Artist resources masterpost

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Last updated: Jul 9, 2019

These are my personal recommendations for getting merch produced and printed! (Please note that since Iโ€™m based in the U.S, these will primarily apply to U.S. sellers.)

๐ŸŒธ = My personal overall recommendation
๐ŸŒฑ = Conscientious or environmentally friendly company

USEFUL LINKS

  • General Pricing for Arist Alley Merch โ€” An extremely useful Facebook note from AANI. Donโ€™t know how to price your merch? This lists accurate market prices for merch like charms, prints, buttons, stickers, and more.

TUTORIALS

  • How to make a website without dying โ€” My tutorial on everything you need to know about getting a domain, web hosting, and contentโ€”good for people looking to start an online blog, portfolio, or shop.

Merch Production

Business Cards and Postcards

  • Moo โ€” Luxurious and premium, but expensive. The Apple of business cards.

  • Overnight Prints๐ŸŒฑ โ€” [Will test]

  • Printrunner๐ŸŒธ โ€” Most affordable option if youโ€™re ordering in bulk (500 or more units). Free U.S. shipping on orders over $39.

  • The Foil Printing Co. โ€” Best and most affordable option for foil printing. Beautiful results and excellent customer service. Full review.

  • Vistaprint๐ŸŒธ โ€” Affordable; great prices without sacrificing printing quality. Often have sales and great for basic cards.

Books

  • Lulu โ€” Print-on-demand service. Good for short-run books or selling just a few copies.

  • Mixam โ€” [Will test]

Buttons

  • PureButtons๐ŸŒธ - Solid and speedy button production that is very affordable even for small quantities.

Charms

  • Acorn Press โ€” High-quality and crisp printing with a friendly staff, but slow and prone to delays.

  • Chilly Pig๐ŸŒธ โ€” High-quality and vibrant printing; image quality trumps the other vendors Iโ€™ve tried. Prompt, friendly staff, and great products. A little on the pricier end.

  • Vograce๐ŸŒธ โ€” Alibaba manufacturer. Affordable prices, fast and decent printing, and the widest variety of options. The only option that assembles charms for you (with straps, keychains, etc).

Pins

  • Enamel Pin Factory โ€” Due to a negative experience with this company, I can no longer recommend them in good conscience.

  • Krell๐ŸŒธ โ€” Alibaba manufacturer. Great and affordable enamel pin production at a faster pace (3-4 weeks). Lots of options in plating, accessories, and more. Full review.

Prints

  • Catprint๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒฑ โ€” Vivid and gorgeous printing with a variety of beautiful stocks. Pricey for business cards, but good price for art prints.

Shipping Supplies

  • Clear Bags๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒฑ โ€” Offers a huge variety of clear poly bags, including an eco-friendly option.

  • EcoEnclose๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒฑ โ€” Focuses on environmentally-friendly packaging and shipping supplies. They specialize in boxes and mailers. More on the pricey side.

  • PaperMart โ€” Offers some poly bags, padded mailers, boxes, tissue paper, and more. Big variety of shipping supplies with good prices and products.

  • Pure Labels๐ŸŒฑ โ€” Offers compostable and biodegradable labels and stickers.

  • ULINE โ€” Made for bulk orders or big companies, but theyโ€™re great if you need a lot of one product.

Stationery

  • Stik2it โ€” Quality bulk sticky notes, best in quantities of 250 or more.

Stickers

  • Catprint๐ŸŒฑ โ€” [Will test]

  • StickerApp โ€” [Will test]

  • Sticker Mule โ€” Great printing on vinyl stickers. Fast service with a variety of products. On the pricier end unless youโ€™re ordering bulk.

Websites and Services

Portfolio Websites

  • Carbonmade๐ŸŒธ โ€” Beautiful and affordable option for those who want a more dedicated portfolio site. Very easy to maintain, with great customer service. Paid plans starting at $6/mo.

  • Carrd.co๐ŸŒธ โ€” Most affordable option. Great for a simple, clean, affordable portfolio. Free, or paid plans starting at $9/yr.

  • Portfoliobox โ€” Decent, affordable option for a portfolio. They also offer online shops and blogs. Paid plans starting at $6.90/mo.

  • Squarespace or Weebly โ€” Beautiful aesthetics. Tons of features. Great for artists who want a fully-featured website. Paid plans starting at $12/mo.

  • Tumblr โ€” Free, large variety of themes, and a wide range of flexibility. As a blogging-style platform, itโ€™s difficult to organize things.

Organizing Commissions

  • AND CO โ€” A robust tool for full-time freelancers. Manage proposals, contracts, time-tracking, invoices, tasks, and expenses. Free plan, and paid plans starting at $18/mo.

  • Bonsai โ€” A robust tool for full-time freelancers. Track time, create and send legal contracts easily, draft professional proposals, manage projects and expenses, and send invoices. Paid plans starting at $16/mo.

  • Commiss.io๐ŸŒธ โ€” An all-in-one slot organizing system, messaging system, and invoicing system for handling commissions. Free with 5% transaction fee or paid at $10/mo to remove transaction fees.

  • Cushion๐ŸŒธ โ€” A tool for full-time freelancers. Track time, forecast your workload, plan financial goals, and send invoices. Paid plans starting at $8/mo.

Store Websites

  • Big Cartel๐ŸŒธ โ€” A beautiful, simple option for when you want to get your store up and running with as little work as possible. No transaction fees. Free for stores less than 5 products, then paid plans starting at $9.99/mo.

  • Ecwid โ€” A fully-featured online store solution. You can embed your store in your own domain. No transaction fees. Free for stores less than 10 products, then paid plans starting at $15/mo.

  • Gumroad โ€” A simple online option thatโ€™s great for small shops, digital products, and simple purchases. Free with transaction fees, or a premium plan at $10/mo to eliminate transaction fees.

  • Shopify โ€” A fully-featured online store solution. Expensive, but has everything youโ€™d want in an online store. Paid plans only, starting at $29/mo.

  • Storenvy โ€” Lots of features and affordable pricing. Personally, Iโ€™m not a fan since they have a lot of hidden fees for both artists and customers, but if you do your research then they can be a great option. Free with transaction fees.

  • Squarespace or Weebly โ€” Beautiful options for those looking for a full site. Expensive, but comes with custom pages, blog features, and more. Paid plans only, starting at $18/mo.

  • WooCommerce โ€” If you have your own web hosting, you can use this extension for Wordpress to form your own online store. Itโ€™s flexible and you donโ€™t have to pay any fees, but you will be responsible for customersโ€™ online financial security.

  • Zibbet๐ŸŒธ - Great alternative to Etsy with no transaction or listing fees.. Paid plans only, starting at $5/mo per sales channel with a minimum of $10/mo.