5 New Year’s Resolutions for Designers

By • 1 year ago with 16 replies already

A brand new year is here, and fresh starts abound! If you’re a Zazzle Designer, we’re betting you’re thinking about resolutions for improving your store and your designs this year, in addition to the usual suspects like getting organized, getting fit, or following some dreams.

Here are our resolution ideas for making 2017 a fantastic year for you and your store.

  1. Take a class to learn a new skill

One of the best ways to shake things up is to remember that education doesn’t stop just because you aren’t a full-time student. Learning is for everyone, at any age! For artists and designers, you might want to find an art class to keep your skills sharp. If you’re a traditional artist, add to your repertoire and try tutorials for a graphic design-friendly program like Photoshop or Gimp. If you live only in the digital world, venture out and look for a local live drawing class or sketching group. You can even find all sorts of great free resources online via websites like Coursera and Khan Academy, so you can learn at your own pace.

  1. Branch out and try new things to get inspired

It’s always good to hone the skills you have, but one of the best ways to break out of any creative rut is to try something totally new! Maybe you’ve always wondered if it would be fun to learn tennis or rock climbing, take a cooking class or start a book club. You might be surprised how doing something completely different helps inspire you with great ideas for new Zazzle designs and products. Pick one new thing you’ve always wanted to try and give it a go!

  1. Learn something new about the world wide web

Are you one of those creative types who gets a little overwhelmed by the intricacies of running a business via the internet? We get it – the web is a big place, and there’s lots to learn! Make it one of your goals to learn something new about online marketing and being a web-based entrepreneur this year. Try looking up resources on Search Engine Optimization (Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are a good place to start), how best to use social media to build relationships with your customers (are you telling your story?), or how to start a blog or website. If you already have the basics down, try really stretching your brain and learn the building blocks of the web with something like Codeacademy.

  1. Keep a clean storefront

Organization, tidiness and clearing up clutter aren’t just for your closets and desktops. Give your store a new year’s refresher, too! Is your beautiful Collection of holiday ornaments still front and center in your store? Do you have an attractive store banner? Are there any products from years past that are gathering dust on your least-viewed list? Have you started designing for Valentine’s Day? Have you planned out when to start designing for other popular events and occasions throughout the year? Make a reminder for yourself to take some time to look over your store periodically throughout the year, to curate your storefront for timeliness and trends, and to clear out any older, under-performing products to make space for your newest, best and brightest.

  1. Make – and track – goals for your Zazzle store

Let’s call “resolutions” what they really are: goals! Creating goals for how you want your store to grow this year is the first step. Maybe you want to increase the number of referrals you earn each month, branch out to designing on different product types than you’re used to or get featured on social media. Or maybe you simply want to see more sales! The next step is to break down each goal into actionable tasks like, “share X referral links on blog/social media per week,” “design on X new product types per month,” “share and tag my #zazzle designs on Instagram X times per month,” or “export earnings .csv file every month and review most popular products for trends.” Finally, keep track of the different actions you’re taking toward your goals – and their results – to see what works and what doesn’t. Your store can be a learning tool, as well as a place to express your creativity and build your business.
What are your 2017 Zazzle store resolutions?

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16 thoughts on “5 New Year’s Resolutions for Designers”

  1. Thanks Liz! Very inspiring and filled with much useful information! I try to live by this quote that I have posted in my studio:
    “Life’s Journey is not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out shouting, Whoo-hoo What a Ride!”
    I appreciate you upbeat attitude.
    Kati

  2. Thank youx great tips! We are so involved in this business we sometimes forget the basics. ..your list is a great reminder not to forget the things we’ve done to get where we are and to revisit those simple steps once again

    All the best,
    Mark

  3. I long to design on other larger products such as shower curtains blankets etc. the biggest setback for me to designing on such products and others is..i am not aware of any tips or videos out there that gives us a step by step guide to do it professionally. When I try it on the shower curtain especially ..mugs..it does not cover the entire area, I get warning message to reduce image…until I can hardly see it! someone need to make a video with guidelines on designing on difficult pruducts…giving the best size and DPI NECESSARY to make a quality product.

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble! For most of our products, we do provide recommended image requirements, such as 300 DPI. In general, the bigger the image the better!

      For our shower curtains, taking into account the bleed of the design area, if you make your canvas size (in a program such as Photoshop) 73″ x 73″ with 100 DPI, that should be an appropriate resolution for our current design tool. Alternatively, you can tile smaller images within the design tool itself. Although we will accept images at 100 DPI, we recommend using a higher DPI if possible to allow for flexibility in sizing your image should there be an additional shower curtain size available in the future.

      For our mugs, we do actually have a design guide file which you can find here (we have a large number of products and are working on fully completing this page to provide more design guide files in the future).

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Liz

      1. Liz,
        Thanks you for your response! That was very helpful! I am going to try it and let you know. It would be nice o know what works for others who have success with it.

        I am not sure how tiling works. You guys should do some YouTbe videos…on how to design some of these large products…and painting canvas etc.

        I use paint.net to do my designs. I like working with it…but its limited especially with text..like arcin text. Is there any other free design software you know about.

        1. So glad to hear that, Patricia!

          If tiling is available for a product, you’ll find it by clicking on the gear icon when you have an image selected. We’ll definitely work on more video tutorials for designing in the future!

          You can certainly use a program like Paint – a free program that we have seen recommended as an alternative to Photoshop is call ed Gimp if you’d like to look into that. Best of luck!

  4. I can’t access the guide files! I get the first page, and it just gets stuck there, and I can’t go to any other pages, or search. And when I click on a guide file link, I just get a blank page. I need guide files for the envelopes, specifically the ones that fit 5×7 invitations, please. Thank you.

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