Merchant Design Tool – How to Set Up

This is a temporary post explaining how to set up Merchant Design Tool – our pet project we have been working on for over a year and a half and finally ready to release it to creative people everywhere.

So what is MDT?  In a sentence, it is a product listing that combines the ability for customers to design a product live on the merchants Shopify store while utilizing the merchants own creative templates and designs.

Sorry, maybe a little confusing.

Maybe it’s a little easier to show live.  For example this listing of custom Unicorn t-shirt

We supply the base T shirt designer set up with all the available shirt colors and shirt sizes.  The merchant can then modify this listing to enable/disable text configuration, enable/disable upload image, and create their own image group / frames customers can choose from.  The customer designs the template right on the site and at time of purchase we (Podify) receive all the final details ready to produce!

So let me show you how to set up this exact product step by step.

First, go to Design Tool > Images and upload all the images to be used in this group.

Multiple images can be selected at once.

After uploaded go to Design Tool > Image Groups and then Create Group.  Let’s call it Unicorn Heads.

Each image we want in our group we want to add by clicking the Yellow + button and for each item give the picture a name (I used made up Unicorn names, you can use whatever you want!), select the image.  Thumbnail you will probably want to keep as Full Image.  Click Save Group once done.

Next, go to Design Tool > Products and because we want to make a Unisex shirt we go to Create a Template

Once inside the template you will see there are many options to enable / disable.

  • We can totally disable or enable upload image.  In this specific product we do not require upload image so this can be disabled.
  • For this product we want to only enable text input for the bottom so Middle Text and Top Text can be disabled.
  • We can have the Default Text for Bottom Text appear or not.  This is the stores decision.  We usually do Hide the Default Text.
  • The only thing left to configure is Image Group

For Image Group select the Image Group you just made, give the selector a name (Choose Your Head, Select Unicorn, etc.), and select a Default Image.

If you did it right the final set up should look like this


Hit Save Template and then Configure Product. 

Give the product a name, select your prices, modify the description and Add to Store.


Give the system a little time to work its magic and the product should be live in your store!  Here it is: