Blog

1-Slot 2-Slot Boomarklet

Joyous days of coding – not!

It was an innocent enough request that the creative side of my brain made of the logical side: I want to be able to easily-peasily-squeezily make an animation of the product views (aka in-situs) to be found on Zazzle’s product pages.

An example of a 1-slot square animation of the product views for a thermal tumbler
As used on Product Page media upload
click to see (opens in new tab)
  • a single click to get the whole thing started
  • a simple choice for the animation’s layout
  • gives a default animation
    – with title, description and link for optional copying and pasting
  • more optional choices to fine-tune the animation
  • the animations must be ok on major social media
    (Pinterest, Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram etc)
  • can be used by Zazzle’s Product Media Manager for a new “in-situ” product view

Seems simple enough – pretty straightforward…

Oh how the unwary are taken in by “simple” requests – you’d think I’d know by now . You wouldn’t believe the problems that I had to overcome on the way!

Formats / layouts

option 4 – horizontal layout with animation on the right

Coding for the different layouts was easy, relatively speaking. 2-slot horizontal and vertical? No worries. 1-slot square? Piece of cake. Text placement and font selection? Eyes-closed coding 😉

a 2-slot vertical animation of a clipboard design. Text has been added in the middle of the animation saying "spook is as" "spooky does"
option 2 – vertical with animation at the bottom

Getting and working with images from Zazzle?

Aaaaargh 🤪

Why that reaction? It’s because after initial coding, testing and release, occasionally images would misbehave.

On digging deeper I found that sometimes the product view images on a product page would take on a weird url format instead of the more usual name-and-some-numeric-stuff.jpg (or .webp) and that broke things.

Try as I might I couldn’t work out whether some product types just did that or whether something else was going on. Eventually, after much head-scratching and many cups of tea, I tracked it down. It only took a day!

It was this: Clicking on any of the product view images (as you would if you wanted to see that view on center stage) caused all their urls to jump into that weird format. The same would happen if you clicked on any of the product options to, say, change the size of roll (gift-wrap) or size (eg on business cards).

Got it. Coded for it. Was that all? Not on your nelly!

Pinterest

Un-animated gifs

Aaaaargh 🤪

Weirdness. If you make a pin with an animated gif as the image using any of Pinterest’s pin buttons or its pin creation api (application programming interface):

  • the gif animates on the pin
  • the pin goes into your Saved section
  • Pinterest gives pins in your Saved section only a small amount of exposure. Ack!

If you create a pin manually with an animated gif:

  • it doesn’t animate
  • the pin goes into your Created section
  • Pinterest gives pins in your Created section a ton of exposure – maybe a hundred times more than those in the Saved section – Yaay!

So it’s obvious… convert the gif to an mp4 movie instead. It didn’t work. Huh? 🤯

Unplayable mp4 movies

More Pinterest weirdness. This was a real head scratcher. Again, after a lot of puzzling over it, experimenting, having cups of tea, more head scratching, more experimenting, I got to the bottom of it (this was a two-day head scratch!).

If the mp4 movie had only a few frames, then even though the video controls were present on the pin (you know, play, pause etc) they didn’t work. But once beyond about 30 frames, they’d play.

So there was some more unexpected coding (isn’t there always?) to increase the number of frames – by duplicating the product view images. It’s a balance between keeping the size in MB of the gifs low while keeping the number of frames high.

The reason for the balancing act is that X/Twitter won’t accept images bigger than 15M. It doesn’t always work – some 2-slot gifs with enough frames for Pinterest (once converted to mp4, of course) go above the 15MB X/Twitter limit.

The solution is to convert to mp4 and use that for X/Twitter. The size of the mp4 is reduced hugely in comparison to the gif but it’s one extra step in the process.

Monogrammed Tartan Fashion and Decor you can easily personalize

English Queen Balmoral Royal Tartan with initials Scarf (Front)
English Queen Balmoral Royal Tartan with initials Scarf
by HightonRidley

This chiffon scarf has customizable text for your monogram initials and features the official Balmoral Royal tartan from 1853. Crown copyright. Source: Scottish Register of Tartans

Available from the HightonRidley store on Zazzle

  • Abercrombie
  • Angus
  • Armstrong
  • Balmoral
  • Barclay
  • Baxter (Buchanan)
  • Birral (Burrel, Birrell)
  • Boyd
  • Brice (Bryce)
  • Bruce

You’ll find so much here to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else or a treat for yourself, this is a great place to start.

And the template monogram you’ll see on each fashion item is easily changed to make it your own.

The following all use the official and authentic tartans – don’t be duped by imitations!

<1 of 20+>
<1 of 20+>
Search for:
How many to get (max 120):


Use the search above to see gifts and more for your clan tartan.

If you can’t find the product you’re after, you’ll be really pleased to know that you can transfer the design you see to any other product on Zazzle. It’s as easy as clicking a button and choosing to transfer the design.

If you can’t find the specific tartan you’re after, follow this link and search for the one you want.

Your initials on Angus District Ancient tartan Che Checkbook Cover (Open)
Your initials on Angus District Ancient tartan Che Checkbook Cover
by HightonRidley

A stylish checkbook cover with template text for your monogram initials and features the official Angus District Ancient tartan from before 1905. Flourish your checkbook in style and be proud of your Scottish ancestry

Get marketing assets for your auto sales business

Maybe it’s time for you to refresh your brand or maybe you never really bothered beyond some generic business cards and a sign above the door?

This article will give you the chance to think about what the right marketing collateral could do for your auto sales business.

Auto Sales Event Invite - faux metal, auto logo (Front)
Auto Sales Event Invite – faux metal, auto logo
by HightonRidley

A metallic style invitation postcard for your auto sales event. The design uses shiny faux metallic elements and a sports / muscle / luxury auto logo

Beyond business cards there’s a vast range of everyday things that can take your brand and slogan. This lets you reinforce your sales message to your potential customers at every turn.

There’s all sorts of items, some you may never even have thought of, that can be branded and are available here. For example:

  • Clocks
  • Washroom hand towels
  • Trinket trays
  • Car floor mats
  • Throw pillows
  • Zippo lighters

They’re all templates and that means you can make them your own just by typing. Page through the listing below and click one you like to see it in action:

<1 of 20+>
<1 of 20+>
Search for:
How many to get (max 120):


If you don’t already have a slogan / tagline – or your existing one needs a rethink, here’s some helpful tips on making one that will work to get you more business:

  • maybe start with a list of words related to what you do
  • think of words that sum up what you’re all about
  • keep it short and simple – 15 words or more is getting to be too many, 10 or less can be great
  • use language your target customers are familiar with
  • include what makes you different from your competitiors
  • they read it, it gives them a picture in their mind of your service and who / what you are – make sure it’s the one you want!

When you think you’ve got it, try it out on one of the template products listed above and see it in place with a logo.

Run it past friends & family and maybe mull it over for a day or two to see if it needs fine tuning. Then come back here and agin try it out on a bunch of the template products listed above.

Classic Red Sports Auto on Crimson Metallic-look Paperweight (Angled)
Classic Red Sports Auto on Crimson Metallic-look Paperweight
by HightonRidley

A great business paper weight for the Classic Sports Auto Sales trade. With a rich, crimson, metallic-look background, it’s a total luxury sportscar logo following classic lines

Business cards, office equipment & more for Funeral Directors

Funeral Director gold stripes and rising phoenix Name Plate (Side)
Funeral Director gold stripes and rising phoenix Name Plate
by HightonRidley

This desk nameplate is for a funeral director, undertaker or mortician. It has a gold embossed-look rising phoenix to give an empathic, spiritual feel and uses a font to inspire confidence

Your own slogan

If you’re new to being a Mortician and are setting out on your own, one of the things to consider is the branding for your business. Key to getting it right is composing a great slogan that’ll serve you well for years to come.

It needs to be:

  • Simple – straightforward language, no big words
  • easy to undestand at a glance
  • get across your service offering
  • in conjunction with your logo, help people build up a picture of what they can expect and how you’ll treat them as a customer

Logo

About that logo…

If you’re happy to use pre-designed template logos like you get on Zazzle, you’ll save yourself a ton of money. That’s when compared to paying a graphic designer to design one specifically for you. And as long as the logo incorporates or is included with your (or your company’s) initials, then it’ll definitely be unique to you.

You may be worried about other people using the same template you’ve chosen and then there being confusion of your brand in the marketplace. The simple answer is – don’t be. The logo is only one aspect. Your company name and, more often than not, your slogan, will always appear alongside it – removing any possible confusion.

It’s because of this that the chances are so remote and the reason you needn’t worry. For example, with 22,000 funeral directors in the USA (if that’s where you’re based) you’ll be fine.

See and get templates from Zazzle that work

The term for all the branded material a business uses is “Marketing collateral”. It’s the phrase used to cover any digital or printed material used to communicate or promote a company’s brand message, products and services.

In this listing of templated marketing collateral from Zazzle you’ll find a wide range of items for your funeral director business to cover most circumstances – including promotional give-aways.

<1 of 8>
<1 of 8>

Page through to see the full range. Don’t forget that all text is template text, meaning it’s as easy as abc to change it to what you want to make it your own.

Funeral Mortician Services, Heart and Roses Business Card (Front)
Funeral Mortician Services, Heart and Roses Business Card
by HightonRidley

This business card template is designed specifically for Morticians / Undertakers – or you can change it to other titles within the funeral service profession to suit your needs.

So you’re a drone pilot looking for business stationery and more

Drone Inspection and Video Service, Pilot Operator Business Card (Front)
Drone Inspection and Video Service, Pilot Operator Business Card
by HightonRidley

Professional series: A set of business cards to help you promote your drone service business. It’s perfect if you offer, for example, drone roof inspections, asset surveys, real estate videography, wedding photography and more

If you’ve only recently started working commercially with drones you’ll likely be considering getting business cards and other business stationery.

Templates are the way forward…

One way forward is to find a Drone Operator / Pilot template you like on Zazzle and fill it in with your details to make it your own.

Here’s a listing of such templates on Zazzle. Find all sorts of business stationery and marketing / promotional give-aways – page through them and click / tap on what you like. The template will open up in a new tab on Zazzle and you’ll be able to personalize it just by typing.

<1 of 3>
<1 of 3>

You’ll need to make up a slogan to use on them. It’s best to keep your slogan simple, punchy and direct. No big words and phrase it as if you were talking directly to someone you want as a customer. Sell the benefits, not the features or the tech!

Here’s some examples:

  • Your wedding with a view only a drone can provide to capture those special moments forever
  • Our drone roof, chimney and gutter surveys show what needs fixing before you commit to anything
  • Property surveys by drone – get the big picture with all the detail you want

Don’t forget the freebies

Can coolers make great promotional give-aways. How about this design?

Drone Inspection and Video Service, Pilot Operator Can Cooler (Front)
Drone Inspection and Video Service, Pilot Operator Can Cooler by HightonRidley

Professional series: A seriously cool can cooler to promote your drone service business. It’s perfect if you offer, for example, drone roof inspections, asset surveys, real estate videography, wedding photography and more

There are so many types of give-aways to consider it can be hard to choose. How about these? They’re all available in this drone operator design on one of the listing pages above:

  • lip balm
  • shot glasses
  • sew-on or iron-on patches
  • buttons
  • trucker caps
  • pens