Create Your First | Blank Product

Create Your First | Blank Product

What is a Blank Product?

A 'Blank' is a Fulfiller approved base product; it features live preview product imagery, and is configured to match to a print specification for the purposes of generating 'print ready' artwork. 

The term 'Blank' stems from how the Products can be used as a template that Brands / Retailers can add artwork to whilst still conforming to the Fulfillers print specification. This process creates Virtual Products that can be published and sold online, with the order automatically routed to the associated Fulfiller. 

Typically, Fulfillers create and own Blank Products within the Catalog.
What do I need for this tutorial?
  • An image of the product that you want to create
    • An artwork package eg Photoshop (to format your image)
  • A Print Specification to match to
  • *Coffee (optional)
Lets take a look at the 5 key steps involved in creating your first Blank Product. These are the minimum requirements to create a functional Blank Product within the Catalog.
Top Tip: In this article we will be creating a T-Shirt. The assets used are available to download at the bottom of the page. You can also use the values in the screenshots to easily follow the steps and create your first Blank Product!

1. Create a New Product

  • Access the Catalog > Product Manager menu using your login credentials here - Product Manager >>

  • Click '+ New Product'. 

  • From the pop-up Creation Menu, Click 'Blank'


  • With the Blanks wizard first select either 'Manual' or 'From Wholesale'. For the purpose of this article we will be using 'Manual'. 

  • From the Product Details Menu, specify the Fulfiller, Fulfiller SKU, Product Name, Category and Classification. These details are required for new products to be created on the system (this information can be changed at a later date if needed).

  • Click 'Create Product' to confirm - this will take you directly to the new Blank Product for you to begin to configure.


 

2. Preview

'Preview' allows you to determine how your product will display on screen by uploading suitable preview images. 
Critical: These image files are used for on screen preview purposes only, and should be formatted based on the following:
  1. Square: Uploaded product preview images MUST be square. 
  2. Image Size: 800x800 pixels is the recommended guideline size for preview quality and performance reasons. Larger preview images are possible, but can negatively affect performance and load times on mobile devices. 
  3. Supported File Types: PNG or JPEG format.  
  4. File Size Limit: Upload limit is 1mb, but we recommend all images are less than 500kb. Tools such as tinyPNG & tinyJPG can be used to compress image files. 
For more information and advice on optimising performance, see this article: 2D Product Optimisation | Load Speeds & Performance >>
Important Note: We highly recommend the use of 'face-on' product imagery for the purposes of live preview. This ensures greater accuracy between on screen preview and the generated artwork output when an order is placed.
Top Tip: We encourage the use of nice product imagery such as lifestyle shots, as they offer a more engaging and positive user experience, which can increase conversion rates!

All preview based images have to be added to an 'Aspect'.
  • Begin by clicking Preview > Aspects > + Aspect to add a new Aspect.

 

  • Add your Aspect Name. Generally, Aspect Names are used to indicate the side of the product you intend to represent eg if a T Shirt you might use 'Front' or 'Back'. In this example we are creating a T-Shirt, so have used 'Front'. 

NOTE: A product can have one or multiple Aspects. eg a garment product might have an Aspect for the Front, Back, Left Sleeve, Right Sleeve.
  • Click to '+ Option' 

NOTE: An Aspect option is the visual preview image of the product. Each Aspect can have one or multiple Aspect Options associated. (eg if creating a T Shirt you might want to offer a range of colours by adding multiple options and uploading the relevant coloured images.)

  1. Upload your product preview image to the 'Main Image' slot. 
Top Tip: Masks can be added to control where personalisation appears on screen. They are not necessary if your personalisation does not have to conform to a specific shape on the preview. If you don't create and upload a mask against the Aspect Option, the system will create a generic one for you that applies to the full preview by default. 

  • The Aspect Option properties can then be set, eg Option Name / Option SKU. This is because some products may have multiple Aspect Options to represent different colours / materials / finishes etc. 

3. Print

The Print allows you to determine the size, layout, and volume of output files that the system will generate when an order is placed, as necessary for fulfilment purposes.

For each required output file, a Print Area has to be created on the product - this process allows you to set a specific output size (in mm) and position the area in relation to the products Preview. It is this process that connects the live preview and the artwork generation together.
Important Note: Print Areas do not offer any user functionality by default, they solely determine the output file and highlight the available personalisation area on-screen in relation to the live preview.

To create a Print Area

  • Click Print > Print Areas > + Print Area


  • Within the Print Area setup, you can specify:
    • Name
    • Aspect - the product preview that the Print Area is to be associated with. In this example we want to set the Print Area on the 'Front' Aspect that we have just created.
    • Print Size (in mm) - this determines the size of the artwork files that the system generates. In this example we are using standard Kornit Pallet of 396x498mm.
    • Preview Size (in pixels) - this determines the size of the personalisation area in relation to the product preview image. You can set the pixel sizes using the input fields, or interactively within the preview.
The goal here is to get a matching Aspect Ratio between the Print Size and Preview Size elements, thus connecting the preview to the artwork generation. The simplest way to do this is:
  1. Input your Print Size values in mm
  2. Copy the same values into the Preview Size fields. This will automatically give you a matching Ratio (note the size of the area in the interactive preview may be be incorrect).
  3. Use the interactive tools to position and uniformly scale the on screen Print area so that it 'fits' the product preview.
Critical: Print Size (in mm) and Preview Size (in pixels) should share a matching AR to within a 0.05 tolerance threshold. Failure to do so will prompt an error message on any attempted save.


Fulfillers with precise or complex print guidelines can upload this file against the Blank product in the platform so that when retailers are creating Virtual products (such as Print on Demand products) they can download the file and refer to the guidelines. This is optional step.
  1. To do so, go to the General page of the product and click on the Assets tab
  2. Upload the file under the Actions header for Supplier Artwork Guidelines


4. Functionality

Functionality refers to the interactive tools available to the end user to customise the product within the live preview Smartlink. This might be Image Upload, Text, etc. Blank Products do not typically have/need any functionality, but it is good practice for a Fulfiller to add basic image functionality to aid print testing. 

In this example we will configure an Image Area and a Text Area for the purposes of photo upload and text input.
  • To add an Image Area, click Functionality > Images > + Image Area 

 

  • This will bring up the Image Area setup screen, whereby you can specify:
    • Name - if multiple Image Areas are configured these name will appear in the Smartlink, so make them relevant.
    • Print Area - this allows you to specify the Print Area that the uploaded image will be applied to.
    • Position - this determines the location and size of the area that the user can upload an image to. By default, these values will auto-populate when a Print Area is selected, meaning that any uploaded image will apply to the entire Print Area by default. This can be manually changed via the input fields or the interactive preview, if required.

 

  • To add a Text Area, click Functionality > Text > +Create a Text Area

 

  • This will bring up the Text Area setup screen, whereby you can specify:
    • Name this is the name of the text field as displayed in the App, so make it relevant.
    • Print Area - this allows you to specify the Print Area that the text will be applied to.
    • Position - this determines the origin/starting point of the text when input. By default, these values will auto-populate when a Print Area is selected, which centers the text to the defined Print Area Preview Size as specified in Step 3. This can be manually changed via the input fields or the interactive preview, if required.


 

5. Print Test

The Print Test facility offers a test environment for you to review your product setup, but more importantly, generate example output files to ensure the Print is correct vs the on screen preview.
Important Note: Print Test is accessible at any stage during the product configuration. We highly encourage frequent testing to minimise the likelihood of any issues.
  • Print Test can be accessed from the Contextual Actions in the top right of the interface. The below is the correct button to press for this.

  • Clicking it loads a pop-up window showing the product preview and configured functionality.
    • In this example we have uploaded an image and added text using the simple functionality options from step 4.


  • Clicking 'Generate Artwork' will then produce a series of example output files in several formats that can be downloaded and compared vs product thumbnails to ensure accuracy between preview and output.

 

Congratulations - you have just created your first Blank Product (of many)!!!

Here is a direct link to the example product that we created in this article - Click Here

Using what you have learned you can continue creating more Blank products to populate your product range on the system. If you are a new customer you can work with your PM to add the products to your website.
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