LiveArt Blog

Business Continuity Update

 

The escalation and unprovoked invasion of Russia on February 24 impacted our Kyiv-based company. LiveArt team and founders stand in solidarity with our nation and resistance. Our principle is free, sovereign, and independent Ukraine.

During these challenging times, LiveArt remains focused on providing its services and products to our clients from all over the world:

 1. We ensure all distributed team members are safe and have the necessary equipment to continue our operations and support.

2. We have secured business continuity and support for our clients. We do our best to provide an unparalleled service and operations expected from LiveArt.

We have faced many challenges in our 21-year company history, including Covid-19. These unprecedented times brought us a lot of experience and forced us to transition to full remote promptly. Before Russia's invasion, we also did some preparations that helped us resume our operations pretty fast to continue serving our clients. Such measures helped us develop contingency plans and assess risks for the potential escalation of hostilities. All our infrastructure and processes rely on cloud solutions where all client data is safe and secured.

We are very grateful to all our clients and partners who have expressed their support for us and Ukraine. Doing business with us is the best way to express support for our team, which means a lot to us.

Case Study: How LiveArt Automated StickyLife's Design Process

Stickylife website with LiveArt online product designer tool

Project Overview and Background

Starting in 2008, StickyLife.com is an online business that produces custom decals, car magnets, buttons, key chains, license plates, and other products that customers can personalize. The variety of their customers is wide: small businesses, creative professionals, schools, religious institutions, and just individuals looking for self-expression.

Read more

 

Business Goals and Pains

Before contacting LiveArt, Stickylife already had a website offering custom promotional and printable products. The current design tools they used were very limited in what they could do, so Stickylife could not offer so much to their customers.

The customer experience was not good, and the functionality did not meet the needs. For instance, clipart images were static and could not be edited by customers.

The product sizes were not editable, and customers could not know how the final product would look.

As a result, the company spent much time on manual work: resizing and formatting clipart, communicating with clients, and sending the design for approval.

The whole production process was tedious and increased the team workload a lot.

Stickylife team began to feel that they needed to find a solution to optimize the current process and satisfy customers' needs. The co-founder of StickyLife, Natalee Fisher, contacted us to automate their business and streamline the orders using LiveArt Designer and our technical expertise.

 

How LiveArt Met the Needs

Working as an agile company, we started with identifying Stickylife's needs and pains by running an exploration phase where we discuss, analyze, and document requirements necessary for successful project implementation. 

Natalee wanted to have a tool that works perfectly with the Magento 1 eCommerce platform and is easy to use for the customers.

LiveArt was chosen to scale their current business and free their team from manual work so that the company can focus more on moving the business forward. 

Stickylife wanted to allow customers to personalize their product by themselves and preview all changes live. The production team would then just receive the order with the ready-to-use output file, which they can send off to printing. Bingo!

 

Once the initial requirements became clear and agreed upon with Natalee and her team, we started to build a custom solution which was an ideal approach for Natalee's request.

Stickylife offers a variety of products, including irregular-shaped signs and stickers. One of LiveArt's tasks was to leverage and develop an easy product setup in the admin area while maintaining all layers, including safety and bleed lines.

We've also developed an integration with Pixabay to improve customer experience more and make the design process more fun.

As a result, the designer has been tailored to the specifics of stickers and vinyl letter manufacturing. The tool is straightforward and works perfectly on tablets, smartphones, desktops, and many other devices despite the internal complexity.

 

"They already had a tool that they built. They customized it heavily to meet our needs. I threw out lots of challenges to improve the product, and they met them all."

 

Under the hood, our team decided to migrate the whole solution to a scalable microservices architecture to make it as reliable and maintainable as possible. Since then, we migrated the site to Magento 2 and are working on functionality and scalability improvements.

 

Results

StickyLife immediately was able to benefit from LiveArt updates and noticed an increase in sales. The process became streamlined much more, and, thus, the team has very little manual work compared to the times before LiveArt. 

Stickylife team can now focus on their business and marketing goals and does not spend their time emailing with the customers to understand their needs. Print-ready output design files they can use for production are a big time-savior for the whole team!

 

"Without them, we would not have a business. We rely on them heavily for the design tool; it's the only way customers can use our site."

 

Stickylife gave freedom in the hands of their customers to express themselves as much as possible while providing them a great and fun experience.

 

LiveArt is happy to be a part of our clients' businesses. The sky is the limit in the web to print industry!

SEE LIVEART IN ACTION or CONTACT US

Checklist for Choosing Web to Print Solution: Part 2

 

Read more

This is part 2 of a series of posts about choosing the best web to print solution for your business that will streamline your orders and automate the current processes.

Part One: Checklist: 10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Web to Print Solution

Let’s continue and dig into the remaining questions we suggest every business owner ask the company during the evaluation phase about the web to print product designer software.

 

Is the tool convenient and straightforward for my customers?

Boosting your web to print businesses in the present days of COVID isolation is always about the customer experience. The first thing you should pay attention to when choosing a product configurator is the load speed. It is known that the web page should load as fast as possible. Otherwise, you risk losing your customers.

The next crucial thing that impacts whether the customers will buy your products is the product design tool interface. It should be user-friendly. What does this mean? It means that the interface should be convenient, straightforward for customers to quickly apply custom text and artwork to the product and order without complex and lengthy processes.

The solution should meet the needs depending on your customers, the user flow, and the products you sell, whether this is a sign designer with a variable data printing feature, a simple boat lettering tool, or complex uniform design software

Some other things have an impact on customers’ convenience. For example, providing your customers with a free artwork gallery may help them create their designs quickly. Sometimes your customers want to purchase a custom product however do not have any ideas of the design they want to have. In this case, it can be beneficial to provide a catalog of premade templates that allows your customers to use ready designs rather than starting from scratch.

For products like signs, business cards, having a ruler and snap lines in the designer for better precision can also make the design process more flawless.

 

Does it have its own admin panel?

For standalone solutions, a featured admin panel can significantly reduce efforts for management. Own admin area allows you to have everything under your control rather than some eCommerce integrated solutions. Inquire the company whether the designer has its admin panel. Normally the admin area shall allow the following:

- Set up and configure the product. For instance, define product locations and editable areas, apply sizes, configure colors, add restrictions, or some additional product material options.

- Create premade templates with some constraints.

- Manage assets like artwork, fonts, colors.

- Configure pricing.

- Manage orders which shall include customers’ information and output files.

Ensure the admin panel has a user-friendly interface and meets your requirements by testing demo links complemented with the documentation. 

 

Is the application deployed in the cloud or on-premises?

Before adding a web to print solution to your online print shop, ask how it will be deployed. Vendors may offer you on-premise deployment or a cloud-based. On-premise deployment means that software will be hosted on your server, and you get complete control and can manage it on your own.

Unlike on-premise deployment, cloud one means that the software is deployed remotely on the vendor's cloud server. In this case, vendors may charge a subscription fee to provide a web to print solution (or part of it) as a service.  

For on-premise deployment, clarify the setup requirements. Ask how much disk space would be sufficient for the application. Do you need to provide server access? Is it required to install any additional applications such as ImageMagick, Inkscape, or Docker? Ask where the design images will be saved and hosted. Do you need to create any accounts on cloud storage?

Generally, the deployment process requires some basic technical knowledge. It is crucial to ensure that the vendor’s team will deploy everything independently or provide the necessary documentation and guidance if you have an in-house development team.

 

What kind of support does the company provide?

The software purchase and deployment is not the final step. It would help if you were sure that it works correctly, and in case of any issues or questions, you will have someone to help you. Having a maintainable solution means that you save your time and costs. Ask the company what kind of support do they provide. We have outlined a couple of essential questions to ask:

- Do you get free support for out-of-the-box solutions? For how long?

- What does this support include? For instance, some critical bug fixes, troubleshooting, or assistance with product configuration.

- Do you have any time limitations for the support? For example, the company can allocate a limited amount of hours in a year for your solution assistance. What should you do if you need more time?

- Do you get free upgrades?

- What are support terms if you have any customizations developed in your out-of-the-box solution?

- Does the company provide support plans? What packages are available?

 

It is also essential to inquire what are company’s business and support hours. If you are located in a different timezone, and your solution accidentally is down, it may affect your sales very hard. The available support team is vital for guaranteeing the solution’s stability and continuity and your business at all. 


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, we are always open and ready to answer :)

Welcome to check our product designer tool demo online.

How to Run a Successful Print on Demand Business on Shopify

By 2025, the t-shirt printing industry was forecast to reach up to 3.1 billion dollars in value. This shows that the print-on-demand business is here to stay, and it's still growing. If you want to make money with a POD e-commerce model, it's best to get started asap. Start building your store to take advantage of this lucrative industry.

This article will teach you how to start a print-on-demand business and what you need to do to succeed. 

Read more

What is Print on Demand

Print-on-demand or POD is an e-commerce business where you work with suppliers to sell customized products with your design and brand. Most POD businesses sell customized t-shirts, uniforms. bags, mugs, phone cases, and hats. 

Like Dropshipping, there is no need to keep an inventory of the items. All you need to do is choose a set of products to sell, focus on creating great designs, and marketing your store to the target audience.

For order fulfillment, POD service providers such as Amazon, Printful, and Zazzle can take care of that. With Printful, you pick products that you want to sell to your Shopify store, insert a customized design, and Printful fulfills and ships the order for you.

Some of their products include clothing, embroidered shirts, kids' clothing, masks, tote bags, accessories, etc.There are no upfront costs for connecting your Shopify store to Printful. Simply create a Printful free account, install their app on Shopify, connect your store and add your products. t's a similar process with Zazzle, except that they don't have a mobile app. Zazzles does have an online marketplace that allows you to sell directly from their site.

Is Print on Demand Profitable?

According to Shopify, print-on-demand businesses can make about $500 per month and more depending on how much time you're willing to spend managing your business. 

If you want to generate more revenue, it's not enough to just put up a store. You need to get the word out and market your store to the right audience. You need to create more awareness for your brand to make a profit running a print-on-demand business. No matter how good your design is, you may not be able to sell if you don't reach out to your target audience. Additionally, it would help to have attractive designs and functional tools to make it easier for your customers to order and customize products they want to purchase.

Is the print on demand profitable? Business owners who take this business seriously can make more money. You can succeed and possibly make a fortune so long as you are goal-oriented and maximize the available resources that can help you generate more revenue. One such resource is our LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer that you can integrate with your Shopify Store. 

How to Choose Your Niche

Picking a niche is essential to running a print-on-demand business as that can help you position yourself as an expert. When choosing one, ensure that you take into consideration the profit you'll make and following your passion. Research the market first to see what type of products are selling well, and then make a shortlist of products you think will be more profitable. It would also help to sell products you actually believe would sell more. For startups, we recommend narrowing your niche so you can penetrate the market. You can always expand afterward.

Google TrendsAmazoneBay, and Etsy are great resources to help you look for profitable POD products. You can also try making a list of your hobbies, interests, passion, and experience in the retail world. Professional experience can significantly help too. As much as possible, find at least one or two niches to establish loyal customers. A solid niche ensures a particular market would want to buy from your business instead of the competitor.

How to Start a Shopify Store

Before building a Shopify store, take time to think about what your goals are first. What are you trying to achieve? How much do you intend to make per month? What will be your marketing strategies to help you achieve sales targets? Your goals and targets serve as your guide to generating more revenue and growing your POD business. 

To get started, you only need to sign up for Shopify. Ensure you have the basics covered, such as the store name, business logo, or a brand one-liner. The step is to add the products you want to sell. Upload high-quality photos to attract more customers. Compelling product descriptions can also help. Set the price, work on the payments, checkout, and shipping. 

Make selling easier for yourself and your customers by integrating our online product design tool into your Shopify Store. Whether you're selling bags to shirts and stickers, our product designer can help. It's also suitable for screen printing, DTG, engraving, sublimation, and vinyl cut. Your customers can easily personalize the products they want with premade templates, designs, colors, fonts, and artwork. They can also preview it before placing an order. Once they completed their orders, you receive a high-resolution print-ready vector PDF output which you can use for production. It's so simple, easy, quick, and automated.

Start Selling With LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer

Our LiveArt HTML5 product designer tool is an indispensable tool for your Shopify store. It can help you automate your workflow and avoid incorrect files or not being suitable for printing. We have the best solution to help you effectively and efficiently run your print-on-demand Shopify Store. It's simple to use and developers-friendly, so you can quickly integrate it with other tools. We're also happy to provide free support to all of our clients for three months until you run your Shopify store like a pro. Try our demo today!

Seamless LiveArt HTML5 product designer integration with Shopify available for web to print store owners!

 (Mockup psd created by freepik - www.freepik.com)

 

Personalization is now a trend among customers, allowing a new way to purchase favorite products online and being an integral part of businesses that want to stay competitive on the market. 

As a print shop owner, you are likely to thrive in offering your customers a straightforward customer journey when they want to buy products online with their design and specifications. Sometimes it is hard for your customers to explain what custom design they want, and it may be hard for them to understand the final product look. As a result, you need to spend much time talking to your client, trading many messages, and showing dozens of mockups to understand their needs, which is a very time-consuming process for both parties. Allowing your clients to create designs themselves in real-time using an online product design tool with the live preview can help you streamline your business orders, minimize production costs and satisfy your customers' needs.

Read more

Nowadays, the most common way to start an online shop for your decoration industry is to start it with simple eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce. These platforms are popular for their simplicity to install and launch and allows you to start selling your products quickly. Shopify, though, is becoming the most popular platform among online merchants in recent years. 

Although Shopify is one of the leading platforms, it still does not have enough product design apps compatible with it, allowing online product personalization tailored to specific print businesses. We had many requests from store owners looking for the Shopify product design app modified to their liking or implementing a unique customer journey. As a result of many custom projects and internal development, we are happy to announce that LiveArt can now be seamlessly integrated with Shopify! Now you can easily set up your Shopify account, integrate our LiveArt HTML5 designer with its own LiveArt Control Panel, set up the products, start selling and collect orders with print-ready output. Streamline your orders as much as possible while being able to customize the whole process!

What can you sell with LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer on Shopify?

Our designer is suitable for any kind of decoration industry. Here are the most popular products that customers can personalize in the Shopify store:

     - team uniforms

     - apparel

     - socks

    - stickers

     - signs

     - jewelry

     - promotional products

     - and much more

Our designer component is very flexible and allows you to set up resizable or non-resizable products and any type of colorizable products. Our professional team can prepare the product according to your needs and specifications with more than 15 years of experience in the web to print industry. Should you require the user's design to be limited to some non-rectangular shape or add any textures like shadows to make the product natural, allow multiple editable areas or add gradient support, etc., we are acknowledged to do this relying on SVG technologies and our experience. Nevertheless, even by integrating our solution, you will get a ready set of product template samples that you may use to build your product catalog.

What will you receive?

LiveArt product design tool is based on the HTML5/JS stack of technologies and is responsive to all screens. The application works on mobiles, tablets, and desktops, which allow your customers to personalize their products on the go at any time. 

Our online product designer features its own LiveArt Control Panel that allows you to link your Shopify product with LiveArt and configure the product itself to make it customizable. With LACP, you can easily set up many product locations such as front, back, sleeves, as the solution's functionality supports complex product personalization. What's more, you can configure the editable and printing area according to your needs or add product masks. Additional options such as material type, orientation, etc., or restrictions for customers are also configurable via LACP. As the printing quality is one of the main aspects of the web to print business, you can easily configure minimum DPI quality for images and artwork your customers upload to the design to meet print quality standards on the final output. In addition, you can enable team names and numbers roster support if you want to sell sports uniforms and configure the product sizes you are planning to offer.

The LiveArt Control Panel also allows you to manage colors, an artwork gallery, add your fonts, create and set your own pricing rules. You can also create premade templates and design ideas and thus improve your customers' experience significantly. Ready designs can help your customers personalize their products faster by getting the idea of what they like and quickly making some minor tweaks to customize the design according to their preferences. The admin designer can also impose some restrictions, like not moving elements outside a specific area. 

Once your customers prepared the design and checkout, you will receive all order details in the Shopify admin area with high-quality PDF output files you can use for production. Should you require any other kind of output such as another file format, custom DPI, or add some cut masks or bleeds, our team can easily tweak it according to your specifications. 

As a store owner, you can customize the solution to match your shop style, grab customers' attention and stand out from competitors. LiveArt HTML5 product design tool has an open-source HTML/CSS, which you can white-label, customize and extend to your liking. While a completely custom UI is possible via configurations, you may also request adding new features transforming the designer into a versatile production tool.

 

LiveArt still has many other features useful for your web to print business which we developed over the years based on our deep technology and industry knowledge. Feel free to request a LiveArt for Shopify demo session, and welcome to send your product samples so that we could make the demo as close as possible to your market needs.

Contact our sales team if you would like to integrate LiveArt HTML5 product designer into your Shopify store or have any questions you might require clarifications on.

Checklist: 10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Web to Print Solution

The web to print industry, along with the product customization era, is developing rapidly. Printing business owners thrive on staying competitive on the market, trying to satisfy their customers and provide them a unique experience. Modern customers want to buy custom products that fit their needs and allows self-expression. Thus, web to print tools became an integral part of online shops when you want to sell personalized products.

Considering adding an online product designer is a serious step that might be tricky sometimes for both brick and mortar businesses and eCommerce ones. To make your evaluation process effortless, we prepared a detailed checklist for choosing a web to print solution that should satisfy your business needs and streamline your orders.

 

Read more

What product types and printing methods are supported?

The first thing to get to know when choosing an online product design tool is what kind of products it supports. Check whether the tool will allow you to set up and configure products you would like to sell. It is also essential to know whether the software allows multiple product sides. For products like decals, signs, or banners, one-sided product support may be sufficient. However, if you sell uniforms, apparel, business cards, stickers, etc., multiple side support becomes a crucial part of the product personalization process. 

Make sure that the software supports the printing methods that you use in your printing business. Here is the list of popular printing methods for custom products:

    - Screen Printing

    - DTG

    - Sublimation

    - Vinyl Applique

    - Vinyl Cut

    - Embroidery

    - Engraving

Mainly, product design software shall support standard printing methods, but some tools could be developed and aimed for specific printing methods and may not fit your needs. This part is essential to clarify because some printing methods require additional tool configuration. For instance, if you print t-shirts using screen printing, then you should control the number of colors your customers use in their designs. This flow may require custom pricing rules configuration depending on the number of colors to ensure an accurate quote. An embroidery or engraving method may require custom tweak setups like digitization or only black and white color support.

 

Can it be integrated with eCommerce platforms? 

Nowadays, the most common and straightforward way to start an online shop is to use eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, or nopCommerce, rather than building a website from scratch. Ensure that the product designer you want to use for your web to print business can be integrated with the platform you are currently using for your shop or are planning to use. It is also essential to clarify whether the product designer plugin is compatible with standard eCommerce themes. Usually, web to print companies provide front and back demo access for clients to test how this works in practice or suggest setting up a demo trial. Check whether the existing features fit your needs the best.

One of the crucial parts of the online business process is managing product designer assets such as product images, premade templates, colors, fonts, artwork galleries, and customers' saved designs. This managing process should be convenient and flawless for you. Thus, ask whether the company provides documentation or has any video explanation about using the admin panel and the designer.

 

Can it be used as a standalone designer?

Although eCommerce solutions are very perspective in web to print business, some printing business owners prefer standalone solutions to eCommerce-based. Let’s see why and start with a definition. A standalone app is an application that can work independently and does not require anything else to be operational. This kind of web to print tool gives more freedom and abilities for in-depth managing and advanced functionality as required per your business needs. Due to its independence, the software can be integrated into any website and used for web to print development, including complex workflows. For developers, it is essential to have software that works seamlessly and does not conflict with the main application.

If you feel that your business needs require software that can be completed independently and can collect the designs without the eCommerce integration, then a standalone web to print app will get the job done. For a standalone version, the designer can be embedded to the storefront page and managed via configuration files such as JSON structures or a simple standalone admin area. In this case, it would be helpful to ask vendors how you can manage your products, assets, and designs.

For web to print providers managing the designs is a crucial part of the printing process and requires automation as much as possible. For instance, you may need to collect all design information you can send via email to your customers and contact them back about their order or save the design ID for later use. You may also require to have a simple checkout like Foxy.io for saving order information. Ensure that the flow you get with a standalone solution will allow you to manage orders effortlessly. Once you sure the solution meets your needs, you may also inquire about integrating the designer with eCommerce platforms.

 

Is the tool easy to extend and customize?

Just like your customers want to have custom products, you may also like to have a solution you can customize and extend according to your needs and liking. For instance, you may require to translate the interface to the desired language, update visual styling, add new labels or add your custom logic. Ensure that the product design tool you consider buying is open-source, and its code allows you to extend UI controls, modify HTML and CSS or use tool API. Having the ability to modify the solution allows you to have control and customize it to provide the most desirable experience for your customers.

 

Are the custom development services available? How can I extend the functions? 

Sometimes out of the box solutions companies provide may not meet your needs fully. For some rocket science business ideas with specific customer journeys, default web to print apps does not fit. Unique UI/UX, custom workflow different from off-the-shelf solution, specific variable data printing setup, custom production output are the things that may require additional development. To give birth to your unique business idea, inquire about custom development services in vendors.

For example, LiveArt provides customization services for custom eCommerce and web to print solutions development, UI/UX development, custom production output, advanced B2B solutions, etc.

Depending on your needs, the company may suggest extending the existing functionality by adding a new feature or offer a complete custom web to print solution development.

In case the company can develop the solution tailored to your needs, ask what is required from your side. Usually, companies start the requirements analysis to discover your issues and pains. What will significantly simplify the elicitation process is the specification document. This document should include functional and non-functional requirements and also can be complemented with UI/UX mockups. In short, this document will be a guideline for the developers to implement the scope of work correctly. 

Ensure you have complete source code ownership if the company develops a custom web to print solution according to your requirement.

 

Does the web to print tool offer a live preview?

Most modern product design configurators are featured with a live preview. When the customer adds text, artwork, or selects product color, all changes are reflected on the product immediately. Having this feature can be valuable for your customers as they can personalize their products in real-time and check whether they like it before they place the order.

There are three kinds of previews: 2D, 3D, and AR preview. A flat 2D preview is sufficient for products like signs, stickers, or any other flat product. If you have products such as phone cases, bottles, or uniforms and want to provide your customers a better look and feel of the personalization process, you will benefit more from 3D preview. The difference between these previews is that 3D preview allows you to rotate the product 360 degrees and looks closer to the real product. 

Some companies offer 2D preview by default however can develop 3D preview support by request as additional customization. Find out all details about the preview in web to print solution provider you choose. You can ask them to set up your products for the personalized demo and test whether the preview they offer is suitable for you. 

Finally, the AR preview (Augmented Reality) offers a previously unavailable natural feel of the customized product. It perfectly works for almost any product type. What's more, customers can use their mobile devices to see a 3D mockup of the customized product in their environment.

 

Can I colorize my product templates or artwork?

The ability to colorize product templates or artwork is an integral part of the personalization process. As a printing business owner, you need to understand whether the product designer tool provides such a feature. To be colorized, product templates and artwork should be in vector format. Usually, web to print companies use SVG format. Thus, you may need some time to provide files in the required format if you do not have them at the start.

Some vector files cannot be used as-is to be colorized and require preliminary preparation. The complexity of this process depends on whether the vector file is correct and what your requirements are. For instance, you want to allow customers to change only one color on the product, which might work for products such as t-shirts, hoodies, signs, and some promotional products. For products like uniforms, you may need to have multiple colorizable areas complemented with the ability to apply the gradient. 

The gradient is the best way to add depth to the design and make it more attractive. Depending on your customers’ desires, they may want to add a drastic gradient or make a more subtle transition. The best methods for printing gradients are screen printing, sublimation, and DTG, which are often used for smooth transitions and accurate blends.

Sometimes, customers want to have some complicated and eye-catching gradients on designs. For example, start with green color, change it to orange color in the middle and end with a red. To please our customers, LiveArt features a multiple stops support for colorizing products with a gradient. Thus, the product template may be colorized with two and more colors gradient with different transparency so your customers can create an appealing blend. Let’s take a look at the example below:

Multiple gradients feature in LiveArt HTML5 designer

Sometimes the product template or gallery images are not compatible with the designer company provides. In this case, inquire whether the company can undertake image preparation to look nice to the end customer and allow simple or gradient colorizing.

 

Does it support mobile and the latest grade browsers?

The COVID era boosted the usage of mobiles even more. Getting the customer experience right and retaining more clients means the product design tool should work seamlessly on mobile devices. People are also more inclined to buy online on mobiles rather than using PCs. As the design tool may have many features, it should be convenient for customers to customize products on small mobile screens. Check your customers’ overall flow and ensure the tool is comfortable in use and meets your requirements.

To provide the best experience for your customers, the web to print solution should also support the latest browser versions. It is essential to test the solution on modern browser versions to ensure this works correctly. You can also inquire about the list of such browsers in vendors. Commonly, this info is described in the documentation of web to print software.

 

What technologies web to print tool is written with?

Having a product design tool with an excellent interface that meets your requirements may not be enough when talking about the web to print solutions. To scale your printing business, you should offer your customers a stable, secure, and easy to maintain solution. It is crucial to know what underlying technologies vendors used for building a web to print solution you consider using for your online shop. If more than ten years ago developers built web to print solutions on Flash, all modern applications are built on HTML5 related stack. The underlying technology shall also allow an easy embedding of the product customizer application to your solution or website.

Technologies for image processing are essential too. In this technologically savvy time, it can be beneficial for web to print companies to rely on SVG format, an industry standard for vector imaging, including responsive apps for tablets and smartphones. SVG is a vector-based format that looks clean and nice on any device and any resolution, regardless of its size. It is also capable of being converted to production-grade output files such as EPS.

If you plan to integrate the web to print solution into your B2B site, it may make sense to inquire about the backend part of the product configurator. Is it based on PHP, Java, or any other programming language? Do you need to rely on any frameworks to enable a stable solution for your web to print shop?

 

What production output does the tool provide?

One of the crucial parts of an online product design tool is having a correct output to streamline the ordering process and minimize production efforts. The production-ready files shall be as prepared as possible for immediate print without any extra processes. Ask away which output format the web to print software vendors provide. Can they tweak the output only in raster formats such as JPG or PNG or produce vector files such as PDF or EPS?

Depending on the kind of products you are selling, you might require a specific DPI. Vector output files can be resized to the required resolution upon print sourcing, while raster images should have the required DPI configured beforehand. It is equally important to know which color profile the output files shall have. If you use output files for reference, an RGB profile should be sufficient, while a CMYK profile is often required for production-ready files as colors on the printed file are most approximate to those that customers use on the web.

Design post-processing also matters. You may need to have an extra layer on the bleeding area, add cutting masks, have SKU, or put any other additional information not generated on the preview but required for production purposes.

To understand whether the output meets your requirements, you may ask vendors to prepare the personalized demo to create the design, download output files and print them.

 

Enabling web to print solution for your online printing shop allows your customers to create personalized products. At the same time, you can minimize production efforts, streamline your orders, and stay competitive on the market. Consider the solution which can meet your and your customers' needs thoroughly.

With robust, flexible, and maintainable web to print tools, you can get more benefits and take your business to the next level. Follow the above checklist to facilitate the evaluation process and be more prepared for communication with vendors. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need more information about choosing the best web to print business solution.

 

 

A Practical Guide to SVG for Web to Print [+ 4 Free Tools]

 

When it comes to creating or just adding graphical assets to the website, you can choose raster formats like popular PNG, JPG, GIF, or vector, like SVG, AI, or EPS. Nevertheless, using SVG format on the web is gaining popularity and becomes a powerful tool in the hands of designers, developers, and even printers. If you want to create logos, icons, animation, or use the image for print, SVG format is as applicable as ever. Let’s get deep into this, and we will explain what SVG is, how to use this, and why this is in demand.

Read more

What is SVG?

SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphic, is a vector-based graphics in XML format which is used for the web and works with JavaScript, CSS, DOM, and other standards. Basically, an SVG image contains lines and curves, which can have any color value. However, some complicated SVG files can have embedded PNG, JPG images, or SVG image itself.

Created with XML, vector images can be scaled to any size without losing resolution and still can look like high-quality images, even in huge sizes. Unlike PNG, the larger the image, the less the quality. Let’s take a look at the example of zoomed SVG and PNG images.

What benefits of using SVG?

- Scalable and adaptive to all screens. All SVG assets are displayed in good quality on different screens like desktop, mobile, tablets, etc. Providing users high-grade images regardless of their devices is one of the main parts of an excellent user experience. 

- You can use a text editor to work with simple SVG graphics, for example, Notepad. This can significantly save your time on installing additional software and figuring out how to work with this. However, for the more complex graphic configuration, you may need to use some tools. We will provide a list of them at the end of the article.

- SVG is supported by all modern browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.

- Compared to raster images, SVG has a smaller file size. It is known that site speed plays a crucial role. Typically, the user leaves the page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, having SVG assets instead of PNG can improve this indicator.

- SVG can be not only static. Because SVG format works with JavaScript, you can create animation, which can significantly improve your website performance. 

- Regardless of size, SVG images are high-quality, which is well suited for printing.

What does the SVG file consist of?

SVG file consists of text - SVG markup. Every SVG file starts with a <svg> tag, which contains the image’s width and height attributes. After this tag, you can add any shapes you need to create the desired graphic. For example, let’s start with a basic SVG image that contains only one line.

Code sample:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<svg height="210" width="500">
  <line x1="30" y1="100" x2="400" y2="20" style="stroke:rgb(115, 3, 252); stroke-width:4" />
</svg>

</body>
</html>

 

Result:

SVG uses a two-dimensional system of coordinates. This system starts from the top left corner (0,0). As you can see, the <line> contains the start point - x1,y1, the endpoint - x2,y2, style attribute defining color in RGB, and the line width. You may have already noticed that this code contains some HTML code. This means that every SVG graphics can be embedded into an HTML page directly.

Shapes

The line is just one of the basic predefined shapes which you can use for graphic creation. You can also draw other shapes like circle, rectangle, ellipse, polyline, and polygon using respective XML tags.

Code sample:

<rect width="300" height="100" style="fill:rgb(255,255,255);stroke-width:1;stroke:rgb(0,0,0)" />

 

Result:

Code sample:

<circle cx="190" cy="120" r="100" stroke="black" stroke-width="1" fill="white" />

 

Result:

Code sample:

<svg height="260" width="500">
  <polygon points="230,20 270,200 130,240" style="fill:white;stroke:black;stroke-width:1" />
</svg>

 

Result:

 

More complex shapes

Having basic shapes allows you to create plain assets. However, what if you want to create a more complicated design with unusual shapes? Here is why the <path> was created for. This attribute allows you to create curves, open and clothed paths and is one of the most adaptable SVG elements. If you want to use <path>, we recommend using professional tools for SVG creation instead of plain text editors. 

The idea of <path> is that all lines or shapes are built sequentially, from one point to another point. The tag <path> has a main attribute d, which consists of commands that can create graphics.

Let’s take a look at the rectangle created using a path.

Code sample:

<svg>
    <path d="M0,0 L300,0 L300,100 L0,100 Z" style="fill:rgb(200,50,170)"/>
</svg>

 

M set coordinates of the first point. In our case, this point starts from the top left corner. L means draw the line from the current point to the specified one. Z is used to complete the path and closes it.

Result:

The same result you will get if you use basic shape <rect>.

Code sample:

<svg>
  <rect width="300" height="100" style="fill:rgb(200,50,170)" />
</svg>

 

The <path> has many other commands that allow you to draw arcs, curves, horizontal or vertical connections with two points.  There are a lot of other path commands which can help you in creating SVG graphics.

 

Can I add text to SVG?

Yes, text can be added to SVG using the <text> tag. As for other elements, you should define coordinates for your text. Text color, size, and font values are also feasible. Please consider that font size should not be bigger than y coordinates because your text will look not entirely. You can also apply a style to your text using CSS properties. For example, font-style, font-weight, text-transform. 

Text in SVG is indexed flawlessly, so it is an excellent opportunity to keep improving your SEO. Regardless this is a standalone file or file embedded in HTML, search engines can recognize the text.

Code sample:

<svg >
  <text x="80" y="60" font-size="40" font-weight="bold" fill="green"> Text here!</text>
</svg>

 

Result:

 

However, adding text through <text> tag can cause some problems with the font-family attribute. For example, when you specify a font-family that is not available on the user’s web browser or is not installed on the desktop, tablet, etc., then this font will not be displayed correctly, or a font similar to it will be used instead. This may be risky, especially for those who sell personalized products for their decoration industries struggling to satisfy customers’ needs. In Liveart, we handle this by using vectorized text. We convert TTF, WOFF, OTF, or PFB files to JS file, where every symbol has its own <path>. This approach allows displaying text correctly without the additional need to install the font. 

Using vectorized text is also a good approach when you need to convert your SVG file to PNG, JPG, or PDF and use it for printing, as text elements will be displayed precisely with the font preserving.

 

Strokes, filters, effect, and shadows

To have your design more sophisticated, you can apply some filters, effects, and strokes. Strokes are used to define the color of a line or text. Besides color, you can set line thickness using the stroke-width property or even create dashed lines with the stroke-dasharray property.

Code sample:

<svg>
    <path stroke="black" stroke-width="6" stroke-dasharray="10,10" d="M10 20 L230 20" />
</svg>

 

Result:

When working with strokes outline, you may face some issues with the stroke-width attribute. By default, width changes are applied to the outside and inside and cause text thickness changes.

Old version of LiveArt HTML5 Designer (v0.10).

Strokes in web to print require preserving the text's initial appearance - size, thickness, etc. In the last version of LiveArt Designer, this issue was solved by changing only the outside part of the stroke while saving the original text size. Having a properly configured stroke is an essential part of output generation and its further usage. Here you can check how strokes should work:

Actual version of LiveArt HTML5 Designer (v1.0).

 

There are also a lot of filter elements that you can apply to your graphics. For example, <feGaussianBlur> for blur effect, <feOffset> for shadow effect, or <feBlend> for blending two images, and many others.

Code sample:

<svg>
<defs>
    <filter id="f0" x="0" y="0">
      <feGaussianBlur in="SourceGraphic" stdDeviation="15" />
    </filter>
</defs>
   <rect width="200" height="200" stroke="black" stroke-width="5" fill="red" filter="url(#f0)" />
</svg>

 

To identify the unique filter name, we should use the id attribute. You can also control the blur size with the stdDeviation attribute.

Result:

Unfortunately, filters are not supported by all browsers. Google Chrome supports filters only from version 8.0, Safari - from version 6.0, Opera - from version 9.6, Internet Explorer from version 10.0, and Firefox from version 3.0. To provide your users with a good experience, make sure that a default element (without filters) looks good.

When talking about the web to print, it is quite risky to use filters for production output as we are not entirely sure that the customer’s browser will support this. However, LiveArt uses filters to visualize products and create a good impression during customization. We show some parts with thread effect for products like socks to get the product preview as real as possible. One more case where effects can be applied is custom jewelry products or custom tags. For such products, we suggest applying an effect to the text to make it more visible on the reference that will be used for the stamping.

 

You can achieve a stamped effect not only with SVG filters but also using CSS based on text-shadow property, yet the last one has no SVG filter flexibility and features.

More about SVG in LiveArt

LiveArt relies on the SVG format and considers it as one of the most convenient and flexible in usage. Developing robust solutions for more than ten years, we understood that vector format is useful for our customers. Therefore, we have implemented the support of multicolored SVG graphics in our online design software, which you can use from our free artwork gallery or upload your own. SVG format allows you to resize the image to any size without getting a “Low-resolution warning.” Moreover, SVG is easy to output and ready to use without any extra conversions.

 

 

As well as graphics preparation, LiveArt also uses SVG format for product preparations, especially for multicolored uniforms. These graphics need preliminary preparation. If you are interested in preparing vector graphics, you can check our documentation or see our YouTube video.

 

 

Free tools

Inkscape

Inkscape is an open-source tool for creating vector-based graphics. This tool allows rendering primitive shapes, changing colors, applying filters, adding text, working with paths, and object transformation. Developed for working with SVG files, this tool became one of the most popular free tools among designers and developers. 

Snap.svg

Snap.svg is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries that was developed for working with SVG. It is entirely open-source, free, and not inferior in functionality to such libraries as SVG.js, Two.js, and D3.js. This library can work with existing SVG files and as well as with Snap generated. This library has a powerful API that can be useful for developers. Besides static SVG files, you can create animation and provide more engagement to your website.

Method Draw

Method Draw is a straightforward online SVG editor. You do not need to install it on your desktop because this tool is available online, and you even do not need to sign up. The interface is straightforward and easy to use but provides a robust set of tools for graphic creation. You can export graphics as SVG and PNG. 

SVGOMG

SVGOMG is a free UI wrapper over SVGO that was created by Jake Archibald for optimizing and simplifying SVG images. This tool has a lot of features like removing metadata, raster images, viewbox, hidden element, empty text, and even prettify your markup. You can preview all changes by simply clicking on the respective buttons. This software is useful for developers and can help with SVG preparation for further work.


SVG is a compelling format that is gaining popularity every day. There is its own format for each purpose, but as we have already found out, SVG is suitable for creating scalable logos, infographics, animation, illustrations, etc. In this article, we described only basic SVG features; however, this format has a wide range of other exciting features, which we will cover in the next articles. Stay tuned!

In case you need any assistance or have questions regarding SVG, welcome to contact us.

Custom Face Masks in LiveArt HTML5 Designer

Our usual way of life had changed when we faced the COVID-19. Some things, such as antiseptics and face masks, have become an integral part of our daily lives. Since the masks are a must-have for communicating with others or just go shopping, everyone wants to stand out. You can protect yourself from the Covid-19 or polluted air but also be stylish and cheer up others in such a difficult period. 

Hand holding a lot of custom designed face masks

Read more

However, when you regularly wear a simple mask, you might feel like you are losing your identity. Nobody would even recon your smile! That is why having a mask with a cool design is a trend nowadays. It is known that wearing a thing designed according to your needs changes your perception from “I need to wear this” to “I want to wear this.” Many people began to use custom masks with their photos, meaning that only that part of the face that is hidden under the mask will be printed on the mask. These masks create a feeling for others that you are without the mask, but still, you protect them and yourself from infection. Perfect combination, right?

What do you need to allow your customers to buy custom face masks online?

     - A ready-to-operate online store;

     - Ready face masks designs or online face mask customization tool;

Why is an online customization tool better?

Using the web to print tools in shops is gaining more and more popularity, as it can cover all your customers’ needs and streamline orders. A lot of online mask sellers offer ready designs for their customers. However, what if you place the design process in the hands of your customers? What if you give them the opportunity to add custom text with desired color and font, add artwork from the gallery or upload their own, place the design whenever they like, or provide the editable area? You will save your time and money to build new and attractive designs. Moreover, you will get more loyal and engaged customers who will value their unique personalized mask.

LiveArt cannot stay away from this trend. Therefore, we decided to add masks templates, including respirator masks, to our LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer SDK so that you can test and see if such a solution suits you and your customers.

You can try our demo or install it on your premises to test and play with it.

     A gif describing the process of face masks customization in LiveArt HTML5 Designer demo

 

Benefits you get with the LiveArt:

Automation is the key

Have you ever thought that you are spending too much time and effort to complicatedly email with the customer and try to meet their requirements and approve the order? The online designer allows you to simplify the whole process. You do not need a ton of messages anymore. With the designer, the customer will be able to choose the appropriate color, size, text, picture, and place it wherever it is convenient. Moreover, it will be easier for you to process orders while making it more comfortable for the buyer to track them.

Real-time changes. 

LiveArt designer allows you to empower your website with true WYSIWYG. What does this mean? This abbreviation stands for what you see is what you get. Customers can see all the changes in real-time. This feature allows your customers to understand whether customized products meets their needs and gives an idea of how these products will look live. Thus, you have fewer refunds since customers create the design they want, place it according to their needs, and choose the preferable size.

Permanent license.

Our customers are always important to us. Therefore, we offer you the two types of licenses - designer component for those who already integrated with an eCommerce platform and full-fledged shop with the product designer built-in. No hidden payments and monthly costs, you buy only the license and may use it as long as you want.

Integration with popular platforms.

If you want to upgrade your website with a popular eCommerce platform, LiveArt is here to provide ready integration with WooCommerce/WordPress, Magento 2, nopCommerce, and Shopify. Moreover, our dedicated and high-quality developers team is ready to build a custom integration for you, according to your need and desires.

Fast and responsive.

LiveArt HTML5 is fully responsive, and that means that the designer will be adaptive to the sizes of all devices like tablets, smartphones, and PC. You have a chance to provide your customers with the perfect shopping experience and get loyalty and engagement from them.

Simplicity over complexity.

LiveArt provides you with easy navigation and a user-friendly interface. No extra buttons and steps, only built-in tools that your customers need for creating personalized products they will be in love with. Moreover, they can save the design to share with friends later or load their designs easily - they only need to enter the email.

Design features.

Huge gallery with ready artwork for free and the ability to upload your own. LiveArt designer supports multiple file upload formats like PNG, JPG, SVG, and GIF. Make your design more interesting by adding text. Decorate your text with different font options, vector effects, or multi-line adjustments. Also, the demo products are not canonical, so you can add and set up other products and let your customers personalize them.

Continuous support from our dedicated team.

Our team wants to deliver you the solution that meets your needs, so we can help you if you have any questions or concerns. You get three months of free support after buying the license and can hire us for custom development if you want to upgrade your online shop.

 

LiveArt is a reliable partner in building business solutions that are based on product customization. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or want to start an online web to print business! 

LiveArt Named by Clutch as one of the Ukraine Top Custom Software Development Firms

 

Clutch logo naming LiveArt as a top custom software development company

Read more

 

The LiveArt team just heard some major news! Clutch.co named LiveArt as one of the world’s top custom software development firms! These companies are making waves as one of the best investments in your business, with article after article talking about why investing in things like custom software development firms is the right choice for more and more companies when they move forward with new business ideas. That is why we’re so honored for Clutch to name us one of the best!

 

"We are happy to be recognized by our projects and services we help our clients to thrive with!" - Volodymyr Yatsevsky, CEO of LiveArtDesigner.com

 

Clutch.co is a company that is dedicated to providing buyers of B2B services the most important information when they purchase custom solutions. Their team sits in the heart of America’s capital city and takes the time to interview clients, verify the reviews independently to ensure their accuracy, and curate the content so that you can feel confident the next time you purchase B2B services.


LiveArt profile in Clutch

This is why we’re so thrilled to highlight our Clutch profile and our stellar star average! In a recent review, the CEO of StickyLife.com, Natalee Fisher, praised the graphic design tool we built for her e-commerce company!

 

“Their knowledge base is unparalleled."

 

Thanks to our enthusiastic positive reviews from our satisfied customers, Clutch ranked us as one of the top custom software development firms in Ukraine! It’s a privilege to make their resource shortlist according to research by Clutch.

 

We’re incredibly grateful to Clutch for selecting us, and even more grateful to our many happy customers who left us excellent and truthful reviews on their platform! If you’re interested in software development for your print company according to your needs, contact us today!

 

What to consider when moving your business online

Now small businesses are in a difficult situation. If online companies are trying to find new ways to keep customers and discover new ones, offline companies have a harder time. Therefore, moving your business online can be one of the ways not to lose it.

 

MackBook Pro with sofa on the screen and a cup of coffee on the table

Read more

 

Why should you go online?

When you have an offline business, it is common that only local people know about you. How can others find out about you? Either your customers advise your service to others, or you use a robust marketing approach. But moving to online allows you to reach a new level. When your business is online, people from all over the world can find out about it. Unless, of course, you correctly claim about yourself. That is why you will have more and more chances to get new customers and build brand awareness. Also, switching to online allows you to increase sales. But what factors still need to be considered when switching to an online platform? Let's find out.

 

Costs

One of the most essential points to consider when moving online is what budget you are planning to spend. First, you need to understand that you need a domain and hosting, good design, as well as a budget for marketing. But it would help if you also chose which eCommerce platform you will use. It should not only meet your needs but also be affordable for you. Each platform has its monthly plan with a basic or premium feature set. Therefore, it is crucial to approach the choice wisely.

Yes, it's quite challenging to determine the budget that will be spent in advance, but it will let you know what you can count on and whether it makes any sense to switch online.

 

Security

Providing your future customers with online security is also crucial. Many people are trying to deceive and cash in on customers due to the current situation with COVID-19. It would be best if you gained the trust of your client. After all, no one will buy online if they find the payment method unreliable, or find your site suspicion. Therefore, you need to provide your client with a safe and popular payment method. Analyze what payment methods your real customers use and provide them with such an opportunity in your online store. Also, if you have a registration on the site, make sure that you do not ask customers to enter unnecessary information. Everything should be clean and straightforward.

 

Competitors

In order to successfully switch to online, you need to analyze your competitors carefully. What services do they offer? –°an you do better? What mistakes do they make? And what mistakes can you avoid? No need to copy them, you must be an individual. Indeed, it is something new that is valued more than just a copy of an existing one. Always try to do better, and people will appreciate it.

 

Convenience and usability

Make sure that your site is not only well-designed but also convenient. It is vital to provide your visitor perfect customer journey, and then they will come back more and more times. After all, no one will buy your goods, if it is not obvious how to place an order, where to click to remove the products from the basket. Such details may seem understandable to you, but not understood by users. Make sure that your email is not bursting with messages that the client has difficulties and errors when buying or choosing a product on your site.

 

Marketing

After you launch your site, you need to make sure that your customers know about that. Gather your customer base and tell them that you are online. Besides, try different ways to increase this base. For example, make an advertisement, create an account in social networks. Regularity is essential here because as soon as you lose sight of your customers, they will quickly find a replacement. Always keep in touch with them. Here competitors come to the rescue. Everything has already been done for you; you only need to analyze how they get traffic, how they promote their site, and what they offer.



Moving online during this difficult period can be challenging. However, the complete approach and taking into account all tips above can ensure that your business will move to the next level. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance in moving your business into e-Commerce.