One of the things that makes Zazzle such a great platform and sets them apart from other print on demand platforms is their robust design tool. There’s tons of flexibility within the tool if you know where to look.
I’m going to take you on a delightful journey through the ins and outs of Zazzle’s design tool, sharing everything you need to know to craft your designs!
Let’s dive in…
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Written article continues here…
Adding text is as simple as clicking the “Text” icon on the left hand sidebar and selecting the “Add Text” button. Type in your text and hit OK.
You can edit the text by double clicking the text box or by clicking “Edit Text” on the right hand sidebar at the top.
Choose which font you want to use by selecting the “Font” button on the right-hand sidebar, under the “Edit text” button.
You can also choose the color and size of the text. And if you want to have your text centered or aligned to one side.
There is the option to rotate or flip text as well.
If you’d like, you can adjust the spacing of the letters or the lines.
You can also change the orientation of your text, meaning the text can be vertical rather than horizontal.
And finally, you can adjust the curvature of your text. This comes especially in handy for things like buttons, magnets, and round stickers.
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In order to create a text template, select the text and scroll down on the right-hand sidebar and toggle the “make this a template object” switch. Make sure the “Allow editing on product page” switch is toggled on as well, otherwise the option to edit the text won’t show up for the customer on the font end and they will have to go into the back end to edit it.
Here you have the option to change the “Product page label” and the “URL parameter name.”
The “Product page label” is what the customers will see as a title or instructions for what they should fill out on the front end. You can leave it if you’d like, I usually put a little description of what is meant to go in that text box, such as family name, initial, company name, year, address, etc.
The “URL parameter name” is more of a backend thing, and only needs to be considered if you have more than one template in a design. The URL parameter will effect what order the text boxes show up for the customer and it is sorted alphabetically.
In the example above, I created the Family Name template first and it automatically gave the URL parameter “text1” and the year “text2” so the Family Name will show above the year. If you have created the templates in a different order than you want them to appear, then go ahead and adjust these.
When it comes to the text’s bounding box, you should make it as long as your design allows for in order to let customers put as much text in there as they can before it jumps to the next line. I like to put it right to the green guidelines.
Back to the left-hand sidebar. Elements is the next one down.
Elements have many of the same editing features as text such as color, scale, rotate, and flip. The border and fill color can be different and you have the option to choose how thick the border is.
There’s not much to say for Icons… if you use Zazzle’s Icons then you can’t sell your design. So if you’re creating your Zazzle empire, it’s best just to leave this tab alone!
In the background tab, you have the option to choose your background color or to upload a background image. Below the colors, are background images you can use, these are just like Zazzle’s Icons, if you use them, you can’t sell your design.
You can also access your background color in the Layers tab.
The files tab is pretty straightforward. This is where all of your uploaded images end up!
You are able to create folders for your files and keep them sorted by organizing them in the My Images tab on your profile. In order to access those folders from the design tool, you will need to select the “Open full image browser button” below your files on the left sidebar.
Honestly, mine are all just one big mess in the main files folder and I’ve gotten to the point that there are so many files in there that I can’t imagine how long it would take me to organize them. This works fine for me, but if you are someone that likes to have everything super organized, then I recommend doing it from the get-go and getting a good system in place.
The options available for your images are similar to the font and element options. With a few differences…
The first button at the top on the right-hand side bar is the “Change Image” button. This gives you the option to swap out the image you have. This can be handy if you are swapping out different colorways of the same image, as if the design is identical Zazzle will let you group those products on the backend.
The “Filters” button gives you a few filters to put your image through.
Next, you can crop the image. This can come in handy if you want to cut off some of the border of you file. I’ve used this tool a fair amount, especially if I’m pulling in a graphic and tiling it and there’s just a bit too much blank space between the tiles.
The fill button will expand the image to touch the border of the design window, if it’s a square file it will take up the whole window, if it’s a rectangle (like the example below) only the sides or the top/bottom edges will expand right to the edge. Whereas the fit option will fit it to the product borders.
Next, you can scale, rotate and flip the image, similar to the font and elements.
Remove Image Background
Zazzle has added a relatively new feature, where if your design has a white background, it will remove it for you. See video for example.
Creating image templates is similar to creating text templates except for one thing. You need to select the fit/fill mode. I recommend using fill every time, but play around with it and see what works best for you.
The Product tab on the left sidebar gives you information on the product you are designing, including the ideal size your design should be.
The layers tab lets you look at each element you have in the design in a hierarchal list. You can move elements forward or backward, hide items, and lock items in this tab. As mentioned earlier, you also have the option to edit the background from this tab.
The layers tab is also where you will find the other side of the product to design if the product is double sided like pillows, socks, neck ties, etc.
Thankfully, Zazzle has given us a simple way to reverse any missteps with the under and redo buttons. You can also use the hotkeys which are CTRL+Z and CTRL+Shift+Z respectively.
– My Recommended Tools –
Below are my personal favorite tools that I use regularly in my POD business.
The below links are affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission for anything purchased through these links at no extra cost to you.
Creative Fabrica – My favorite place to get graphics with a straightforward commercial license for print on demand use.
- Get Creative Fabrica’s All Access Free Trial for one week here ($9.00 a month after that.)
- Get Creative Fabrica’s Yearly All Access Subscription for $59.88 here.
Adobe Illustrator – I use Adobe Illustrator for at least half of my design creations. It’s pricey but so worth it when you choose to take the business seriously. Get a free trial to Adobe Illustrator here.
Graphics Tablet – My partner got me this exact tablet as a Christmas gift when I was just starting out with creating my own designs. It has served me well now for several years and it was a very low cost investment that made a big impact in my POD business.
Ergonomic Mouse – If you spend long hours at the computer like me I highly recommend investing in a good ergonomic mouse. Over the years, I have caused an injury in my hand/wrist from being at the computer so much, but my pain has gotten significantly better since getting this ergonomic mouse on Amazon.
On the top bar menu you can move a selected object above or below another object with the forward and backward buttons. You can also do this in the layers tab by dragging one layer above or below another.
I love the tiling tool in Zazzle! I am all about seamless patterns, so this tool is my go to when creating on Zazzle. See video below where I’m playing around with the tiling tool to show you all the options.
The align tool is pretty straightforward. It’s a great way to position your elements in the center or on the edge. It also allows you to space elements out evenly on the canvas. See the video example below.
Guides & Grids
The guides and grid option is great for letting us know where the borders of the design are and for being more precise with placing our objects, spacing, and scale.
You can easily group products together in the design tool by selecting the elements you want to group and hitting the group button. By grouping products and then locking them, you can stop other designers from seeing how you’ve created a design and copying you (it’s rare, but getting copied happens to the best of us.)
Masking is another relatively new feature to Zazzle, and admittedly, I haven’t used it much myself! It’s pretty easy to use, you need to either use an element such as a circle or square from the Elements tab and an image in your files. Grab the two and click the mask button for your image to take the shape of the selected element.
You can also use an SVG file instead of an Element to give your image a more unique shape. Example below.
If you upload an SVG file with 5 or fewer colors, Zazzle’s design tool is able to read that as an SVG and edit those colors within the design tool. Allowing you to create multiple colorways and group them together seamlessly.
Note: You cannot tile SVG files in the Zazzle design tool.
As you can see, Zazzle’s design tool is quite robust and there is a ton of flexibility within the tool itself. Please do let me know if you have any questions or need help with any of the items listed here!