Reasons for Design Rejection

We can only accept designs that meet certain quality criteria and appeal to a wide range of potential customers. This is why we will reject designs if one of the following reasons apply. If you have any questions as to why your design was rejected, please get in touch with our legal service:

Rights Unaccounted

As a designer, you can earn money with your ideas at Spreadshirt. It is in both your and our interest to protect rights of use and copyrights. We usually reject the publication of a design if we can find the design elsewhere online and aren’t able to get in touch with you to verify your authorship. These cases make identifying the authorship contentious. Even if a third-party design is labelled public domain content, the usage rights are not properly clarified and we must reject the design. We also want to avoid multiple offers. In case you should indeed be the actual author, please do got in touch and contact us.


As a print-on-demand provider, we need to respect copyrights. If we disregard copyrights on designs, slogans, trademarks or personal rights, we - and possibly also you - face potential legal warnings that may incur steep fines. That's why we can only publish protected designs if you can provide us with an appropriate permit. This also applies to designs that show elements of protected designs, even in cases of parody. Parodies may violate existing trademark rights due to a possibility of confusion. The same is true for images or names of real-life persons who are entitled to a right to privacy.
If you are not sure if your design violates existing rights, check out the online platform USPTO. If you should find your idea already listed there, unfortunately someone else beat you to the chase.
Sometimes, legal situations change and we have to remove designs from our platform, even if they were originally cleared for publication.

Community Standards

We value peaceful coexistence, and we want to make life more beautiful with the designs people find through our Spreadshirt community. Please remember that designs violating our community guidelines will be rejected if they contain illegal content, hate speech, pornography or glorify violence. Based on our Community Guidelines we reserve the right to remove sensitive content or limit its visibility. This is especially true for the protection of minors or if we find it necessary to protect the needs of our diverse community. Legally prohibited content won’t be printed by us. Please contact us should you see any designs on our platform which violate our Community Guidelines.

Design Quality

Spreadshirt stands for quality. All the products you can buy on our platforms have been selected to make buyers happy. That's why we've defined a set of quality criteria for designs that need to be met.

  • Designs must be completely cropped. Be sure to completely remove the background on your designs. If you do need a background, it should be visible in its entirety and not be pixilated. The same is true for any other kind of pixelation. Edges should be clean and accurate.
  • In order to achieve a good print result, pixel graphics need a sufficiently high resolution without pixelation. Read more about the requirements on pixel designs.
  • Blurred or washed-out designs can’t be published, because the print result would not meet your expectations or our high quality standards.
  • Low contrast designs often look dull after printing and don’t come out right. Be sure to upload designs that are rich in contrast and color. Remember, what looks like a bit “overkill” on your monitor will render well on fabric.
  • With automatically vectorized designs, some of the design elements may not be be cleanly rendered. Common problems include rounded corners, deformed objects or incorrectly set anchor points. Pay attention to clean vector graphics so we can publish your design quickly.
  • Digital prints deliver the best print results, but production is more demanding than other print methods. Digital direct printing requires spraying a base-layer on the product before applying the design. This is necessary to bring the colors out nicely. On semi-transparent prints, you’ll see the pre-treatment shine through later (which is of course not ideal). On dark and colorful products, this effect is more pronounced. Our tip: Avoid semi-transparencies and sprinkle these areas with spots of color instead.
  • If we should spot accidental typos, we'll do you a favor by not publishing your design. It’ll give you a chance to correct the slip and re-upload the design.
  • Valuable tips on how to optimize your graphics quickly and easily can be found in this blog post. Our design experts are happy to help you: Spreadshirt’s graphic service helps you realize your design ideas in a professional and inexpensive way.

Marketplace Standards

  • Our Marketplace is a creative playground for self-made designs. This is what distinguishes us from other platforms specializing in photo prints. We can’t accept simple photo snapshots unless the image has been edited to reflect some kind of artistic approach. Designs for smartphone cases and posters are the exception here.
  • Please don’t upload anything to the Marketplace that has highly personal or specific content, like e.g. names, birth dates, email or website addresses. Those designs are of no interest to Marketplace buyers and hold next to no sales opportunities. Please offer such designs in your Spreadshop instead.
  • The quality of search results in the Marketplace is largely determined by tags, descriptions, titles and categories. Choose tags that fit your design. If half of your tags or more won’t fit your design, we reserve the right to not publish the design on the Marketplace.
  • We reject series of designs in which only a few elements vary. For example, series of designs like “Vintage since YEAR” (with all numbered years from 1901 to 2025) or “Five-Star JOB” (including all kinds of occupations from accountant to zookeeper) aren’t permissible. Also, unformatted single words, single numbers or letters won’t be published in the Marketplace.

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