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Preparing Designs for the Marketplace

Once you have completed Seller Verification and proofed your first designs, you are ready to sell in the Marketplace. And while you can make designs immediately available for purchase, you may want to consider these essential steps to help elevate your sales success. Learn how to prepare your designs for sale in the Marketplace with:


  • Basic descriptions that help customers locate and understand your designs
  • Refined "tags" to improve your specific placement in search results
  • Tips to promote your work both within the Spoonflower Marketplace and beyond


Adding Descriptive Details to Your Designs

Making Your Designs Easy to Find with Tags


For more great information on selling and promotion, check out The Spoonflower Seller Handbook on our blog. This handbook is rife with several articles offering additional tips beyond the basics found here.


Adding Descriptive Details to Your Designs

Even the most beautiful designs need thoughtful descriptors and dynamic tags so customers can locate them. Keeping these details simple will ensure that our search algorithm will consistently find and return your designs. Filling out the Marketing & Selling section for each design in your library is a good practice. The information and language you share here is public facing, so grammar and clarity matter.

You will find the Marketing & Selling section when you scroll down the design preview page. There are several entry boxes to complete. You will find descriptions for each numbered entry field below:


1. Name: Your design needs a unique and descriptive name. After the thumbnail of your work, it is the most important detail and should be direct and to the point. Often a good title will contain the likely description a customer would search for. The name will be used by the search engine and should contain words relative to the design. If you don't update the Name, we will use the file name of your design. What may make sense to you might not make sense to a customer, so don't overlook this important detail!

If you are creating multiple colorways or scales of a design, it is recommended to name them consistently.

2. Description: This is a short description of your design. You can approach it however you like, but consider how you might entice customers by asking yourself these questions: Who might want to use this design? What might they want to make from it? Help them imagine the story that your design inspires and share it here.

3. Additional Details: You can expand on the general description of your design in this field, but this is also where you will include essential details that customers must know before ordering the design. There could be many possible limiters to include here. These are a few of the more common ones:

  • If the design was uploaded to print as a Fat Quarter as a Tea Towel on Linen Cotton Cotton - at a width of a 27" wide - write that here
  • If the design is a cut and sew that needs to print on 56" wide, you will want to share those specific fabric types in this field
  • If the design is longer than one yard or one meter, include the minimum "QUANTITY"- such as 2 continuous yards - to order
  • If you are willing to rescale or personalize the design, share your contact information here

PRO TIP: The default fabric for every uploaded design is Petal Signature Cotton®. However, you are free to save a preferred fabric type from the Choose a Fabric dropdown when you initially upload a new design. This means that whenever a customer comes to this design page, the fabric will default to the one you originally selected. While this won't guarantee that a customer orders the right fabric - they can always change it - this is a good stop-gap to guide them. See What if I want to print on a certain fabric type? in the article Sizing Your Design.

4. Select the thumbnail that best represents your design to customers. Fat Quarter, Swatch and Crop are the three options to choose from. This is the initial image shown in search returns and hopefully it will inspire a click to see the full design on fabric, wallpaper or home decor.

5. Tags: Tags are descriptive words or short phrases that our search algorithm uses to generate results for customers both through our site and external search engines. Strong tags are such an important factor in your success that we devote an entire section to them below: Making Your Designs Easy to Find with Tags.

6. These prompts are offered to inspire you with descriptions, details and tags. They should help you get into the mindset of your customers and generate answers to elevate your tag game for better search returns. 

Finally, remember that everything you include on each design page is public facing. Keep grammar and language in mind. Also, if you are uploading a collection of similar designs, there is no way to "batch update" these descriptions and details. Keep one design page open so you can remember what you've written from one design to the next.


Making Your Designs Easy to Find with Tags

You can enter up to 13 tags for each of your designs. These tags, along with the title of the design, will help our algorithm locate your designs. You want these tags to be unique enough that they stand out, but not so clever that customers fail to ever search by them. 

  • It is a good idea to learn how search works in our Marketplace. Read Searching the Spoonflower Marketplace so you can use tags that will help bolster your returns in customer searches.
  • Reviewing the tags associated with favorite artists and our more popular designs is a great way to bolster your tag game! Scroll down on any design page to find them listed. 
  • While artists often like to describe their inspiration in their descriptions, any tags using the names of other contemporary artists, artworks or copyrighted property will be removed from your design page.

PRO-TIP: You can add several tags to a design all at once by separating the words or phrases with a comma. Even better, if you have uploaded a group of similar designs or a collection that fall under the set of tags or description details, you can "batch edit" from the drop down feature through the "List View" in your Design Library. 


Best Practices for Tags


Tags can be a single word or short phrases no more than 23 characters. They can include letters, numbers, spaces, and/or hyphens.

The best tags cover the style, predominant color(s), and any defining objects in the design. These are the types of words customers search for.

  • Consider textural elements, shapes, and emotions of your work - moody, cheery, playful, bright - that your design reflects and the person you want to find your design.
  • Customers often include colors in their searches, so including the 3 or 4 most predominant colors is always a good idea. Be mindful not to include every color, as it may cause frustrated customers if your work shows up in results where it shouldn't!
  • Most search queries on the site are in English, so including English tags is highly recommended.

When searching the Marketplace, you might have noticed the various filters that become available along the left side after entering your first search terms. Using these filters to help inspire or determine tags is a good practice that will refine where your designs show up.


Tags to Avoid

To best utilize your tags, you should avoid the following:

  • Duplicate words – If a word is included once in a tag or title, the search engine will find it. There is no need to repeat it on multiple tags.

    Screenshot 2024-02-12 at 9.41.18 AM.png
    Floral and watercolor do not need to be repeated in multiple tags

  • Multiple tenses of a word – The search engine recognizes the stem (root) of a word and will match based on that. A design’s title and tags will match to all versions of a word (singular, plural, different tenses) regardless of the version used in the customer’s search query.

    Example: If you enter the tag "play", our search engine will also return your design when a customer searches for "plays," "played" or "playing". This means there is no need to write the same word in multiple forms

    Screenshot 2024-02-12 at 9.44.07 AM.png

    Only “leaf” is needed.

  • Synonyms – In a similar manner, the search engine is aware of synonyms and will match a given word and all of its synonyms without the need to include all of the related words on your design.
    Synonyms include the following types of words:
    • words with multiple supported spellings such as American English/British English: color, colour
    • compound words: hand drawn, handdrawn
    • words with multiple phrasings: autumn, fall
  • Misspelled words Carefully check the spelling of your tagsIf you have a misspelling, your design will not appear in search results for that tag.

  • Keyword stuffed tags or truncated words – The search engine searches by exact match to query words. Any keyword stuffed tags with no spaces between words or truncated partial words will not be matched and your design will not be found.
    Screenshot 2024-02-12 at 9.49.16 AM.png

    None of these tags will be findable because a customer would not search for these words in this format so there will not be a match.
  • Your profile screen name – The search engine is built to search your screen name and will find your designs if your screen name is included in a query. No need to add it as a tag.

  • Product names – It is not necessary to add a product name as a tag (i.e., fabric, wallpaper, bedding, etc.) because our system automatically adds these from your design settings and displays your design in the appropriate results. The search engine ignores any product name tags.

  • Copyrighted property - While artists often like to describe their inspiration in their descriptions, any tags using the names of other contemporary artists, artworks or copyrighted property will be removed from your design page.


Checking Search Results

There is a system-wide delay from fifteen minutes up to one hour before newly uploaded designs, or updates to established designs, will appear in search results. This delay only relates to search results as you should be able to see your newly uploaded designs or changes on your design instantly within your account. If you feel like you are experiencing search result delays beyond one hour, please contact us.

PRO-TIP: Each design has a unique design ID. This design ID is the most efficient way to search and share any specific design. When creating a new design for a customer, uploading a customized version, or directing a customer to a specific design, you can share the URL or invite them to search our site by the design ID to ensure they navigate to the exact version they want.



We have rolled out the colorways feature on the product page for thousands of designs. The colorway feature groups 3 or more designs together that have the same original design elements but use different colors throughout to help customers easily see what options are available. This is driven by image analysis technology which finds different color versions of the same design within an artist’s catalog and groups them together. This is based partially on a visually similar distant score. This means that you will potentially see slightly different colorways as you navigate between them. Having consistent titles and tags between your colorway designs will help improve our ability to detect them as well. Starting in 2024, we will be detecting colorways for all newly made for sale designs on an ongoing basis.  


See Also: Setting Designs for Sale

See Also: Promoting Your Designs on Spoonflower and Social Media

See Also: Selling Your Designs at Spoonflower

See Also: Design Library

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