what is the best way to protect my designs until I have them trademarked or copyright?
I would like to start printing and not have to worry about my designs being stolen and printed by others?
This is a fear that a lot of people have. The reality is that probably no one is going to steal your designs. Or if someone does it and is selling it in another country like thailand there is nothing you can do. You can sue them, but that also requires money and a lawyer. Usually people just send a cease and desist letter and hope the other party stops. The other option is to publicly shame the company which is usually what most people do and it works well.