Leveraging AI Art for your Print Business

Ruby Dann

We polled our audience on Instagram, @firebirdink, to see if anyone had yet to hear of the recently popular Midjourney AI. Only 30% of respondents had, so we splurged for the highest tier to learn more about the new wave of image generation. 

Midjourney is accessible through Discord and its own app, but this AI image generator seems to currently produce best results through the Discord extension. With the highest tier, you can enter unlimited inputs for image generation with 30 hours of fast production time. The premium tier also allows you private access to your results, giving you ownership of your prompts and outputs. 

Midjourney tiers

AI is the future so it’s smart to get in now and with your unique position, you can streamline the process. Without DTG equipment, a Midjourney user needs to go through POD suppliers to apply their designs, but with your printing setup, you can integrate and leverage this software to release awesome shirts with sustainable profit margins. Like other AI software, Midjourney is developing rapidly, but we have gathered some tips to produce some incredible art for printing. 

The trick is learning how to input the optimal information to yield the best results. Like ChatGPT, Jasper, and other AI writing tools, you can train the AI to understand information and develop a result according to your parameters. If you find that your initial art requests are producing poor quality images, utilizing other writing AI tools can assist in the art generation. ChatGPT can create prompts in the language and level of detail that yields best results with Midjourney. 

Midjourney first iteration

If you want to create a series of images with the same art style (ex. multiple shirt designs in a product category), you can copy the image seeds to replicate the same style of art. Just reply to an image with the envelope emoji, and a seed number will appear with which you can use for your next image generations.

Copying the seed number in Midjourney

What is “Light Upscale Redo”?

According to Midjourney, “the Light Upscaler creates a 1024px x 1024px image and adds a moderate amount of details and textures” - creating a size and level of detail appropriate for shirt printing. It will tweak fine details to produce a polished version.

What is “Beta Upscale Redo”?

This increases the size of the image to be printable. The image is 2048px x 2048px and does not add many details. However, in my experience, it can skew the image and distort sections. This upscale option has been hit or miss.

beta upscale redo


Writing Prompts

For t-shirt designs, use the words “tshirt design vector, white background” so that the background is more easily removable in an editing app like Photoshop. You can also create stickers by indicating “sticker, white background” in the prompt.

 we made a sticker in Midjourney

If you've generated merch art with AI, we would love to see your results! Comment below if you've used Midjourney and share your prompts. 

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