With the rise of internet creators and influencers, we’ve also seen the emergence of a new generation of digital entrepreneurs who have built sizeable communities on social media, only to cross over into the world of print. Entrepreneurial YouTubers,
Instagrammers and TikTokkers are beginning to extend their influence beyond the internet. Many are now characters in comics, books, card games and other printed products.
It’s a trend that shows how a strong online presence can be harnessed to create printed products that have a life of their own beyond the internet. In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the monetisation opportunities offered through the sale of printed products. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to some of the creators who have used their talents to produce successful lines of merchandise.
You’ll see some good ideas and helpful examples for creating your own business based on web-to-print services.
Dario Moccia Lore – Collectible cards
Dario Moccia is a familiar name to Italian fans of comics, animation and videogames. He started uploading content to YouTube in 2009. He is best known for his deep dives on comics and cartoonists, which enabled him to create an initially small but passionate fanbase.
Moccia’s breakthrough came when he joined Twitch: in just a few years, he built one of the biggest subscriber bases on the platform. This popularity led him to create a range of printed products, but not the usual books and calendars.
Indulging his biggest passion, Moccia created a set of collectible cards, called The Cards of Lore, each drawn by an illustrator. Here, “lore” meant all the information about a fictitious world in which a story is set. In this case, Moccia’s lore consisted of all the friends who appeared and situations that occurred during his live streams on Twitch, immortalised in the form of collectible cards.
Each card features something that happened or something his friends did: the first set was called First Impact and consisted of over 200 cards illustrated by 20 artists in different styles. The cards were a smash hit, selling out in no time (fans can still trade them with one another): this inspirational product shows how custom printed merchandise can be a runaway success with an audience.
But Moccia didn’t stop here: he also published an illustrated book taking a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this first set of cards.
Nicolò Balini – Instant Snaps from Around the World and Todo Cambia
Nicolò Balini, AKA Human Safari, is a YouTuber who for years has been travelling the world and sharing his experiences. With two YouTube channels numbering almost 2 million subscribers between them, this creator has built a loyal following thanks to his high-quality travel content.
Balini has published several photo books. The first, Instant Snaps from Around the World, which came out in 2018, is a simple yet effective proposition: a travel book consisting only of instant photos. Pretty much a diary of personal photographs, it’s aimed squarely at the many fans out there who love his easy-going style.
Todo Cambia, on the other hand, tells the story of his walk along the Camino de Santiago. A more traditional book, it’s nonetheless full of stunning travel photos and would serve as a good template for anyone thinking of printing books with Pixartprinting.
The cartoons of Sio
Sio, AKA Simone Albrigi, started out uploading to YouTube his animated videos of international songs with lyrics translated using Google Translate. Finding instant success, he carried on regularly posting content to the platform.
Sio is a humorous cartoonist, so it was only natural for him to create printed content too. One of his longest-running publications is Scottecs Magazine, which showcases his minimalist style. He’s contributed to Topolino and Dylan Dog, and also created Scomix, a diary featuring his cartoons and funny characters.
He’s a perfect example of somebody who, having diligently laid the groundwork online, has managed to “jump off the screen” by creating printed content that has proved hugely popular with his fans.
Chris Burkard’s photo book
With his millions of Instagram followers, Chris Burkard has a massive audience that can’t wait to get their hands on his latest book. Burkard is a photographer who travels the world posting his breathtaking photos on his socials (and has also collaborated with brands like Sony and Patagonia): his favourite subjects are surfing, nature and adventure.
He recently published a book of photos and the personal stories accompanying them. Entitled Wayward, it features stunning pictures of beaches and remote parts of Russia, Norway, Iceland and the Aleutian Islands. An account of his incredible travels, it’s a book that would serve as great inspiration for keen photographers thinking of publishing their own work in print.
Giulia Lamarca’s stickers
Giulia Lamarca is a psychologist, travel influencer and wheelchair user who, together with husband Andrea Decarlini, travels the world, sharing her adventures on YouTube, Instagram and her personal blog.
As well as collaborating with various brands, Lamarca sells a range of merchandise, including stickers: “On our travels around the world, we kept hearing the same phrases. So we decided to print them so you can take them with you on your trip”, as they explain in their shop.
It’s an extremely creative way to monetise their content – and something that you can emulate by creating your own stickers on Pixartprinting.
Cartoni Morti and “De Card Gheim”
Andrea Lorenzon, AKA Cartoni Morti, has found great success on social media with satirical animated videos mocking politicians and celebrities.
Of the various items of merchandise he sells, one stands out from the rest: De Card Gheim, his own card game. It’s a pack of cards that features the best-known characters from his animated world. Players have to “create ever stupider and crazier stories by lining up the character cards from Cartoni Morti”, as the official webpage explains.
This product is very much in the same vein as Lorenzon’s humorous videos and can provide some interesting ideas to anyone thinking about printing their own card game.
That wraps up our look at the printed merchandise produced by creators and influencers. We’ve seen how imagination and creativity can be used to build successful businesses. Having a community of followers willing to buy your creations is essential, but those printed products also need to inspire and entertain them to be successful. We hope that the examples above will spark your creativity.