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

Opening up a web2print shop for occasion could be a good start for your business, if done right and in time. Many existing businesses cater specific events that always have a stable demand of 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 been always waiting for!

Read more

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 own apparel then 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!

 

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 really drive fun and spirit into large teams.

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

Family reunions.
Designing shirts for everyone who visited 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 to home. It’s fun and uniting, so make sure you don’t miss such event to print them a bunch of t-shirts.

 

Birthday parties.
If you’re helping with 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 birthday boy or girl, and leave everyone with a souvenir at the end. Finally, you can even print out a cake topping with a beloved comics heroes of a child and his personal wishes.

Stag and Hens parties.
Buying 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 name, so that they are completely personalized! This leads us to the final event you can really get a fortune from.

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 are normally 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 special products printed for their very special event.

New Year, New LiveArt

Hey everyone! It's being 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 the coming 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 access their Instagram feed with a click is another priority we are going to hit.

Responsive online designer. Yes, after a number of UX research tasks, our team is about to release a responsive version of LiveArt HTML5, allowing users design their beloved customized products on smartphones including Android, iOS, or Windows-based devices. More specifically, this would be also 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 universal product configurator, where users can create their own product with parts or by modifying the existing options.

More integrations coming. For hosted platform of Shopify and another integration for 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.

Have a Happy Coming Christmas!

It was a great year for our customers!

Many enjoyed having LiveArt for their websites and we enjoyed working with a new market challenges. Our product designer has been used in many industries, surviving numerous customizations and integrations and improved with a lot of the feedback. We look forward to YEAR 2015 in building even more sophisticated product designers and configurators! 

Take a moment to relax and design own Christmas card :) Yes, using LiveArt Designer!

So it's time to prepare Christmas presents! Mention us the "Rudy the Reindeer" keyword and get an unprecedented 25% discount on any LiveArt license (including source and OEM ones) or any custom work.

Hurry up! The special will be available till Jan 10, 2015 purchase requests only.

Best Tools for Working With LiveArt HTML5 Output Files

In LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer, we heavily rely on the SVG format that becomes an industry standard for web applications including responsive applications for tablets and smartphones. SVG represents clean vector format, which means it always looks crisp and nice regardless of your resolution, monitor or device. Whether it’s Retina-based or plain old LCD, vector would render without any artifacts.

However, on the back office of the decoration industry, there is always state-of-the-art software that requires specific format the output should be. In some cases this is 300 dpi PNG or TIFF, in other - EPS or PDF vector formats. Since these may not relate to web, one need to be able to produce proper production output out of the LiveArt HTML5 one.

If you are using LiveArt Shop solution like Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce, the proper output technology could be already built-in. If you are integrating LiveArt yourself, there are multiple tools you can use to convert the output LiveArt Design SVG into appropriate format for your production purposes.

Read more

Inkscape
Inkscape is a tool that was developed originally for authoring and editing SVG files. Due to it’s open source nature, it’s freely distributed and also included as port for major server platforms including Ubuntu. By using Inkscape from command-line, you can convert the vector into EPS or rasterize with given DPI setting into hires PNG.
Pros: all-in-one application, easy to install;
Cons: requires lots of resources, slow on bulk converts;

PhantomJS
PhantomJS is an extension to NodeJS and can be used to accomplish PNG previews of the web pages. By utilizing this feature, one can also prepare screenshots out of the designs, produced by users. PhantomJS might be a good choice if you are NodeJS fan or need simple and quick conversion of SVG into PNG formats of various dimensions.
Pros: integrated into NodeJS platform, easy to run;
Cons: no implementations for other platforms, supports raster only;

CloudConvert
This is a new hosted service that also features API to upload and convert images in numerous formats. Among others, it can export SVG into a number of formats like EPS, PNG, TIFF and so on.
Pros: no need to install server software, quick and robust;
Cons: requires API development, does not have font embedding option;

ImageMagick
Last but not least, is the choice of millions developers around the world, the magnificent ImageMagick image library and command-line tool. This is an extremely powerful tool that can identify, convert and edit images using vast options and opportunities. While it focuses on bitmap processing as its main purpose, ImageMagick’s convert command-line tool can be used to produce large bitmap images from SVG. Best results achievable with rsvg delegate, which is installed as separate application.
Pros: a swiss knife of the image processing, easy to install, already included into number of shared hosting servers, fast;
Cons: no vector to vector conversion support, lower quality comparing to other tools;

Regardless of the solution you would choose, LiveArt team would always be glad to assist and consult on obtaining a production-ready output for your particular integration or project.

 

Upgrade guide to LiveArt HTML5 0.9.5 <= 0.9.3

This post briefly describes the new attributes that became available with 0.9.5 version of LiveArt.

Read more

config.json

New attributes can be used as optional unless they start to throw exceptions in console.

{ 
    ... 
    "defaultProductSize": [ 32, 16 ], 
    ... 
}

defaultProductSize attribute can be set for arbitrary size products (e.g. signs) and is non-mandatory.

{ 
    ... 
    "options": {
        "includeProductInDesign": true,
        "includePrintingAreaInDesign": true, 
        "includeMaskInDesign": true,
    }
    ... 
}

include* attributes allow including/excluding certain working elements from the designer SVG output. These will be hidden, if false.

Some other options section attributes include, with examples:

  • "checkeredBackground": true, - allows putting a checkered background in empty area;
  • "unit": "in", - specifies main units symbol;
  • "unit2": "ft", - specifies 2nd units symbol that will be automatically recalculated if necessary;
  • "unitConversionMult": 12, - conversion rate between specified units;
  • "showProductSelector": true, - whether to show 1st tab, i.e. ability to select product;
  • "checkTextFXThrottle": 400 - delay to wait for the text effect

textEffects block introduced to define the raster text effects generator;

product.json

Additional definitions for products allow for more flexible product setup, including newly introduced signs.

"namesNumbersEnabled": true, - enable names/numbers for specific product;

"clipRect": [170, 75, 410, 485] - clips everything beyond this area, can be same as printable area definition;

    "colorizableElements": [
        {
            "name": "Color",
            "id": ".bg.fill",
            "colors": [
                {
                    "name": "White",
                    "value": "#FFF"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Black",
                    "value": "#000"
                },
                {
                    "name": "Steel Blue",
                    "value": "#4682B4"
                },

With colorizableElements you can now use single multicolor SVG with multiple colorizable areas.

"multicolor": true, should be strictly used with colorizableElements to ensure colorizing.

"resizable": true, indicates that the product can be resized. Should be used with sign type of products.

"showRuler": true, shows ruler for resizable products.

"editableAreaUnitsRange": [
    [10, 100],
    [10, 100]
]

You can indicate validation range for the sign dimensions using the above attribute inside locations block. Used with sign-based products only.

"editableAreaSizes": [
    {"label":"3x10in", "width":3, "height":10},
    {"label":"4x4in", "width":4, "height":4}
],

Use the above construction if you need to define set of strict sizes, which can be selected.

"hideEditableAreaBorder": true, can be used to hide the printable area frame for specific product.

"locations": [
                        {
                            "name": "Back",
                            "image": "products/iPhone/bg.svg",
                            "mask": "products/iPhone/iPhone.png"
                        }
                    ],

Use mask reference in location to specify a mask that should be an overlay per certain product location.

fonts.json

boldAllowed, italicAllowed allows disabling the bold, italic for certain fonts if they are not available.

ascent quite specific attribute that is required to calculate real height of letters for sign products. It's representation should indicate font height in pixels for 32pt font size.

vector this reference is required if you plan to use the vector effects.

All in all, we highly recommend looking into the sample config files you receive with upgraded package to learn the practical usage of new attributes.

What’s New in LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer Version 0.9.5.

Our team proudly presents next version of its product designer component, written in pure HTML. We have gathered up tons of feedbacks, wishes and requests to make LiveArt HTML5 even more sophisticated yet simple for technical implementation. For more technical insights, developers are more than welcome to review our updated documentation.

Clippable printable area

Read more

Clippable printable area. Each product may now have a rectangle clippable area, which will clip anything you drag beyond it. The area is defined using the coordinates, no extra product artwork would be required. The clipped design area is a basic function for apparel decoration and design software for common promotional products like mugs and pens. This would also enable nice design opportunities such as overprinting patterns and combining design elements.

Resizable products with ruler

Resizable products with ruler. Producers of signs, stickers, banners, wall decals, paper stationery, custom stamps and other similar products can now easily configure resizable products instead of populating catalog with common sizes or using alternative software for these types of products.

Custom masked products

Custom masked products. Specifically crafted and printed products that have irregular shapes can now be easily prepared and published into LiveArt using masks. New version contains samples of phone covers and decals that allow users to preview the designed product exactly as it would look, having design cropped or faded exactly as it should.

A multiple new features appeared for text decoration. Let your customers be more creative with text effects and more precise adjustments for them.

Multiline Advanced

Multiline Advanced. LiveArt HTML5 has been powered up with native support of multiple lines of text with a number of common adjustment. Professional controls include letter spacing, line spacing and precision adjustment (using the size fields). Still all UI/UX parts are open, so you can always disable the controls you desire to be hidden for the user.

Text Effects

Text Effects. LiveArt HTML5 is finally powering itself with a gateway to powerful effect engine producing text effects for the chosen fonts including: arc, arch, inflate, perspective and lots more. Allow your customers build truly unique designs and yourself to please them with bespoke templates for products.

We haven’t forgot about the developers, so there is a number of smaller features and fixes made specially for our beloved audience to facilitate integration and front-end modifications: additional configuration attributes, more versatile product configuration, more static samples and such. Let us just mention a few:

Bootstrap 3 Styles

Bootstrap 3 Styles. The whole UI now uses base bootstrap css of version 3. Despite we would encourage using iframe during the integration, one can embed the LiveArt into bootstrap 3 website without having to request LiveArt CSS upgrades.

Canvas API Calls

Canvas API Calls. Developers can use single API call (userInteract) for accomplishing a number of automated actions throughout the LiveArt, without requesting modifications of the LiveArt core. These include selecting a product, adjusting the product size, selecting printable location, selecting product layer color, control quantities as well as names and numbers, add graphics or text and much more!

Of course, the new build also includes lots of minor updates, bugfixes and overal improvements. We would love to hear the feedback and enjoy the new build.

Mention us the keyword CRABWISE to get a straight 10% discount on the license until Nov 30, 2014.

The Importance of Cross Platform Development for Web Applications

In a 2012 study, Google found that 90% of today's media consumption is screen-based, and noted that consumers regularly bounce from PCs, tablets, and smartphones. With multi-screen behavior becoming the new normal, it’s critical for businesses to adapt and focus on cross-platform development to better meet consumer needs. Additionally, a 2013 report from Statista found that in today’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world, 49% of respondents said they used their personal devices for work as well as play. With so many different devices in the workplace, it’s essential for apps to perform seamlessly across multiple platforms.


(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

Read more

Businesses may worry about the challenges associated with cross-platform development, like available resources, time, and cost. Luckily there are tools and resources available to help companies better manage the process. These tools can help developers more quickly create apps at a lower cost, with the added bonus that many of these tools are simple to use. For example, LiveArt's HTML5 Mobile Ready Online Product Designer and it's plugins for platforms like Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify are available for phones, tablets, desktops, and other devices that don't support Flash. They also work with multiple browsers and the Online Product Designer can be added to any existing website or e-commerce platform as a simple web component.

The days of an app that only performs on a single platform or browser are gone.

Cross-platform development not only allows developers to maintain just a single code base, it gives them the capability to fix bugs or other issues immediately on any platform. Having one code base will also reduce cost because it involves less testing.

Users on cross-platform apps also benefit because even those with limited experience can be taught to maintain platforms with a custom content management system. This further reduces businesses cost because it allows an in-house team member to maintain the content and make changes when necessary. Instead of hiring separate developers to create apps specifically for a single platform, businesses can leverage in-house teams and individual employees to maintain operations through the content management system. Changes made by that employee will be reflected across all platforms, rather than having to engage multiple developers to make changes on one single platform.

 
(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

Cross-platform development also offers the following advantages:

Reusable code
A developer can use code multiple times rather than rewriting sequences. Once something is coded it can be re-used in other platforms.

Cloud access
Many cross-platform development tools and frameworks are designed to easily integrate with cloud services, allowing businesses to take advantages of their current enterprise solutions, such as Salesforce.

Plugins
Plugins and other modules can quickly and simply be plugged in to available frameworks, tools, and services. These components make it easy to add specific new features to the app.

Ease of deployment
Cross-platform development makes it easier and faster to deploy changes and updates across multiple platforms. Developers can focus on one app and one code base rather than dealing with various programs, which saves the developer time and the company money.

Cross-platform development is the smart decision in today's world of ever-evolving technology. Businesses should take advantage of the tools and resources available to them, as it will save both time and money in the long run, which will allow companies to generate higher profitability overall.

Nick Rojas is a journalist based in Chicago, IL. His work often covers content creation and technology. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.

 

 

Your Online Product Designer as Marketing Tool to Promote Your Business

This post was inspired by a business meeting I have conducted recently. Among the obvious common talks on business objectives to be met and requirements for a personalization tool, a number of concepts was talked. Most of these will sound familiar or even trivial, yet they clearly show how the design tool may bring your business in the world of tomorrow, where having a product customization would become a must.

Read more

Today it’s not just about personalization. It’s about someone expressing their own identity by means of having their own unique product, whether it’s a t-shirt, mug, wristband or a postcard sent to a friend. Respectively, they do it from your website with an online design tool. Your product designer is not just a designing tool, but a whole identity builder. As a marketing tool it can be central for many activities across your ecommerce site that will constantly drive your business forward.

First off, you can enable customization for a pre-made products. Normally, customers would ask you to amend a label or replace an image with own logo. Making such products “designable” will ease you up on accepting and streamlining the orders. A whole new automated sales channel will be open to scale up your overall sales.

By having more and more of designed products, you will be knowing what your audience is up to and, thus, knowing the communities you are catering. Is it a stag/hen party guys, students, brotherhoods, universities, family reunions, politics or such? Those kind of ideas would allow you building up a gallery of pre-made designs people can look over, engage, open up in designer and make an order of the amended or same design.

Finally, what may hold users from sharing their ideas across social networks and their friends? Incentivise your customers to share their orders. With the modern social rebate systems they can win discounts or free products once they gathered up lots of likes for something you have printed for them. Not to mention that such social users would bring you more customers to have a personalized apparel of their own.

When catering communities or organizations you can always put design tool as central point of sale. Projects like Teespring allow for launching campaigns where one’s idea may bring individual profit and bonuses. Why not promoting your own business and product in a same way. Building a fundraising micro-sites around your customizable product would open a whole new scaled channel of sales!

All of the above is not a limited list, you are always limited by just your imagination. Social projects, fundraising, charities, crowdfunding all of that is just one LiveArt away to let it happen to your business.

Think Big. Do Big. Enterprise Solutions for Web to Print and Decoration Businesses

For decoration industries that cover large markets and require complex web to print solutions, our development team offers an open and collaboration-rich process to achieve specific business goals of your market.

Our team is capable of handling complex projects that may involve online product design tools and complex processes - from initial inception to final deployment. Respectively, we don’t end it up on final sign off and provide continuous support and updates.

Lot’s of SKUs? Complex pricing? Specific requirements for output? Our expertise here covers a number of decoration markets, from custom apparel printing to classic web2print. Having an average experience of team to 10+ years in active web applications development, we carefully do:

  • Initial evaluation and planning;
  • Requirements development;
  • Custom workflows implementation;
  • Integration with third-party APIs and hardware;
  • SaaS and PaaS deployments;
  • Team coordination and maintenance;
  • Continuous updates coordination;

Oh, and did we mention that we always embrace the challenge and push the limits of mobile web? Yes, we always look for something new and never stop.

Planning to go big? Share your plans to us!