Design by Humans is a print-on-demand shop that enlists artists to upload images to decorate products in exchange for a royalty

Expected pay: 50 cents – $7.25 per sale (depending on product)

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide (remote)

Requirements: Original art

Design by Humans Review:

Like the other print-on-demand shops, Design by Humans allows you to upload your art. They’ll use it to illustrate t-shirts, hoodies, iPhone cases, mugs and stickers, paying you a royalty on each sale.

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How it works

You’ll need to apply to list on this site, providing information about the type of seller you are — artist, musician, sports or student organizer, for instance. It then asks for a link to your art portfolio. If you’re accepted, the site also requires you to have a PayPal address, so it can pay you for any sales.

Once you upload your art, the site will show it on the products it has for sale. When someone buys a product bearing your art, you get a royalty.

Royalties and payments

Unlike other print-on-demand operations that allow artists to set their own royalty rates, Design by Humans has a standard royalty formula. Artists get $3 on the sale of t-shirts and tank tops; $4.50 on sweatshirt sales; $4 on baseball t-shirts; between $3.70 and $4.20 for phone cases; between $2.78 and $7.25 on art prints (depending on the size); 50 cents for stickers and $2.67 for mugs.

Artists are paid once a month by PayPal. However, there’s a payment lag to accommodate returns. Sales made in September, for instance, are paid November 1; Sales made in January are paid March 1.

Poor quality

The problem with this site, like a few of the others, is quality control. The site gets a 1.36 (out of 5) rating on SiteJabber, with customers complaining about a variety of ills, from slow deliveries to rotten print quality. When customers return their purchases, of course, your artist royalties go up in smoke.


Some other sites worth considering: Society6 and Redbubble, which allow you to set your own royalty rates. Spoonflower, which is particularly well-suited to people with repeating designs. FineArtAmerica, which we see as particularly adept at turning your pictures into puzzles.

And, Printful, which offers more than 200 products and charges less but has you do more of the marketing. (Sign up with Printful here)

What their users say: ( from Yelp)

“While they have AWESOME designs, their customer service and overall organization SUCKS.

“The poster I ordered was defective. It had a large white stripe across it. I also noticed that the resolution was terrible. Major JPEG artifacts. Clearly the image they used was blown up too large. I asked for a refund, but the best they could do was a replacement. No white stripe through the middle of the image, but the same crappy resolution.”

“Good luck getting in touch with the customer service here in any kind of reasonable timeline. They will only respond to requests of any kind via computer,-and you will usually have to wait for 24-72 hours. The size charts are weird, and they make you pay shipping for exchanges. What a frustrating experience!!!!! it’s a shame that I can’t trust these people to be consistent with their sizes, because I really like the designs of their T-shirts. ”

From SiteJabber

They have taken my money but have never sent me my items, I can’t get a human to answer my quieries just an automated response to everything. Can’t even get a refund. Not sure where the Humans are in this place!

I ordered 4 shirts from them, and ALL of them have crappy prints. Extremely blurring and double print lines on all of them, almost like they ran out of ink and had to re-print them but didn’t get the stencil lined up right. I’m done, this company is too expensive to not have better quality control in place.

Had to return everything

Even though the tshirts are made in Mexico, they size like they were made in China. Depending on where I buy, I can wear a L or an XL. I’ve never had to buy an XXL. But all the shirts I ordered from DBH were *at least* one size smaller than the XL purchased. I washed the shirts once, and they are real tight around the arms, chest, and gut. I’m returning them all! It’s a shame, too. I really liked the designs I purchased. Now the artists won’t get their money, DBH won’t make their money, and I have no shirts.

Updated 2/5/2023

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