I purchased my first item from the Catalog today, the coaster set. It does not look like I can download it to customize it. I was hoping to download an SVG or a similar vector file so that I could overlay text & raster images.
I tried to work on building up my design by uploading the various elements and overlaying them. I don’t love this method because do not know the dimensions of the item I am designing for. While I could estimate the coaster dimensions, I would rather know the exact dimensions. I built up 5 coasters in different layers and then waited a while and went back to my designs by clicking the GF logo. Nothing saved. See this post:
This whole thing could have been avoided, but as I mention, the primary question: Can we download GF Catalog purchases to customize? For example, if I have the coaster purchase and have 10 different versions of it (customized for 10 different family members for example) how do I even go about cloning 10 versions of the files. I would prefer not to go this route at all, but it may be the only option (?)
No, there is no functionality in the GFUI to allow you to download purchases. If it’s a matter of adding artwork to a purchase for engraving, you can add it to the project in the GFUI. As long as the items are lined up in the GFUI, they will be lined up with each other when you run the job.
I don’t mind using an external program to design - and yet, once I bring it in to GFUI as a new layer, there is no way to precisely place it.
For example withe the coaster set I purchased, I would need to find the dimensions of the coaster (easy for this design as it’s a circle, but not so much for others) and then open a design document, add my text, images, etc and then import it to GFUI. Here’s where it becomes frustrating… if I want my coaster design to be exactly in the center of the circle, there is no way to “align” like in Illustrator or any other program… I am eyeballing it.
Nothing like a coaster, with a beautiful design that is printed off axis. Unprofessional and unnecessary - and a waste of material!
I find that if for instance you are placing an image on a circular coaster, if you draw a circle around the design, align those together, and make the circle a different stroke color, it’s pretty easy to align that circle with the edges of the coaster from the Catalog, and then just Ignore the circle you drew. Same for a square one, just align the points of the square with the Catalog item. Same for a hexagon, just draw a hexagon.
I treat the screen image as a different palette. The design parts, as long as they are aligned, will cut and engrave aligned. Now placement on the material can be off, so just make sure that you have enough leeway on the material that there’s room for the whole item to be processed.
Yes, GFUI is just for configuring prints, and designs should be done in another tool (Illustrator, etc.).
The problem is that the designs in the catalog exist only in GFUI, so you can only align graphics visually, you can’t crop, fill in text, etc., in GFUI, you have to do it externally, load it in, and try to align it. For the catalog items to be really useful, either GFUI needs to become more of a design tool or you need to be able to export the design to enhance it precisely in a real design tool.
While on the one hand, I am a big proponent of adapt/overcome. On the other, I agree, you are right in that the catalog is designed mostly for those who won’t be doing a lot of their own work. As such they really should provide templets for alignment with catalog items.
To let people fill in templates from the catalog, the GFUI doesn’t need to be a full graphics editing app, it just needs to be able to do some specific things, like:
Add text. Type in a string, pick a font, pick a size, rotate, and drag to place. For example, filling in the names in the gift tags template. And personalizing pretty much anything. It could be pretty limited - only a GF-defined list of fonts, and only plain text, would be good enough, IMO. If someone’s really a font/layout geek, they’ll use Illustrator anyway. It’s a bit of work, but “putting your name on stuff” is personalization that should be quite popular. For extra credit, let designers put text fields into the template, so that users can just click and type, with the template setting up the position, font, etc.
Crop a graphic inside a shape. That’s shown in the GF marketing video, where the user loads a map graphic and drops it onto the wallet, cropped to only cover the wallet. Admittedly that was done in Illustrator (I think) and not GFUI, but if you’re dropping a graphic into a template, cropping the graphic to be within the object seems reasonable.
Of course, this is lower priority than being able to save print jobs for later re-use.
At minimum, there should be clear language that states that the designs cannot be downloaded to a local computer to be edited. Cloud editing is not available at this time… or something that says that they cannot be edited at all.
That would not change the issue, but it would at least be clear before people spend their money.