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LiveArt Blog

7 Great Events You Could Open Your Custom Printed Apparel Shop For

Opening up a web2print shop for the occasion could be a good start for your business if done right and on time. Many existing companies cater to specific events that always have a stable demand for personalized apparel or other promotional products like mugs or can holders.

Here are some ideas for you; maybe another event comes close to your area, and it’s an opportunity you’ve always been waiting for!

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Special local events.
Any concert, competition, or gathering always involves promotional products, including personalized trophies. Maybe you live just across the road where Oshkosh Fly-In would happen? You can create your apparel than with sponsors' logos and name of the event. Everyone would know such t-shirts would be one of a kind, so they would like to have one!

football ball icon 

Company team building.
Such events became very popular, especially among companies where people are sitting inside cubicles 9 to 5 without much communicating. Giving out t-shirts with embroidered company logo, person name, and custom design on the back could drive fun and spirit into large teams.

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Corporate gifts.
Getting a salary and Friday pizza is not the only incentive for the company workers. Doing excellent personalized gifts like custom hand-stamped jewelry could include company name and a thank you message for being part of it.

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Family reunions.
Designing shirts for everyone who visited a reunion with a family name and personalized design could not only connect people but also leave them with something to remember when they get back home. It’s fun and uniting, so make sure you don’t miss such an event to print them a bunch of t-shirts.

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Birthday parties.
If you’re helping with the child’s birthday party, why not making it memorable. You can print a t-shirt for each visiting kid, do a table cover with wishes and photos of a birthday boy or girl, and leave everyone with a souvenir at the end. Finally, you can even print out a cake topping with the heroes of a beloved comic of a child and his wishes.

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Stag and Hens parties.
Buying the same tank tops for everyone, decorated in bright and brutal sayings - what could be more fun to celebrate such an occasion. What’s more, each apparel piece can be imprinted with a person's name, so that they are completely personalized! This leads us to the final event you can really get a fortune from.

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Weddings!
Another occasion where personalized gift boxes, save the date custom postcards and even apparel (sometimes) are ordered before the show takes place. The table cards usually are decorated with your name, and the gift box always contains a magnet you can put on your fridge as a trophy.

That’s it, gather up your designs and templates, and make it attractive for everyone that comes into your site or store to get unique products printed for their extraordinary event.

New Year, New LiveArt

Hey everyone! It's a great year start, and our team is doing its best to provide constant improvements to our online product design tool. Let us have a look at what LiveArt will be in future versions.

Support of social networks. Adding own images from Instagram or Facebook has already become a must for most personalized products: phone wraps, custom canvases, cases, pillows, and apparel as well. Allowing people to access their Instagram feed with a click is another priority we are going to hit.

Responsive online designer. Yes, after several UX research tasks, our team is about to release a responsive version of LiveArt HTML5, allowing users to design their beloved customized products on smartphones, including Android, iOS, or Windows-based devices. More specifically, this would also be another step towards a complete design revamp of the tool scheduled to take place later this year.

Designer = Configurator. In addition to being an online product designer, LiveArt HTML5 became widely used as a universal product configurator, where users can create their product with parts or by modifying the existing options.

More integrations are coming. For a hosted platform of Shopify and another integration for a well-known .NET platform - nopCommerce.

As we have launched a Vote For Feature portal at http://liveart.uservoice.com/, you are more than welcome to check in regularly as well as subscribe to our Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Working With Quote Services In LiveArt HTML5

Unlike many other plugins, LiveArt HTML5 provides a flexible way to build your own quoting in an online product designer. Any option or design element that is added to the working area will affect the quote if it is required by the business rules of your solution. This article describes in brief how quote services work and provide insight for integration teams.

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The quote service is located in the main config.json file. Open the file and locate the line, which designates the endpoint that will handle the quote

"getQuoteUrl": "http://localhost/services/getQuote.php",

Since you would prefer to obtain a quote dynamically, based on selections of the user, you would place some sort of dynamic script into getting Quote service. Referring to a static file, for example, would always return the same price and totals no matter what the selections are and you would not want that.

Once the endpoint is set, use the Fiddler tool, Inspector, or Firebug to see what is being sent to the endpoint when the quote is requested. You would typically get the following JSON structure in the POST request as a “data” variable.

{
  "product":{ "id":"11", "color":"#FFF", "colorName":"White" },
  "locations":[
    {
      "name":"Front",
      "colors":2,
      "colorsList":["#4682b4","#000"],
      "designedArea": 384.60,
      "designedAreaRect": 480.50,
      "objects":[
        {
          "type":"txt",
          "designedArea":126.97,
          "colors":1,
          "colorsList":[
            "#4682b4"
          ]
        },
        {
          "type":"svg",
          "designedArea":258.63,
          "colors":1,
          "colorsList":["#000"]
        }
      ],
      "objectCount":2,
      "letterings":1,
      "images":1
    }
  ],
  "quantities":[{"size":"XS","quantity":1}],
  "namesNumbers":[]
}

While the product ID, color, or location name would be an obvious variable, some of them require explanation, as below:

  • colors - the number of colors used in design; this value is very usable for screen printing quotes. A “-1” value would mean the design contains a photo or too many colors;
  • colorsList - is a list of hex values for each used colors;
  • designedArea - area in units (inches, feet, any kind you designate as part of Product JSON), occupied by design. The designArea is a sum of designAreas for each of the elements.
  • designedAreaRect - an area of a rectangle, in units, occupied by all design elements;

Now once you obtain all these variables, LiveArt HTML5 would expect the following reply from you, the example goes below:

{
  "prices":[
    {"label":"Item Price", "price":"$29"},
    {"label":"Decoration", "price":"$15"},
    {"label":"Discount 0.25%", "price":"-$0.11"},
    {"label":"Total", "price":"$43.89", "isTotal":true}
  ]
}

All in all, you have just got little into Get Quote request, it’s structure, and the way it’s expected to work with LiveArt HTML5. Make sure to check our PHP sample code including reading variables and calculating color-based decoration fees.

Template Based and Variable Data Printing with LiveArt HTML5

In web to print business, it is often required that user can quickly order personalized product out of certain template which already has design elements created by a professional artist. Such templates gallery may greatly help the customer in visualizing their desired product and streamlining the whole process of ordering.

 Designing business card with LiveArt HTML5 designer

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Template-based printing may also prevent users from placing design elements in an unlikely position than can be close or in safe or trim areas. While implementing the least is also important for online web to print design tools, a fixed elements template would guarantee that the output would be fine to print without going back to the customer for additional approval.

Variable Data Printing is extremely helpful for business card companies, where users can simply create a batch order by simply selecting a template, uploading company logo, and sheet with people information. The sheet would contain variables such as name, second name, address and email and so on that will immediately populate on design. Implementing VDP benefits easiness to both customer and business owners as it makes the whole process faster, cheaper, and bullet-proof valid.

LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer supports both template-based and variable data printing. While integrating, a business owner may set specific user flow rules and setup both normal and VDP products. Additionally, there is no need for learning specific software for creating such templates — everything is done within the same simple product designer.

To apply for VDP or Template-based printing please supply the following information:

  1. Product type you are going to print on.
  2. Pricing rules that are associated with user choices.
  3. How many and which variables will be required in each template.
  4. Applicable examples per each template and product type.

Our team will quickly get back with the applicable package and assist with the setup. In the future, you will be able to prepare own new templates and lists for VDP printing.

Best Of Online Product Design in 2013

Now that we are about to enter the new year 2014, it’s time to remember what happened to us back in 2013 and what we’ve achieved with this great year.

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— First and foremost, we’ve finally raised standards for an online product designer that is totally cross-platform and compatible by releasing LiveArt HTML5 Online Product Designer. After almost half of the year development and refinements, we gave users the ability to smoothly design their product from various tablets as well as desktop PCs. Yet still, our Flash-based products would please desktop users who prefer solid experience and quick integration.

— Our components started to get integrated into a greater variety of platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and many others. Hosted shopping carts like BigCommerce or Shopify can now embed LiveArt HTML5 as a hosted option too!

— As the custom decoration industry grows, so do our variety of products that can be customized by our tool. A recent project involving bottle opener customizer, online flag designer and do it yourself flask website proved that a design tool can be used to customize any printable or engravable product.

— Finally, our integration partners Peexl.com can now handle a number of eCommerce shopping cart integrations involving an outstanding Magento Community Edition as well as other popular PHP-based platforms.

We look forward to “unlock” new achievements in 2014 and would like to thank to all our clients and partners who stay with us and enjoy our online design products. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014!

Going With HTML5 Web Applications. The Battle Price For Mobile

HTML5 serves as a #1 buzzword for a long time now and plays well for marketing a new generation apps. Despite being not fully supported by most of the browsers and having small backward compatibility support, it is highly demanded and well sold. The battle for mobile users plays as a great incentive for company stakeholders that spend significant budgets. They do it with the hope to get fast ROI and calm down the angry mob of mobile users that demand a Flash application they used to running on a smartphone.

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Fortunately, HTML5 has shown its drawbacks immediately after first admirations subsided. HTML5 proved to be an expensive development for enterprise-level applications (like Facebook, who switched to native app development), although the internet is full of simple yet glamorous mashups and small utility apps.

When we first started development of HTML5 online product designer application, the QA and tests part of development started to take much more time than it was anticipated. Numerous browsers, platforms, mobile devices, at least 90% of them had to checked against each of LiveArt HTML5 feature. Aside of the touch functionality to work on tablet and smartphone devices, our developers had to continuously verify the look and feel to appear consistently across different resolutions. All of the above took much more resources than required for similar Flash application development.

No doubts, the obvious conclusion everyone will be able to make is that HTML5 development is much more expensive. Add responsive layout here and you will get at least twice as big budget for HTML5 than you would for Flash.

Another challenge is that unlike Flash player updates, which rarely affects much on the existing application, a release of new browser or iOS version may really ruin a day for your HTML5 application or website. While Flash player runs application in a “sandbox”, independent from other elements on your website, the HTML5 application consists of numerous components that work together to let end users feel a Flash-quality application. In Flash application, it’s responsibility of the Flash player to run your application in a correct way. In HTML5 application, it’s browsers responsibility to implement the web standards in a way to make the application work. Standards (like Javascript, CSS and HTML elements) are the ones that differ much in implementation in various browsers and platforms. What may work perfectly in iOS Safari would completely hang up your desktop PC under Firefox, a behavior you will never meet with Flash.

We are not advocating Flash here. As we all know, HTML5 is good because it works on mobile. You want to stay in business, you do the HTML5. It’s expensive, it’s painful in development, but in the end it will pay off in increased audience, become your love mark and keep you in the market.