Customizable ZoomIn Photo T-Shirts: Cool Technology and Cool Fun

May 29, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I love wearing t-shirts and I’ve loved learning about the technology behind modern t-shirt printing.

When I was in school we made silk-screened t-shirts – without computers. That involved a process of creating, by hand, an image. We then prepared a silk screen by using noxious chemicals to adhere a layer of rubylith — a masking film. We then had to carefully cut away certain parts of the rubylith using an exact-o knife without cutting into the silk screen.

When we started working on how we were going to offer customized t-shirts to our members I was looking forward to understanding the technology behind modern t-shirt printing. But at the same time we didn’t want our members to have to worry about the nuts and bolts of making a t-shirt.

Even with today’s technology there’s more than one way to print a t-shirt. After reviewing various modern methods we chose the “ink sublimation process” for several reasons:
• permanence
• clarity
• vibrancy of colors
With ink sublimation the ink that makes up your image is dyed into the fabric to provide achieve the results. Your photo or image will become part of the fabric. It does not sit on top of the fabric where it would eventually fade or crack and disintegrate. With ZoomIn t-shirts, your image will hold up as long as the shirt does.

Having Fun Doing It

Over the past couple of months we worked out the kinks and the details in building a t-shirt printing process end to end. One of the biggest pieces was making sure that our members had a fun and easy way to get from point A (a design idea) to point B (a finished, quality-printed, comfortable t-shirt).

So while our print technologists toiled on the printing process, our software developers toiled away on the t-shirt designing process. They’ve come up with a fun and easy-to-use way to build the customized t-shirt you want.

Start with choosing a great photo to celebrate a friend, family member or special occasion.

To turn up the customization a notch, we’ve given you the ability to add really cool graphics. You can add hooladanders (a cool name for flourishes and curly graphics), flames, hearts, heraldry, half-tones, lightning bolts, and a whole lot more. When you add a graphic you can change its size and color so that it lays the way you want over your photo.

Add text in various font styles, sizes and colors. And then if you want to tie it all together, we provided you with some cool borders to outline the finished work.

The best thing about all these options is that they are options! In the end, it’s your t-shirt. Customize your t-shirt the way you want it to be. Use only the options you want. Just a photo. Just some text. Just a graphic. However you want your t-shirt to look, you can make it happen.

We’re proud of what we’re building at ZoomIn and the choices we’re providing our members — and we’re having fun doing it. We want you to have fun too. Go have fun now, designing your custom ZoomIn t-shirt.

You Asked, We Delivered: New Features Give You Control Over Your Prints

May 12, 2008 at 11:00 pm

We really love getting feedback from our members. Your feedback is a major part of the discussion when we are planning future features for ZoomIn. We heard loud and clear from you that you wanted more control over how ZoomIn handles your prints:

We are excited to introduce several new features today that we think will enhance your experience ordering prints of your digital photos on ZoomIn.

Crop In Cart

You asked for more control in how your prints are cropped – and we listened. Very often the size of the prints selected does not match the aspect ratio of the digital photograph you have uploaded. In order to make the photo “fit” on the paper size selected we have to “crop” or “trim” your photo.

Unfortunately, sometimes our automated cropping removed important parts of your photo. Starting today you decide how we crop your photos. In the shopping cart you will be able to see how our default cropping [Auto] will affect your photos.


 

If you don’t like what you see, you can click the “Auto” box to open up a cropping window. There you can choose to crop the photo “Manually”. Just drag the blue dotted line around your photo to tell us how you want your photo cropped.


Finally if you’d rather not have your photo touched and prefer black bands along the sides of the photo – we can do that as well. Simply select the “None” method.

Add Borders

Also in the shopping cart, you can now add simple borders to your photos. We offer either black or white borders that can give a professional framed look to your photos. Black and white photos look great with a white border.

Borders can be added when you are in cropping mode as described above or can be done by selecting the “Border” tab as seen below. Simply select the photos on the left that you would like to add a border too and choose which type of border and click “Submit”. Instant style!

 

Cropping Photos & Adding Borders in Bulk

Both cropping and adding borders can be done in bulk on all the photos in your shopping cart. Use the new Select All button to select all photos in your cart. You can then control how your photos are cropped and the kinds of borders applied to them by using the Border and Crop tabs.

 

 

 

Color Correction Control

By default, ZoomIn applies Color Correction to all your photos in the printing process. ZoomIn Color Correction (ZCC) is one of the ways we work to deliver the highest possible quality to your photos.  Using a combination of manual and automated methods we enhance the color rendering of your photos.  ZCC may include adjusting the brightness, exposure and color saturation of your photos.

If you have already applied your own color correction either before uploading your photos to ZoomIn or made adjustments using ZoomIn’s tools you may wish to disable ZCC.  In addition, professionals and amateurs who do not want to modify their photos in any way may also wish to disable ZCC.

 

New Print Size: Introducing 4×5.3

Finally, the last announcement for the day!

We are pleased to introduce a new size: 4×5.3. This new print size allows photos coming from most compact digital cameras to be printed without cropping.

On a 4×6 print – most compact cameras (pixel size 480×680, 768×1024 or 1200×1600, for example) will generate photos that will need to be cropped – sometimes losing as much as 10%. The new 4×5.3 size will allow your compact camera photos to print without cropping.

Try the new size if you do not want your photos cropped, and you do not want white bands on either side of your photo. Just select it from the size drop-down in your cart.

We’re really excited about delivering features that our members ask for. Don’t stop asking. We’ve said this before: we want to be your favorite destination for sharing and printing your digital photos. Tell us what you need us to do to make that happen. Give us your feedback on these new features or features you think we still need to add here.

Is Your Life a Mess? ZoomIn Can Help You Feel Organized

May 6, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the “stuff” in your life: phones, computers, cameras, power cords, books, files, cd’s, dvd’s, and more? This is only a short list of the things in our world that add to what some call the “mess” in our lives.

There are lots of websites and blogs dedicated to helping you organize your possessions and “unclutter” your life. Whether you believe that clutter is the bane of your existence or just evidence that you have a life to live, ZoomIn has a way for you to organize your digital photos to make them easier to share and purchase prints.

With ZoomIn we’ve made it easy for you to upload your digital photos and made it easy to organize them once they’re on ZoomIn. If you upload your entire ‘roll’ into a single album, in a few simple clicks you can move selected photos to existing or new albums.

For example, say you just downloaded a bunch of photos from your camera to your PC that include shots from a wedding, an afternoon hike, and a dinner at your mother’s house. It’s easy enough to just upload all those photos in one batch to a single album on ZoomIn.

Next, you might want to share the wedding photos with your friends that were also there but you don’t think they want to see your hiking trip or the visit with your mother.

Use the “Organize” tab

ZoomIn Organize tab

When you are viewing your album, click the Organize tab to select the wedding photos and move them to a new album. Now when you are in that new ‘wedding’ album you can share it with those friends you promised to e-mail. Now they can see your wedding shots and even order prints — and earn you credits for free prints when they do!

Under the Organize tab, you can also perform other tasks such as deleting photos, adding or removing tags, or adding locations to groups of photos.

As you can see, by easily breaking up a large album of photos into smaller albums, you can now share smaller distinct photo albums with friends and family. Sharing the right photos with the right people makes you look organized and, perhaps, feel organized…if that’s important to you.

Try it now.