3D printing is getting a lot of attention recently but lets not forget how far 2D printing has come along in the last few years. It’s now possible to digitally print designs onto almost anything from shoes and skateboards to the more traditional t-shirts and clothing.

There’s a host of on-line companies offering on-demand services, and printing artwork onto an ever increasing array of inventory means that there’s something for everyone. The process itself delivers lavish colours at a surprisingly good quality. And it’s becoming popular Judging by the amount of user generated content that fills on-demand print websites such as Zazzle, Spoonflower, and Redbubble. Everybody is unleashing their creativity.

Customisation is another hot topic and most of the on-demand print companies offer simple customisation of items before they are made. Want the artwork at a different size or in a different position? Need to add some text or change the colour? well now you can. Mass customisation is finally here and the option to produce just one item makes it a preferable green alternative to mass manufacture. As 2D and 3D processes converge there will be no end to what on-demand services could offer and with access to an array of different materials you’ll only have to imagine what fully customisable products could be like, a world of infinite possibilities.

Although customisation has been around for a few years and despite it’s ‘greener’ credentials and ability to deliver what the customer wants, it has never really taken off. Forrester suggests that now is the time for mass customisation. My personal opinion is that when the shelves are full of mass produced product, it makes buying so accessible that customers are always going to take the easy option. Apparently we all naturally want an easy life and creating a customised product requires effort that few are prepared to make. But Those that do generally feel a greater attachment to the things they buy, especially when it’s given as a gift because of the story that comes with it. It’s early days but technology is making customisation accessible, easier, enjoyable and a pleasure to share.

So if you want something different that’s not off the peg and has more of a bespoke feel about it, then I would encourage you to have a go, just keep it simple as it’s very easy to get lost in the world of infinite possibilities but very rewarding once you’ve taken the first steps. Just press print and who knows where your creativity will take you. One thing is guaranteed, you’ll always get a good feeling out of something you’ve had a hand in creating.

Take a look at electrobloom on Zazzle.