You can sell design online through your own website, or even through social media channels, but the challenge is often getting it seen. While paying for ads and making good use of hashtags can help, it can often be easier to sell your design through a site with an existing customer base – at least initially.
Whether you're a graphic designer, illustrator or 3D artist, there's a market for high-quality designs, and it's now easier than ever to sell design online, whether its books, prints, T-shirts, 3D pieces or other products. Using one of the many existing ecommerce websites available can save you the time and money you right need to invest in building your own online store and can allow you to reach a wider market. Below, we've listed the best tried and tested places to sell your design work online, summarising the benefits of each. In the meantime, if you're thinking of upgrading your kit, you might also want to read our pick of the best tools for graphic designers.
The 17 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.
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. For advice on selling 3D models, see our guide on how to sell your 3D assets online.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
16. 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 might be worth building your own bespoke store in order to sell your design online directly without having to shell out on listing fees or commission.
Ecommerce plugins now make this option more accessible than before. Shopify 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.
17. Pop-up shops and craft fairs
Okay, so this one isn't online – although many physical events now offer online catalogues and even the ability to sell online, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. While selling design online can often help you reach a larger audience, it's still worth considering a physical point of sale, at least occasionally. A temporary physical space is a relatively low-risk way to expand your customer base while also gaining insight into who what sells and why since you can speak to people face-to-face.
This is also a good way to cement your brand in people's memory, even if potential customers only walk away with a business card the first time. Renting a space with a friend or collaborator can help bring down costs, and it’s easy to do it on a budget with a bit of effort and imagination.