How to do your merch research

How To Find Creative Ideas For T-shirt Designs?

Print on Demand (POD) sites have made it easier more than ever to make money selling your arts and designs without spending a dollar.

You can not just make money but also build up your profile as a designer. All you got to do is find the niche that sells and make the design that is unique and best of the best.

POD is not a cup of tea for everyone as it might sound.

There is no guarantee on which niche will sell the most or which design will take the market by storm.

Henceforth, you need to do proper market research before designing your next t-shirt.

Otherwise, you will be wasting your time and money that is if you are outsourcing the designs.

To help you with that, here, we will talk about finding cool ideas for a t-shirt design.

Where to look for the coolest of the cool ideas for a t-shirt design?

Before starting your research for the t-shirt ideas, be sure with the niche you want to design about.

Learn more about the best niches for t-shirt design

T-shirt design idea research is really important, as you want to create something that stands out and sells.

Else, your design will just get lost in the sea of millions of other designs on the market.

Here are a few places you can look for the t-shirt design ideas:


Amazon is a huge marketplace where you can find hundreds and thousands of products. You can find t-shirts on various niches and you can actually see what’s selling with the best selling rate (BSR) of the t-shirts.

Moreover, Amazon has its own POD platform namely Merch by Amazon. It is one of the top preferred POD sites by the artists/designers.

You can see what others are selling and get ideas. However, it doesn’t mean that you copy the exact design.

You can use MerchMandu’s product research tool to search what t-shirt designs are selling on Merch by Amazon.

Keyword used here is “dog mom tshirt”:

tshirt design ideas


Pinterest is here to help you ‘discover ideas’. Enter the keyword in the search bar and be amazed by the search results. You cannot believe the number of results you will see.

If you have a board dedicated to the t-shirt design ideas, click on the ‘more ideas’ tab on your board section and you will see more results. Those results will be shown to you on the basis of ideas you’ve already pinned to your board.

Another cool thing about Pinterest is that when you enter your keyword to search, Pinterest displays related keywords to that particular keyword you entered. You can explore more ideas.

Also, you can search using the ‘popular’ category and ‘visually similar results’. This way you will never run out of ideas. More repins mean more popular.

Below are the search results on Pinterest for the same keyword “dog mom tshirt”:

ideas for tshirt design

If you are not already reaping the benefits of Pinterest, now is the time to do that.

You can also use Facebook but you won’t get as many results as compared to that of Pinterest.

POD sites

There are so many POD sites where you can sell your arts and designs. But there is something else you can do with these sites besides selling your designs.

Yes. You can use these sites to research for the t-shirt design ideas.

Since there are thousands of other designing and uploading on these sites, you will get pretty good ideas of what is trending and what kind of designs are selling like hot cakes.

Redbubble, Teepublic, Spreadshirt, Society6, Zazzle, etc. are some of the PODs where you can look for the ideas.

Tshirt design ideas for POD

In the above screenshot, you can see the top-selling products on Redbubble for the same keyword “dog mom tshirt”. You can filter your search results as trending, most relevant, recent and top-selling on Redbubble.


Etsy calls itself the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. You are guaranteed to find handcrafted and unique products here.

However, it is also a platform for print on demand products.

You cannot go wrong in finding creative ideas for t-shirt design on Etsy.

You don’t even need to enter your keyword to find just the general t-shirt ideas. Go to men or women’s clothing and click on shirts or tees respectively. You will see a variety of designs on various niches.

Enter your keyword to see design ideas related to your niche. Check the product with lots of reviews

tshirt design ideas

For the same keyword, Etsy is showing more than 24 thousands results. Check what designs are selling and you can come up with your own unique design.

Google Images

Another place to look for t-shirt ideas is none other than Google Image itself. Just type in your keyword and hit ‘enter’.

You will get your search results and you can find an idea for your next design.

You can also use suggested keyword/phrases with your keyword to further explore.

The results may not always show the t-shirts but you can combine and mix match and create your unique design.

Just be careful with the copyrights, as most of the images are copyrighted on Google Images.

tshirt design ideas

Again, the keyword used is “dog mom tshirt” and you will be overwhelmed with the search results. Try it for yourself.

Few things to remember while researching t-shirt design ideas:

Copyright and Trademark Issues

This research is just a guide for you, to help you create unique designs. You cannot just copy somebody else’s work or use copyrighted images as yours. Even if you copy, you may not be able to sell it, as there are so many others who discovered the design before you and already made a copy.

Also, you need to be aware of the trademarks. You cannot simply design the trademarked phrases or words or franchise. The trademark issue is really serious and it could actually get you banned from POD sites and face legal problems.

Get creative with the keyword

It is not necessary that you stick strictly to your niche when it comes to the design research. You can combine other niches with your niche and discover the results that will potentially give you new ideas.

You can add a particular keyword and phrases to your niche keyword. You will, for sure, get more ideas for your next design.

Wrapping up

Sometimes designing only is not enough when it comes to POD marketplaces. It is as competitive as any other marketplaces.

Researching the designs that are selling and getting the idea for creative designs is of absolute importance.

If you are at a loss of ideas for the designs, you can look up at Amazon, Pinterest, Etsy, POD sites such as Redbubble, Zazzle and more, and Google Images.

Get the ideas, create your unique design, and take over the market on your niche.

Where do you find ideas for your designs?

Did we miss anything?

We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Merching!

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