A Zazzle Template is a product that contains images and/or text placeholders that are easily personalized by the buyer. This is a great way to allow your customers to make a product personal to them, while removing the complexity of designing something from scratch.
Popular template products include greeting cards which allow the customer to upload their own picture, t-shirts for sports teams with a player's last name on the back, personalized wedding announcement postage and invitations, business cards, and more.
We've compiled a list of several thousand different niches and themes that you can design for. The list is too long to post here, so we've put it into an excel spreadsheet that you can download here.
Here are the two most popular types of templates:
This type of design allows you to make hundreds or thousands of products from a single basic design. The only thing that changes is a simple text or image field that the customer can fill in. An example of this would be the widely known "I Heart YOUR TEXT HERE" t-shirt designs. The design remains the same except for the YOUR TEXT HERE area. You can get creative and find many ways to utilize this time-saving approach to product design.
EZ Form Templates
When customers view EZ form templates for product like business cards or invitations, all they have to do is fill out one or more simple fields to personalize the product. We call these product pages "EZ Templates" because it's easy for a buyer to fill out their information and click the Add to Cart button to buy the product.
Sample EZ Template Product Page
How do I make a template?
If you have created products on Zazzle before, you're already most of the way there! You can make a product become a template by simply defining which image(s) or text object(s) can be replaced by the buyer.
Add an image to a product. You will notice a gears icon in the options toolbar.
Click the icon to display all advanced options.
One of the options is a checkbox labeled "Make this a template object". Checking that box will display all the options available for defining this template image placeholder.
When you select "Make this a template object", you have access to four options:
- Product page label - This is the label that the customer will see on the product page. Use something descriptive here, like "Your picture" or "Your logo".
- URL parameter name - If you are using the Zazzle API to pass data to this product from an external source, this is the parameter name the API will use. Avoid spaces or special characters. You can safely ignore this field if you are not working with the API (see the Zazzle API documentation for more information).
- Inner fit/fill mode - If your template allows the buyer to replace your placeholder image with one of her own, this setting determines how the buyer's image replaces yours. The options are none, fit, or fill.
- none - If you set Inner fit/fill mode to none, the buyer's image simply replaces your placeholder image, and may be larger or smaller than the placeholder.
- fit - Selecting fit will resize the buyer's image to fit inside of your placeholder image object's dimensions. This will ensure that their image is not cropped.
- fill - Selecting fill will resize their image to fill the entire dimensions of your placeholder image. If the buyer's image is wider or taller than your placeholder, this may result in zooming and cropping of the buyer's image
- Allow editing on product page - Keep this checked if you want to enable EZ Templates on your product page. Unchecking this option is usually only done when working with the Zazzle API.
Once you have filled out all the options, click Post for Sale. You will then be presented with the normal Post it for Sale page.
Notice the checkbox labeled "This product is a template". This tells you that the product contains template objects, and that it will be posted for sale as a template. Only uncheck it if you decide at this point to not allow customer personalization of this product; otherwise keep it checked.
Congratulations! You have just created a template product!
Creating a template for embroidered products is very similar to making a template for print products. There are, however, a couple of key differences.
- You cannot make an embroidered image into a template object. The images on an embroidered product represent a fixed physical size and stitch arrangement, making them poor candidates for customer substitution.
- Text can cause boundary and overlapping issues. Text CAN be made into a template object, but doing so raises the possibility that we may not be able to manufacture your product, due to overlapping text or boundary issues. See examples below.
Text that oversteps its bounds
In this example, text has been replaced with much longer text that ends up being too big for the design area.
When this occurs, the product cannot be manufactured, and the buyer will see a warning icon next to the Add to cart button, like this:
It is also possible for text to overlap, again making it impossible to manufacture properly. The customer will see the same warning icon as above and have the opportunity to fix the text.
Under "Advanced options" for any object (text or image), you will see a checkbox labeled "Lock object(s)".
By checking this option, the image or text object will not be customizable by a customer. This means that no one will be able to change, remove, resize, rotate, or reposition the object. All those options will be disabled (see image below).