Many customers find themselves interested in purchasing a photo blanket, however many of them may not have an image that's high enough resolution to work for the production process. Although we sell them as photo blankets, most any image submitted can be put on our products - assuming they adhere to our image acceptance policy. Some customers have come to us with artwork created by them or their loved one that they've wanted on a product - some have sent us logos for organizations they support that they want on their blanket.
In most cases we're able to work with such images just as we'd work with photographs. Some customers, however, find themselves without an actual image to use. In many cases, this may be simply because they image they have is too resolution to produce a good quality finished product; sometimes photos are lost or destroyed without backup versions existing. Either way, we've looked at a few ways to make our products accessible to customers who want to create something personalized, but don't have a photography.
We recently did some experimenting with Tagxedo, an online tool that allows you to build a wordcloud to your own specifications. The tool takes little time to learn, and allows you to create a wordcloud from any text you can enter - you can copy and paste your own text or have it use text from an existing website, Twitter account, web search, or online news network. The utility will take the words you use and create a wordcloud image based on them. Today we're going to cover how to use the utility to create an image that will work for creating a high-resolution PersonalThrows product.
You'll begin by going to Tagxedo.com, the tool's main website. As you can see, there are many options for making a wordcloud from online sources on the home page. However, we're going to click "Start Now" so that we can enter our text manually for this example.
Clicking "Start Now" will take you to this page, which is the Tagxedo tool itself. As you can you see the tool has default text in case someone opens it without entering any - likewise it has chosen a font, color scheme, and wordcloud shape. Don't fret, as these can be changed.
Click "Load" as shown and it will open a prompt that will allow you to pick the source text of your word cloud. You can enter a URL, import from a file, or simply copy and paste your text into the Enter Text area. For this example, we've pasted Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein into the prompt to be used as the text source for our wordcloud.
As you can see, the wordcloud has been "respun" (repopulated) with the text we entered. Next we'll change the font and color scheme using the Theme and Font on the left. Tagxedo comes with several color schemes(Themes) available at presets, although you can customize your own; there are a number of different fonts installed as well. We've gone with Little Trouble Girl BV as our font, and Adorable Blue Whale as our color scheme.
After this, we'll click on Shape, which will allow us to select what shape our wordcloud. Tagxedo comes with several preset shapes that you can choose, such as animals and vehicles. In this example, we're going to be setting up our wordcloud so that it is shaped to the size of a specific PersonalThrows blanket. Click Add Image to select one of the custom shapes we've made (don't worry, we'll give you links to download them at the end of the tutorial).
We're going to select the 70" x 54" HD Woven shape, which is sized to the aspect ratio of that blanket.
After it uploads, this prompt will pop up. Use the settings shown here to have the word cloud adhere to the shape properly.
As you can see, as a result the wordcloud has respun to fit to the 70" x 54" shape we uploaded. Now we're ready to save a file that can be used for print.
Now that we're read to export it, click "Save | Share" to bring up the save prompt. This will allow you to save an image of the word cloud you just made. Select 16MP JPG, and it will save a JPG file of your wordcloud to your hard drive. Remember to select 16MP, since that's the highest resolution they offer.
The jpeg should look something like this when you open it. You can now submit it for the product you want the wordcloud to go on - just remember to do so without editing or resizing the image. Don't worry about the border/watermark area around the layout. Our art team will remove that automatically when creating the file.
Now that you know how, you can go and make your own. We've created downloadable shapes for tagxedo based on the interior of our photo blankets and other products. You can grab them below.