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Starting a New Year with Zazzle is always an exciting time. There are holiday royalty payouts to anticipate and a host of new products available to whet your design whistle. Perhaps like us you've been making decisions about your Zazzle business in 2014. Reviewing your best sellers over the past year is a great way to start. We shared results in this blog post: Our 2013 Best Sellers

 

Read on for design, production and marketing tips to make 2014 a great Zazzle year!

 Design

How Multiply Your Photographic Designs Many Times


We're not accomplished designers by any stretch of the imagination, but Peter has been a photographer for over 30 years. We have hundreds of photographs, some great and some not so much. Certain photographs have lent themselves to Zazzle products, but for one reason or another, most did not. For example, an otherwise interesting photograph might have an identifiable person in it requiring a model release, which we don't have.


Recently, we discovered that sites selling creative elements such as WeGraphics and Creative Market also offer Photoshop Actions created by design professionals.


Actions in Photoshop are like macros that allow you to duplicate a sequence of steps over and over again with the click of a button. We use them frequently but only in the most simple ways. One action we created automatically resizes an image from high resolution to low and then saves it as a medium level jpeg for web site use. Actions created by professional designers take advantage of all the capabilities of Photoshop and the results can be exciting and profitable.


We purchased one such set of Photoshop Actions for $5 through Creative Market. Simple Impressionist is a Photoshop action that turns your photos into impressionist paintings.

 

The original of this orange wildflower is nice, but we like the second impressionistic version better.

 

After a few trials, we automated our new Action and created great impressionistic versions of 1,000 photographs in just a few hours. We ended up with about 500 we liked and are down to the last 160 going through QC. Our cost was 1 per image and we own the the copyrights as the images are from our photographs.

 

  

Creative Market has hundreds of Photoshop Actions. Some give an engraved version of your photograph. Their Free Goods of the Week page sometimes has free Actions. You can also find free actions on the Internet. Here are a few sites with free Photoshop Actions.

 

Google "free PhotoShop Actions" for a large list. 

 Production
Additional new designs to wrap up 2013 

  

Picking up where we left off in the last eNewsletter, here are the all the remaining new products for 2013. In some instances, the new product is a new form factor. When you go to some of the create pages below, you'll need to click the product option you prefer. The lightswitch covers have us excited. 

 

Virginia Bluebell Wildflower Impressionist Light Switch Cover

 

 

 

11/8/13

Perfect Posters

  

11/8/13

Powis iPad Air Cases


11/15/13

 

Ceramic Ball Ornaments

11/14/13

 

Pewter Snowflake Ornaments

11/15/13

Pocket Journals

11/22/13

Dodocase iPad Air case

11/22/13

CaseMate iPad Air case

11/22/13

16" X 16" pillow

11/22/13

Round Corner Business Cards

12/6/13

 

Lightswitch Covers

 

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-aif_lightswitchcover 

12/6/13

Door Hangers

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-aif_doorhanger 

12/6/13

Glass Cutting Boards

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-pioc_cuttingboard 

12/6/13

Table Card Holders

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-aif_tablecardholder 

12/11/13

Rickshaw iPad Mini Sleeve

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-rickshaw_sleeve 

12/11/13

Powis iPad 2/3/4 Case without Kickstand

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-powis_case 

12/11/13

Powis iPad Mini Case without Kickstand

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-powis_case 

12/18/13

Liquid Courage Flasks!

http://www.zazzle.com/cr/design/pt-liquidcourage_flask 

 

 Marketing
Manipulating your images for promotional purposes

We frequently need to post a promotional product image online or in an email. Zazzle makes it easy to get a product image but your only options are small and large. By manipulating some coding in the image url, you can easily make product images larger and smaller than what Zazzle provides. You can also change the background color to most any color you want. Here is How2.

 

 

Visit a product page and click the Share button and then click "Link To This". The page that opens has an image of the product. This is the large size product image which is 325 pixels square and includes a white frame around the product. Right click the product image. If you like the product image as it is, choose Copy Image and paste like you would any image. If you would like a larger product image without the distortion from enlarging a small image, click Copy Image Address. It will look similar to the following:

 

 

 

http://rlv.zcache 6_8byvr_. . . . . .325.jpg?bg=0xffffff

 

 

325 - This part of the url specifies the size of the square image. You can set this up to 500 pixels square giving you a 50% bigger product image. After 500 pixels, Zazzle includes a watermark.

 

ffffff - This part of the url specifies the background color using hex numbers. Six "f"s is white. Six "0"s is black. 16 million colors in all.


Paste the product image url you copied into your browser and hit return. It takes you to the product image all by itself. Now change the size and background, hit return to see your changes. When you get what you want, right click the product image in your browser and choose Copy Image. Paste as you would any copied image.

 

You can also incorporate these size and background attributes if you want to link to a product image rather than create a stand alone image.

 

 

 Thank You!
Sask River Closeup

 

We believe the keys to happiness are found in travel, simplicity and freedom. Since 2008, we've blogged about incorporating these values into a rewarding lifestyle at PassingThru. Partnering with Zazzle has played an enormous role in our "business of independence plan" and we hope you'll find the information we have to share helpful and inspiring, too! Thanks for coming along!

 
Betsy and Pete Wuebker | PassingThru | Zazzle How2
 
 
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