LiveArt Blog

5 Reasons to Make Your Product Customizable Online

No matter how your product is unique, it is time to ensure it can be customized by your customer. Whether it is a color change or addition of text or pattern, in most cases, customers see it as a way to make their beloved product one of a kind. In this article, we will cover the top five reasons to allow product customization on your site right away.

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Reason 1. Researchers say custom products are the future
According to a research report from Deloitte, over 40% of the customers seek a personalized product. In practice, if you are still not offering the customer a choice for customization you are likely to be outplayed by those competitors who are offering it.

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Reason 2. Personalized means more value
It is also known that the customers are likely ready to pay more for the product they have built on their own. Several studies prove that customers are inclined to overpay for the bespoke product, justifying the price raise by having the purchased item their very own. In most cases, you can also upsell additional services like the artist assistance, dedicated support or a priority service.

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Reason 3. Secure, repeatable sales
According to LiveArt's observations, the customers are more likely to return if their experience with the design tools was fun, the checkout went smooth, the product was good, and delivery went just fine. They will return and re-order their design. Luckily, online design tools allow saving designs, sharing them to social networks, and re-order anytime later. The bulk order forms are also a nice point of sale places where customers can easily make group orders.

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Reason 4. Being closer to the customer
Customers become more emotionally involved and attached to the product they've made their very own. By putting certain efforts into the product development, which they've become part of, the client is more likely to complete the purchase rather than drop off. If they did not like anything, you are more likely to receive the feedback. Even if the order was dropped, your e-commerce can follow-up the user to complete their design or share the feedback about the experience, what went wrong, etc.

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Reason 5. Streamline your orders queue
We hear these stories every day - the orders are coming slowly, customers are never sure what they will receive, the design proofs are taking forever. With an online product design tool, you can drastically reduce this time and make orders go faster.

Now that the Mass Customization is no longer a future perfect buzzword, but a well-established reality, offering online product customization is something you can do right away and gain an instant momentum in sales and your brand marketing. The brands cannot be wrong, and it is time to join them for the future of the product personalization.

Release 0.10.26. Fixes and improvements

It's been a while since the last release announcement. We worked hard with customization projects, but haven't forgotten about updates to the base version of LiveArt. Since 0.10.0 we are in full swing with the responsive layout, which adapts to your screen regardless of resolution, whether you are using tablet or laptop, Android, or iOS.

Major improvements addressed common comments and feedback we've been receiving from our valued customers. The graphic and product search list was improved to deliver results faster and in a predictable manner.

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The graphic and product search list was improved to deliver results faster and in a predictable manner. If you have several thousands of items, it is crucial your users will access these easily without any hassle. Our product designer now features faster loading times for both product and gallery catalog.

All current raster effects were converted to vector text effects - crisp and clear! Previously we relied heavily on raster text effects, provided by a supplementary script for ImageMagick, powerful free software for image processing. Due to a number of installation issues with various platforms and output inconsistencies in different versions, we have converted all text effects to use completely vector output, allowing the best output quality and visual crispness. Additionally, the text effects now feature an icon revealing what the effect looks like, and the default text effect distortion value has been increased to make effect visible when selected.

New feature in LiveArt HTML5 designer: vector text effects

The following additions were introduced in API.

  1. config.options.showSuitableProductColorize - enable product color panel to show only those colorizable elements' list that pertains to the selected side. Setting this value to true is useful if your product contains many colorable panels across multiple printing locations (front, back, sleeve, pocket, etc).

  2. GET variables configuration changes:

     1. added possibility to set up default product size

     2. added possibility to set up default quantities

     3. added possibility to set up main config URL

To simplify the experience and address major security issues, the following features were deprecated, please make sure you check against our migration guide before upgrading:

  1. Upload image by URL has been removed;

  2. Raster effects were disabled by default, you can still enable them back by using older versions config and configuring ImageMagick properly.

Minor fixes include the following improvements:

   - The snap guides fix was applied which prevented from objects being aligned slightly to the left.

   - Fixed \<svg\> element id loosing in MS Edge browser.

We hope you enjoy the release - stay tuned for more features in the coming releases of both 0.10.X branch and the completely new one 1.0.0 featuring faster text engine!

Meet Renewed LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer. Release 0.10.19

We proudly present the next major release of LiveArt HTML5, version 0.10 that features a more sophisticated responsive layout, add images from social networks feature, and tons of small improvements you would be pleased with.

General Improvements

Our team took a moment to step back and process numerous feedbacks from our customers and users. We are now seeking for more clean and streamlined experience while maintaining the general robustness of the tool. The icons and layout were changed for both desktop and mobile performance.

LiveArt designer example on red t-shirt

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The mobile mode looks a bit different of course, yet provides the same level of experience.

LiveArt designer example on red t-shirt on mobile version

Let us have a look at the particular features improvements for end-user:

   1. Snap guides. Any object can now be "snapped" to the vertical or horizontal centerline, next to an object, edge of the working area, or at certain angles. This was a long-awaited feature, which now users can enjoy to make their designs even more sharp and neat.

   2. Social networks upload. Add Facebook, Instagram, Google, or Flicks images to your design. This feature is customizable, so you can turn it on only if required.

  3. More resize handles. Additional handles added to stretch or shrink image or add text.

  4. Pantone color palette. Along with the ability to set color wheel or a limited set of colors, we have added a configurable Pantone Palette of colors. More to come!

Developer Features

Developers would be pleased with additional API extensions as well as minor improvements.

  1. .NET Samples Available.

  2. GitHub Trial. The trial package is now available and regularly updated at our github repository - https://github.com/liveart/liveartjs

  3. Translation API. All important labels and messages are now contained in a single file to facilitate localization of LiveArt to various languages.

As always, please welcome to share the features you'd like most to be released soon in our Voting Portal - https://liveart.uservoice.com/ 

Using Product Designer for Fundraising and Campaign Web-to-Print Stores

Running campaigns and fundraising became a popular way to get money for your startup or a noble cause. Projects like IndieGogo feature thousands of projects in various industries, including art and technology. Buying apparel to support a specific purpose is also a great way of self-actualization and expression. Professional marketers can quickly turn any idea into the form of attractive design one would desire to wear.

Man sitting in front of the laptop and looking at designed bird

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This also frequently means you get something of a limited edition, which in itself is another incentive to pull the trigger and spend some $20 for a tee with a unique design.

Campaign-making is also an easy way to start getting money rather fast and with extremely low start costs. What you usually need is simply design your personalized merchandise (it could be a t-shirt, tank, hoodie, mug, or any other customizable promotional product). With the help of the online designer tool, you can create a unique printed product featuring your typeface, styling, and artwork. If needed, it can be even customizable further by users.

Then just describe your goal, announce the support of a crowdfunding cause, set quantity and pricing goals, and off you go! Effective supportive marketing would help you to get to your target audience's attention and motivate them to join the campaign and support the cause. From here, SEO of your microsite or respective sharing among popular social networks would also play well.

Campaign-based sites frequently handle everything on the back-office, including the manufacturing process, packaging, managing the payments, and delivery. Nonetheless, the center of such a solution is the online product designer that creates a unique selling point to your design, idea, and cause.

Using the LiveArt designer tool as a campaign designer makes the whole process smooth, clear, and fun. Several sites, including https://www.teegear.com/ and https://www.rockettees.com/, have already successfully using LiveArt HTML5 designer for their campaigns. Their success is now just a matter of time.

Plans for 2016 LiveArt HTML5 Development

Yes, it’s 2016 down the road and we thought we might share some plans of how LiveArt will improve. Some of you might already know about the Voting Portal, where everyone can leave a feature request to implement or give their votes for existing ones. These features are reviewed by our technical team and prioritized for development. Normally, we make patch releases twice a month and minor ones each season. In addition to the ongoing list of small features and tweaks, there is a number of game-changers that we plan long term.

Woman holding tablet with LiveArt Html5 designer and designing hoodie

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Responsive version
The mobile version of LiveArt HTML5 is currently released as a beta version where anyone can either try it or purchase as a component or part of a complete Magento or WooCommerce solution. We continue working on it to deliver the best experience on any mobile device. Releases are available for standalone version and for the incoming Magento 2 integration.

Man holding smartphone with LiveArt Html5 designer and designing hoodie

Moving to a faster core engine
We started with Raphael back in 2013. It’s one of the best libraries, written by former Adobe employees and it served us well to a certain extent. However, lack of flexibility and performance our users require led us to the point where we are migrating to the next generation core, which will be releasing under the 1.X.X branch. The new Core is also supplied in customization projects, where it proved to be more effective and faster than Raphael.

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Fluent support of legacy SVG graphics
Having plenty of graphics from your old solution or gallery of EPS you’d like to add? LiveArt’s implementation of native SVG coloring support will allow you to use multicolor images easier than ever. Integration with native or cloud conversion services like CloudConvert allows much more formats for upload and processing.

More configurability, more web2print support!
Technologies and the number of web2print industries change almost daily, so at LiveArt we do all best to keep up with the pace. By gathering up feedback and developing new features we bring printers and their customers closer for better customization and ordering process.

Stay tuned for release notes and share your ideas on Voting Portal!

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!

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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.

Have a Happy Coming Christmas!

It was an excellent year for our customers!

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

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

Happy Holiday card form LiveArt in 2015

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 apps for tablets and smartphones. SVG represents a 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, the vector would render without any artifacts.

However, in the back office of the decoration industry, there is always state-of-the-art software that requires a 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 the web, one needs to be able to produce proper production output out of the LiveArt HTML5 one.

If you are using LiveArt Shop solutions 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 the appropriate format for your production purposes.

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Inkscape
Inkscape is a tool that was developed originally for authoring and editing SVG files. Due to its open-source nature, it’s freely distributed and also included as a port for major server platforms, including Ubuntu. By using Inkscape from the 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 the right choice if you are a NodeJS fan or need quick and straightforward 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 several 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 of developers around the world, the magnificent ImageMagick image library, and the 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 a 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 compared 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. Check out our practical guide to SVG to get to know more about how to work with this format for a web to print.