Design 18. Pinkie Redux


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Redesign of Pinkie, comparing uploaded image with text versus image and customizable font

I said I would redo the Pinkie redux and and just got back the redone design.  There are some differences. I burned in Pinkie’s ear on the second shirt to make it stand out more which it did.I also blurred the background more on the second shirt so that the light blue streak behind Pinkie was blurred more. I couldn’t figure out where that streak came from until I realized it was the sun peaking through the side of the blinds. It’s funny the things you don’t notice everyday until you take a photograph and it pops out at you.

Compared to the image that Zazzle shows, the image on the 100% cotton t-shirt is lighter and more orangey.  In my picture below, the background is a bit more beige and here in the shirt, more of a pale orange, almost a camel — which I like but blends more with Pinkie who is a calico and has orange fur.  The khaki beige stands out more against Pinkie.  I am starting to understand why designers like to work with specified printers — you get to know their printing machine —  if it prints a little more red or cyan or darker, you can compensate.  If you work with a big company, you can’t get to know a specific printer because each time you send something in, they might be using a different printer.  This is going to happen with Zazzle because they are international and the printing will be done in the country of the buyer.

I love Feline Fridays (you can change the text!) T-Shirt

I love Feline Fridays (you can change the text!) T-Shirt

USA store

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my uploaded design — it looks pretty close to what Zazzle shows on the website, but darker than the print

The one in the back is the one I did first.  This was before I learned to set Zazzle up so that the text can be personalized by the customer.  So in that first one, the text “Cactus Catz” was done in Photoshop where I have much more control of the font — for example, I can elongate it to

better fill the space which I did.  I have a lot of control over how much of an arc I want and placement is very easy. Also in placement I can do a click and drag or use the arrow keys to nudge it just a little bit.  And I have a much larger collection of fonts to choose from.  However, the text is set.  What you see is what you get.  The customer can’t change it to what they want.

In the second one (top), I used Zazzle’s text because I wanted it to be personalizable.  In Zazzle, I cannot elongate the text.  I have some control over how much of an arc but not as much as in Photoshop. Because the arcing is more limited, that means the size of the font has to be reduced or the words will go outside the circle.  However, while here I show “Cactus Catz”, the person who buys it can change it to anything like “I love my mom” or “I love Feline Fridays.” I have pretty good control over placement as long as I do the dragging and don’t use the arrow keys.  The arrow keys in Zazzle don’t nudge — they take a step.  If you want a smaller move, it’s better to click and drag it into place.  The font choices are more limited but they do have a good selection.  While I prefer doing text in Photoshop for a better design, giving the customer the option to personalize the words into anything they want is worth the compromises.

There is a way to embed a font into a file.  They do that for pdfs.  I am wondering if I embed a font, if it will be able to be customizable or if it’s unchangeable words.  I’ll have to do some more research into how Zazzle works to see if it’s possible to use your own fonts with customizable words.

The first shirt is a mix of 65% polyester and 35% viscose.  The top shirt is 100% cotton.  I’ll be interested to see if as I wash it, if the blend or the cotton holds onto the ink better.  I’ve done some dying.  Plant-based fabric (bamboo, cotton) and animal-based fabric (silk, wool) use different mordants to fix the dye.  With plant-based (which is what I dyed), you use a fiber-reactive dye and soda ash as the mordant (fixer).  With wool, the fixer is vinegar.  The dye absorbs into the fiber.  With polyester, it’s different.  The color has to bond and so usually there is some heat setting like using hot water in dyeing.  And some polys take dye better than others.  That’s why I stayed away from polyester dying before — from what I read results are inconsistent and some won’t take dyes.

Viscose is more like plant-based so when I checked on dying instructions, a poly-viscose blend is treated the same as a ply-cotton blend.  Looking above, it’s obvious both shirts took the dye.  The viscose/poly printed darker.  I thought I’d thrown away the earlier version of the upload but found it again so could do a direct comparison and I had not lightened the second one as I had intended.  Since the 100% cotton printed lighter, it’s a good thing I didn’t lighten up the print

The result: Thumbs up.  Yay! A product I am happy (mostly) to sell.  I will sell the second shirt with the customizable text.   (Yeah, I still want to stretch that font some so that’s why mostly happy and not totally)

On the first shirt with the noncustomizable text, I like the font so maybe put up a phrase that a person might not want to change like “I love Feline Fridays” or “I love my mom”.  But in that case, I’d probably want to set it up so they can customize the picture and put their own cat in the circle.


disclaimer: as a designer of the cards, Zazzle gives me a royalty if anyone buys anything with my design. As an associate, I may earn a commission if someone buys something by clicking links on this page whether or not I’m the designer.



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