Use AI to Create Designs for a Print-on-demand Ecommerce Business

Use Midjourney, Photoshop, and Gigapixel AI to create designs for an iPhone case.

An AI generated imaged of a retro-future night out.
Use artificial intelligence to create art.

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for nearly anyone to create amazing designs for a print-demand business that sells anything from t-shirts to phone cases.

Specifically, I am going to walk you through how to use Midjourney, which is a generative AI tool, Adobe Photoshop, and Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI to create designs that you can use to make wall art, t-shirts, phone cases, or similar to sell in an ecommerce shop.

Midjourney and Gigapixel AI

So, first, let's familiarize you with the software I will use in this article.

  • Midjourney, once again, is a generative AI tool that creates visual art from text prompts. It uses interactive machine learning to create unique images. It is similar to DALL-E from OpenAI —the makers of ChatGPT— Stable Diffusion, Ideogram, and similar solutions.
  • Photoshop is, perhaps, the best-known image-manipulating software on the market. I will use it to prepare the image.
  • Gigapixel AI is a photo enlargement software that uses artificial intelligence to upscale images. It can create more detailed images, reduce noise, and sharpen images.

Midjourney Design Prompts

For our example project, we will design iPhone cases for a science-fiction-themed online store. Our designs will be "retro-futuristic."

Midjourney runs on a Discord server. It accepts prompts that be with /imagine. With a prompt, we are asking the AI to generate an image based on our test description.

My first prompt is "A friendly robot dressed in a business suit, sipping a martini and smoking a cigarette. Retro-futuristic illustration. Bold and bright colors. --ar 1:3 " Where the "--ar" is the parameter for aspect ratio.

A screen capture from Midjourney.
Creating images in Midjourney is a process. Test is provided, images are upscaled, varied, and iterated.

I did not love the outcome, so I tried a few more prompts and got something interesting. This process resulted in four designs I liked. These designs absolutely took some iteration. I upscaled images, zoomed out, and asked the AI to try again several times before I was happy with the designs.

Shows four AI images include a robot drinking a cocktail, a robo server, a man at a keyboard, and. woman with dark glasses.
After several iterations, I was able to generate four retro-future images that I liked.

I want to point out that Midjourney can upscale these images large enough to be used to make an iPhone case, but I like to be able to make changes sometimes, so I next head to Photoshop.

Make Changes in Photoshop

A screen capture of an image in Photoshop.
In Photoshop the image can be compared to a template. Will it work as a phone case?

After opening the Midjourney image on the web and downloading the image file, I open it in Photoshop, laying it over an iPhone case template I downloaded from the print-on-demand firm Printful.

Adjusting the opacity of my image lets me position it and resize it to fit the template. I can even use Photoshop's excellent "content aware fill" to make changes to the image.

A screen capture of Photoshop's content aware fill.
Sometimes the fill is very easy. In this particular image, I just need to extend some of the dark background at the top so that the image would fit better on the template.

Once I am happy with the image, I save the image and head over to Gigapixel AI. There is also a Gigapixel plugin for Photoshop if you like that workflow better.

Upscale with Gigapixel

In my opinion, this tool could not be easier. I open the image, upscale it to a 300 DPI picture in the proper aspect ratio, and just like that, I have a printable design.

Screen capture of an image in Gigapixel AI.
Using Gigapixel AI might be the simplest part of the process, I don't make many changes to the settings, and I always get a great upscaled image.


An image showing three iPhone case mockups.
The print-on-demand service will be able to help with mock-ups.

The final design can be uploaded to the print-on-demand service, and I can start selling retro-science-fiction iPhone cases.