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Getting Started with Subliminator & POD
Getting Started with Subliminator & POD

A Comprehensive Guide to Launching Your Print-on-Demand Business

Updated over a week ago

Installing / Registering for Subliminator

If you haven't already registered for your free Subliminator account, head over to to start.

There are some setup requirements for the app before you get started.

Inside the dashboard when you login, you will see the setup instructions. You will need to at least set up your billing information to publish your first product. We recommend doing this and also adding your details to the app before moving forward with publishing your first designs.

Navigating the Product Catalog

As this particular tutorial is about designing and publishing your first product with Subliminator, we are going to focus mainly on the product catalog.

On the left hand side of the dashboard you will see a hoodie icon. This is where you need to go in order to browse all of the products. You can also click on the “new product” button on the top right corner.

Once you are inside the product catalog, have a browse around and familiarize yourself with all of our products. You can use the search and filter functions if you know what you are looking for.

Below each product in the catalog, you’ll see two buttons. To start with, you should focus on the “more info” button because it has a lot of important product information. You will also find a download link inside the more info section, which we are going to discuss now.

Getting Design Templates

When you first go into the More Info section for a product, you might feel a little overwhelmed with all the information. Don’t be! This information is designed to help you learn a little more about the product so take your time and have a read.

When you enter the More Info section and scroll down, you’ll see the blue “Download Design Template” button. When you click that, a zip file will download.

Depending on the product template you have downloaded, you will see the different elements of the design template in separate folders. Inside each folder is a Photoshop file (PSD) and a PNG file.

This is what the Hoodie frontside design template looks like in Photoshop. The PNG’s are the same. The reason why you are given a PNG as well as a PSD is so you can use the template in other design software besides Photoshop.

Creating Your First Design

When it comes to creating your design, you can either hire a designer and provide them with the design templates, or you can attempt it yourself. This tutorial is not going to cover how to design or what makes a good/bad design, but if you want tips on that you should ask in our Facebook community.

For the sake of this tutorial, we are going to design a hoodie. The pattern you can see in this example was purchased from Shutterstock. It is also very important that you fill the entire canvas area of the template with your design, not just the hoodie design area.

For this hoodie design, we are going to create a solid color for the bottom waistband, the pocket, and the sleeve cuffs. You can do this on the design templates or you can do this inside the actual app, which is what we are going to do.

Before you save your design in JPG format to upload to the app, make sure you turn off the “Guide”.

Once you have created your design for every single part of your product, (front, back, hood, sleeves etc) you can save them as JPG and you are ready to upload them into the Subliminator App.

Uploading Design Template

Inside the app, click the blue “Create” button below the product you want to design to start the process.

Here you can see we have a nice blank slate to work with. Along the bottom of the screen you can find the different parts of your product, in this case we have the hoodie frontside, backside, sleeves and so on.

When you drop your JPG file onto the Upload image section on the right, it appears in the design screen as follows.

You can go ahead and do this for all of the different parts of the hoodie. Now because I want to create a different color waistband, I am going to click on the actual design and drag it up.

Then, I am going to add a background layer by clicking the “Add” button, and then selecting “Background layer” from the menu that appears.

I decided to choose and orange color for this background layer. Now you could have done this all at the design stage in Photoshop, but I wanted to show you some of the features you can use inside the Subliminator app.

I have repeated the same process for the backside layer and the sleeves, because they have a cuff that I want to make the same contrasting orange color.

For the hood, I have not added an image at all. I simply added a background layer because I want both the inside and the outside of the hood to be orange.

Now, let’s click on the “Preview” button on the bottom right hand side.

You can see a lifelike mockup of how the product looks. You can also choose the color and type of drawstrings from the left hand side.

I don’t particularly like how the pocket portion looks, so let’s change that.

I decided to delete the background layer from the left hand side menu, so I can show you this great trick with the hoodie pockets.

Over on the right hand side there is a small icon. Click it and you will see this menu pop up. When you toggle this to “on”, the pocket later will match whatever you have done on the frontside layer.

This is how you can get a great seamless look with your front pocket.

Now that looks much better. Time to hit the “next step” button!

Moving Through the Steps - Mockups, Product Description, Pricing, Publishing

The next step of the process is choosing, generating and downloading your mockups. This page is very self explanatory. Just click the mockups you want, you’ll see a heap of different options.

At the top of the screen, you can choose between JPG or PNG. This is important if you want to download them. Once you have chosen your image format and selected the mockup types you want, hit the blue “Generate Mockups” button.

It might take a few moments to generate all of your mockups but when they are complete you can click them to view a larger image. When happy, just click the download button if you want and then hit that blue next step button.

Product Description

The next step is the product description stage. Here you can give your product a title and write a custom description.

On this screen, you can also choose to include the product’s size guide in either Imperial (Inches) or Metric (Centimeters) units.

Product Pricing

The final step of the process is where you set the retail price that you would like to charge for this product.

All prices in the Subliminator catalog include shipping to the country shown. On this page you can also choose to keep your product “unpublished” on your shopify store, if you have one connected, and you can also choose to place all orders for this particular product “on hold”.

The “on hold” feature works well if you want to accept custom design requests, like adding names for example, and you need to hold the product from production until you have completed your customer’s design request. When complete, you can upload the customer artwork to the order and then submit it to Subliminator.

Once you’ve set your retail price, you are ready to hit Publish and you are done! Congratulations.

Keep reading to learn more about designing products with Subliminator.

Features of the Subliminator Designer

If you can recall the original pattern from Shutterstock that was used for the hoodie design, let’s take a step back and grab just the single “seamless pattern” file and drop it into the Subliminator designer.

You can see that at the moment, it is just a square image on the canvas, so it needs to be duplicated to cover the entire product. That’s where the “pattern maker” tool comes in handy.

Click the pattern icon on the left hand side, then choose a pattern style from the menu that appears. You can see here that the image has now “tiled” itself in a pattern on the garment.

You can also do this manually in Photoshop, but with Subliminator’s pattern maker there’s no need!

Other design tools you can experiment with include changing the alignment, scale, rotation and opacity of the design.

You can also add additional layers in the form of more images, or you can add text like in this example.

We encourage you to play with the design tools and experiment!

Resources for Designs

If you’re new to print on demand, you might be unsure where you can get designs made or where you can buy patterns to use in your designs. Here’s a list of places to check out:

Fiverr or Upwork - Freelance marketplaces where you can hire people to create designs for you.

Shutterstock or Freepik - Stock artwork and graphics. You generally need to pay for a monthly plan and you may also need to pay to use products on merchandise for your POD business.

Creative Fabrica - Another image resource geared towards designers and print on demand sellers.

Etsy - You may find individual graphics, patterns and other design resources from Etsy sellers.

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