Understanding Print-on-Demand Terms: What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own POD Shop

Understanding Print-on-Demand Terms

Opening up a print-on-demand shop can be a great way to start your own business and make some extra money on the side. But before you jump in, it’s essential to understand the terminology involved in this type of printing. This article will break down the most important print-on-demand terms so you know what to expect when starting your own shop. With this knowledge, you can feel confident about setting up your business and starting to sell your products!

POD: Print-on-Demand

Let’s start with the most basic print-on-demand term, POD. POD simply stands for print-on-demand! What is print on demand? Print-on-demand is a printing technology and business process in which print products are not printed until the customer orders them. This differs from the traditional print model, in which print products are printed ahead of time and then stored until they are sold.

One of the benefits of print on demand is that it allows businesses to print only what they need when they need it. This can save on storage costs and help businesses print products more efficiently.


You might have also heard the term dropshipping. Dropshipping is a type of business model in which businesses sell products without having to carry any inventory. When a customer orders a product from a drop shipping business, the business will then purchase the product from a third-party supplier and have it shipped directly to the customer. Dropshipping is often used in print-on-demand businesses because it can be difficult to predict which products will be popular and need to be kept in stock.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basic print-on-demand terms, let’s move on to more specific print-on-demand terminology.


One important term to know is fulfillment. Fulfillment simply refers to the process of getting your print products to your customers. When you use print on demand, your print provider will handle the printing and shipping of your products for you. This means that you don’t have to worry about keeping inventory or dealing with the hassles of shipping. Your print provider will take care of everything for you, from start to finish!

fulfillment center

Print Provider

Another term you might hear is print provider. A print provider is a company that offers print-on-demand services. When you use a print provider, they will print and ship your products for you. They will also usually provide you with a platform to sell your products, such as an online store. Print providers can be a great option for businesses that don’t want to deal with the hassle of print production and shipping.

File Type & Dimension

Many print providers will ask for a specific file type and dimension. The file type is referring to how you export your design. You typically will upload your design either as a JPG or PNG. The dimensions refer to how big the design canvas size is. More often than not, you will need your design to be at least 300ppi in order to keep the quality from becoming pixelated.

ipad dimensions


PPI stands for pixels per inch and simply refers to the resolution or quality of your design file. The higher the PPI, the better the quality of your print will be. Most print providers require a minimum PPI of 300 in order to produce high-quality prints. Another term that they might use to describe the canvas is DPI. This stands for dots per inch and is used to print your design onto a physical product.


DPI is determined by the print provider and the type of product you are printing on. For example, if you are printing on t-shirts, the DPI will be much higher than if you are printing on paper products. This is because t-shirts are a much more absorbent material, so the ink needs to be applied more densely in order to print correctly.

Mockup Generator

Mockup generator means exactly what it sounds like – it’s a tool that lets you create mockups of your design on products. This is a great way to see how your design will look before you print it. Print providers will often have a mockup generator on their website that you can use to create product mockups.

mock up generator


DTG or Direct to Garment printing is the process of printing your design directly onto a garment using inkjet technology. This type of printing is becoming more popular because it allows for print providers to print full-color designs without the need for screens or setup fees.

Fulfillment Time

Fulfillment time is the amount of time it takes for your print provider to print and ship your products. This can vary depending on the print provider but typically ranges from a few days to a week. Turnaround time is the total amount of time it takes for you to receive your print order, from the time you place your order until the time it arrives at your door. Turnaround time includes print time, shipping time, and order processing time.


sRGB is the standard color space for monitors and the internet. CMYK is the standard color space for print. Most print providers require that you design your file in CMYK color mode because this will produce the most accurate colors when printing.

Print-on-Demand Terms Conclusion

Now that you know some of the most important print-on-demand terms, you’re one step closer to opening up your own shop! With this knowledge, you can feel confident about setting up your business and starting to sell your products. So what are you waiting for? Get started today! To start your research, check out this post on the top 10 print-on-demand companies and what they offer.

For an in-depth look at how print-on-demand companies work, check out this blog post. And to check out one of my top print-on-demand companies, check out Printful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *