Rejection Reasons for Designs

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. Protecting rights of use and copyrights is in your best interest. Generally, we’ll refuse to publish designs if we’re unable to directly trace or connect the design to you. Even if a design is labelled as public domain content by third parties, the rights of use might not be clearly stated. If this is the case, then we must reject the design. All in all, we want to avoid multiple offers and err on the safe side. If you’re the actual creator of a design and have questions or concerns, please contact us.


As a print-on-demand provider, we need to respect copyrights whenever possible. If we disregard copyrights on designs, slogans, trademarks or personal rights, we - and possibly also you - potentially face warnings that may incur severe 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 parodies. 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 TMview. If you should find your idea listed there, someone else was unfortunately faster than you.
Sometimes the legal situation changes 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’re all for making our lives that little bit more beautiful with the designs people find at 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 Standards 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.

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.

  • Design not fully cropped: 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 pixelated. The same is true for any other kind of pixelation. Edges should be clean and accurate.
  • Resolution too low: in order to achieve a good print result, pixel graphics need a sufficiently high resolution without pixelation. Read more about the requirements for pixel designs
  • Image quality too low: blurred or washed-out designs can’t be published, because the print result would meet neither your nor our expectations.
  • Contrast too low: low-contrast designs often look dull after printing and don’t come out right. Be sure to upload designs rich in contrast and colour only.
  • Untidy vector graphic: with automatically vectorised designs, some of the design elements may be rendered uncleanly. Common problems include rounded corners, deformed objects or incorrectly set anchor points. Ensure vector graphics are clean so we can publish your design quickly.
  • Design features semi-transparent areas: 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 colours out nicely. On semi-transparent prints, you’ll see the pre-treatment shine through later (which is of course not ideal). On dark and colourful products, this effect is more pronounced. Our tip: avoid semi-transparencies and sprinkle these areas with spots of colour instead.
  • Typos: if we should spot accidental typos, we'll do you a favour by not publishing your design. It’ll give you a chance to correct the slip and re-upload the design.
  • Inaccurate instructions or harmful content: designs displaying inaccurate or dangerous instructions for first aid or other potentially harmful activities are refused for safety reasons. These kinds of instruction could lead people to perform dangerous acts that could result in injury or damage.
  • Content errors regarding specific knowledge: as a precaution, we refuse designs containing erroneous information, incorrect formulae for chemical compounds, grammatical errors or other substantive errors. This mainly concerns designs where accuracy of information is significant, such as scientific, medical or technical content.
  • Valuable tips on how to optimise your graphics quickly and easily can be found in this blog post. Our design experts are happy to help you: Spreadshirt’s graphic service realises design ideas in a professional and inexpensive way.

Marketplace Standards

  • 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.