the month of January or if I will try to do it for the year.

What do you reckon?

Well it’s nearly 2am so it’s time to close I think.

Thanks for popping by.

Please treat yourself or someone else to a t-shirt.

If not, then maybe simply share one somewhere.

Or not. Your call.

Cheers all.


UPDATE JULY 1: You can now go on to read my post at the halfway mark – Design a Day Challenge 2018 and if you’re interested, you can sign up for TeePublc for FREE here via my link.

#TshirtDay2017 – It’s T-Shirt Day

It's #tshirtday 2017 - 10th anniversary 6 Music BBC

It's #tshirtday 2017 - 10th anniversary 6 Music BBC

#TshirtDay – It’s T-Shirt Day 2017

It’s the 10th Anniversary of #tshirtday – which started by 6music, the Alternative radio station – BBC 6 Music. I’ve been hearing about it on my way to work for the past week or two and debating on which old (or new I guess) band shirt I would wear to work. Most of music shirts are old, some are very old…

I thought maybe the Rolling Stones. Or I could do Ac/Dc but neither of those two shirts are proper vintage. So then I thought some more….who do I have shirts for? The Smiths. That wasn’t a vintage shirt either though I am sure I’ve had it more than 20 years.

Roddy Frame. He’s my favourite Scot so that one was a contender.

#tshirtday 2017 - thea's picture one

Do I Really Have This Many Band T-Shirts?

I have so many music shirts that it was hard to remember which ones I had until I went digging in the drawer and went “Oh I forgot about that” – Everything But the Girl, “Oh wow I didn’t remember that one either” The Housemartins…So many cool bands to choose from.

It’s incredible how many shirts I have. I’d forgotten about most of them.

Last trip home to California I sold off some band t-shirts. The most lucrative t-shirt sale was of the Inspiral Carpets ‘Moo’ Shirt. It went for an insanely high amount. I guess it was really quite rare. I am sure many of them are.

#tshirtday 2017 Thea's band tees - Picture two

Few New Shirts

I don’t seem to have any real new band or artist t-shirts. I simply don’t buy them anymore. I guess I really have enough tees to last a life time.

Speaking of which I’ve started designing my own t-shirts and have two stores on Red Bubble. One is to promote my dad’s Ralph Says Things project. The other store is simply my own designs. Designs from a non-designer if you will.

Recent Radio Work….

In case you missed it, I was recently on Celtic Music Radio playing some of my top tunes…in both October and again last week 3 November. If you’re fast you’ll be able to hear the replay of the show last week over on the Celtic Music Radio website. I was standing in for Mike Dillon Singers and Songwriters…While it may not have been my best effort the music was pretty freakin’ fantastic (if I do say so myself)…