Design Online Guide

Design Online Guide

Read Time: 4 Minutes


23 Jul 2020

Designing your own artwork for print isn’t just for the pro designers – with our free design tool (+ tons of templates to customise) it’s easy to bring your ideas to life. In this guide, we’ll run through how to choose a template, how to create or customise a template, how to save and access saved designs as well as some top tips on getting the most out of the tool. 


Step 1: Make an Account

This first step is super important, so don’t skip it! In order to access your designs, you’ll need to first make an account with us. You can sign up here. Also – remember to sign in before you start designing; there’s nothing worse than getting partway through an epic business card design and realising you can’t save your progress!


Step 2: Finding a Template

There are a couple of different options for finding a template (whether that’s a fresh, blank one, or a ready-made customisable one).
You can either go to the All Templates page here and filter options by product, industry or colour. Or, you can browse our website categories like you normally would and click here to browse templates for that product and size.


Step 3: Create Your Design

Now for the fun bit! Our design tool gives you complete control over the background adding images and changing the text. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to use the different functions our design tool has to offer.

1. Add a background colour
The background is a great place to start with your design. To pick a background colour, click on the eyedropper tool in the top right-hand corner of the screen that says ‘Background’. You’ll then get to choose from a range of colours for your background.



2. Add an image
To add an image, click on the Image option in the top left-hand side of the page. You can then add images from your computer to the design – just make sure they’re high quality (at least 300dpi), otherwise you’ll get a quality warning!



3. Add shapes
Next to where you add an image, there’s a Shapes option. We’ve got your basic shapes like circles and squares, and also things like phone and social media icons which are really useful!



You can change the colour of the shape by choosing the colour picker here:



4. Add text
To add text, first click on the Text icon in the top left-hand corner here:



Then click ‘Add New Text Field’. This creates a text box – you can either type into the box in the left-hand panel, or directly into the text box to add text. 

You can change the font and style of the text using the middle tool bar that appears. To change the colour, this option will be in the middle tool bar to the right-hand side.

Click on the bin to delete the text.


5. Using the grid tool
You can click and drag images, text boxes and shapes and move them wherever you want freestyle, but if you want a really polished design where everything lines up, you can’t beat the grid function.

The grid function gives you guide lines to help you line everything up. This is made even easier if you chose to ‘snap’ things to you grid, like text, images and shapes, as this gives you even more control.


Step 4: Save Your Design 

If you want to design today and order later, that’s perfectly fine! You can save your design on your account and come back to it whenever you want – this also means you can come back to complete your order later too! 

How to Access Your Saved Designs 
To access any designs that you’ve saved, go to your account. On the left-hand side of the page there will be a list of options, and at the bottom there will be an option called ‘Saved Designs’. Click here and your designs will come up. From here, you can order your print or edit your design.

Step 5: Approving Your Proof

When you’re happy with your design, click continue. Our design tool will then generate a preview of your design showing how it’ll look when printed. If you’re happy with the overall look, tick the box to confirm you approve and continue to the basket! If not, feel free to go back and make those final tweaks to make it perfect.



Why did my artwork change when I previewed it?
If your artwork shifts or changes when you preview it, there are a couple of different tricks to try.

•    If text has shifted, go back to your design and pull the text box as close to the text body as you can
•    If colours or formatting appear to have changed or you can’t use the bold and italic options for text, try running the design tool in a Google Chrome incognito browser

If these tricks don’t work, the best thing to do is complete your order without artwork and email your artwork to us afterwards.


How do I email my artwork to you?
If your background keeps changing or text boxes keep moving, sometimes the best thing to do if let us set up your proof manually.

Save your design and while it’s still open in “edit” mode, copy and paste the URL straight out of the address bar into an email for us. 

The URL will look a little like this:

You can then place a blank order for the product you’d like. To do this, add the print you want to your basket and checkout without any artwork.

Once you’ve placed your order, you’ll get an email with your web reference number – we need you to include this in your email so that we can link your design up to your order. 

Email the link, order reference and your request over to and we’ll get a manual proof sorted and sent over to you within 5 hours of receiving it. 

You can reply to the proofing email letting us know whether you’re happy to go ahead. 

Please note that we can’t confirm a delivery date until you’ve approved your artwork.


Why can’t I paste text into the text boxes?
Our design tool currently doesn’t support this function. Instead, please type directly into the text box.


Why can’t I upload my image?
Sometimes you may experience problems with images uploading to the website; this could be down to colour, size or format. You can upload JPEG, PNG and GIF files to the website. Make sure your images are under 10MB and they should upload fine and not slow the process down. If your file is too large, you can scale it down using your design software and then re-export it.


Why do my colours look different?
Because our design tool is online, the colours show as RGB – this is the colour spectrum computer screens use. Make sure that any images and logos you upload for your design are first converted to CMYK. Find out more on how to do this here.


Why can’t I edit my saved design?
If it’s been a while, the option to ‘Edit Design’ might not appear, so instead you’ll need to click the ‘Copy’ button which will copy it onto an up-to-date page. After you’ve done this, you can edit and continue to checkout as normal.


We hope these tips help you to create a design you’ll love using our free design tool. If you have any more questions about this service, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here. Or if you’d like to learn more, give our design online video tutorials a whirl!


About the Author

Hi! I’m Jennie, and I’m the eCommerce Manager at instantprint. I'm passionate about creating the best website experience for our customers.