Threadless: your design for sale!

4 years ago by in Crowdsourcing, Designed by customers, Service Domain

Always wanted to be a t-shirt designer but never got the chance to make it happen? Upload your design to and your dream might come true!


What is it?
Threadless is an online community where artists from around the world are able to submit designs that, if other members of the community vote for the design, are printed on t-shirts and sold. Operating since 2000, Threadless makes one of the first companies to make crowdsourcing an essential part of its business plan. By giving its social network access to the decision making process of which designs will be printed, the creative process is no longer just in hands of the owner.

Where spotted?

How does it work?
As explained on their website, the Threadless process can be divided into four steps:

1. Come up with an idea and create your design
Anyone with a creative idea is encouraged to create an original design. Designers can either come up with their own theme or create a specific design within the theme challenges that are created by Threadless.

2. Submit your design
Upload your t-shirt design to  – about 2,000 to 3,0000 designs are uploaded each week.

3. Let the community score your design while you promote your design
Anyone is allowed to vote for your design. Once a week, Threadless staffers check out that week’s best-rated designs and pick 5 to 15 winners.

4. Gyour design printed and win cash
If your design gets chosen, Threadless usually prints 500 designs of each design, selling them for $ 20 each. In return, designers get $ 2,000 and the choice of a $ 500 merchandise credit or $200 in cash. If a design is really popular and gets reprinted, the artist gets an additional $ 500 in cash each time. It is estimated Threadless holds profit margin of 30 percent.

What is its core value?
Starting as just a idea where an online community could choose the best design, Jacke Nickell and Jacob DeHart initially wanted to “give the creative minds of the world more opportunities to make and sell great art.” While other companies have shown their interest in Threadless, Nickell insists on keeping “a place where the individual artists would be acknowledged with their designs”.

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Learn more about Threadless here:



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