Archive for November, 2008

Happy Veterans Day!

November 11, 2008

Today we honor all those that have served our country, and the sacrifices they have made. In support of those that have served, we’ve got a huge collection of Air Force t-shirts, Marine t-shirts, Army t-shirts, Navy t-shirts and more, in our military gifts section. See below for some of my favorites. Thank you to everyone for your service. Happy Veterans Day!

purple heart t-shirt army wife t-shirt air force t-shirt

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When You WishAds Upon A Star

November 10, 2008

WishAds Ad Creator for Zazzle Products!

If you’ve ever wished for a quick and easy way to promote your products on the web, you can open your eyes now because WishAds has arrived! This new WishAds ‘Ad’ Creator is VERY easy to use and VERY simple to implement. WishAds creator allows you to create ads using Zazzle products to place on your website or blog. Whats REALLY REALLY cool is that you can also create Ads for other peoples products and make referrals & Volume Bonus off of those sales too!

WishAds is an brilliant way to make more money from your own products AND other peoples products too!  You have the option to choose from 3 different thumbnail sizes, as well as a horizontal or vertical display.  Once you have a configuration you like, copy the code to insert into your site or blog.

WishAds

Please note that Wishads is not a free service.  Wishads charges you by adding their own referral ID to 20% of the products in the panel.  Neither myself nor Zazzle make any money from Wishads.

Bolt on Zazzle!

November 7, 2008
Bolt the Movie Collection

Disney on Zazzle has just been updated with the new Bolt Collection! Bolt is Disney’s latest movie featuring John Travolta and Miley Cyrus (we’ve got Hannah Montana T-shirts too!) about an actor super-dog that has a real-life adventure. Learn more about Bolt at the official movie website. Then once you’re done with that, get your official movie merch including Bolt t-shirts, Bolt Posters, Bolt mousepads and more Bolt gifts on Zazzle! Some of my favorites are posted below.

disney bolt logo t-shirt disney bolt t-shirt disney bolt kids t-shirt

Also, for a little extra Friday fun check out the Bolt trailer :)

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Yes He Did…

November 5, 2008

Last night history was made – Barack Obama was elected into the highest office of the United States. It was a long journey for both McCain and Obama, but the country made its choice for change. I doubt in our lifetime we will see another election as historic as this one. This election was historic for Zazzle as well – never has a political race impassioned so many artists to create so many products to express their feelings. On Zazzle today, there are more Obama products (both pro and anti products) than any other candidate in history, and we expect more will continue to be added today (see below for Obama Wins t-shirts). It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. I like to think that Zazzle shows the true passion of this country. That we as a nation can express ourselves with more than shouting, and that even politics can create some of the most beautiful and inspiring art in the world.

yes we did Obama ladies t-shirt Obama FTW t-shirt Obama Yes we did t-shirt
obama yes we did t-shirt pink president obama t-shirt Obama 44 t-shirt

Also, for those McCain supporters out there, you might want to check out the growing amount of Palin 2012 t-shirts and other Palin 2012 products floating around…

 
 
Learn more about yes we did t-shirts, obama won t-shirts, and anti-obama t-shirts at Zazzle.

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Stitch That Niche – Customizable Embroidery Templates!

November 4, 2008

With the launch of Zazzle Embroidery comes a new era of Embroidered on Demand (EOD) products! This also means that you can create Templatized Embroidery products. Yep, that’s right, as Ed mentioned in his last TechBlog post, you can actually create templated embroidery products. This opens up a whole new category of customizable  products that you can sell to your customers. You can make templates for your local business, school or organization and have them customize and purchase from your line of embroidered and printed products. Seriously the possibilities are endless! Templates for Weddings, Wedding Showers, School Sports, Business Apparel, Reusable Bags for shopping… The list of possiblities is endless!

I made an example product so that you can see what a finished Embroidery Template product looks like.

Customizable Athletic Warm Up Suit - Customized embroideredshirt
The text around the number on the back is customizable in two parts, Top and Bottom Text. The number in the middle is customizable as well.

I opted to put nothing on the front of the Track Suit, but since I left the product customizable, the customer can actually add as much as they want to the front and the back. If I were to lock the product, they would only be able to customize the text on the back.

LEARN HOW TO MAKE EMBROIDERY TEMPLATE PRODUCTS

Customizable Athletic Warm Up Suit - Customized embroideredshirt

And in case you wanted to jump right in and digitize your own images….

SAVE 30% on All Embroidery Image Digitizations at Zazzle.com!

SAVE 30% on All Embroidery Image Digitizations!

Take advantage of this great offer! You can get 30% off any images that you digitize for embroidery before NOVEMBER 7th!

USED CODE: EMBROIDERY30

30% off image-to-stitch conversions discount is applied to orders of one or more qualifying image conversion orders and applies to the price of image conversion, not to taxes and other charges. The coupon code EMBROIDERY30 must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. Offer is valid from November 3, 2008 through November 7, 2008 at 11:59pm PDT. Your order must be placed during that time to qualify for this special promotional pricing offer. This promotional offer may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers.

Behind the seams…

November 4, 2008

How to create embroidery on Zazzle
Yes, folks, embroidery will keep you in stitches. Sew I wanted to get right into it and show you just how seamless an experience it can be. I will show you the ups and downs and the ins and outs of the process.

These embroidery puns doin’ anything for ya?


Guide Us
First, I want to point you to an important document, the Embroidery Design Guide (PDF). This guide explains a lot of the details about creating successful embroidery products on Zazzle. Read it. Know it. Love it.

Also have a look at our embroidery information page. It contains important information regarding our process as well as links to pricing information.


Walkthrough
In this section, I will guide you through the process of creating an embroidered product from a standard JPG, GIF, or PNG image. It’s very similar to the normal print process, with a few key differences.


Step 1: Choose a product
The first step is simply to select what kind of product you would like to design: shirt, hat, or bag. Go to http://www.zazzle.com/custom/embroidery and choose one of the options:

Choose an embroidery product

Once you select a product, you will be taken to that product’s design tool. For this example, I chose Hooded Sweatshirt.


Step 2: Add an image
Once you are in the design tool a “Get Started” dialog appears where you can add an image or text. This is just like our print-on-demand design tool:

Let’s add an image. Click the Select Image link and you will see your image collection. Select an image, click Add Image, then click Make it now.

Now here’s one of those “key differences” I mentioned above. At this point, a new dialog will appear explaining to you that this particular image needs to be converted for embroidery.

This is an informational dialog only. It explains why we need to convert your image, how to choose an image that will convert well, and talks about the fee and time it takes to convert. In traditional embroidery, this conversion process is called “digitization”.

The conversion process is done by skilled technicians who know how best to interpret designs into stitches. It’s not an automated hit or miss process. It’s looked at by actual people using actual human eyeballs.

Once you finish reading the dialog, click Ok, add this image.

At this point, I’d like to mention that if you already own a stitch file in .OFM format, you can upload it and bypass all conversion costs. If you’ve had images digitized in the past for embroidery by a traditional embroidery company, you might have an .OFM file.


Step 3: Size your image
Now that the image is placed on the product, we can calculate the conversion fee. You will see that there is now a big yellow box under your image that tells you the cost of conversion at the current size.

In this example, the image is sized to 1.7″ x 2.1″ and it’s telling me that will cost $30 to convert. If I wanted to reduce that price, I could do a couple of things:

  1. Reduce the size of the image
  2. Simplify the image by removing fills and keeping outlines

The conversion fee is calculated by how many stitches it takes to create the image out of thread. The rate is $5 per 1000 stitches. The smaller the image, the less stitches it takes to create. Also, fewer blocks of solid color means less stitches required.

Keep in mind that once you convert an image at a particular size, you cannot change its size as an embroidery file.  You must convert it again if you want a different size embroidery design.  A handy tip is to convert images at the smallest size you can.  You can convert a smaller image once and use it on a greater number of products.  If you convert an image in a larger size, it will only fit on some products.  Hats, for example, have very small design areas and can only accept smaller images.


Step 4: Buy or post
Once you’re satisfied with the size and placement, you have the option to Add to cart or Post for sale. If you choose to add this product to your cart, you will see two line items in your cart…the product itself, and the conversion fee.

If you choose to post this for sale rather than purchase the product yourself, you will be presented with the normal Post for sale page first. Fill it out normally with the description, tags, title, etc. Click Continue when finished.

Now you will get a page reminding you about the conversion that is required.

This page gives details about the conversion fee as well as how long it takes to convert. You must click Continue to cart to add the conversion fee to your shopping cart.

Once it’s in your cart, simply checkout normally, and your image is sent off to be converted.


Step 5: Enjoy!
That’s it! Once the conversion is complete, you will receive an email with a link to your stitch file so you can see how it will stitch out. If you purchased the product, this is when the product begins its normal manufacturing process.

If you posted for sale, your product will appear in the marketplace when conversion is complete.


Free Text
What if you want to create an embroidered product, but don’t want to pay to convert an image? Use one of our over 100 embroidery fonts and create a text only product! No conversion required!

We have specialized monogram fonts, cool fonts, and traditional block and script fonts.

Bend it like Beckham
Another cool thing about using our built-in embroidery fonts is that you can automatically arch your text up or down, or re-orient to vertical or horizontal text, using a simple drop-down menu.

Templatizing the stitchy way
Did you know you can create templates from embroidery products? Any text object in an embroidered product can be made into a template placeholder. This is great for sports teams, family reunion shirts, etc.

For more information on how to create templates, see the post titled More than just embroidery…

Donuts and Bacon – A Shirt Inspired Song

November 3, 2008

Today, we sit on the eve of one of the most record breaking elections in history, a race of epic proportions with untold millions of dollars spent campaigning, and three words that have propelled one candidate into the spotlight: “Donuts and Bacon.” (what did you think I was going to say?) Zazzle’s very own strk3 has been getting TONS of coverage all over the internet about his parody Obama logo shirt and now there’s even a song to celebrate his artwork! This has to be the first election song inspired by an on-demand t-shirt design which of course is another historic moment in this election. Check out the song that James Rocket put together to honor a t-shirt that parodies a logo. Also, check out the truly inspirational Donuts and Bacon shirt below, it really is taste we can believe in….

Donuts and Bacon T-shirt

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Zazzle Sellers: Get Yo' Embroidery On

November 1, 2008

Greetings all Zazzle sellers!

As you’ve all probably already seen, Zazzle launched Embroidery yesterday – making a splash on the pages of TechCrunch, Frobes, TechNews, Business Week and more. The word is out: Zazzle’s embroidery offering is setting a new standard.

So what’s next? How can you cash in on embroidery?


This is a prime opportunity for you to extend your product offering by creating new embroidery-specific galleries. Make it easy for buyers to find quality embroidered products, all in one place.


‘Tis the season for unique gift-hunting, so give all those holiday shoppers something worth buying: the best embroidery on the P.O.D. block! Be sure to tag your products with embroidery and recipient-friendly keywords.


Wanna get busy on your embroidery empire, but don’t want to pay those digitization fees just yet? Create a custom text template!


Step 1: Choose your embroidery product from http://www.zazzle.com/custom/embroidery

Step 2: Add your image(s) & text

Step 3: Click the “Advanced options” link at the bottom of the image or text box.



Step 4: Check the box “Make this a template object”. Checking that box will display all the options available for defining this template image placeholder.


When you select “Make this a template object”, you have access to four options:

  1. Product page label – This is the label that the customer will see on the product page. Use something descriptive here, like “Your picture” or “Your logo”.
  2. URL parameter name – If you are using the Zazzle API to pass data to this product from an external source, this is the parameter name the API will use. Avoid spaces or special characters. You can safely ignore this field if you are not working with the API (see the Zazzle API documentation for more information).
  3. Inner fit/fill mode – For images. If your template allows the buyer to replace your placeholder image with one of her own, this setting determines how the buyer’s image replaces yours. The options are none, fit, or fill.

    None
    – If you set Inner fit/fill mode to none, the buyer’s image simply replaces your placeholder image, and may be larger or smaller than the placeholder.

Fit – Selecting fit will resize the buyer’s image to fit inside of your placeholder image object’s dimensions. This will ensure that their image is not cropped.

Fill
– Selecting fill will resize their image to fill the entire dimensions of your placeholder image. If the buyer’s image is wider or taller than your placeholder, this may result in zooming and cropping of the customer’s image.

  1. Allow editing on product page – Keep this checked if you want to enable EZ Templates on your product page. Unchecking this option is usually only done when working with the Zazzle API.

Once you have filled out all the options, click Post for Sale. You are then presented with the normal Post it for Sale page. Notice the checkbox labeled “This product is a template”. This tells you that the product contains template objects, and that it will be posted for sale as a template. Only uncheck it if you decide at this point to not allow customer personalization of this product; otherwise keep it checked.


Stoked! You’ve just created a template product!


Lock it up!

Sometimes, you may want to create a template product but have items that are not changeable by a customer. Now you can simply check the box labeled “Lock this image” or “Lock this text object”. This will essentially lock the item and not allow any editing of it whatsoever (can’t delete it, move it, re-size it, etc.)


And that’s the good word on text templates in embroidery!


As you brainstorm additional ways you can make embroidery work for you, be sure to explore all the groups of people who may be interested in these kinds of products:

· Sport Teams

· Clubs

· Employment

· Universities

· High Schools

· Family Reunions

Have fun!


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