Designing for existing audiences

The most successful designs are meaningful ones…but what exactly is a meaningful design? It’s a design that people connect with…it stirs up an emotional response from the person wearing or viewing it. A meaningful design can come from almost anywhere, whether it’s an inside joke shared by a group of fans or a topic a particular group of people identify with and feel strongly about.

 Finding design inspiration should be easy if you have an existing audience of fans or followers. Just think of moments or phrases you’ve shared with your community that are unique or memorable.

If you don’t have an existing audience click here to learn how to find one. 

Looking for design inspiration? Below we’ve collected examples of Teespring users who’ve created successful product designs their audiences love to wear. 


Channel & brand elements

@Aphmau’s “Phoenix Drop High Gym Shirt” is a great example of turning a game element into a successful design—her merch featured the same design she created for her in-game characters to wear (in Minecraft). Aphmau’s design sold over 1,000 products in the first 24 hours and over 8,000 products in seven days.

@for3v3rfaithful uses her channel to share step-by-step tutorials on how to play popular songs on the guitar. She created a collection of different designs featuring that incorporated her channel logo, colors and musical elements consistent with her personal brand.

forever faithful merch


Catchphrases & inside jokes

@shadypenguinn’s “It’s a crit!” design is an example of converting community lingo into a top-selling design. ShadyPenguinn uses this phrase every time a “critical hit” happens while playing Pokémon. “It’s a crit!” is a phrase that his followers (and others in the gaming community) can identify with so it’s no surprise this is one of his top selling designs.

shadypenguinn merch


Calendar events

Consider creating limited edition merch for holidays or events. Illustrator and YouTuber @MeiYu created limited-edition Mother’s Day merchandise for her followers. She drew the designs during one of her video art lessons and then shared her Teespring products (featuring the same design) at the end of the video.

meiyou merch teespring

Another example is @MoriahElizabeth’s successful holiday sweater design. She took a popular channel character and adapted the design to use in a Christmas themed sweatshirt for her fans.

moriah elizabeth teespring merch


Social trends & movements

@AshleyLouiseJames released égaliTEE, her custom merch collection on Teespring, following the Women’s March and #ShePersisted movements in early 2017. The collection highlights women’s empowerment and equality and features messages her community of followers are passionate about.

ashley james merch


Crowd-sourced ideas

Getting input from your community is a great way to create meaningful designs, after all, these are the people who are going to wear it! Some of @Reckful’s most successful designs were created on stream with input from his followers. Once the design is finished, he immediately launches a Teespring listing so people can buy it. His infamous “meow the duck” design was created on livestream and sold thousands of products within just a few weeks.

reckful merch teespring


Quick strike trends

One of the most successful examples of a quick strike trend is the “Nevertheless, she persisted” design created by Matt Rudinski. Matt is a freelance designer from Brooklyn, NY and got inspiration for his design after hearing Senator Mitch McConnell’s statement as he attempted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” When the confrontation began trending on social media Matt launched a Teespring listing in response to show his support for Senator Warren and the civil rights she was defending. The shirt went viral overnight and generated over $100,000 in just 24 hours. In the end, over 29,000 people purchased one of Matt’s shirts and over $400,000 was donated to Planned Parenthood from sales.

she persisted merch


Limited edition merch

Try creating a sense of urgency and drive a large amount of sales in a short period of time by offering limited edition products. An example of successful, limited edition launch is @pokeaimMD’s Champion product drop. He offered his custom champion product collection on Teespring for 12 days only. This encouraged fans to order their products as quickly as possible before time ran out. Don’t forget you can schedule an end date for your Teespring listings within the listing’s account settings in your account.


Ready to start creating?

Visit the Teespring Launcher to create your new products right away. If you need help creating designs don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in our Design Resources section of the Teespring Training Center. 😉