10 of the Best Places to Make Your Products

November 30, 2016 4 Comments

10 of the Best Places to Make Your Products

You’ve finished a fantastic illustration that’s almost asking to be screenprinted onto a T-shirt or laser-engraved onto wood – or maybe you’ve designed a set of killer business cards, or vintage letterpress invitations. The question is: where’s the best place to get them made?

Turning your illustrations into tangible products isn’t just an incredibly satisfying process, it can also provide a valuable stream of extra revenue for designers and illustrators. So where do you start? The internet is overflowing with options – where can you get the best quality, service and value for money?

We’ve put together a collection of some of the best places we’ve come across for getting your products made. Some of them we’ve used ourselves; others have been recommended by leading designers and illustrators (huge thanks especially to Sara Blake, Tom Mac, Steven Bonner and Radim Malinic).

If we’ve missed any of your favorite companies, let us know and we’ll add them to the list. Read on to take your illustration to the next level…


01. Moo: custom business cards

Best Places to Make Your Products: Moo business cards

We’ll start with the daddy of customized business card services: Moo. The UK-based print-on-demand company lets you shop by paper quality (starting with premium and ending at extra-think Mohawk Superfine luxury paper) or shape, offers a heap of features like gold foil and spot gloss to make your business card stand out, and lets you print a different image on the back of every single card at no extra cost, should you wish.

You can print full color on both sides for no extra cost too, and you can either upload your own design or customize a Moo template if you prefer. 50 Moo-sized business cards start from £13.19, and they’ll deliver around the world.

02. Publicide: letterpress

Best places to get your products made: Publicide letterpress

Need to get some letterpress invitations or letterheads printed? Publicide is a full-service print and design company based in downtown New York that offers custom letterpress, foil stamping and offset printing – as well as in-house designers to make sure you get the best product possible.

Their three Heidelberg presses provide a huge range of special effects and can handle everything from super-thick business cards to custom buck slips, presentation folders, packaging and so on. If you’re after letterpress, especially, Publicide has a lot to offer.

03. Big Secret: laser engraving

Best Places to Make Your Products: Big Secret laser engraving
Image courtesy of Big Secret: Laser-engraved wooden LP illustration by Kendrick Kidd

When it comes to laser engraving, get in touch with Big Secret. Whether you’re looking to laser your designs into wood, paper, acrylic, fabric, glass, food or, er, human femur bones, the Richmond-based company should be your first port of call. Their work has appeared on Nike, Jack Daniels and Oreo products, to name a few, with designers like Friends of Type’s Erik Marinovich singing their praises.

04. Scout Books: custom notebooks

Best Places to Make Your Products: Scout Books customized notebooks
Image: Travel Portland x Scout Books

Whether you want to make a custom-branded notebook for a client or develop your own, original notebook line, Scout Books is a publishing platform that lets you quickly and easily bring your designs to life.

Printed with vegetable-based inks on 100 per cent recycled papers - and reportedly powered by renewable energy too – the notebooks can be customized by size, quantity (starting at 250), ink color, page style, staple color and turnaround time.

05. Printful: T-shirts

Best Places to Make Your Products: Printful

California-based online drop shipping and print-on-demand company Printful is a great option for anyone who wants to start making their own T-shirts and apparel. Prices are competitive and you can choose from high-quality options like American Apparel or Alternative Apparel models, or more budget-friendly brands like Gildan.

You also have the option to print one-off designs for your own use, or to sell your designs in your online store. And Printful does accessories – iPhone covers, mugs, hats, posters, totes, pillows and so on, so you can really get creative.

06. 3rd Rail Clothing: screenprinting

Best places to make your products: 3rd Rail

Expert screenprinter 3rd Rail Clothing provides high-quality screenprinting and garment customization to clients all over the world. From epic all-over T-shirt prints and gallery-standard paper printing to garment customisation (including laser sharp pockets and sleeves) and screenprinted packaging, the London-based team of illustrators, designers, printmakers and seamsters offer superb craftsmanship and fantastic customer service.  

07. Sticker App: custom stickers

Best places to get your products made: Sticker App

Swedish service Sticker App is the place to go for custom stickers and labels. Prices start at £10 for a sheet, and they offer a huge selection of materials – from glossy coated vinyl to transparent – that, say the company, will be weather-resistent for three-five years. They have tons of happy customers so are definitely doing something right.


08. Phenomenal Vinyl: large vinyl wraps

Bets places to get your products made: Phenomenal Vinyl
Image: Phenomenal Vinyl wrapping a 1970 Cuda for an episode of Chop Cut Rebuild 

Okay, you might not have a 1970s Cuda sitting in your drive. But whether you’ve dreamt of customizing your own car forever, or you’re working on a branding project that requires a vehicle wrap, New York-based Phenomenal Vinyl is in a league of its own when it comes to custom wrapping.

And they don’t just do cars: they also wrap interior panels, stained glass, walls – wherever you need a wrap, they say they can make it happen.  

09. Ripe Digital: prints

Best places to get your products made: Ripe Digital prints

Specializing in high-quality, short-run printing, Ripe Digital is the UK’s premier Indigo digital printer in the south west, and has clients around the world, ranging from Ammo Magazine to streetwear brand AnyForty (pictured above).

Boasting a seven-color ink system (including white and transparent inks), with Pantone color-matching for litho print quality and no minimum run, Ripe Digital can turn its hand to everything from corporate literature to lookbooks and packaging, and has a top-class reputation for quality, quick turnarounds and excellent customer service.

10. Ruffneck custom scarves

Best places to get your products made: Ruffneck Scarves

Starting from $7 per scarf, Ruffneck Scarves provides a wide variety of custom scarves, ranging from “soccer scarves” (traditional Jacquard Knit scarves) for teams and clubs to lightweight summers options and embroidered scarves.

The scarves are double-sided and can be designed differently on each side for no extra cost, the minimum order is 50 pieces per design, and the company ships internationally.

Where do you get your products made? Let us know below and we’ll add your favorites to the list.

4 Responses


December 27, 2016

Great list! Thank you. Have you come across anyone making great temporary tattoos? I love the ones from Tattly but want to creat my own. So far the results have been meh.

Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

December 08, 2016

Hi guys – thanks for your comments! Great recommendations, I’ll add them to the post when we update it in a few weeks’ time – thank you. And Bruno, no problem, I’ll add some more UK/Europe-based services as well!


December 06, 2016

Thank you so much for this Julia. I would love to know more of these, specially UK or European based. Would you be able to extend on this list?

Mary Jane Gavenda
Mary Jane Gavenda

December 05, 2016

I would really like to see more on this topic. It is so hard to find a lot of these vendors. One I can recommend is DENY designs for printing on fabric. Also Spoonflower. Anyone have a good jigsaw puzzle maker?

Leave a comment

Also in RetroSupply Blog

Kong Wee Pang: How to push boundaries in your client work
Kong Wee Pang: How to push boundaries in your client work

July 20, 2017

“I’m always excited about breaking the rules,” states illustrator and art director Kong Wee Pang. “Illustration allows you to create your own world.” The Malaysian-born, Memphis-based creative isn’t joking...

View full article →

Bob Ewing: How to Design Your Career
Bob Ewing: How to Design Your Career

July 13, 2017

Creative giants: Talented Indianapolis-based designer Bob Ewing explains how he went from architect to respected lettering artist, and shares his best advice for how to design your own career.

View full article →

Brian French: How to Make Your Clients Come Back for More
Brian French: How to Make Your Clients Come Back for More

July 06, 2017 1 Comment

French Papers’ sixth-generation salesman Brian French explains how a small, 150-year-old, family run paper mill won over designers and agencies to become America’s go-to for custom paper and envelopes.

View full article →