Create Your First | Virtual Products: Manual

Create Your First | Virtual Products: Manual



The MANUAL Virtual Product creation option allows you to select one or multiple Blank Products, then manually configure Virtual Products that meet specific design or user requirements.

Top Tip: This option is best suited for more complex Blank/Base products with multiple previews and /or Print Areas, and for controlling and setting very specific formatting options to conform to a design. 
What do I need?

> Access to a Blank Product

> A piece of Artwork

Critical: You need a Blank / Base product to apply your artwork to. You may have created your own on CPP, or you may have Read access to a Suppliers products on the platform to apply design content to. 
Important Note: The Artwork files that you upload will be applied to the selected products Print Area in full. If there is a difference between the Aspect Ratio of the uploaded Artwork vs the selected products Print Area (eg landscape vs portrait), you may get undesirable results such as cropping. CPP allows you to filter products by Aspect Ratio to apply Portrait, Landscape or Square Artwork easily
Top Tip: You can get exact mm Print Area sizes from the Blank products on CPP via the Print Specification - we advise this approach if you want your designs to fit the products perfectly and to guarantee no loss in quality from upscaling images to fit larger products.
How does it work?

Lets take a look at the 4 Key steps in using the Manual setup option. In this example, we will be adding an artwork file and setting up some personalisation options using the formatting tools available to control the user journey. The resulting product will offer a fixed design element with complimentary text input (known as a Personalised Product)

1. Select your Base Product/s

  • Access the Product Manager
  • Select Base Product/s using the tick box next to each product listing
  • From the Bulk Action drop-down menu, select 'Create Virtual Products'

2. Use the 'Manual' Creation option

  • From the Virtual Product Creation Menu, select Manual:

Important Note: On mouse-over, each option will display a brief summary and helpful information on how to achieve the best results when using the routine.

You will be prompted to select a category on CPP to place the new Virtual Product/s into. If you have multiple Product Categories on CPP you can use the scroll bar, or search box to find the folder that you want to add the Virtual Products to. 

  • Click 'Pick' to make a selection.

  • The 'Options' window will display. Within this you can set optional information:
    • Enable the Print on Demand toggle to utilise this as a POD product.
  • Add Branding information that gets appended to each Virtual product created in this operation. This is not a strict requirement and is generally utilised when creating ranges of branded (Licensed) Content. These are:
    • Brand Code, Brand Name, Brand Name (Short), Design Name
  • Click 'Create Virtual Products' 

Important Note: The Brand and Design fields are used for Data Interpolation purposes; to automate the update of eCommerce data based on the brand and design being applied. As such, a specific Base Product setup is required to make use of the feature.

You will be notified when the Virtual Products have been created with two options: 

    • Export - Coming Soon!
    • Multi-Edit: This takes you directly into each Virtual Product configuration on CPP, allowing you to review in a 'multi-edit' sequence by using the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to cycle through.  
    • Click Multi-Edit

3a. Product Configuration - Adding Artwork

  • You will be directed to the Product Setup Screen - for an overview of this interface please read our Getting Started Guide article HERE
  • Access the 'Print Specification' and Click 'Edit'

  • Open the 'Artwork' roll-out menu
  • Click the 'Upload' option to add your artwork file to the Virtual Product. In this example we are uploading a portrait piece of artwork to the portrait phone case so that it fits nicely without undesirable cropping.
  • The Preview will update to display the Artwork applied to the Product.

Top Tip: At this stage, you can change how your uploaded Artwork is scaled by using the 'Fit Mode' option. Cover always fills the full area by default and crops artwork to do so, whereas Contain will protect the image uploaded by not cropping (this can leave gaps).

3b. Product Configuration - Adding Functionality

  • From the Configuration Panel, select 'Functionality'
  • We want to offer Text personalisation on this product, so click Text tab > '+Create a Text Area'

Top Tip: At this stage you could equally add Image functionality for photoupload functionality via the Images Tab > and creating an Image Area.

  • This opens the Text Area setup options. We want to set the following options:
    • Name - What is the Text Area to be called?
    • Print Area - Links your Text Area to the Print Specification (This auto-updates the preview when selected and centers your text to the full Print Area).
      • This Interactive preview can then be used to position your Text Area against the product.

Important Note: Adding Image upload functionality follows the same process as this - the location and size of the image upload area will be pre-populated to fit the full Print Area by default.

  • Additional Control is then available via the roll-out menus. This allows you to control:
  • Options - User Interactivity - eg can they move / rotate / resize text? In this example we have removed all interactive option toggles to offer a fixed position.

  • Formatting - Set a default Font, Size and Colours

  • Validation - Max Characters. In this example we have set 12 characters for a name input.

  • Advanced Options - These are Boundary Based features that operate based on user input. Here we will be using 'AUTO FIT'. This feature dynamically resizes text when the input reaches the width of the specified boundary.
    • Enable Auto Fit
    • Click to show the Text Boundary
    • Interactively position the boundary box around your text to define the max width/height
    • Click Save

4. Print Test

  • Click the 'Print Test' button from the Contextual Actions menu. This will load the product in a test environment where you can see your design applied and review your Functionality.
  • Click Generate Artwork to create print files in multiple formats.

>> HERE we can see the product that we configured in this tutorial: Interactive Example <<

Congratulations - you have just created your 1st Virtual Product manually on CPP!!!

What's next?

We have just gone through the key steps in creating a Virtual Product via the Manual option to produce a Personalised Product. You can continue to create Virtual Products in this way to create entire design ranges with the greatest control over formatting and user options.


Can I replace the artwork file at a later date?

Yes, simply navigate to the Print Specification > Edit the Print Area > Open the Artwork sub menu and replace the file.

Can I change how the artwork gets applied to avoid cropping?

The best way to cater for this is make sure your designs 'fit' the products that they are to be applied to, as a means to avoid cropping. The other option is, you can change the 'FIT MODE' to determine how the artwork is being applied. This is accessible via Print Specification > Edit the Print Area > Open the Artwork sub menu > Fit Mode.

Cover is the default - this scales the image up to populate the full print

Contain - this makes the image as large as possible, but stops before any cropping can take place

Can I add more Text Areas?

Yes, there is no limit on Number of Text Areas that you can add - but consideration should be made to the end user. Too many options can affect conversion rates.

I want to offer multiple lines of text - is it possible?

Yes, in the 'Option' roll-out menu, simply enable the 'Multi-Line' toggle. You can then set a maximum number of lines under 'Validation'.



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