Why Does the Thumbnail Look Different in My Cart?

SEP 21, 2015 updated Dec 15, 2021

Spoonflower team member Jenny here. Today, I’m going to shed some light on a question we often get from Spoonflower customers about what they see in their shopping cart. It usually sounds like this: “I placed a design in my cart and now the thumbnail/repeat/scale looks different– why?” Well, let’s find out! (It’s actually nothing to worry about!) 

Spoonflower Bootcamp logo, featuring a light blue bootprint with the words "Spoonflower Bootcamp" layered on top. The word "Spoonflower" is in all caps black font. The word "bootcamp" is in yellow cursive.

The Problem

Have you ever uploaded a design to your account, carefully set it to the scale and repeat you preferred, then added it to your cart in the material of your choice, only to see that it looks completely different in your cart? If you were worried you made a mistake, you may have deleted it from your cart out of concern that the settings were not saved and you were not ordering what you intended. Not fun! Well, worry no more!

Pro tip: The thumbnail in the cart does not correspond with the design settings for the product you've placed in your cart. 

Rather, the thumbnail is a separate image, selected by the designer (which may be you) for how they’d like their design to be displayed in the Marketplace and previewed in shopping cart.

How to Fix It

Let me explain…

A screenshot of a the Design Page with a cloud design on it with black outlined clouds repeating on a mint background. Options to edit the design or make it private or change colors are on the left. Options to choose a fabric and size as well as change the repeat are on the right.

After uploading a new design on Spoonflower, you’ll find yourself on the design page, which looks like the screenshot above. To choose how your design is displayed throughout the Spoonflower Marketplace and in shopping carts, just scroll down to the bottom-left to find Thumbnail options.

A screenshot of thumbnail options for a fat quarter, swatch or crop on the left. On the right, there are options for color choices as well is if you'd like to sell or display the design or have it be fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap.

The three thumbnail choices are: Fat Quarter, Swatch, and Crop. Fat Quarter is the default choice. If you want your thumbnail to show more detail (think: smaller scale designs), choose Swatch or Crop. 


Once you select your preferred thumbnail setting and click “save this layout” back up at the top-right of the design page, that is how the design will look when viewed at a thumbnail in the Spoonflower Marketplace, and once it is added to a cart.

At the top: A screenshot that shows a thumbnail of the cloud design with black outlined clouds on a mind background as well as various editing options for the design. The option to select a drop repeat is circled in pink as well as the option to select the fabric in a test swatch. A pink arrow is pointing to Add to Cart.  At the bottom: the resulting swatch doesn't look the same as at the top, there are more clouds in the second image. Pink text reading "Everything's fine" is below it.

Once you place the design in your cart, you’ll notice that the design’s scale and repeat may look much different than the item you’ve actually ordered. The thumbnail in your cart does not accurately represent the item you’ve ordered; it corresponds to the thumbnail setting you or the designer chose when uploading the design. And, the thumbnail setting can be changed by the design’s owner at any time. See? It’s not so confusing after all. 

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    • Hi Nancy,

      We think Kelly is referring to the Spoonflower Handbook which you can learn more about here!

      I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

      Best Regards,
      -Meredith F.

  • Dianne Mehta

    Thanks for clarifying this! As a ‘newbie’ to Spoonflower, it can be a little confusing when you first see the thumbnail but it makes sense.

  • you betcha! thanks for taking the time to make designing at Spoonflower intelligible! I’ve had lots of friends ask me how I can get started with Spoonflower, and now I just send them to the ‘bootcamp’ entries on the website. And now that I got the book, which is awesome by the way, I’ll heartily recommend that as well!

  • From my own experience, you also have to hit the ‘save this layout’ button to the right of the large image to get your thumbnail settings to actually change. (The radio button will change and stay changed even if you leave the page and come back, but the thumbnail shown in your shop and the Spoonflower shop doesn’t change until after you hit the ‘save this layout’ button.)
    It feels counter-intuitive at first since the thumbnail choices are in a different place than the layout options, but sort of makes sense. So you can’t accidentally click it and have it change, you need to commit to the changes by hitting the ‘save this layout’ button.