If you are in the POD business, you most likely know how overwhelming it can be: Should I design my own graphics, should I hire my own designers or is my money (and time) better spent buying ready-made designs and adapting them to my needs?
While only you can know what is right for your business (and peace of mind), we hope this overview (and review) will help you decide whether getting a subscription at threadbasket.com is the right choice for you. Let’s dive in:
What is Threadbasket?
Threadbasket is a subscription-based stock design service. Their website threadbasket.com is a marketplace that allows you to download and use their designs for POD merchandise ( t-shirts, mugs…), software applications, websites, printed and digital media (books, magazines, DVDS…) as well as advertising and PR materials.
How does it work?
Step 1: Browse designs
Their website is extremely easy to use: You can simply search for designs by typing a keyword in the search bar. Alternatively, you can check out the “Newest”, “Featured” or “Trending” sections.
They have also organized their designs into 23 different categories ranging from “Animals” to “Home Décor”.
Step 2: Select and download
Once you have picked your design, you simply click “I want this”:
If you already have an account this will allow you to directly download a zip.folder containing the graphic as a PNDG, Microsoft Edge, JPG and EPS File. The folder will also contain a license agreement:
Step 3: Use, adapt and sell
You have now acquired the rights you to use and adapt this design to your own specific (commercial or personal) needs. You can use it for creating your own POD products, but also for other purposes (print media, website design etc…). You are free to upload the designs to sites such as Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, Society6, Teepublic or Spreadshirt.
The license deal:
The license you have acquired when downloading a design is unlimited. This means your rights to this design do not expire even if you decide to unsubscribe from Threadbasket, which is unique. You should, however, keep the following in mind when using the design:
- The license only covers you up to a certain number of prints per design. (Depending on your subscription you can print each design between 500 and 100 000 times). Should you sell more prints, you can easily renew your license by downloading the design again.
- The license is non-exclusive (which means others can use the same design), non-transferrable (meaning you cannot transfer it to other users) and non-sublicensable. (This means that you cannot use the design as part of the “Create your own” section on Spreadshirt, for example.)
- If you want to share your Threadbasket subscription with designers or assistants that work for you, we suggest you get the “PRO” or “business” plan. (More on this below)
Threadbasket requires you to sign up for a subscription deal. They do not sell individual designs without a subscription. But the good news is that Threadbasket offers a 3 day trial which includes 5 trial credits for free. So, if you want to be cheeky you can just sign up for their subscription, download the design(s) you need and unsubscribe before the 3 days are over.
How much does it cost and what you get for your money:
Of course, if you are running a POD business you are likely to need more than 5 of their stock designs, which is why we recommend you have a serious look at their different pricing options:
|Subscription||Monthly price||Yearly price|
|Starter Deal: You can download 20 designs per month and print each of these designs up to 500 times.||18 EUR / month||16.20 EUR / month OR 199.40 EUR for Year 1 172.50 EUR for Year 2 129.50 EUR for Year 3 |
* You also get 10 extra designs/month that can be printed up to 250 times thrown in if you choose the yearly option.
|Pro Deal: You can download 50 designs per month and print each of these designs up to 5000 times. |
This deal also gives you the option to share this subscription with people that work for you, allowing them to download designs from your account.
|37 EUR / month||29.60 / month OR 355.20 EUR for Year 1 311.00 EUR for Year 2 222.00 EUR for Year 3.|
*Here the yearly option gives you 25 extra designs/month that can be printed up to 2500 times.
|Business Deal: You can download up to 120 designs per month and print each of these designs up to 100 000 times. |
Like in the Pro-deal, your team-members can download designs using your account. As a special perk you also receive priority customer support.
|91 EUR / month||63.70 / month OR 764.40 EUR for Year 1 655.00 EUR for Year 2 437.00 EUR for Year 3 |
*Here you get 60 extra designs/month that can be printed up to 50 000 times
As these prices show, Threadbasket rewards loyalty: The longer you stay with them and the more you commit, the more you get.
One more thing to keep in mind: The monthly “credits” for downloading designs need to be used up (aka downloaded) within that month. Otherwise, they expire.
Another perk: Threadbasket also gives you Reward Credits for interacting with the platform. These don’t expire and you can use them whenever you want.
What we think:
Ease of use and value for money: (4 out of 5 stars)
This makes a very pleasurable user experience. Using their designs can therefore be a great way to save time and increase your output (and therefore your profits). We also like that you can keep the rights to the designs you have downloaded, even if you choose to unsubscribe at any point.
Design quality: (2,5 out of 5 stars / 4 out of 5 stars)
In terms of design quality (or at least beauty) it is more complicated. This is something that really depends on your personal taste and the taste that you think your audience will have.
We have viewed the designs with two people (hence the two different ratings), both with different opinions. We agree on the fact that most designs or of good quality in terms of detail and build quality. They do have a certain ‘touch’ or ‘feel’ that is quite unique, but it has to be something you’re appealed to. We do hope that Threadbasket will add more diversity in the designs in the feature.
The good thing is that you can customize each and every design you download to your taste, so if you want to make adjustment in terms of colours or design, you can do so.
We also know as a fact that a t-shirt design doesn’t have to be pretty to be sold hundreds of times. If you have any experience in the world of print of demand you probably have the same experience.
Either way: We suggest you have a look at their collections and check whether it fits your aesthetic before committing to one of their subscription plans.
You can do this here: Threadbasket Pricing
Total score: 4 out of 5 stars
In the end of the day, it is a matter of taste: If you (and your customers) like these designs, this website offers you great value for money with new designs being added regularly and created with POD in mind. If you don’t, it may be worth looking elsewhere for your stock designs.
While we do not love the aesthetic of their designs, we love that they have set up their website in a way that allows the user to navigate the whole process with great ease. Whether you are just starting out in POD or have a business that is already thriving: If you like their designs, getting a Threadbasket subscription is likely to save you a lot of time.
The good, the bad and the ugly:
Last but not least: Let’s have a look at our favourite (and least favourite) designs:
Most beautiful designs:
These are some of the designs that drew our attention
We know it’s not the fault of this poor ugly stonefish or the designer who made this, but we wouldn’t want to wake up to this image in the middle of the night…
And this one is just plain creepy…
We hope this article helped in bringing all the relevant information together. We would love to hear about your experience and what you think of Threadbasket (and this article) in the comments below.