There are many places to sell design online, and it's becoming increasingly important to have at least one online channel through which to offer your work. Online sales of design were already increasing before the Covid-19 pandemic, but the long periods of lockdown only increased the growing tendency to shop online for all kinds of products, including art and design.
Whether you're a graphic designer, illustrator or 3D artist, there's a market for high-quality work, and it's easier than ever to sell design online, from books and prints to T-shirts, 3D work and all kinds of other products. There are many dedicated online design marketplaces that can help save you time and money when getting started.
Of course, one option to sell design online is building your own e-commerce website, or even using your social media channels (see our guide to how to sell on Instagram). However, it can be challenging to get your work seen. Paying for ads and using strategic SEO and hashtag use can all help, but a lot of the time you're more likely to find a market quickly if you sell design online through a site that already has a customer base interested in the kind of work you make.
Below, we've listed the best places to sell design online now, and we've weighed up the pros and cons of each. In this piece, we're primarily looking at sites where you can sell physical pieces, but if you prefer to explore the idea of selling digital art in the metaverse, see our guide to the main NFT marketplaces. You might also want to see our pro tips on how to start a design business. Meanwhile, if you're thinking of upgrading your kit, you might also want to read our pick of the best tools for graphic designers.
The best places to sell design online
01. Creative Market
A favourite among designers, Creative Market is a brilliant place to sell your designs online. You can sell graphics, fonts, photos and even 3D assets. Post them on the site and you'll have a potential market of more than 5 million members. There's no exclusivity lock-in, you set your own prices and you keep 70 per cent of each sale. Open a Creative Market shop here (opens in new tab).
To sell 3D assets, you can't go wrong with TurboSquid. Since the turn of the century, the platform has been selling 3D models for a range of different industries and mediums, including filmmaking, video games and architecture. With stock models becoming a more prevalent way of creating 3D content, there's a growing market for well-made assets – and you can get involved by selling on TurboSquid.
Featuring categories from cars to animals, architecture to anatomy and everything in between, it's almost certain to offer a space for your 3D skills. If you need new tools for 3D, see our pick of the best 3D modelling software around.
03. Design Cuts
Design Cuts is a community website that offers high-quality assets to designers at affordable and discounted prices. Patterns, brushes, backgrounds, fonts, graphics and other slick assets abound. This is a curated platform, so it isn't open to all. It claims to be very exclusive and to only work with the best designers in the world. To be featured on the site, you'll need to get in touch via the Contact page (opens in new tab).
04. Art Web
Art Web is an ecommerce site that specialises in selling art online to buyers around the world. A community of artists and creatives use the platform to network and share their work, as well as to make money from it. The service works on a no-commission basis. There's a free plan that gives you an online gallery with up to 15 images while a paid-for version grants you more images and a professional-looking website. Sell your art at Art Web here. (opens in new tab)
05. Big Cartel
Launched in 2004, Big Cartel is one of the most popular platforms for creatives looking to sell design online. Unlike many other websites, it allows you to build and customise your own store to give it a unique feel that can fit your existing website.
Giving you all the professional tools you need to conduct market research, such as tracking and social networking, it offers total freedom and control over the ways in which you sell and promote your work. The price plan ranges from free to $19.99 a month depending on the support and facilities you wish to use, as well as the number of products you are offering. Sign up for a Big Cartel store here (opens in new tab).
06. This is a Limited Edition
This is a Limited Edition, formerly Click for Art, specialises in art prints, canvas prints and limited edition products from cushions to mugs and laptop cases. It features work from tops artists including Jon Burgerman, Audrey Kawasaki and Mode 2. If you're a talented artist, this could be a great avenue to sell your designs to a commercial audience. There's a strict vetting process. You'll need to complete the artist application (opens in new tab) to be considered.
07. Artist Shops
Artist Shops is run by online community and ecommerce store Threadless. It provides artists with a customisable storefront, plus the benefits of a hosting and checkout experience through Threadless. You can choose various products to sell your art on, and there's no minimum order size. Sign up to Artist Shops here (opens in new tab).
08. Society 6
Society 6 is an online platform where creatives can sell design work on various products. Focusing on "affordable art prints, iPhone cases and T-shirts", it's free to set up, and the products are produced, shipped, and managed for you. That leaves you to concentrate on designing. The site takes only a small percentage of what you sell, making it a great place for designers and creatives looking to get their work featured on a vast range of products. Find out how to sell on Society 6 here (opens in new tab).
Most creatives have probably already heard of Etsy. This global ecommerce website caters for craft-oriented creatives that want to sell design online, particularly handmade goods, vintage items and art and craft products. Essentially, an online version of a massive craft fair, Etsy is the most popular craft-driven retail site with a million-strong global audience. That's a market that most creatives would struggle to reach on their own.
The site is open to all sellers, and it's relatively cheap to use: listing an item for four months (or until it sells), costs $0.20 (around 13p), and commission fees sit at 5 per cent (plus VAT) on each purchase. There are some downsides, however. With such popularity comes stiff competition, and quality control is essentially non-existent. Keeping on top of updates can be time-consuming. Open an Etsy shop here (opens in new tab).
Zazzle is an online marketplace that lets you sell your designs on hundreds of products, from T-shirts to stamps, posters, mugs, business cards, skateboards, calendars, tote bags, hats, and more. It's free to use and easy to create an online store. Sell your designs with Zazzle here (opens in new tab).
An appealing feature of Redbubble is that it allows you to set your own profit margin for different product types, avoiding any dodgy fixed percentage cuts. It also has an array of artist groups that host challenges to inspire your creativity. It's free to join, with the site sending you your earnings every month. Find out more about selling on Redbubble here (opens in new tab).
INPRNT is a moderated gallery with a submission process. First, you'll need to sign up for an INPRNT account and submit three of your best pieces for review. Your submission will then be voted on by artists who are already on the site. Once your submission has been approved, your new member's account is automatically upgraded to an artist account and you can upload work to your gallery for sale directly through the site. Apply for an INPRNT site here (opens in new tab).
13. Not on the High Street
Not On The High street has a joining fee of £199 and sellers have to pay 25 per cent commission, plus VAT (by comparison, Etsy only charges 5 per cent). However, the site does pull in over two million unique visitors per month, and twice that at Christmas, so it's worth the investment for some.
NOTHS focuses on quality rather than quantity. It's more exclusive than competitors like Etsy, with strict guidelines and a tough application process. As a result, it's a much more select group of designer-makers that secures a spot on the site. Find out more about selling on NOTHS here (opens in new tab).
14. Design By Humans
Illustrators rejoice! Design By Humans is an online marketplace offering T-shirts, phone cases, prints, mugs and more with designs from over 15,000 designers from all over the world. Describing itself as a "community" of passionate artists and customers, it allows you to upload your designs, leaving the site to handle the logistics of payments, printing, shipping orders and so on. You can even opt for a custom storefront. It's particularly good for illustrators. Sign up for a Design By Humans store here (opens in new tab).
If you design fonts, MyFonts is one of the most popular marketplaces. It's one of our go-to sources of new and exciting fonts here at CreativeBloq, and you can get your fonts featured. Your type designs could reach a broader (paying) audience by being featured in one of the site's bundles, as well as its collections filtered by descriptive keywords. Find out how to sell your typefaces through MyFonts here (opens in new tab).
Balthasart is a relatively new art platform for original wall art. It's an offshoot of the established online art gallery SINGULART (opens in new tab), focusing on affordable art with prices of under €1,000. It already has a catalogue of thousands of original artworks from more than 300 artists, who pay a subscription of €20 per month to list their work. It's easier to access than SINGULART, and artists say they've achieved good visibility and sales on the platform, though some have said they'd like a better response when it comes to support. For customers, packaging is free in the EU, and there's even an option to commission an artist through the site.
17. Your own website
While established platforms offer the benefits of a ready-made audience and often low barriers to entry, if you've established your own solid customer base, it can be worth building your own bespoke store in order to sell your design online directly without having to pay subscriptions, listing fees or commission – see our pick of the best website builders for artists for help choosing.
Ecommerce plugins now make this option much more accessible. Shopify (opens in new tab) is one highly recommended option, offering simple inventory management features, customisable web URLs and a beautiful selection of website themes to get you started. See our post on inspiring ecommerce website designs for ideas. Another advantage of using an e-commerce site provider like Shopify is that it makes it very easy to then add your products to Instagram's shop feature, which means users can browse your offerings without having to leave the social media app (people are lazy like that).