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Design Essentials

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Become a Paperlust print designer

Create and sell stunning print designs, and build your personal brand on Paperlust.

Our community of talented independent print designers welcomes all creatives with a passion for print design. No matter if you are a print guru or just dabbling in the art print design we have all the tools you need to create stunning stationery designs for sale on Paperlust.

You get to focus on doing what you are passionate about - creating unique print designs - and our talented team will take care of the rest - printing, shipping, customer service and everything in between.

Become a Paperlust print designer today and join our amazing community of talented creatives

How do I create a profile?

We’re excited to have you become a Paperlust print designer! All you need to do is sign-up and create your designer profile! - It’s 100% FREE 

Closing Your Account

We’re sorry to see you go!

You can deactivate your account at any time, however your designs will no longer be available for sale and you will no longer earn commission. If you would like to close your account, please email us telling us you would like to deactivate your account

How it works
  1. Join free and download the Paperlust designer kit.
  2. Submit your designs for review, approval, and upload to Paperlust. Our design associates will work with you to get your designs approved.
  3. Earn money each time your design is purchased.


Well take care of the boring business stuff

The Paperlust team takes care of printing, packaging, shipping, customer support and more so you can focus on what you're passionate about - creating!

Find Inspiration
Need help or have questions?

Our team is here to help you.


Design Enquiries


General Enquiries

The Paperlust Designer Kit

The Designer Kit has everything you need to start designing.


Downloading Your Designer Kit

In your designer profile page you’ll find a link to download the designer kit.


Designer Kit Instruction Manual

A PDF document with simple instructions to get you from the beginning to the end of your project, including which layers to use, and how to prepare your files before submitting your work.


Adobe Illustrator Templates

The kit includes multiple Adobe Illustrator templates to use in portrait, landscape and square formats. You can choose from a range of cards to design, including invitations, save the date cards, and thank you cards.


Stock Images

If you want to design a photo invitation and need placeholder images, please download the approved stock images from stock image download folder.

What do I need to design?

The essential tools you need to create a design for Paperlust includes:


design tools


  • DESIGNER KIT FOLDER (download here)
  • THE WEB to upload your submission
Creating designs using the Designer Kit

The Designer Kit has everything you need to start designing. It includes:



      A PDF document with simple instructions to get you from the beginning to the end of your project.



      The kit includes multiple Adobe Illustrator templates to use in portrait, landscape and square formats. You can choose from a range of cards to design, including invitations, save the date cards, and thank you cards. The Designer Kit Instruction Manual will guide you through which layers to use, and how to prepare your files before submitting your work.



      If you want to design a photo invitation, we’ve included a sample of 15 stock images to choose as the placeholder image. The customer will be able to switch the images for their own when they place an order.


Still unsure? Visit the Designer Forum or contact us at for support.

Incorporating foil stamping and letterpress into your design

Using letterpress and foil stamping can be very effective to make your designs stand out. Both are traditional relief printing processes, where pressure is applied to a plate, and ink or gold and silver foil are imprinted onto the paper. Letterpress is known for its deep impressions onto the paper, which is something to think about when designing your invitation!

sample design


sample design



The process of printing with foil stamp begins with digitally printing the design elements in CMYK. This includes photos, customisable text, background textures, patterns, digital graphics, etc. The foil stamp is then printed on top of the digitally printed elements meaning that digital items cannot be printed on top of foil, so make sure to use the correct layers in the template when preparing your design.


Things to consider when designing:



      Avoid using large blocks of foil in your design. Large areas of foil can have trouble adhering to the paper and may end up peeling off the paper.

      sample design
      Ex. 1: the green box would be too large a block to foil stamp as the foil wouldn’t adhere properly.


      • Avoid using elements
      • Thin hairline elements can turn out blotchy if they are accompanied with large areas of foil. This is due to increased pressure used to apply foil to larger areas. The larger the foil area, the greater amount of pressure is used. The smaller the foil area, less amount of pressure is used.


sample design
Ex. 2: The thin corner elements would appear blotchy if foil stamped with the solid birds.


      • Avoid foiling elements with small gaps which won’t be foiled, as the stamp pressure will fill in those areas and make the result look blotchy.
      • Similarly, textures will not foil stamp properly.

sample design
Ex. 3: The hairline details in these flowers would fill in with foil and not look as effective.

sample design
Ex. 4: Textures like this will not foil properly.

sample design
Ex. 5: Using a solid fill will work well with foil.



      Large orders can cause an effect called ‘drifting’ of the paper sheets during printing. This can cause the foil registration to move from its original placement in the design slightly. To avoid this messing up your design, we recommend adding foil elements that don’t need to be perfectly aligned next to a non-foil element.

      sample design
      Ex. 6: The first image has the potential for drift, as seen in the centre image. The third picture is a solution to avoid noticeable drift.


      • Other parts of the design can be done in up to four colours.
      • Indicate foil areas with a separate spot colour swatch in your Illustrator file. Rename the spot colour swatch as the foil colour.



      You can bleed your foil elements off the edge of the page.



      Leave at least >0.25pt buffer around any customisable text or elements


    • VECTORS!

      You must create compound paths and vectorise all your foil elements in your Illustrator file. “Expand” strokes and “Unite” artwork using the Pathfinder tool.



      We have provided foil textures in the Design Kit so that you can use as clipping masks in your preview images. This will show you how the foil will look in your design, and make a great preview for customers to view your work.


What fonts can I use?

Paperlust licenses all the fonts that we use for print and online. We are not able to distribute fonts, so each designer must download/purchase their font on their computer.

To make things easier for our designers, we have put together a list of free, commercial licensed fonts for you to use in your designs, including the links to download most of them. Over time we will add more choices, (including purchased fonts), and encourage our designers to let us know what they want to see included on the list. If there is a free font you want to use that is not on the list, incorporate it into your designs and let us know where to download it from! Please make sure that it is available for commercial use.

View our font list.

What types of images and graphics can I use?

We encourage our artists and designers to create original elements for your work, as we are all about showcasing fresh, new design and talent. Any artwork that you incorporate into your design should either be:

  1. your original artwork;
  2. be substantially original;
  3. the design elements incorporated are substantially original, or
  4. the design elements incorporated are royalty-free.

We understand that designers often seek inspiration from many sources, including from the work of other designers and as a rule of thumb, copyright law protects the expression or physical form, but not ideas, concepts, information, styles or methods.

We reserve the right to reject any designs we suspect of infringing on copyright, and you may be required to submit early sketches and other evidence of the creative process if we have concerns about any submitted designs.

    • Stock images provided in the designer kit are approved to be used for photo invitations as placeholder images. The idea is that customers will upload their photos in their place.
    • Please do not use other stock images in your designs. Even if you own the licence for them, Paperlust also needs to own a license to be able to sell your work, which we cannot do.
    • Only use royalty-free stock images, clip art and icons if you credit the source of the image where appropriate, but only if the source specifies that you are granted a transferable license to use the art for reproduction items for resale.
    • Please do not use any clip-art or icons purchased online. This is because Paperlust would be required also to buy the same element to use as under a commercial licence. 


    • Yes please use vector graphics, especially for letterpress and foil stamp elements. Make sure to follow the correct method to save files (outlined in the Designer Kit) so that the vectors are embedded into a .svg file.
    • If using royalty-free downloaded vector images, please credit the source where appropriate.
    • Do not use purchased vector graphics as Paperlust is unable to repurchase the license.


    • We want to see more of your work! Make sure your photos and illustrations are flattened, high resolution rasterized images, between 150 and 300ppi.
    • Colour Mode must be RGB.
    • Make sure your images do not infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
How do I know what wording to use?

Sometimes it’s hard to get the words just right for the appropriate occasion. So we’ve done it all for you! Have a look at our Invitation Wording Samples which include many different options for different cards, occasions and formalities. These samples can also be found in the Designer Resources.


For more information on invitation wording (maybe you’d like to write your own?), we have many articles on our blog about this subject.

How to submit designs



Once you have completed your invitation design following the Designer Kit Instruction Manual, you are ready to upload your file for submission. To upload your file, follow these steps:



STEP 1. On log into your designer profile. If you don’t have a profile yet, please Join Us and create your new profile.

STEP 2. In your profile page select Step 2. “Upload a Design”.

STEP 3. Follow the steps to upload and submit your design.

tools upload

Preparing files before you submit your work


We accept archived (zip) file, containing multiple templates per design style. For each design, check that each archived file contains:

  • Your original design file (.ai)
  • The exported design file (.svg)
  • Preview images (.jpeg)
  • Resources (fonts and high-resolution images, if any)


Please note:

  • For each new colour scheme, separate it into it's own archived file, which should include all of the above-required files.
  • Delete all unused folders.


To avoid any problems uploading your design to Paperlust, please create your design using our templates.


STEP 1. Ensure that all layers except the background layer have only one text/image object per layer.

STEP 2. Unlock the guideline layer and remove it.

STEP 3. Select “File - Save As”, then change the file type to .svg format.

STEP 4. Click “Save” and use the following .svg settings (different from the default settings).

following settings


STEP 5. Create and save a preview image file for each unique design. Use the “Save For Web” option and save the file using default settings. Make sure the quality is set to high.


For single designs with multiple colour schemes:

  • Save each colour scheme as an individual file with a different name, e.g. invitation_red.svg
  • Also generate a preview image for each using the same name, e.g. invitation_red.jpeg




Use this folder structure example (included in the Designer Kit) as a guide when saving and organising your files for export:

folder structure

Preparing files for foil stamping and letterpress

You have the choice of three printing options - the default printing type will be flat (digital) print.

Adding Letterpress and Foil Design Layers:



  • You can use letterpress in all of the element in your design. Identify this by using the word ‘letterpress’ in the layer name, e.g., letterpress-bird-background.



  • Identify this by using the word ‘foil’ in the layer name.

IMPORTANT: For every colour variable and print type combination create a new file and preview for upload.




All designs must be done in either one colour or two colour variations. NOTE: Black counts as one colour.


  • Impression works best when letters and elements (not backgrounds), are pressed into paper.
    • Large background of flat colour cannot be pressed into paper.
    • We recommend using fills and solids sparingly.
  • Avoid elements measuring
    • Check your artwork for very thin lines, elements and terminals.
    • No type smaller than 4pt.
    • For small non-script typography, consider tracking type +5 to compensate for impression
  • Supply images as vector artwork, set in a Pantone spot colour swatch.


foil stamp


  • Max one foil per design.
  • Other parts of the design can be done in up to four colours.
  • Indicate foil areas with a separate spot colour swatch.
  • Rename the spot colour swatch as the foil colour.
Using Die Cutting and Creasing

Indicate paths with:

Die Cut and Creasing

What templates do I need for submitting work?

All the templates are provided in the Designer Kit


What happens after I submit my work?

  • Submissions go to Paperlust designers for review
  • 24 hours you should receive notification if your work has been approved
  • Paperlust reserves the right to reject any submission or provide feedback on any submission if it does not meet the quality design standards established by our art directors.
  • Submission of your designs to Paperlust will not constitute automatic selection for our designer range, and Paperlust is not obliged to offer for sale any of the designs submitted through this process.
  • Successful designers will be notified in writing if their designs have been approved for display and sale through the Paperlust design platform.


How will I know if my design has been launched for sale?

  • You will receive an email from the Paperlust team once your design is live on the platform.
Downloading Designer Kit

You can download the designer kit here


How many designs can I submit?

You can submit as many designs as you desire! There’s no limit to creativity. All designs still need to go through the approval stage during submission to ensure Paperlust continues to offer beautiful and quality designs for sale.


Money paid into your Paypal account

Commission earned from sales will be paid to Paypal accounts on a quarterly basis in January, April, July, and October. We will also provide you with a detailed summary of sales in your paperlust account.

Don’t have a paypal account? No worries, it’s free to create -

Unlimited earning potential

You earn money each and every time your designs are purchased. There is no limit to the number of times each design can be purchased.

Your design in-front of Australian & New Zealand

Paperlust is the print design marketplace for Australia & New Zealand, which means your design will be made available for friends, family and millions of Australians and New Zealanders to purchase. Holy moly!

Drive More Sales, Promote Your Designer Profile

Link your personal blog / website to your Paperlust designer profile and direct friends, family, and followers to your designs. They can order and personalise your designs right from your Paperlust profile page!

Earn 6% commission on the total order

Good news - Paperlust commission is based on the total print order rather than a flat rate. So each time your design is purchased you will earn 6% commission on the total value of the print order relating to your design.

For example:

  • Sarah’s save the date design x 150 prints

  • Sarah’s wedding invitation design x 150 prints

  • Sarah’s menu design x 200 prints

  • Sarah’s information card design x 150 prints

  • Sarah’s thank you cards design x 150 prints

  • Paperlust envelopes x 450

Sarah will earn 6% commission on the total dollar value on all of the above, excluding Paperlust envelopes.

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