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How to Increase Sales by Avoiding These Common Design Mistakes

By Sara Hill

Putting product in front of customers isn’t enough - customers are picky, and rightfully so. With these simple tips you’ll avoid common pitfalls that cause customers to scroll right past your hard work.

Personalization is King (and Queen!)

We know for a fact that personalization SELLS. No one wants the same mug everyone else has. They want a mug with their baby on it. They want a mug with their pet, their initials, their … you get it!

CreativeStudio and GO Expression do this work for you. All you have to do is make a part of your CreativeStudio design editable in GO Expression and then your customer can personalize before purchasing - no more back and forth with the customer or sending proofs!

It can be something simple like initials for a monogram:

The “make editable in GO Expression” checkbox can be found in the appearance tab:

(Start Using GO Expression - anyone can sign up!)

You can also create products where your customer can personalize most of the design, such as images and text in this family coaster set:

Now that you have the core concept of grabbing your customer with personalization, here are a few tips to create attractive products:

Make Your Design Easy on the Eyes

If it’s hard for you to read your text, it’s probably hard for your customers. Consider adding contrast, altering the font size or including additional elements behind the text to make it easier to read.

In this example of a monogram drink holder, the background is busy so it’s hard to distinguish the lettering. Once a white circle was added to complement the background, it made the lettering pop even though font size was decreased. Also notice the even spacing around the circle and the letters - this helps it look clean and organized.

The images below illustrate how it can be hard to read text on busy or light backgrounds, and playing around with the color and background can make a huge difference.

These examples are little ways to let your customers add a personal touch - the 2020 numbers could easily be changed into a name, and the wedding phone case can be 100% personalized.

Use High Quality Graphics and Images

A very common issue with poorly selling designs is simply due to a low quality image. Low quality imagery can mean a few things: the color is off, the image is too light/too dark, or the photo is simply too small for the space and looks blurred when stretched.

Learn some quick tips about how to take a great photo - the knowledge will help you and it’ll help you guide your customers in personalizing your products.


Notice the difference a high quality, appropriately sized image makes: it’s brighter, clearer and more attractive.

Design Elements Need Space

Spacing issues with fonts and graphics are one of the biggest differentiators between good and poor designers. Take a look at this example of uneven spacing and alignment against even spacing:


Find Designs That Customers Want to Buy

One of the easiest ways to get the design ball rolling is to create inspiration “mood” boards, which are essentially collections of imagery in a style you want to mimic.

Check sites like Creative Market or Etsy to see what’s trending and figure out how to add your taste to it. You could create a folder on your desktop with screenshots, use a Word document, or try something like Pinterest (in fact, we have many inspiration boards already made for you!)

CreativeStudio also has hundreds of designs pre-made, so you can use as-is or alter to your liking. Learn more about CreativeStudio and premium membership.

Join GO Expression to start creating personalized designs - it’s easy, free and you can get started today! Learn more about how to get started.

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For design inspiration and education, don't forget to follow us @SawgrassInk on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!