With the release of Seamless Studio BETA, there have been some fantastic creations submitted. We're pretty excited to see designs become more and more intriguing with the new features this enhancement of the original seamless pattern maker allows.
An opportunity popped up for us to showcase how you can use Seamless Studio as an amazing design tool for things outside of COLOURlovers.com. I'll be using a real-world design contest for some Nine West totes - hosted by talenthouse.
Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.
Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.
Opening More Doors for Cashflow
Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!
Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual
These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.
Recapping this selling structure:
- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.
-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.
-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.
-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.
Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:
Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.
Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.
Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:
-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.
-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.
Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.
As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.
One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.
Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.
All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.
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This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea
We're throwing a contest for the best Mothers Day Floral Pattern Template design. Winner will receive $15 - ImageKind.com Bucks!
ImageKind is a community for artists to create and sell their work in many forms of print. Their goal is to develop an online art experience that provides both consumers and artists with an outlet for sharing, creating and buying art (from a digital file).
COLOURlovers is linked up with imagekind which allows you to easily import your COLOURlovers.com colors, palettes and patterns over to imagekind with the click of a button.
You MUST be the original creator of any colors, palettes and patterns in the COLOURlovers.com system to be able to import them to imagekind. If you are the original creator and are allowed to upload them to imagekind, you will see the section, BUY THIS PATTERN, on your item profile (fabric goes to Spoonflower.com, Artwork to imagekind.com).
It's a pretty neat deal! You can get your lovely patterns printed on canvas, posters or even framed prints.
Design a brand spank'n new Floral Template - Must be dated on or after today, May 3rd, 2011. Designing a template is not the same as coloring a template. You will need to use Seamless (COLOURlovers Pattern Maker).
You may submit as many new templates OR variations of your colored template as you would like (sometimes the paint-job makes a difference).
Add the finished and colored badge(s) to the comments - if you don't know how, ask me via love notes.
Get as many LOVES as you can before the end of day (11:59
AM PM PST) Saturday, May 7th, 2011. Winning colored template will receive $15 at ImageKind.com.
Floral - Can be display anything with: vines, flowers, buds, leaves, garden (am I missing anything here?). Can be abstract, mosaic or traditional as long as it pertains to some sort of floral appeal.
Clarification Updates (May 5th, 2011):
To try to eliminate some confusion I have answered some of these questions in the comments...
1.) I will add up ALL LOVES from both the Pattern Template AND the Colored Templates (your's or otherwise related to THAT template). Anything under that template will count.
2.) Post your submissions HERE in the COMMENTS section (below post)
3.) You must be the original creator of the Template.
*Thanks and maybe I'll run our next challenge a little smoother! :) You have until Saturday at midnight (PST) to contribute!*
Header Pattern and Palette:
Sample Pattern (in post screenshot):
Thanks to the COLOURlovers who contributed to the Clients From Hell book giveaway and Pattern From Hell Challenge! We got some pretty cool patterns as well as some funny low-key patterns. Give yourselves a pat on the back!
I'm wishing I had four books to give away because there was a tiebreaker...and number four was still a great contributor. Alas, I only have three...so let's see who gets them!
The most LOVED pattern was contributed by mooberri. Using some well placed basic shapes and a minimal color palette it turned out quite nice I think! Congrats!
Mooberri's personal Client From Hell experience:
"Well my friend is the CD at one if the best design firms in Canada and i know how to use Photoshop so i know a lot about design." - This was said as the client pulled out hideous fliers he had designed.
Best Runner up!
I wanted to give a shout and pat on the back to sec9586 for her funny contribution of "It needs to POP!" She came in just behind the tie (above).
She posted that her favorite ClientFromHell.net quote was:
CLIENT: “Don’t worry, my daughter is very artsy, so I’m used to dealing with you people and your train of thought.” - story of my life lol - says sec9586
The pattern description is very funny too so don't miss that.
"If I hear one more client tell me that my design needs to POP, I'm going to POP their little head right off."
Overall, thanks to everyone again for contributing in both patterns, comments and votes. It was a fun contest and we had some laughs about some pretty crazy clients we've all had!
Clients From Hell, the perfect follow-up book to our more recent giveaway the Smashing Book #2. For any of you in the design industry be it graphic, print or web - you will truly appreciate the contents of this book with tears of laughter. I do hope they make a desk calendar next, it would make an excellent stocking suffer!
Having worked in the design industry, encompassing all of the above, both in the office and freelancing, I can truly find a place in my heart and a special spot on my desk for this book. I can't put it down actually. It brings back those memories at the office where my boss's most frequent design direction was, "Just make it fabulous!" the sad thing is, I learned how to design around that comment. I learned to put more gold, more frill and use fancy nonsense words in our designs for a cruddy product I didn't truly believe in - at least with the way the company was directing it.
At this point in my career, my brother and I were the website and design team - he was the programmer/coder/tech support guy (as do all small companies swamp their "computer guy") and I was the font-end designer of web, print and graphics. We shared an office and could probably write our own hilarious novel re-capping the many ridiculous meetings we came out of from that place. Yes, we even got the,"I want you guys to create a MySpace, Facebook combination, BUT for sports! This is going to be such a big hit! Google will want to buy it from us!" I believe this is about the time (2006-2007ish) when Google and Yahoo were buying out popular web apps and people were going crazy trying to develop the next big thing... I'm sure my bosses were not the only ones thinking they would have the next big thing.
"We’re going to leave Zuckerberg in the dust and think about how much he makes every year. Are you in or out?" - clientsfromhell.net
So I'm on a tangent with my story, but this book brings back the reality of those days - chocolate covered in laughter and makes me question how I kept my sanity working for those guys. Some of you may have similar memories of the things your bosses or clients may have said. Some of you are probably living it daily or still get those types of clients if you're a freelancer. It's never-ending.
"Isn’t it as simple as putting in a button to select different languages? Just look at Facebook." - clientsfromhell.net
CONTEST: Design a Pattern From Hell
Did I mention that I have THREE (3) books to do with what I please? Yep! I begged for 3 extra copies (not like I'm giving up mine!) to do a contest with. So without further adieu...
To honor all those design veterans and those of you still being tortured by clients and bosses similar to the ones from this book, we are going to do a fun contest! The rules are simple:
1. Design a NEW PATTERN using the COLOURlovers Seamless Pattern Maker (you must be the creator of the pattern).
2. Color it using the Clients From Hell color palette (consisting of red, black and white ONLY).
3. Submit your entry by copy/pasting your pattern badge in to the comments - code is located on the right side under SHARE THIS PALETTE when you are viewing your pattern (or palette or color swatch). It is REALLY important that you follow this step, as you need votes (aka LOVES) to win and I need to be able to link to your contest entry pattern.
4. Include your own client from hell experience and/or find a favorite from clientsfromhell.net (make sure if you use one from CFH.net that you let us know by linking or mention please).
And the winner...needs to get the most LOVES!
A winner will be picked with the most LOVES on their pattern. So make a really super cool pattern, make all of your friends and family cookies (if you need bribery) and tweet, facebook or whatever you need to about your pattern. Get some love!! Hey you could even paste it on your fellow lovers profiles to ask for loves... just saying.
The contest will run 7 days - Tuesday to Tuesday. That would be Today, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 - midnight Tuesday, March 29th, 2011. Results should be posted no later than Wednesday, March 30th. You must be a user to play (so SIGN UP if you need to), make sure your email notifications are on as I will need to contact you to collect your address to send you your book. Feel free to send me a love note if you have any specific questions on using the Seamless Pattern maker, etc.
update: Let me clarify.... you don't literally have to make this a pattern FROM Hell. :) Just make a super cool pattern limited to the color palette.
If you must have this book now, you can also order it on Amazon.com here (available in both print and on the kindle)...annnnd if having the book just isn't enough, there are a few other funnies you can get from the CHF store here.
And just because I can't get enough of these...
"I’m not trying to be cheap, I just don’t have that much money." - clientsfromhell.net
“I want the visitors to have a fresh experience each time they visit. So, I want you to design atleast 25 different websites so that every time they visit they will get a new experience.” - clientsfromhell.net
“In the interests of working together, I would appreciate it if you could do this free of charge.” - clientsfromhell.net
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This is only a small selection of liddle_r's December 2010 collection (browse them all), and includes recently created pattern templates as well a few patterns that have been around for awhile but deserve some love.
We are all so so impressed with the pattern designs that folks are creating with Seamless!
I've been collecting new fabulous patterns (templates) each month. Have a look at some of the great new patterns created in December 2010 and add your recent pattern designs in the comments.
Original Pattern By: mostlyabsent
Original Pattern By: mostlyabsent
Original Pattern By: ycc2106
Wallpaper is making a come back! Although the current “green design” movement would make you think otherwise.... vinyl wall paper is despised, and for good reason--its completely non-biodegradable.
Meet Aimee Wilder and Hanna Werning, two of the many independent product designers offering new and different ideas about what wallpaper can and should be. The patterns are not only bold, colourful and fun--they also make use of sustainable manufacturing methods and materials.
Aimee is a product designer with diverse interests in design and trends. Her wallpapers are:
“responsibly manufactured with responsibly-sourced fiber, and all suppliers adhere to one of the globally recognized forestry or chain of custody programs. All patterns are hand silk screened with care on clay-coated paper. All left over inks from the printing process are salvaged and reused–nothing is wasted or washed down the drains.”
We are all so so impressed with the pattern designs that folks are creating with Seamless!
I've been collecting new fabulous patterns (templates) each month. Have a look at some of the great new patterns created in November 2010 and add your recent pattern designs in the comments.