Should you learn Photoshop for print on demand?

If you do POD (Print On Demand) such as Merch by Amazon and are not already a graphic designer, you’ve probably at some point thought about whether you should learn Photoshop and/or Illustrator and graphic design.

Or it could be that you’re using an alternative design software like Affinity, GIMP, Inkscape, Over, or Canva, to name a few. There are so many inexpensive and free programs available now!

learn Photoshop and graphic design for POD

How do you choose?

Well, a lot of it has to do with your particular skills, personality, and circumstances. For every piece of software out there, you’ll find a long list of people who LOVE it and a list—almost as long—of people who HATE it. 🙂

Sometimes all you can do is just try a bunch of different ones and see what comes naturally to YOU!

Adobe Creative Suite Products

My personal choice and what I strongly recommend, though, are those in Adobe’s Creative Suite, namely, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Up until recently, they were crazy expensive! I’ve shelled out thousands of dollars to Adobe over the last couple of decades.

Over recent years, though, they’ve moved to a subscription model, which I was actually upset about at first. I felt like when I bought it outright it was all mine, at least, and it wouldn’t get taken away from me if I stopped paying.

But my thinking has changed drastically. For one thing, it has still been “taken away from me” in a sense because operating systems become obsolete so fast that I have to constantly upgrade anyway.

But with a subscription, I always have the most updated version of the software. I can take advantage of the awesome new tools right away. When I find a tutorial on the web on how to accomplish a certain thing and the person is using the newest version, I don’t have to go, Oh, bummer, mine doesn’t have that option.

You can get Photoshop for $9.99 per month. If you don’t make enough in your print-on-demand business to cover that, there’s something wrong with your business model.

There can be a lot of costs associated with starting a new business that are a lot higher than $10 a month. However, with POD, that could very well be your ONLY cost. Plus almost everybody wastes at least $10 every month on unnecessary things.

Why I think you should learn Photoshop and/or Illustrator

They are the industry standard and the most powerful. There’s more support available than for any other design software. There’s almost nothing you can’t do with them. Sure, lots of the features can be found in other software as well. But when it isn’t but you desperately want to achieve a certain effect, you’ll have to learn it anyway. Might as well start now, right?

And if you want to make print on demand a serious source of income, it makes sense to use the best tools available.


Still, you may wonder why not go with free if you can?

Hey, you can. It’s definitely an option. But you’re going to find that in general, you get what you pay for. And as mentioned, there’s a ton more support for paid options.

So let’s talk ‘Shop. Photoshop.

Lots of people are intimidated by it. You know many people are using it to design for Merch by Amazon, Printful, Custom Cat, or any of the dozens of PODs out there.

You’d love to be able to make use of Photoshop’s incredible array of tools but you’ve heard it’s complicated with a steep learning curve and it seems beyond your abilities.

Yes, it’s an incredibly complex piece of software. But you just want to make attractive, professional-looking designs without paying someone else to do it for you.

The good news?

You CAN do that without knowing anywhere NEAR all its features.

All you need are a few basics. You can then build on that knowledge little by little, as you feel comfortable.

So stop stressing. You CAN learn Photoshop (and Illustrator). Do not be intimidated!

You can also do it without handing over thousands for a college course in design.

If you’d like to understand the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator and build your knowledge to a level where you can pump out great designs almost immediately with confidence, please check out my graphic design/Photoshop course.