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Most Popular Graphic Designs

Updated on February 23, 2016
Nadine May profile image

Nadine was born in Holland and emigrated to South Africa in 1971. She has always been an entrepreneur and is a self taught artist .

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Working from Home

Last year around September I discovered several print-on-demand product websites and since I’m a very visual person, I exercised my passion for designing images on my computer, at first for the articles I wrote for Hubpages and later for the many products that are on-line for sale to people from all over the world. November and December are really the most hectic time of the year.

Cyberspace is a virtual reality that connects people directly together right in their homes. Who would have thought that possible say fifty years ago? Who would have understood the term: Becoming-a-virtual-entrepreneur

Many people earn their income by working from home these days. There are so many job opportunities in Cyberspace alone, which has brought a lot of changes in people’s lifestyles. Cyberspace is also a great world for virtual entrepreneurs. An opportunity was born around ten years ago for people who, like me, love to create images that can be used to decorate many products like clothing, household goods, toys, and accessories to name a few. The artist can earn royalties when a product is bought.

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Which designs are the most popular?

I’ve learned from other Zazzle designers that personalized designs are what shoppers look for. This goes for most products, especially cards, invitations and other gift lines. Most of my designs are therefore created with that in mind. Being rather a newbie at this work I probably made many mistakes. Not so much on the technical side, since I have been designing book covers for the last ten years, so I know the printing requirements, but more to do with what kind of image looks good on what, and what do people generally look for.

The very first product where I personally go with a design is a mug. My husband and I sometimes visit a coffee shop in a nearby shopping mall that has hundreds of mugs, tea or coffee cups and dinner sets for sale, and it’s the design that catches one’s eye. For example; I love owls, photos of owls or animated images of owls, but there are so many owl designs already published on the three main websites I have a shop at, that what is the point me adding more?

Society6

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Which of my own designs are selling?

I'm an international designer and because all the print-on-demand websites are based either in the USA or Australia: Zazzle – in California - Society6 in Los Angeles and Redbubble is in Australia to name the three main websites I seem to design for, I needed to come up with my own local impressions.

I needed to find my inspirations from my childhood when illustrations made me create stories in my head, and also due to my affinity with Africa, which is now my home.

That was the right decision. Those two genre designs seem to be the most popular so far for me. My African designs on Society6 and my Anton Pieck incorporated designs on Zazzle and Redbubble are popular.

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Redbubble sales

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Anton Pieck sales

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What theme to use as a kind of branding

My childhood in Holland has made a great impact on my decision to use the art of a family friend of my parents, the artist Anton Pieck. It was through a friend of my mother, who lived in Den Helder, that my mom got hooked on his work. I was a small child but loved creating stories in my head while reading the famous fairy stories, by Brothers Grimm and Tales of One Thousand and One Nights. These stories were all illustrated by Anton Pieck. Several of his drawings hung in the hallway of my childhood home.

Who was Anton Pieck?

“Anton Pieck is in the Netherlands best known for his romantic illustrations and as the creative force behind one of Europe’s leading theme parks the Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, Holland, now one of the major theme parks in Europe. When my mother passed on I inherited lots of art work that she had collected. This was well before the internet.

I did my research on the copyright laws and contacted some old friends of my parents who were still alive to ask them about using some of his work which I inherited. I was told that so long as I incorporated his art into my own design work, there was no problem.

While writing this article I typed into Google: “Anton Pieck designs on products” I was flabbergasted. I see many of my Anton Pieck product designs from Zazzle on this page!

Wow! On the same page I find a Hub article! Titled: Anton Pieck – Underappreciated Dutch Gem This article was written by Arietha from the Netherlands who Joined 5 years ago. She has not been active since then, but I befriended her nevertheless.

Vintage Art & Incorporated

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Norman Rockwell

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Norman Rockwell

In my childhood years there was also another artist that I loved as a child. We own the Puzzel from this painting that I used, but the puzzle is still in Holland with my sister.
He was Norman Rockwell who was commissioned by the Dutch Panorama magazine during the sixties to illustrate the back cover. Editorial cost cutting by omitting the expensive covers killed profitable circulation and made it obvious that people bought the magazine by its covers, and that likely their favorite ‘image’ was Norman Rockwell's. That was the case in our home. Today I’m not sure if the panorama is still in print. It might be only an online magazine.
We used to cut out the last page with his paintings and today I have done a similar design as I have done with Anton Pieck.

I did have permission to do it with Anton Pieck if I incorporated it with my own art, but sadly they took my Norman Rockwell designs down. I'm now looking for other old masters that have no copy right on them anymore because they died over 100 years ago!


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Doing further research

For fun I typed into Google: what graphic has the most hits. The first image on this page was from: Marvel’s Oversized Graphic Novel, “Avengers” then I saw a lot of graph charts, maps and a few T Shirt images. I then typed: What graphic is the most popular Now I see that the word Popular seems to be what first appears on graphics. Text art seems to dominate this page. There is lots on clothing and It seems clear that a text graphic on T Shirts cannot go wrong.

I have created one ( Life is like a Monopoly game) and I did have a sale, but not on a T Shirt but a tapestry.

In this article I have not mentioned the other print on demand product shops that are mentioned and linked on my shopping blog, because I have hardly any sales yet. I have been focusing mostly on the three that I have mentioned.

Are you an online Christmas shopper?

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Many designers buy products that have their own designs

Since I live in South Africa (Cape Town) it’s not easy to design graphics for the global market, especially for the many holidays different countries hold. I also cannot really focus on our own market because our South African currency, the Rand is low against the dollar. We need to multiply every dollar spend fourteen times plus, to get to the price a product cost us. Shipping costs are also a financial obstacle.

I have created a collection that holds designs related to Cape Town and surroundings, but so far that has not been successful. What has truly been a treat was the arrival of my own garden design on a pillow taken from a photo I shot in September. When Society6 offered a worldwide fee shipping, I was tempted for this one time to find out what a pillow with my own design really looked like. I was truly very happy with the results. What you see on line is what you get!

Our front garden in Clovelly

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Conclusion

This is my third article on the topic about earnings, in my case with graphic designs on products, but they are not favorite by the Hupages team for some unknown reason. I suspect they do not like any links, so I made this article more visual.

Here are the links to them and I hope that these related links help to keep those posts published!

  1. Becoming-a-virtual-entrepreneur
  2. I-stumbled-on-a-new-hobby
  3. 10-internet-pros-and-cons-in-2015

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    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 14 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks you so much Sandy for your compliment. My graphic art is often inspired from writing. I like to make visual a concept, idea or a story.

    • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

      Sandy Mertens 14 months ago from Wisconsin

      You do have such wonderful artwork. Very visual and detailed. They way I love artwork.

      I have the tendency to create what I like and what comes to my imagination. Often they do not fall into what is popular with the mainstream.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 16 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Nia I'm glad I have inspired you to expand your art by becoming a designer on Zazzle and redbubble. Or try Society6, that is my favorite POD site.

    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 16 months ago from Louisville, KY

      Very nice and informative article. I'm thinking about expanding from just doing Cafepress due to the low commissions made there. I'm considering Zazzle and Redbubble just to spread out a little. Thanks for your article!

      Oh! And nice artwork by the way.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 18 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for this marketing compliment. Not that i feel being a veteran at all, but was nice that somebody seem to think so.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 18 months ago from North Texas

      You have some great ideas here and it's nice to know someone who is a veteran of this sort of marketing!

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for that Dr Pran. I needed this compliment today, because I saw that some of my products were suddenly missing?

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 20 months ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Your creativity reflects in those designs. All of them are beautiful in their own way. They also give a glimpse of your personality.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks Shauna for reading my post. yes I do try to get a feel for what designs are popular, but I do not think that I'm right now that I see that my other designs are selling. I still love my flowers and plant designs so I will keep doing these.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my post Genna. Today you do not need to be able to draw a straight line... its the keyboard and the mouse that do the work!

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your visit DDE. I would love to be able to shop online, but our SA currency is so unfavourable at the moment, 14 X plus against the dollar, I cannot buy any of my own products that have my designs on them.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for your compliment Alicia. I do hope my dedicated hours that I have given creating the graphics and designs for the many products on Zazzle, and Society6 are paying off during the December month. I have to catch up with my writing on Hubpages in the new year.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I'm glad you found this post interesting Eric.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Flourish I'm glad that the two links in the article were helpful.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your positive comment Reynold

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      It's interesting to learn what sells and what doesn't. I just love your garden pillow. You must be so proud!

      I wish you great success in your online endeavors, Nadine. You're very creative.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for visiting my page and this post D.E. Rodgers

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Ruby you have other skills, thank goodness we are all uniquely different.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for the comment Larry

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You are very talented. I wish I had some artistic flare with graphic design, but I can't draw a straight line with a ruler, my friend. Thank you for sharing your ability and knowledge this with us.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 20 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Nadine, a very interesting insight to these designs. I don't shop online. These creations are so pretty.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your graphic designs are excellent, Nadine. I love them!

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 21 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for reading this post and your comment.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Beautiful and extremely interesting. Thank you for sharing all this.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

      Beautiful creations, and I'm glad you included the links. Do not become discouraged. You are a creative soul like few others and have much to share.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 21 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Lots of great creations from I can see. It is good to see you doing well with this. You deserve it.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 21 months ago from United States

      Beautiful work my friend and blessings on this fine Fall evening. whonu

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I could never do this but I enjoy seeing your clever art work. Thank you for sharing.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 21 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great analysis.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 21 months ago from Fresno CA

      You are very talented, Nadine. I will have to take a lesson from this and revisit some of my Zazzle designs and dress them up a little to get them to sell. Thanks for the advice.

    • Nadine May profile image
      Author

      Nadine May 21 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow Billy you are on the ball! Thanks for your visit and comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very creative, Nadine! Thanks for sharing your expertise with us all.