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How To Stand Out on Etsy | Digital Downloads & Print on Demand

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As an Etsy seller, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to feel like you’re constantly searching for the “secret” to success on the platform. One thing that I’ve found is that there can be a sense of reluctance among some sellers to share their resources and knowledge. As an artist, I’ve also come across plenty of creators who are unaware of the many creative platforms that are available to them beyond Etsy. Rather than scouring the internet for answers, they often turn to so-called “Etsy gurus” to gain access to information that is readily available for free.

As a chilled blogger (who never really posts) and Etsy seller, I want to help other sellers by sharing some of the resources because I believe there is space for everyone to create unique items. Let’s delve into the world of commercial use graphics, including some of my top picks for where to find them and how to use them to improve your Etsy digital downloads or print on demand products.

What are commercial use graphics?

Commercial use graphics are pre-made digital images that are licensed for use in commercial projects, such as creating products for sale or for use in business marketing materials. These graphics can be used to create a wide range of items, from t-shirts and mugs to digital designs and social media graphics. One of the great things about using commercial use graphics is that they can be easily customized to fit your specific needs. They allow you to create unique, one-of-a-kind products without having to start from scratch.

One of the most popular places to find commercial use graphics is Adobe Stock (and many more). Graphic designers often use platforms like these in their daily workflow. However, when it comes to Etsy, customers are often looking for unique, custom items. In this case, Adobe Stock may not be the best option. Instead, platforms like CreativeMarket offer packages that allow you to customize your offerings.

Is selling commercial use art allowed on Etsy?

It’s important to understand the rules for Etsy, as well. You cannot simply copy and paste someone’s design/artwork without modifying it. Your art needs to be created by you, you have to have a part in it. The key to creating unique and successful designs is to understand how to add backgrounds, change patterns, mix and match designs. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube that can help you with this.

By purchasing custom art, you can free up more time to create even more unique designs. Think of it like an empty canvas. Remember, if you don’t change the design enough, it’s easy for others to replicate, plus it is simply not allowed. Buying this art only allows you to licence it. You always have to modify it first.

My Top Picks for Commercial Use Graphics from Creative Market to sell digital art on Etsy

Remember to check out the artists in the store. They often have new listings that you can browse through so you can stay on top of your designs.

Nursery Wall Art

The Lovely Jungle Safari Animals Clipart is a set of adorable watercolour illustrations featuring a variety of jungle animals, such as lions, elephants, monkeys, and more. The designs have a playful, cartoon-like style. These graphics are perfect for a wide range of projects, including birthday or baby shower invitations, posters, greeting cards, scrapbooking, and more. The pros of this style of clipart is that it is versatile, cute and high quality. The cons is that it may not appeal to everyone.

This Woodland Animals clip art set features adorable hand-drawn illustrations of various woodland animals, including a fox, raccoon, deer, and more, as well as leaves, flowers, and mushrooms. The hand-drawn style gives a charming and personal touch. One potential downside is that the set is limited to only woodland animals, so it may not be suitable in the long term. Woodland animals were big in 2021, I am not sure if it will continue on in 2022.

This bundle is designed by Lisa Glanz, a talented artist and designer who has a great eye for detail and a knack for creating beautiful, unique illustrations. She often has tutorials included in her designs that are helpful and enable you to create beautiful graphics. Personalized portrait creator is a sweet collection that gives you the room to create custom portraits for your clients, and you can adjust the colors and designs. Lisa also gives tutorials so you can learn as you go.

Wedding niche on Etsy: Focus on relationships and special events

This collection of beautiful illustrations features a bride and her mother, perfect for creating personalized wedding invitations, greeting cards, and other wedding-themed designs. With the big market for wedding items on Etsy, these graphics are sure to be a hit for those looking to add a special touch to their wedding gifts.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and people will be scrambling for last minute gifts on Etsy. Creating personalized printables using the Couple Creator Set is a great idea. The clipart features cute and romantic illustrations of couples, making it the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day cards, invitations, and any other designs. With the huge market for Valentine’s Day gifts on Etsy, this collection is a must-have for anyone looking to create something special for the couples out there.

Pet niche: Custom Pet Portraits or Art for Pet Owners

Pet lovers, listen up! The pet industry is a huge market on Etsy and in real life, the pet industry is rapidly growing and pet owners are spending more money on their pets each year. Bundles like these might seem pricey, but it is a great investment to make if you are a pet lover and want to offer products to pet owners.

Spiritual designs

Aura posters are one of the top sellers on Etsy. Sellers use them to create angel art posters. There are many ways you can use gradient collections like this for art pieces, invitations and more.

Are you into crystals or healing? This healing crystals watercolor collection helps you create posters for others, or use these elements in whatever designs you want.

Baptism sets for invitations, the graphics are also cute to reuse for any other items you would like to design.
More and more people are buying printables surrounding mental health care. Use this therapy poster set to help you create more tools for others to use, these are a great starting point if you have experience in the mental health field.

Whole shop bundles: Saving money on digital bundles

Bundles are a fantastic way to elevate your creative projects and save money at the same time. Another great thing about bundles is the cost-effectiveness. Instead of purchasing each collection separately, you can get all of them at discounted prices. It’s a win-win situation for both the artist and you.

Take this Watercolour Clip Art Bundle for example, it offers an incredible 46 collections in one bundle! Spanning from 2019 to 2021, this bundle has a wide range of seasons, including winter, spring, autumn, and summer, as well as a variety of subjects such as watercolour flowers, greenery, animals, landscapes, and food.

Niche pet breed designs like this exist for a reason, there is a demand. This doodle lover’s bundle is perfect for all your pet-themed projects. The bundle is perfect for creating designs for pet owners, breeders, pet shops, and more. With this bundle, you’ll have everything you need to create unique and adorable designs that will appeal to pet

This watercolor cocktail collection looks delicious right? Not only can you tap into the wedding niche and create custom menus for their wedding day, but you can create printable bar art for people who want gorgeous illustrations on their wall. I love this collection and it has given me great ideas for creating my own fancy menus for dinners with friends.

A faster way to create your own modern poster designs like the famous flower market prints that are popular on Etsy.

Finding unique mockups to use for your Etsy Shop

I could go on for hours regarding mockups. I love mockups, especially classy ones like these. Not only do they help to build trust and credibility with potential buyers, but they also serve as a powerful marketing tool to showcase your products in the best possible light. Bundles are great for creating a cohesive and polished look for your store, and can save you time and effort in the long run. With an abundance of mockup options available, there’s no reason not to take advantage of this valuable resource. So, it is really important to invest in good quality mockup bundles to make your store more professional and increase your sales.

Here are a few stunning mockups that I love (click on the images for the links).

Choosing the right mockups for your store can be an important factor in showcasing your products. Consider the style of your products and choose mockups that complement their aesthetic. Keep in mind that mockups are not a replacement for real-life photos, so if you’re selling physical products, make sure to also include high-quality images of the actual product. If you’re selling printables, take the extra step to print out your work and photograph it in real-life settings to give customers an even better idea of what they can expect.

I love creatsy mockups, they are on of the best mockup creators in my opinion. Their items are extremely adjustable and the quality is amazing. This Gildan 18000 mockup set is worth it if you sell these sweatshirts. You can change the backgrounds and make them unique to your store.
JenLynn has some of the most beautiful baby blanket mockups that look ultra realistic, are high quality and worth it if you sell baby print on demand products. I highly recommend her store if you are looking for high quality blanket mockups.

Do you need to know Photoshop or Illustrator? Can I use Canva?

A lot of photoshop and adobe illustrator work can be replaced by free tools like In terms of experience, let me know if you need a tutorial and I can make one showing you how to edit mockups. Most of these purchases include helpful guides when you buy them too.

Another option is to buy Canva mockups that you can import in to Canva. I think Canva is a brilliant tool to use, but their licence for using pro graphics is not the best so leaning on buying commercial art is better for your business. Plus all of these graphics can be dragged into canva to edit if that is easier for you.

Is selling digital products on Etsy profitable?

Well…yes and no.

When it comes to selling printables on Etsy, the possibilities are endless. A common place that beginners head to is wall art, which is “saturated” with typical designs. I do not like the word saturated because in one aspect that is true, it is saturated with low effort work. But you can still be successful if you find your own balance and design things that speak to you, but that’s just scratching the surface.

Think about niche markets like nursery decor, spiritual artwork, or even aura posters. What do you do in your day to day life? What would you buy? The beauty of commercial use graphics is that they can be used to create a variety of products, and it is not just limited to wall art. Take inspiration from browsing around Etsy or visiting local shops to see how others are incorporating clip art into their designs. Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of commercial use graphics on Etsy.

In conclusion, commercial use graphics are a valuable resource for digital creators looking to save time and money while still creating unique, high-quality products. So next time you’re feeling stuck in your creative endeavors, consider exploring the world of commercial use graphics and see how they can benefit your Etsy store.

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