Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to share his architecture and design ideas through speculative projects. His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

My First Online Design Shop

My First Online Design Shop

One of the things that I’ve always been interested in starting is an online design shop where I could design and sell products. After a meeting with my good friend and fellow blogger Mike LaValley over at Evolving Architect (currently being upgraded to a new look!), I learned about several online product companies where artists and designers are able to put their designs on real items. I was so excited after this meeting that I decided to create an account and start an online shop for Journey of an Architect as project 18x30. Here’s my review of two online services and my very own online shop!


To start off, the company that I’m currently using for my online shop is Redbubble which was founded in 2006 and is a print on demand company. This means that artists and designers are able to come up with graphics and place them on the variety of items that Redbubble offers its customers. This ranges from t-shirts to dresses and pillows to tapestries and they’re constantly adding more fantastic items to their list.

Personally, I’ve decided to use Redbubble as my primary online shop because it has a larger audience than other print on demand companies as well as a strong community of artists and designers. Unlike other print on demand companies, the community aspect of Redbubble allows artists to support one another and join together in small challenges put forth by the micro-communities. I’m excited to join the Redbubble community and I’m looking forward to finally getting into graphic design for products.


An alternative to Redbubble, which I’m slowly dabbling in, is Inktale which is also a print on demand company for artists and designers that was founded in 2017. Inktale offers very similar services to Redbubble with the biggest difference being the user interface. As a company, Inktale is quickly growing and lots of artists and designers are starting to find their niche within the website.

This means that anyone who decides to join now and create their online shop can get ahead of others who discover this company in the future. Being in the forefront of a growing company will allow its artists and designers to start gaining traction with their product designs and grow alongside Inktale. In my opinion, the user interface of Inktale is very intuitive and easy to use. If you’re not as technically savvy, this would be an ideal platform to start your online shop!

The Journey of an Architect Online Shop!

To start this process of starting my online shop, I knew I had to take a step back and come up with some ideas for a themed collection. This would allow me to focus on a specific type of design and develop an efficient method of working. For example, let’s say I decided to design patterns for apparel such as all-over designed t-shirts. Knowing that my goal was to come up with patterns, I’d come up with my first design, learn from the process of making the pattern, and incorporate these lessons learned when I start the second design.

Following this logic, I decided that my collection would focus on two themes; travel and sketching. I’ve always loved traveling and I do my best to do it a few times a year. During these travels, I always bring along a good camera, which is either my iPhone 7 Plus if I’m going somewhere fast or my new Canon EOS 80D if I know I’ll have time to setup some awesome shots!

Using my database of photographs that I’ve taken on my travel ventures, I had to figure out the next step which was creating sketches and graphics. Using the photographs as a basis, I created a series of sketches and had to figure out which items I wanted to place these graphics on. With so much exciting things happening on the interface, I fell in love with placing the architecture and cityscape sketches onto throw pillows, mugs, phone cases, and bags. After going through each sketch and adjusting the design on each product, I finally created a collection of about 20 architecture and cityscape sketches from my travels around the world.

You can check out my online shop by clicking here.


Ultimately, I’d like the Journey of an Architect online shop to be a creative platform for sharing my passion for traveling and creative endeavors. My hope is that the shop will earn a small amount of money for me to continue traveling the world and visiting more amazing works of architecture, cities of all sizes, and natural wonders of the world! As always, I hope you found value in this post and thank you for your support!

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