It’s super easy to get caught up in an uploading frenzy on Redbubble, or any other print-on-demand store. On a superficial level, that totally makes sense.
More art = more chances to be viewed = more sales.
(Maybe, but its much more nuanced than that.)
But if we are not thoughtful about what artworks represent us at our best, we can end up with collections that look lazy, unprofessional, and a major buyer turn-off.
I’m going to do a self-review of a subset of products on my Redbubble store – clocks. I’m going to tale you though each one, and analyse what’s so and not-so-good about each one, and what action I’m gonna take.
Let’s do it.
The 'Before' Shot
Right now (at the time of writing this article, 21 April 2020), I’ve got 44 clocks enabled in my store. My goal is to have the clocks that appear in my store be the best of the best, to look professional and of a high enough quality that I myself would want to buy them. And at the moment, that is not the case.
The Audit Process
I’m going to evaluate each artwork based on 8 crucial characteristics…
Is the artwork high quality and good enough to sell? Would I be embarrassed or proud to show someone this artwork, or this product?
Does the artwork suit the object it’s on – in this case, a clock? Or do the clock hands cover important parts of the design?
3. Purposeful Placement
Has the artwork been placed purposefully on the product, or just slapped on? Can you adapt the artwork to suit the product better?
4. Visual Appeal
Is the design too simple? Too busy? Is it pleasing to look at?
5. Product-Specific Details
Since it is a clock, does it need numbers?
If the artwork is part of a collection, do all those clocks look like they belong together in a collection?
7. Use of Color
Is the colour scheme suitable? Will it be easily legible across a room?
8. Be Ruthless
Don’t be afraid to ‘murder your darlings’. I know its hard if you spent ages refining a design, but if it just doesn’t work, and/or you don’t feel up to putting in the effort to make it work, be brave enough to remove it from your gallery. Your other artworks will thank you!
Sometimes these questions are hard to answer. Maybe you just get a gut feeling that a design isn’t working, but can’t decide why right now. That’s okay! You can always disable the item now and re-enable it later.
Time to jump in to the auditing process! Let’s look at each clock one by one…
- Good enough to sell? Yes, because this is my best-selling artwork, I know people like it.
- Placed purposefully? Yes, I have made sure to scale the artwork so it doesn’t cover the numbers, and its centred.
- Numbers? Yes, it has numbers that are fairly easy to read (could have more contrast)
- Colour scheme? Yes, a harmonious colour scheme of blue and yellow. And I picked clock hands that are blue to go with the scheme too.
- Pleasing to look at? Perhaps not. The background might be too busy. And the signature placement kinda looks awkward
Other: Suit the product? Well the text isn’t right in the middle of the clock, which is good.
Keep for now. In future, simplify background, increase contrast of numbers, and move signature somewhere else
Other Gaming Mains Artworks
Since these artworks are all part of a set, most of the feedback I gave for Support Main will apply to these as well:
Adventure Time Fan Art
Minimalist Finn, Jake, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum
Pro: Designs are very cute and could work without needing numbers
Cons: Market is primarily for kids, who would probably need the numbers to read the time.
Action: Keep all. Make a duplicate of one of these clocks, add numbers, and see if it looks good.
Edit: Redbubble’s partnership with Adventure Time has ended, so these designs are no longer for sale publically. For a private purchase please email me.
Pew Pew Mew
Pew Pew Mew V1
Art looks very lazily slapped on.
Pew Pew Mew V2
The second design is definately more appealing than the first. But the purple background doesn’t really go with the cat in my opinion.
Action: Keep for now. Change the background colour.
Borderlands Fan Art
With the first clock, featuring a grid of four artwork, I don’t think having a square inside a circle looks very good.
With the solo portrait, I like this one a lot, I’m just concerned it’s not quite positioned right.
Action: Keep for now. Move artwork a bit to the right?
Jessica's Spooky Designs
I’m not satisfied with this design. The combo of the art and the numbers looks a bit…dorky? Childish? Hard to say exactly.
Action: Disable for now.
Cast Me Away
The art looks a bit slapped-on. And I’ve been working on a HD remake of this artwork, so it would be a waste to try and make this older version look good.
Action: Disable. Future HD version.
I don’t think the style of the numbers goes with the cartoonish nature of the art. Additionally, I don’t really like the half-transparent pink behind the numbers. Again, doesn’t go with the style.
Let’s Talk To Spirits
This design has the potential to look very good on a clock, because numbers are an essential part of the design. Right now, it looks a bit too busy.
Action: Keep for now. Redesign the artwork so that the numbers of the ouija board become the clock’s numbers. Rearrange and possibly remove other parts accordingly.
This design originally had a flat purple background. I changed it to this cloudy one because I felt the former was too boring and simple. But I’m not satisfied with this one either. It looks too bright and acidic too me. But I have yet to think of anything more suitable.
This is the only design I’ve ever made that was only meant to be a clock. It’s based on a wristwatch I found in a council cleanup pile. I really worked hard to make the number ring look like metal. I’m proud of this design and don’t want to change it. My only disappointment is that Redbubble doesn’t offer a colour for the hands like bronze, to suit the artwork better.
Goth Gamer Girl
This is a design that I think simply doesn’t suit being on a clock. The face and neck will be covered by the hands of the clock, and I don’t think the subject matter, the torso of a goth gamer girl, needs to be on a clock.
Boring-looking, hands cover the words, I don’t like this at all
Time to Take My Gamer Vitamins
I have struggled a lot with this clock. The original artwork includes a pill bottle with game-controller-shaped pills coming out. I tried having that art on the clock in many forms, and it never looked good. But without that, the words lack context. Also, picking a background colour was very challenging. Overall, I think this one should be put to rest.
Does anyone want to buy a clock with my little head peeking out from the bottom? Unlikely.
This is an artwork that is verging on not good enough to sell, for me. It doesn’t do enough. And as a clock, I think it’s a flop.
Action: Disable / Set artwork to Private
Total artworks to disable: 24
My Clock Department After The Audit
After this audit, I now have 21 clocks that I am proud to have for sale on my Redbubble store. You can see all the clocks I have for sale up close and personal by clicking here.
Not only are these the highest-quality clocks, meaning a greater likelihood of someone liking/buying, but by reducing the overall number it makes it easier for people to browse. No need to scroll through dozens of sub-par designs.
Redbubble Product Template Masterpost
Need a clock template to fix up the products in your store? Download that – and dozens of other Redbubble templates – in this blog post.
I hope that watching me purge a lot of things from my Redbubble store helps you in refining your own collections, and putting out the best Redbubble store you can.
If you have any questions about improving your Redbubble store, please leave a comment!
Peace, love and sunshine,