Templates

Introduction

A template in Colorlab is like a product in your online store, but only contains all information about how the product is customizable, for example:

When a customer opens the app on a customizable product in your online store, all the customization settings are retrieved from the template and displayed accordingly.

Creating a template

You can easily create a template by following a few easy steps:

1. Start creating the template

  1. Go to the templates overview and click on the button Create template in the right top corner.
  2. Enter a name for your template. This name is only used for administrative purposes.
  3. Enter a unique template ID. This can be the SKU or Article Code of the template in your store.
  4. Add an image (JPG or PNG file type) to your template

The template has his basic information now, click “next” to go to the next step and start drawing some areas!

2. Areas

After adding the basic information to your template, it’s time to add some areas.

What are areas?
Areas are rectangles drawn on top of the template’s image and can be used to:

Using areas is not required, but it can greatly shorten the time needed to create templates.

How to create an area?

To create an area follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the item Areas
  2. Click and hold your mouse button on the template image
  3. Drag to a position to create the area and release the mouse button
  4. Change the area’s position and size using your mouse, or by changing the coördinates on the right hand side
  5. Give your area a name for future reference

Now that you’ve defined some areas, we can start on the fun part, adding some elements!

Click the “next” button and start adding.

3. Add elements to your template using the Live preview

After you have uploaded an image to the template and (optionally) created areas, it’s time to add some elements.

Before you can start adding you need to understand what elements are:

What are elements?

Elements are customization layers displayed on top of the template image. There are 5 kinds of elements:

Text

A text element is used to allow the customer to add text to the template. Click the button + Text to add a text element.
A new section Elements is now available and contains your text element.

On the right side of the page you’ll see a live preview of how the element will be shown in the app. You can position and change settings directly in this preview.

Additional settings are available under the cog icon.

Available settings:

Picture

A picture element is used to allow the customer to add a picture to the template. Click the button + Picture to add a picture element.

On the right side of the page you’ll see a live preview of how the element will be shown in the app. You can position and change settings directly in this preview.

Additional settings are available under the cog icon.

Available settings:

Illustration

An illustration element is used to allow the customer to choose from your illustrations library and add it to the template. Click the button + Illustration to add an illustration element.

On the right side of the page you’ll see a live preview of how the element will be shown in the app. You can position and change settings directly in this preview.

Additional settings are available under the cog icon.

Available settings:

For more information about illustration go to the section about illustrations.

Background

A background element is used to allow the customer to choose the background color of the template. Click the button + Background to add a background element.

On the right side of the page you’ll see a live preview of how the element will be shown in the app. You can position and change settings directly in this preview.

Additional settings are available under the cog icon.

Available settings:

Mask image

A mask is essentially a picture element which is non-editable. This is used to put an additional image on top of the template and can be useful for templates that can only be partly customizable or the customizable part has a special shape.

On the right side of the page you’ll see a live preview of how the element will be shown in the app. You can position and change settings directly in this preview.

Additional settings are available under the cog icon.

Available settings:

Example of a mask:

Template Mask Result in the app
alt text alt text alt text

Multiple views

What are views?

You can create templates with multiple views that can be customized, for example a t-shirt with a customizable front and back side.

To make a view as dynamic as possible, each view has its own elements and template image.

Adding a view

Adding a view is easy, just follow a few simple steps:

  1. Navigate to the templates overview and create or edit a template
  2. When on the template detail page, make sure you’re on step 1 called “1. Template”
  3. Click on the “Add new view” button and enter a name and view template image and save the view
  4. You’ll see that a view switcher became available on the other steps, use this switcher to change the context to another view
  5. Start defining areas and elements for this view Define areas

Editing a view

Edit a template and navigate to the first step (1. Template), click on the view you want to edit.
A dialog is shown where you can do the changes, save the product afterwards.

Deleting a view

Edit a template and navigate to the first step (1. Template), click on the view you want to delete.
A dialog is shown with a remove button in the bottom left corner.

Copying a template

To simplify template creation in the Console, you can copy templates that are alike:

  1. Navigate to the template overview
  2. Click on the copy button
  3. Enter a Name and a unique template ID for your copy
  4. Click on the copy button

You now have an exact copy of the template you created before. Changes to the orginal template won’t affect the copy or vice versa.

Deleting a template

To delete a template, click on the Delete button in either the overview of templates or when editing a template. After confirming, the template is deleted.

Customizations of the deleted template won’t be affected.

Export settings

In the export settings screen you can define how you export your customers’ customizations from the Colorlab Console.

Export size

The size of the export is defined in pixels and based on the dimensions of the template by default. If you change the export size to an area, you will see that the dimensions in pixels will change to the dimensions of the area.

Export fields

By default, the template and all the elements you created will be included in the export by default. If you would like to exclude the template or elements, simply uncheck their checkboxes to exclude them.

File type

You can export customizations in 3 different formats:

Which file type should you use? This depends on your procedure in processing in store orders: If you work with graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign, we advise to use a PDF-based export.

Since a PDF document contains additional metadata like DPI, which you can use to match your print-ready files.

The default PDF export includes original images and converts text to outlines. If you prefer the images to be converted automatically to sRGB and don’t need text outlines, you can use the PNG based PDF export.

If you only need an image that displays the customer’s customization for future reference, you can export customizations in PNG-format.

Dots per inch (DPI)

The amount of dots per inch (DPI) is a setting available if you export to PDF. This setting defines the amount of pixels printed onto a physical inch.

If you change the DPI setting, you will see the physical export dimensions change as well.

DPI examples

Export size in px Export DPI Physical size in inch Physical size in cm
1000 x 1000 300 3.33 x 3.33 8.47 x 8.47
1000 x 1000 150 6.67 x 6.67 16.93 x 16.93
1000 x 1000 100 10 x 10 25.40 x 25.40

What DPI setting should I choose?

This depends on the type of template and the minimum amount of pixels you need to print it.

Example 1: a canvas print of 90 x 60 cm (36 x 24 inch)

Physical size in cm DPI Template dimensions in px
90 x 60 300 10630 x 7087
90 x 60 150 5315 x 3544
90 x 60 100 3544 x 2363

If your customer needs to upload 1 picture to fill the entire canvas, he would need to upload a picture of 10630 x 7087 to fill the canvas entirely. Since an average camera has about 8 megapixels and translates to roughly 3500 x 2300 pixels, this is a way too big requirement.

A canvas print has a rather grainy surface which allows to use pictures with a lower resolution. In this case, it’s advised to create a template based on a DPI of 100.

Most of your customers pictures will be big enough, which will boost conversion dramatically.

Example 2: a printed iPhone case of about 70 x 140 mm (2.75 x 5.5 inch)

Physical size in mm DPI Template dimensions in px
70 x 140 300 1654 x 827
70 x 140 150 827 x 413
70 x 140 100 551 x 276

Since this is a rather small template and your printing hardware supports printing up to 300 DPI, you can create your template and export it at this setting.

Still confused about image resolution, megapixels and DPI? We got you.
Please find some resources offering more information and feel free to contact us if we can assist you.

- Misunderstandings about DPI (English)
- Misverstanden over DPI (Dutch)
- Missverständnisse über DPI (German)

Enabling templates for your customizable products

To enable products to be customized in your store, please head over to the Integrations section to connect your store with Colorlab.