I love designing products for Zazzle. It’s very different from other print-on-demand platforms because Zazzle makes it really easy for shoppers to create their own personalized gifts or custom cards, whether it’s by adding names to items or uploading their own photos. I design a lot of my Zazzle products to make it super easy for customers to customize the item. Usually it’s just as simple as clicking on the link that says “Personalize this template” and filling in your name or other information, but I realize that sometimes shoppers might wish to customize products even further so I wanted to write up this quick tutorial to show you how easy it is to customize products on Zazzle.
For this tutorial I’m going to use my English bulldog tote bag as an example. As you can see this tote bag features an illustration of an English bulldog set against a bright yellow background with a name below in bold blue lettering. Now, let’s say you are looking for a gift for a bulldog owner and you love this tote bag, but your friend absolutely loathes the color yellow. Look, I don’t know what yellow ever did to hurt them, but let’s just run with it.
So, this tote bag would make a great gift for our bulldog-loving yellow-hating friend if only it wasn’t for that hideous yellow background. Well, good news. This is Zazzle, and we can totally customize the background color. Let’s take a look at how to do this.
Click on “Personalize this template.” When you do a box should pop up that looks like the one below.
In the little box, you can enter your friend’s name or maybe their bulldog’s name if you prefer. This will change the text beneath the graphic to whatever name you enter, but to do things like change the background color or even change the font, we’re going to need to click that blue link that says “Click to customize further.” That brings us to our second step.
When we click on the customize further option, we are taken to a page with a lot of stuff going on. It’s going to look something like this:
Zazzle refers to this as the design view, and it’s the same screen that designers like me use when we’re designing Zazzle products. Depending on the product and how it was created, going into the design view allows buyers to customize products with their own choice of colors and fonts. Let’s start with customizing the background color.
If you’re on a desktop computer, off to the left of the big graphic in the center you should see something that says “Layers” at the top. Below that you’ll see that there’s a layer for our name and another for the graphic and below them a layer for the background.
As you can see this background is set to that bright yellow that I’m partial to, but which your bulldog-owning friend abhors. But thankfully next to that yellow is a little box that says “Edit” let’s go ahead and click on that.
Now we see a new and very colorful menu has appeared. It will look something like this:
Clicking on any of those colored squares will instantly change the background color to that color. While these pre-picked colors do offer a nice selection of shades, you can actually get way more creative with choosing a background color, if you like.
If you hit the box with a plus sign in it, a little box will pop up with a color bar slider and you can pick any shade you want as a background color for this design.
If you prefer something different than a solid color, Zazzle also gives you the option of picking from their available background graphics. You can find those by scrolling down below the the color boxes or by using the search bar to find specific graphics.
Here’s an example of our tote bag design with some tropical leaves added to it:
For the purposes of this tutorial though, let’s just keep things simple and go with a solid color background. I picked the teal color that’s one of Zazzle’s pre-selected color options. Here’s what our design looks like with a teal background:
Now, you might be satisfied with this modification, or you might realize that now that we’ve changed the background color our blue letters don’t really work that well. The good news is that it’s almost as easy to change our font color as it is to change our background color.
To do so we need to go up and click on that layer where our name text is. When that layer is highlighted, you should see over on the right hand side some information about our letters. It’s going to look something like this:
As you can see “Color” is one of our options. The current color is a dark blue color, but when we click on a grid of color boxes appears below similar to the ones we saw when customizing our background color. Once again we can choose from Zazzle’s pre-selected colors, or if we want to get a little fancier we can scroll below our color boxes and click on the “custom color picker” to bring up that color bar slider
To keep things simple, I just went with plain white for our letters, so now we have a tote bag that looks like this:
But what if you’ve decided you’re not all that crazy about this big chunky font on this tote bag? Well, good news! We can change our font as well.
Remember where we clicked on to change the font color? Well, right above that is the font. It’s currently set to a font called Rokkitt Black, but we can change that to any of the fonts available on Zazzle, and there are a LOT available.
Simply click on Rokkitt Black (or whatever the font is on your project) and a menu will pop up showing all of Zazzle’s fonts in alphabetical order. You can click on different fonts to see how they’ll look with your design. For our example I picked the font Vandella, which is a script font, but with the all caps letters I entered looks like this:
When you’ve picked out a font and a color that you like, you’re almost done, but not quite. At least, not with this tote bag because it’s 2-sided, and so far we’ve only customized one side of the bag.
So, now we need to go and repeat everything we did above with the back side of the bag, which we’ll find over on the left under that layers heading just below our background. When we click on “Back” it brings up a menu that shows the name, image and background color on the back side of the bag, and we can repeat what we did on the front to create a matching reverse side or we can mix things up and do something different on the back.
Mixing Things Up
Zazzle makes it really easy for you to get creative when customizing designs. Sure you can go ahead and change colors and fonts, but you can also add to designs.
On the very far left of the design view, you’ll see options to add text, if you would like to add an additional message to your project.
You can also add different shapes when you click on “elements” or you can add different graphics when you click on “icons”.
Maybe though you would like to get even more creative. You know what would be really cool for a bull dog tote bag? What if the reverse side of the bag had a photo of your friend’s bulldog. If you click on the “My Files” option you can upload your own images to this project so you can easily create a one of a kind gift they’ll love. (Especially once you get rid of that yellow background!)
What I really love about creating products to sell on Zazzle is that it is like a collaboration between me and the buyer. Some might just want to customize items with their own text, but others might love the chance to be more creative and customize designs to suit their needs. Zazzle makes it pretty easy to do that, and hopefully this tutorial helped a little, too!