DESIGNERS. ARTISTS. The vPersonalize.com website enables designers to visualize, produce, and deliver small batches of their exclusive designs of apparel and accessories. Or, artists can promote and/or monetize some of their works by converting them into merchandise. You can preview your creations in 3D in the chosen style and size before approving it for manufacturing.
Right now, you can decorate more than 30 products including T-shirts, tunics, shorts, backpacks, dresses, scarves, trousers, and messenger bags. Sell the items through Etsy or on your own website.
“One of the barriers for emerging designers has been access to an easy and affordable manufacturing platform,” says Lee Hagelshaw, co-founder and CFO for vPersonalize.com. With vPersonalize.com, you can produce designs under your own label and have them shipped direct to customers, without having to pay for a larger run from a manufacturer and being stuck with excess inventory.” And like e-books, no design ever goes ‘out of print’ because all products are made on-demand.
“We have continually improved our platform. Features such as advanced error checking point out any problems in visual design. Auto-fit, mirror and clone functions make it much easier for any creative individual to design professional looking products,” says Bala Selvarajan, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist for vPersonalize.com. “We have also added a much requested feature from designers – the ability to select and reorder their older designs.”
As a pioneer in full custom, design-your-own apparel and accessories, vPersonalize’s 3D visualization and automated pattern-generation technologies support custom sizes, full-bleed, all-overprints, custom styles and choice of fabrics.
Ello.co is a simple, ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers. It was originally conceived as a private social network where people could be who they want to be and connect with people they love without getting bombarded by boosted posts, data mining, and ad salesmen. But a public version of Ello has recently been built for everyone to use. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Ello has vowed to never serve ads or sell user data to make money. (A Benefit Corporation is a new kind of for-profit company in the USA that exists to produce a benefit for society as a whole — not just to make money for its investors.)
Ello recently teamed up with the Threadless design community and e-commerce site to sell t-shirts featuring the Ello logo reimagined by independent artists.
The first T-shirt in the collection was created by Chicago-based artist Chuck Anderson (aka NoPattern), a fine artist, illustrator and photographer, also well known for his commercial work. He reimagined the Ello logo with a multi-color, drip-like background. The Ello x Threadless store will also offer black-and-white T-shirts with the original Ello logo for $25.
Anderson will curate the entire Ello x Threadless collection and work with established as well as up-and-coming artists to highlight their unique work.
“What’s truly special about us teaming up with Ello is the incredible commitment to supporting the arts,” noted Jake Nickell, founder and CEO of Threadless. “Both of our companies are rooted in creativity, and together we’re making art accessible to a wider audience.”
The Ello x Threadless online store will release a new limited-edition artist-designed Ello t-shirt bimonthly. An online timer will countdown to the next available design which will appear on the first and fifteenth day of each month. Once a design has been replaced, it will not be available again.
“Ello is about freedom − freedom from advertising, freedom to be who you want to be, and freedom to create. Working with brilliant artists like Chuck is a way we support Ello’s creative community,” said Paul Budnitz, co-founder and CEO of Ello.
“When Ello and Threadless approached me about curating their t-shirt collection, I couldn’t wait to begin our collaboration,” said Anderson. “This project stands out as it allows me to engage with new and established artists and be part of their creative journey.”
Threadless is a creative community that makes, supports, and buys art. Thousands of people worldwide submit their designs online. Then, the community picks their favorites, which get made into t-shirts, bags, wall art, and more. When you buy from Threadless, you directly support the artist who created the design.
WRITERS. The NOOK Media subsidiary of Barnes & Noble has launched the NOOK Press print service. The fast, easy-to-use service allows you to print your own customized professional-quality hardcover or paperback books. The new service is designed to be easy enough for everyone from established self-published authors to first-time bookmakers. Authors and aspiring writers can use the new print service to create books for personalized gifting and keepsakes. Self-published authors can create promotional, review and personal resale copies.
The service offers black and white or color printing, high-quality paper choices, and multiple trim sizes and cover treatments. After you upload properly formatted, print-ready PDFs of your pages and cover, your customized, high-quality print book will be delivered in about a week.
If you want professional support with design, illustration and editing, you can get help through NOOK Press Author Services.
“With the introduction of the NOOK Press print service, we’re providing authors, creators, crafters and more with a powerful new tool to bring their writing to print,” said Theresa Horner, General Manager of NOOK Press & Vice President of Content Acquisition at NOOK Media. “It is very exciting to have the NOOK Press platform supporting authors in multiple formats.”
“NOOK Press is proud to add print books to its portfolio of services. As the world of self-publishing grows, NOOK Press will continue to expand its easy-to-use content creation services in support of all authors, writers and creators,” said Doug Carlson, executive vice president of digital content and chief marketing officer at NOOK Media LLC. “The NOOK Press team has created another outstanding experience for authors to showcase their content.”
To begin making your book, visit the NOOK Press website, and click on “Get Started.” A free formatting guide is available to help you set up the print-ready PDFs.
You can also take advantage of the free writing, editing, collaborating and self-publishing tools on the NOOK Press self-publishing platform for e-books.
For months there has been speculation that HP would make a grand re-entrance into the world of 3D printing. And indeed, they have.
At a launch event in New York on October 29, HP unveiled its vision for the future of computing and commercial viability of 3D printing.
According to HP, their advancements have the potential to revolutionize production and offer small businesses a new way to produce goods and parts for customers.
HP’s new Blended Reality ecosystem combines the new Sprout by HP computing platform and HP’s disruptive Multi Jet Fusion technology for 3D printing.
Sprout by HP is a first-of-its-kind “Immersive Computing” platform that redefines the user experience by combining a computer with a scanner, depth sensor, hi-res camera, and projector in a multi-screen device. With Sprout by HP, designers and makers can take physical items and seamlessly merge them into a digital workspace.
HP Multi Jet Fusion is a revolutionary technology engineered to resolve critical gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost, and deliver on the potential of 3D printing.
“We are on the cusp of a transformative era in computing and printing,” said Dion Weisler, executive vice president, Printing & Personal Systems (PPS), HP. “Our ability to deliver Blended Reality technologies will reduce the barriers between the digital and physical worlds, enabling us to express ourselves at the speed of thought – without filters, without limitations. This ecosystem opens up new market categories that can define the future, empowering people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”
HP Multi Jet Fusion Advances 3D Printing
Leveraging HP’s decades of leadership in the print market and advanced materials science, HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to resolve fundamental limitations in today’s 3D print systems while delivering higher productivity and quality at a lower cost.
“As we examined the existing 3D print market, we saw a great deal of potential but also saw major gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Graphic Solutions, HP. “HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to transform manufacturing across industries by delivering on the full potential of 3D printing with better quality, increased productivity, and break-through economics.”
Multi Jet Fusion is built on HP Thermal Inkjet technology and features a unique synchronous architecture that significantly improves the commercial viability of 3D printing and has the potential to change the way we think about manufacturing.
10-Times Faster: The technology images entire surface areas instead of one point at a time. This makes it possible to achieve breakthrough functional build speeds that are at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in market today.
New Levels of Quality, Strength and Durability: A proprietary multi-agent printing process utilizes HP Thermal Inkjet arrays to simultaneously apply multiple liquid agents and produce greater accuracy,resiliency and uniform part strength in all three axis directions.
Accuracy and Detail: The HP technology can deliver fully functional parts with more accuracy, finer details, and smoother surfaces than other 3D print processes. The HP Mult Jet Fusion method can be used to manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical, thermal properties and more.
Breakthrough Economics: The HP technology unifies and integrates various steps of the 3D print process to reduce running time, cost, energy consumption and waste. This significantly improves the economics of 3D printing.
Materials and Color Science
HP is committed to developing a platform that will become an industry standard. The company is focused on growing the highest potential commercial markets. While the HP 3D Print technology is available today, HP is working directly with customers under the HP Open Customer Engagement Program. Through this program, HP will continue to extend the capabilities of the HP 3D Print platform throughout development and will provide a certification process for partners to drive materials innovation. Wider distribution of the HP 3D Print system will begin in 2016.
By inviting open collaboration, HP and contributors will be able to achieve greater flexibility and versatility in 3D Print materials beyond the current use of thermoplastics, which will enable new solutions in segments such as additive manufacturing and will expand applications for engineering, architecture and consumer goods. HP will also bring its color science expertise and the full-color capabilities of traditional HP printing to the 3D world in future-generation 3D Print systems.
Sprout by HP Reimagines Computing
The first product available in HP’s Blended Reality ecosystem, Sprout by HP combines the power of an advanced desktop computer with an immersive, natural user interface to create a new computing experience.
“We live in a 3D world, but today we create in a 2D world on existing devices,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president, Consumer PC & Solutions, HP. “Sprout by HP is a big step forward in reimagining the boundaries of how we create and engage with technology to allow users to move seamlessly from thought to expression.”
Because a scanner, depth sensor, hi-resolution camera and projector are built into a single device, Spout by HP enables users to bring objects from the physical world into the digital workspace, where users in multiple locations can collaborate on and manipulate a single piece of digital content in real-time.
“People have always created with their hands,” added Coughlin. “Concurrently, technology has progressed from the first transistors, through calculators to today’s most sophisticated computing platforms. Until now, the physical and digital worlds have largely been separated and digital creation has remained in 2D. With Sprout by HP, we introduce the first immersive computing platform, seamlessly merging these two worlds together, enabling people to intuitively bring their creations, work, and projects to life in 3D.” Below are some of the features of Sprout by HP.
Dual-screen Experience: Designed for creative expression and human interaction, the workspace couples a vertical HD touchscreen with a 20-point capacitive touch mat.
The Sprout Illuminator: This projection system scans and captures real-world objects in 3D, allowing the user to immediately interact and create.
HP Workspace: The software platform built expressly for Sprout takes full advantage of the dual-screen experience to make working and creating seamless, intuitive and engaging.
True Remote Collaboration: The interface advances how users work, collaborate and share. Simultaneous visual and workspace connectivity, allowing concurrent creativity and content manipulation.
Advanced Platform: The next-generation computing platform features a powerful 4th generation Intel i7 Processor, 1TB of storage in an easy-to-use dual-screen interface, and a Windows 8.1 multi-touch experience.
The potential of Sprout by HP’s unique configuration is fully realized through the Sprout Marketplace, an application marketplace that contains a growing suite of applications that are optimized to take advantage of Immersive Computing platform to enhance how users work, play and engage with entertainment.
The Sprout Marketplace currently contains a suite of Windows-based applications designed uniquely for the dual-screen environment including the Martha Stewart CraftStudio, DreamWorks Animation Story Producer, Crayola’s Draw & Sing, GestureWorks Gameplay and first party experiences from HP including Create, Collaborate and Capture, enabling users to easily capture physical objects, manipulate them in a digital environment, and collaborate and share their creations in new ways.
New applications, including a range of creative applications for professionals, families, gamers and beyond, will continue to be added to the marketplace regularly. The Sprout Software Development Kit is available at www.sprout.hp.com/developer.
Sprout by HP is available for pre-order at hp.com today and will be available for purchase in select retail locations and at hp.com on November 9.
Continuing advances in digital printing and finishing technologies have made it practical and affordable for more authors to publish hard-copy versions of their books. At the 2104 Graph Expo show for commercial printing companies, independent authors Ainsley Shay and Miranda Hardy watched their books being printed on the Océ ColorStream® 3900 high-speed production inkjet printing system in Canon U.S.A. booth.
Shay’s book, “After the Curtain Falls,” is an entry in the red-hot young adult fantasy/paranormal category, while Hardy’s book, “Wacky Waddles,” is geared toward younger children.
“Wacky Waddles” was finished onsite by Standard Finishing Systems which unwound preprinted rolls into a Hunkeler CS6 cutter where they were cut into 12 x 18-inch sheets. The sheets were accumulated in the Horizon StitchLiner 6000 Digital where they were stitched, folded, and three-knife trimmed.
Shay and Hardy spent some time in the Canon U.S.A. booth at Graph Expo signing preprinted books finished in advance by Gasch Printing, a leader in short-run book printing based in Odenton, Maryland.
“We met a lot of wonderful people and signed so many books that day,” said Miranda Hardy. She adds that, “It was amazing to see our books printed right before our eyes. This was our first time seeing the process, and we hope it won’t be the last.”
The Role of Technology
According to Jeremy Hess, director of sales and marketing for Gasch Printing, the self-publishing trend is growing “bigger by the day.” It has become a major focus for the company that uses robust Canon and Océ printing technology.
Advances in digital printing technology are responsible for the boom, says Hess: “Digital printing provides independent authors and publishers flexibility and affordability they didn’t have before. They can do test runs and find out how the book is going to be received before they commit to printing 500 or 1,000 or more copies of their book. It’s really placed their destiny in their own hands.”
Canon Solutions America is committed to developing the technology that paves the way for writers to publish their own work, according to Francis A. McMahon, vice president, marketing, Production Print Solutions division of Canon Solutions America: “There are countless great writers creating phenomenal works that would never see the light of day were it not for self-publishing. We are thrilled that our technology is empowering these talented individuals—and the printers they utilize—to unleash their creativity and bring their work to the masses.”
Shay and Hardy can attest to the freedom that digital printing technologies have given writers like them. They founded their own publishing company, Quixotic Publishing, and revel in the joys of controlling the entire process—from writing and editing to formatting and choosing the cover. “It’s absolutely wonderful,” says Hardy. “It gives writers a creative edge and motivation to do something they always wanted to do, but never dared because they thought it would be too difficult.”
Shay and Hardy have been publishing books for two years now and plan to continue doing so now that things have become so much easier for self-published authors. Hardy believes “Modern technology is a true gift to creative individuals.”
Following the successful launch of 3D print in six markets across the country, The UPS Store® is expanding 3D printing services to nearly 100 additional locations nationwide. The UPS Store will be the first nationwide retailer to offer 3D printing services in store.
Customers can bring a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file to participating locations and 3D print their product design on a Stratasys uPrint SE Plus professional-grade 3D printer. The printer is designed to accurately and reliably produce complex engineering parts, functional prototypes, durable models, and one-of-a-kind-objects. Entrepreneurs, engineers, home inventors, and makers can use 3D printing to help refine their ideas and reduce product development time.
During the 2013 pilot program conducted at six UPS Stores, the 3D print services were used by small businesses, startups, inventors, artists and a wide range of professionals. Over the past year, the six locations saw demand for 3D print continuing to increase across a broad spectrum of customers.
“More small business owners and entrepreneurs are looking to 3D printing to help bring their innovations to market,” said Gilad Gans, President of Stratasys North America. “The UPS Store is at the forefront of a growing number of retailers that see additive manufacturing as a significant value-add for their customers.”
Globally, 3D printing services offered by retailers and other providers are growing in demand. According to Wohlers Report 2014, a survey of 3D printing service providers worldwide revealed that more than two-thirds (68.3 percent) added new machines in 2013, up from 58.1 percent in 2012. Overall, the 3D print service provider sector increased by 21 percent last year.
“We are committed to offering small business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers high-tech solutions in order to assist with all of their business needs,” said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and sales at The UPS Store. “We launched the pilot to evaluate if there was demand for 3D print and we’re excited to be announcing an expansion, giving even more small business owners access to high-quality, professional 3D printing.”
Now small business owners and consumers across the country will have convenient access to top-notch 3D printing at a much higher quality than an at-home 3D printer can provide.
“There are significant differences between home 3D printers and professional 3D printers,” said Daniel Remba, small business technology leader at The UPS Store. “Many of the challenging and time consuming steps used to prepare a simpler printer are fully automated on the uPrint SE Plus, leading to added precision and reliability, higher print quality, and a success rate unmatched by a home printer.”
According to new research by The Creative Group, job seekers hoping to land creative gigs are up against stiff competition. Advertising and marketing executives surveyed said that on average, they receive 23 resumes for every open creative position. They then meet with six applicants, on average, before filling the role.
The national survey is based on more than 400 telephone interviews, approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected by from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.
The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis.
Additional research from The Creative Group shows an uptick in hiring in the last six months of 2014, but companies are being selective when adding to their creative teams. “Employers are looking for individuals with very specific skill sets who also will be a good fit with the team and work environment,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Job seekers can get a leg up on the competition by being prepared for every stage of the hiring process.
The Creative Group offers five tips for standing out in the job search:
Study Up. Before applying for any position, review the firm’s website and social media feeds, search online for news articles and company reviews, and ask people in your network for insight. The data you gather will help you better communicate in interviews specific ways you can contribute to the organization’s success.
Avoid resume mistakes. The most common resume gaffe is including information that’s not targeted or job specific, according to advertising and marketing executives. Know your audience and tailor your application materials to their specific needs.
Get ready for interview curveballs. Hiring managers may ask tough interview questions to gauge your interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Prepare responses to common queries but also practice thinking on your feet. Consider situational examples that highlight your ability to work well with a team or where you helped your organization with a difficult objective.
Be yourself. Hiring managers want to get a sense of who you area, from your personality to your passions, to ensure a good fit. You’re going to make a stronger impression if you answer questions honestly instead of firing off cookie-cutting responses.
Follow up with finesse. Within 24 hours of an interview, send a personalized thank-you e-mail to each person you met with. Reinforce your interest in the position and your key qualifications. It’s a seemingly obvious, but often-overlooked step.
For more job search advice, download The Creative Group’s free guide: Your Definitive Guide to Getting Hired. It features tips for cultivating your professional network, building your personal brand, and nailing an interview.