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Saturday, 3 October 2015

An Extremely Difficult Calendar Design Undertaking!

Zazzle introduced a lot of changes to their calendars recently. It was timed perfectly as I mentioned earlier in my Blog, with my decision to concentrate more on my photography and products that suit fine art photographic images, as that is what brings the most artistic satisfaction to me, 2nd to painting.

Since one option was that the date grid could be made transparent so that an image or images could be dropped in behind it and show behind the grid, all of a sudden I realized one could then put a little photo in the date of someone's birthday! It could even be a pet photo.

The question then arose as to How to make this possible, with a template, so a buyer could just upload a photo and pop it right into any day square.

Good idea in theory right? Ha! Until one starts trying to integrate the graphic template and Zazzle's designer interface. Then one realizes just How many 10s of hours it will take to make it work. Once it does get done and work, then one realizes that it limits what calendar options one can offer since it can only really work with One chosen grid layout, not automatically All of the grid options will work with one's designed photo template. This is a drawback because it limits buyer choice. As well, each image template has to have its own name and Own parameter url# to allow each image on each day on each month to be individual. This means 12x31 image names and parameter #s.

Is it worth it? Probably not, I'll probably never sell 1 calendar lol! Not because they don't contain nice photos, but because getting found is one of my personal challenges lol!

However, I am going to go through with it because 1) I am stubborn 2) I want to see if it really will work 3) I LOVE learning! 4) I can be a workaholic

UPDATE: Came to the conclusion after getting one test calendar up, with one month of test image fields, that it cannot work due to a Zazzle interface hurdle. The calendar does not differentiate between month pages on the screen so every single image field, that being well over 300, would be on the main screen, a scrolling need nightmare, and a task for a buyer to determine what image field will put a photo on what page and in what spot, unless specifically named by MONTH and DATE. This means the designer would need to re publish an Edited version of the template option calendar EVERY YEAR in order to keep those fields named accurately.

What my possible solution will be, when I have time, is to design a sample calendar and offer it as a CUSTOM purchase, working with the client to add their images, pricing by grouped image # options, then doing a Direct listing for them to purchase, something along those lines.

Process Screen Shots

Beginning soft cut outs on grid of calendar in Photoshop CS5

Sample image in one photo frame opening

Completed test png image

Experimenting on Zazzle designer page

Further creating of photo upload template for buyers

Closer look with sample images uploaded

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