Merch By Amazon Series: Best Practices

Merch By Amazon Best Practices Feature Image

This is is part of my live-learning series! I will be updating this post as I continue through my journey. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incoherent thoughts. This is a practice to help me share things that are valuable without falling apart from the pressure of perfection. 

Making Your Products Look Great

Merch By Amazon Best Practices is important. No one will want to buy your clothing if it doesn’t look good. While they still have a limited selection of what products you can choose, there are still some very important practices to follow to make sure your clothing looks good and is flying off the digital shelves. Here are these best practices straight from Merch By Amazon below:

How to ensure your product design will look great

  • CYMK: While you may design your product using RGB color space, your product will be printed using CYMK. CYMK color space is not as wide as RGB; for example, metallics and pastels are difficult to render in CYMK.
  • 300 DPI resolution: Your design needs to be 300 DPI, not a lower resolution image resized to 300 DPI. Resizing will result in a pixelated, blocky print.
  • Less than 25MB files
  • Design the entire product: You are submitting a 15″ x 18″ rectangular artwork using our templates; however, you need to consider that your design is being printed on a product Your design should integrate into the product. Generally speaking, you want to avoid a solid rectangle filling the entire printable area. Your design should work with the product. Where possible consider the (blank) product color in your design, by making that color transparent in your artwork.

Artwork sizing and placement

  • While you can certainly use the entire 15″ x18″ in space, often customers find a print that is 18 inches to be overwhelming. By and large, we find that keeping your maximum dimension to 12 inches or fewer results in higher conversion rates.
  • Be conscious of the placement of design elements and where they would appear in relation to your customer’s anatomy. Remember your designs are printed on men’s, women’s, and kids products.
  • Horizontally center designs visually as well as mathematically. Heavy design elements on one side can make a design feel off balance even if it is mathematically centered.
  • Designs typically do the best when they are placed near the top of the print area.

Types of designs/effects to avoid

  • Designs that look contained within a rectangular block, especially if the design does not incorporate the color of the product (taking a screen capture of a game)
  • Elements that subtly blend into the product color. These can print like a halo with a hard edge. Think how web safe colors have big jumps between colors.
  • Elements with a transparency less than 20% are likely to get lost when printing or turn out as a solid color.
  • Designs that have a single, large logo as the only element of the design
  • Simple white products

Designs that typically sell well

  • Designs on dark products (our product color selector is organized based on sales)
  • Distressed designs
  • Simple, identifiable silhouettes work well with content that has characters
  • Bold high contrast colors.
  • Larger art elements in the product design may get better response to online promotions, as subtler designs are hard to see in thumbnail views of the product

Product testing

Every brand is different, but what we’ve found is that most have fans who would love to wear products with the brand on it. What we never know for sure is what type of designs will appeal to a particular fan base. So we suggest that you test out at least 5 to 6 unique designs. Typically, there are four categories of designs that work well:

  1. Logos
  2. Funny/ inside jokes
  3. Character driven designs, typically doing something
  4. Subtle designs that just look “cool” to non-fans, but a true fan will recognize it

We suggest creating at least one design for each category, and then present each design to your fans. See what works and then iterate.


Merch By Amazon has actually provided templates that will help you make your designs better and sales easier. Here is that information below:

Download T-shirt Template:
We want to print the best possible product for your brand. For this reason, we have developed a system that allows you to create your product design in your preferred design software. This allows you to use all the fine-tuning controls you have come to expect when creating a design.
Create your design according to the specifications listed on the product image to the right. Image specifications: 15″W x 18″H @ 300ppi (i.e. 4500 x 5400 pixels), sRGB, less than 25MB.
Alternatively, download one of our product templates to use as a guide. These files are preset to the correct design specifications.

My Thoughts

It is great that Merch By Amazon is providing resources to make their users successful. Already, from reading through this, I have a couple ideas (especially around their notes for what typically does well) to hopefully make my venture into Merch By Amazon successful.

What are your thoughts? Let me know below! I’d love to open the discussion on the best practices you have found in the program so we can all be more successful. Have a great day!

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