Designers, what are your thoughts about the new free digital downloads tool? 5 pages: [1] 2 3 4 5
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 12:28:14 PM
I think it sounds interesting, I only hope it doesn't affect sales in the MP. I am worried that this will cannibalize certain areas of the marketplace.

My first concern is for the business card designers since now there will be a way for a shopper to create a design from a selection of templates and download it for free and print as many as they want. There went a potential biz card sale and possibly some repeat sales.


Hopefully this will turn out to be unfounded fears...and I will be interested to see what other templates they will add that will allow a customer to avoid the product pages and the search engine, as Sean put it.

Adding: If you don't know what I am talking about go to the Zazzle news and watch the new chat.






Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 12:36:06 PM
One of my first thoughts when I heard Sean say that the new Create tool offers templates for inspiration of ideas was,

Isn't that what we designers already do? there are already literally thousands of business card templates in the marketplace.

The big difference between them is that you can't download mine for free and then print your own from now on....

Eta: I am not trying to be negative. I think the idea of digital posts for social media is a great idea but I don't think the offering of products like business cards or invitations is a good idea at all.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 12:53:51 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

My first concern is for the business card designers since now there will be a way for a shopper to create a design from a selection of templates and download it for free and print as many as they want. There went a potential biz card sale and possibly some repeat sales.

A long time ago the Zazzle business cards had a basic template. I made a few based on their template. Then I learned how to actually design business cards. Templates aren't easy, especially for business cards and invitations.

Customers have always had the ability to design their own stuff here. The only way that this new thing could negatively impact designers is if Z starts copying designer made templates or designs and making them available.

I'm not sure what the 'Zazzle Create' is all about, but I doubt that Zazzle will undercut its designers by allowing customers to download print quality product designs for their own use, especially for free.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:01:53 PM
Jerry wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

My first concern is for the business card designers since now there will be a way for a shopper to create a design from a selection of templates and download it for free and print as many as they want. There went a potential biz card sale and possibly some repeat sales.

A long time ago the Zazzle business cards had a basic template. I made a few based on their template. Then I learned how to actually design business cards. Templates aren't easy, especially for business cards and invitations.

Customers have always had the ability to design their own stuff here. The only way that this new thing could negatively impact designers is if Z starts copying designer made templates or designs and making them available.

I'm not sure what the 'Zazzle Create' is all about, but I doubt that Zazzle will undercut its designers by allowing customers to download print quality product designs for their own use, especially for free.


I hope you are right. I looked at some of the business card templates and they look pretty professional. I might download one to see what the file looks like.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:08:06 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
I looked at some of the business card templates and they look pretty professional. I might download one to see what the file looks like.


They still exist? I did not know that.

ETA: never mind, I see them now...

They are totally print quality. Yikes! Why on Earth would they offer this?

At the bottom it says this...

Attention Zazzle Designers
If you are a designer looking to post your designs for sale onto the Zazzle Marketplace, you can still access our full assortment of Create Your Own products by clicking here.


Really? Can we still? For how long?
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:15:30 PM
no, I clicked on Zazzle home above and it took me to the new front page where you can enter this new create design tool which looks similar to Canva or Stencil.

there are 24 templates there for business cards. I just downloaded a biz card file and the specs on it are 1050x600 px, print size 3.5 x 2" and resolution 299.999

eta: it was a .png
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:19:56 PM
As a long time published designer (even before the internet), my creations on Zazzle stem from my own original real handmade (crochet) work, which is what makes them unique. Its somewhat comparable to artists prints (where a person can buy the real thing or a print on selected products).

So the new create tool is not something I envision using or using much. There are other places online that have free (or low cost) digital images and tools for stuff that are not physical and don't require any shipping. I am not into doing memes, digital invites, digital greeting cards, etc. But in the age of technology I can see how some people may find this useful, even if the markets for such things are not new and may be somewhat already saturated.

I think sometimes designers underestimate what people can already do themselves and online and I can see why Zazzle would want to go this route.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:30:29 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
no, I clicked on Zazzle home above and it took me to the new front page where you can enter this new create design tool which looks similar to Canva or Stencil.

there are 24 templates there for business cards. I just downloaded a biz card file and the specs on it are 1050x600 px, print size 3.5 x 2" and resolution 299.999

eta: it was a .png


yeah, these are print resolution, not web resolution. Why would anyone need a print quality business card image for anything other than printing?

Also, I see a lot more than 24 templates. Many of them are very close to my own templates and others that I have seen in the MP. At the very least, they aren't offering them for sale. Well, not the business cards anyway. Some products in there you can add to cart.

This makes no sense to me. I hope someone can explain.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:32:31 PM
AfriCreations wrote:
As a long time published designer (even before the internet), my creations on Zazzle stem from my own original real handmade (crochet) work, which is what makes them unique. Its somewhat comparable to artists prints (where a person can buy the real thing or a print on selected products).

So the new create tool is not something I envision using or using much. There are other places online that have free (or low cost) digital images and tools for stuff that are not physical and don't require any shipping. I am not into doing memes, digital invites, digital greeting cards, etc. But in the age of technology I can see how some people may find this useful, even if the markets for such things are not new and may be somewhat already saturated.

I think sometimes designers underestimate what people can already do themselves and online and I can see why Zazzle would want to go this route.


I like the Social media posts idea but offering them a way to avoid buying products that we are trying to sell is the part that I don't understand.


I will be interested to see what impact this will have on the business card niche.

I can only hope that they are not planning on also adding cards, stationery, invitations etc...

I have been designing more and more paper products because they have been pushing them but now I am wondering if I need to go design more pillows and mugs...



Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:32:44 PM
Jerry wrote:

I'm not sure what the 'Zazzle Create' is all about, but I doubt that Zazzle will undercut its designers by allowing customers to download print quality product designs for their own use, especially for free.


It isn't that long ago, that I went through a similar change with another PoD, where the service started to compete with its own designer with two "unfair" advantages:

  1. Prize
  2. extensive Sales stats from their designer pool


Advertising their designs with "free" boldly next to the designer designs which naturally couldn't be offered free since designer can't hide their cost and revenue in an over all prize.

Strike 1 where zazzle starts an area where they compete with their designers and give it away for free, however, they already do this with their icons.
But the 5% basis prize is still the same it isn't a model where the "free stuff" is obvious to the customer and it isn't advertised as such.

With the new area it'll be different. We designer will hardly give our designs for free in high resolution to download.

High resolution alone gives me the creeps, I might just as well hand over my password to design pirates and give them free reign.

Should zazzle start to offer their own design and not just some bulk free stuff from some 3rd party site like with the icons, they two will see those high res designs redistributed for sale by pirates en mass.

At the moment I don't see what zazzle is up to. They invested a lot of money in tool, they separated form their revenue stream an give out free stuff ... and while they probably will have some terms that forbids resell of some kind, they will never be able to stem the tide.

Unless they bank on the European article 17 and strike deals with their competitors ... just a crazy thought ... don't pay attention ... Laughing

=== in conclusion ===


I'm not thrilled.
But for the moment I wait and see.

I have too little information to panic in any way.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:35:13 PM
Jerry wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
no, I clicked on Zazzle home above and it took me to the new front page where you can enter this new create design tool which looks similar to Canva or Stencil.

there are 24 templates there for business cards. I just downloaded a biz card file and the specs on it are 1050x600 px, print size 3.5 x 2" and resolution 299.999

eta: it was a .png


yeah, these are print resolution, not web resolution. Why would anyone need a print quality business card image for anything other than printing?

Also, I see a lot more than 24 templates. Many of them are very close to my own templates and others that I have seen in the MP. At the very least, they aren't offering them for sale. Well, not the business cards anyway. Some products in there you can add to cart.

This makes no sense to me. I hope someone can explain.


Jerry, some of the templates are for social media posts, where did you see more than 24 biz card templates? did I miss that?

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:39:26 PM
vivendulies wrote:



I have too little information to panic in any way.



My intent is not to raise panic, just find out what the designer community's thoughts are.

so lets not panic, by all means!

just give feedback.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:48:10 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

Jerry, some of the templates are for social media posts, where did you see more than 24 biz card templates? did I miss that?

Those are also 300 ppi and could be printed out as business cards.

Honestly, I am not sure what those are even for. I use social media. I see no use for them.

vivendulies wrote:

It isn't that long ago, that I went through a similar change with another PoD, where the service started to compete with its own designer...

I'm pretty sure I know what you are referring to and this does seem very similar.

vivendulies wrote:

Strike 1 where zazzle starts an area where they compete with their designers and give it away for free, however, they already do this with their icons.

But the icons are amateur quality. These designs are professional quality and completely in competition with Zazzle's own designers.

vivendulies wrote:

At the moment I don't see what zazzle is up to. They invested a lot of money in tool, they separated form their revenue stream an give out free stuff ... and while they probably will have some terms that forbids resell of some kind, they will never be able to stem the tide.

I don't get it. It seems like a terrible idea to me, but maybe I am an idiot.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:52:40 PM
Jerry wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

Jerry, some of the templates are for social media posts, where did you see more than 24 biz card templates? did I miss that?

Those are also 300 ppi and could be printed out as business cards.

Honestly, I am not sure what those are even for. I use social media. I see no use for them.

vivendulies wrote:

It isn't that long ago, that I went through a similar change with another PoD, where the service started to compete with its own designer...

I'm pretty sure I know what you are referring to and this does seem very similar.

Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

Strike 1 where zazzle starts an area where they compete with their designers and give it away for free, however, they already do this with their icons.

But the icons are amateur quality. These designs are professional quality and completely in competition with Zazzle's own designers.

Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

At the moment I don't see what zazzle is up to. They invested a lot of money in tool, they separated form their revenue stream an give out free stuff ... and while they probably will have some terms that forbids resell of some kind, they will never be able to stem the tide.

I don't get it. It seems like a terrible idea to me, but maybe I am an idiot.


some of your above quotes were not me they were Vivendulies... but I do agree with you both.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:54:53 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

some of your above quotes were not me they were Vivendulies... but I do agree with you both.

hmm, that's weird. Sorry. I fixed it. lol
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:00:41 PM
Jerry wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

some of your above quotes were not me they were Vivendulies... but I do agree with you both.

hmm, that's weird. Sorry. I fixed it. lol


no worries,


I also see what you mean about the other templates, I saw one that you could print off and use a flat invitation.

not good.


Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:08:53 PM
IMHO this may perhaps have some negative impact on less skilled and/or massproducing, trendhopping designers with basic stuff that can be easily reproduced with a few draws or templates, such as a few lines/pattern and a monogram in the middle, or a slapped snapshot photo with a serif placeholder text.

I heavily doubt, a common customer will be able or will be tempted to try to recreate let's say a sophisticated wedding invitation created by a skilled designer in hours of work. That for saving maybe a few bucks. And I doubt, too, skilled designers will be willing to give away their best works in high resolution for free or peanuts, for something that competes with themselves on the same platform. The less skilled ones will probably, but hardly the pros, what gives an idea of the quality and choice you may expect of the templates (see free website templates).

Such a tool may give Zazzle some extra following and possible customer base - as free basic stuff offered on websites besides their payable premium offers. Zazzle's strength, though, is definitely their vast assortment of printable premium goods, their large designer community (with many of them being extremely skilled), and the high personalization options. I don't think, such a tool can replace anything of these 3 major keypoints of Zazzle's success. Nor their skilled cashcows, aka designers.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:16:54 PM
just read this in the last news post

Quote:
James C. said
Later in the year however, you’ll be able to contribute templates directly into the ‘Create’ tool, where you’ll be igniting the creativity of others. This will open up a whole new realm of possibilities for you and your fellow designers on the platform.


I am not seeing what benefit I will get from giving away my designs.

My goal when I signed up for POD was to license my designs for a profit while retaining all rights.

I can already give them away on my own website and at least that way I can build an email list...



Eta: My template designs that are in the marketplace available for a shopper to customize however they want and then purchase, are already "igniting the creativity of others"

just not for free...



Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:40:00 PM
Jerry wrote:

vivendulies wrote:

Strike 1 where zazzle starts an area where they compete with their designers and give it away for free, however, they already do this with their icons.

But the icons are amateur quality. These designs are professional quality and completely in competition with Zazzle's own designers.


Strike 1 was mainly referring to _free_ ... icon was an afterthought which I shouldn't have mentioned. And what a designer considers a good design and what a customer considers a good design are two entirely different pair of boots. Grin

-.-
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:41:44 PM
Just read the (updated?) news.

Good luck in jumping into the designer, "designing" away and then trying to fit your master piece on a phone case, a blanket and a mug. Oh, and a long chiffon scarf, too, to make it interesting.

That said, I really hope, Z is not on their way to oversimplify their platform, killing all the tools and options that make this platform that versatile, and streamlining it for granny trying to put her grandson's IG square snapshot on a duvet cover - through her phone app, of course.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:54:42 PM
Well, I for one am completely confused by this new tool. I stumbled upon it last night when I clicked on my bookmarked link for making a new product. I had a momentary panic because it looked to me like everything was going away except downloadable free stuff. Of course, now I can't even figure out how one would get to it through the Zazzle main page. I'm baffled as to why they would re-purpose an existing link for this tool rather than giving it a new URL, but whatever.

Anyhow, I was thinking about doing some business card designs, but I don't think I'll bother now - at least not unless I have some brilliant unique ideas. I guess we'll see...

It's always one of the perils of online work that's so heavily attached to one company - they seem to feel compelled to change things up for the sake of changing things up. Sometimes the changes are good, but often they just end up confusing customers and more than once I've had an entire business wiped out by an "improvement" that some online company has made.

I guess it's a good reminder that if you're gonna make a living on the interwebs, you need to diversify your income streams and not be completely dependent one company.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:58:32 PM
I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this new venture... So I'll wait before saying what I think.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 3:12:51 PM
This is still in beta but I look forward to playing with it. For those of us who use Canva for our social media promos, this has some promise of doing that kind of work here.

Bring it on Zazzle! Smile
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 3:42:40 PM
PetsDreamlands wrote:


Good luck in jumping into the designer, "designing" away and then trying to fit your master piece on a phone case, a blanket and a mug. Oh, and a long chiffon scarf, too, to make it interesting.


On the left side of the new create tool at the bottom of the list of media is a link called products which gives you a bunch of Zazzle blanks ready to add your design to. From there you can put it in the cart and buy it without ever having to visit the marketplace or a designer store to see what designs are available.









Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 4:55:06 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
PetsDreamlands wrote:


Good luck in jumping into the designer, "designing" away and then trying to fit your master piece on a phone case, a blanket and a mug. Oh, and a long chiffon scarf, too, to make it interesting.


On the left side of the new create tool at the bottom of the list of media is a link called products which gives you a bunch of Zazzle blanks ready to add your design to. From there you can put it in the cart and buy it without ever having to visit the marketplace or a designer store to see what designs are available.

Oh! That's that Design Now link in the CYO menu I stumbled over recently and thought What the... Just gave it a closer try, loaded an image on the first product, then clicked on some other ones, what confirmed my statement above... Sherpa blankets, mugs, tees, cases, ties and other products with completely different sizes and ratios and amount of design areas grouped together to a funny mix and the image just blown up to fill the whole area, sometimes vertically, sometimes horizontally aligned, sometimes on the front, other times on the back side and whatever else...

Of course it may be easier, creating something, then checking and buying the products you want it on, but I doubt this is the right way and it may lead to issues of all sort. With a possible big awakening at receipt and then a 1 star review, because "the product quality was good, but my 20-lines-poem wasn't readable on the 0.9" heart shaped keychain"...

Interesting the way Z is going, while other POD platforms such as S6 and more, tell you to avoid one-fits-all designs and to create product-specific designs to get the best look and results. What makes perfectly sense.

Oh well, doesn't bother me much. As long as the full functionality is granted for more demanding designers and not slowly decreased/simplified. You have to market yourself anyway, to succeed on Z, so it doesn't make that much of a difference if a few shoppers may want to go the full DIY route to save a few bucks.
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 5:51:41 PM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
You have to market yourself anyway, to succeed on Z, so it doesn't make that much of a difference if a few shoppers may want to go the full DIY route to save a few bucks.


I am hoping for the majority who don't want to do the designing but just want an easily customized already designed product.

I hope the percentage of diy people is minimal...

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 12:47:03 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
PetsDreamlands wrote:
You have to market yourself anyway, to succeed on Z, so it doesn't make that much of a difference if a few shoppers may want to go the full DIY route to save a few bucks.


I am hoping for the majority who don't want to do the designing but just want an easily customized already designed product.

I hope the percentage of diy people is minimal...


Considering the huge designer competition on Z, the few expert or lazy or greedy DIY shoppers are your least concern.

Especially on more important products, such as wedding sets, I'm pretty sure, the vast majority will order professionally designed products, and the ones looking for a nice gift for a loved one, will most certainly do, too.

Even as a designer, I would never be that masochist to redesign something from scratch to imitate an already existing design that needs obviously hours to design (assuming you're capable of), just to save a few bucks.

Of course the simple, basic designs could have a harder time, but even in these cases it's questionable how serious the impact of that tool will be, compared to the huge competition of the broad and skilled designer community, you're already facing.
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 2:42:11 AM
I'm not in the A/B test but got to the tool anyway by putting zazzle.com/create in my browser bar. So that works for anybody not in the test.

I don't think it will have a huge impact on Zazzle designers one way or the other. It may even bring in new customers. It competes with the business card designers but far less than business card designers compete with each other, given that there are only a couple dozen (albeit professional) templates.

It could be used by designers for making promotional headers. It will be interesting to see if there is any market for designers designing evites somewhere down the line.



Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 3:50:18 AM
Susannah Keegan wrote:
I'm not in the A/B test but got to the tool anyway by putting zazzle.com/create in my browser bar. So that works for anybody not in the test.

I don't think it will have a huge impact on Zazzle designers one way or the other. It may even bring in new customers. It competes with the business card designers but far less than business card designers compete with each other, given that there are only a couple dozen (albeit professional) templates.

It could be used by designers for making promotional headers. It will be interesting to see if there is any market for designers designing evites somewhere down the line.




Thanks for the link. Had a quick look and I must say, it looks pretty nice and clean. Like all the social header/banner/ad sizes, and the fact that you can put that design on different products looks not as bad as I initially thought, IF you can adjust and save the design on every product separately after you created the basic/universal one. Not tested if possible, yet. If yes, that would in theory speed up even the work for us designers, if not, it won't be that useful.

The templates are OK. Basic mainstream templates as you get on all those free website and online print services platforms. Yes, you can create your business card or website that way, but it will look pretty generic.

Overall nice tool and idea, good for acquiring new possible customers, but I don't think, it can replace a beautifully done design of a skilled designer for that lovely gift or card you want to buy your loved ones. Prêt-à-porter vs Haute Couture, so to speak.
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 4:25:59 AM
Well my first thought was how grateful I am that I have watermarks turned on. Though with the tools available now days that is only small comfort.

My Second thought was once this starts to be noticed by spammers the bandwidth it is going to take to keep it operational is going to be off the charts. There are multiple sites that many years ago offered free digital downloads and slowly even the least sophisticated that I belong to now require that I get an email and give me the link in that email. IOW unfettered downloads of freebie digital products ultimately cost more than the benefit derived.

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