Basic Design Tool Functionality (Adding Images & Text)



If you'd rather watch a video of this tutorial that gives additional details, please click here.


We’ve made creating or adding a design to one of our products even easier.

Who needs a run-of-the-mill, off-the-shelf product when you can create something wholly unique for yourself or a loved one? We’ve made our ‘create your own’ experience more intuitive so you can better customise products we offer here in the Zazzle marketplace.

Creating a Zazzle product begins with adding an image and/or text to a product.

Adding an Image (Upload or Choose From Your Zazzle Images)

Click “Add Image” button to apply an image to your product. You will be provided with a couple of different options.


My Images: Choose an image or an album from your personal Zazzle Image Library (requires log-in). This option will display all of your stored image sets (at the top of the window) and your individual images (beneath them), sorted by the most recently added.*

 Google Drive: Choose an image from the images you have stored on Google Drive (requires log-in to that account).

 Instagram: Choose an image from the images you have stored in your Instagram feed (requires log-in to that account).

 My Computer: Upload or drag and drop an image directly from your hard drive. If you upload an image when you are logged in, the image will be automatically saved to your Image Library. When you add an image to your design by uploading or dragging and dropping, you must send the image file from your computer to our servers. Upload times can vary widely depending on the size of the image file and the speed of your internet connection. Uploading a large image (1MB+) may take a few seconds on a fast internet connection (such as DSL) or more than 5 minutes using a slow internet connection (such as 28.8Kpbs modem). 


*A great way to build a collection of usable images for products is to use the "Bulk Upload" feature in My Account (under View Your Images). This feature lets you upload up to 10 images at a time.

 If you’re having trouble uploading an image, please visit here.

The Basic Functionality of the Image Tool

You can change the size of the dog by using the scaling buttons. You can grab hold of any corner of the design and pull in or out to manipulate the size.


We recommend that you turn your guidelines on so you can see how your image or design is going to print. Try to keep your design within this dotted green ‘safe’ area or your design may get cut off when the product is made.

The blue line is the print line and that’s where we ‘trim’ the image.

And the red boundary is the bleed line. You’ll want to extend your background colour or design to this line to avoid any white edges appearing after the trimming process.


You can use a special filter.


You can crop the image.


You can make the image fit or fill within the art view area.  ‘Fill’ takes the image and fills the entire art view, all the way to the bleed line. ‘Fit takes the longest edge and elongates that edge to either the vertical or horizontal print line.








You can free rotate the image by grabbing here.


Or you can put in a specific percentage that you want it to rotate.


If you make the dog smaller and lose the background, you’ll see you can tile the image. 


You can select from a variety of tiling styles including basic, half brick, half drop and mirror.


You can show the ‘whites as transparent.’ That means, like your printer at home, our system processes white portions of images and omits them. So if you choose to make your whites transparent, you can assume that all white areas within your design will assume the colour of the product they are placed on.




Now let’s say you want to add another component to the design – you can change the order or layer of how they appear. Go to Layer Order’ and ‘move layer backward.’


Or you can arrange layer order by dragging and dropping objects in your list of designs.


Now let’s tackle alignment: Let’s say you have six different coloured dots that are all over the place and you want them aligned and evenly spaced.


First, hold down the Control key and then use your cursor and click on all of the dots, grouping them. Then you can choose to either vertically align them or horizontally align them based on…


… whether you want their tops, middles or bottoms of each object to align. Here, horizontal alignment was chosen across their middle points.


 And now you can evenly space them apart.


Also, within the Advanced Options under the ‘…More’ button, there are two other useful options:

Lock object prevents future customisation of the object by others (even on products that are left open to customization during the post for sale process).

Make this a template object is a feature designed for advanced users who wish to create templates for others to add content to. For more information on this functionality, click here.


Adding Text (Upload Image File or Type Into Text Tool)

You can either upload a graphic image like a jpeg of the text you want.


Or you can type out the text within the tool.


You can change fonts.


There is kerning so you can choose the distance each letter is from one another.


You can pick a new colour.


You can change the size of your font.


You can stack your text vertically.


Or you can curve the text up or down.


You can also change the degree of the curve.


You can turn the grid lines off and on to help with placement.


To centre a design on the product, click the center of the arrow keypad and the image/text will be centered directly in the middle of the item. Also, the up, down, right, left arrows will move the image/text in those directions along the center.


 Snapping in the Design tool

With the snapping feature, you can align your objects with the vertical and horizontal center of the canvas as well as align design objects to each other. We have also added a new ‘tool settings’ button in the design tool where you have the ability to turn on/off guidelines, gridlines and snapping.

Snap to the center of the canvas/design area

For easy centering, you will see a red line when you drag your object near the horizontal or vertical center of the design area and the objects will gently snap to the line.


 Snap to objects

You can drag an object to align with other objects on your canvas and green lines will appear when it lines up with another. You also have the ability to snap as you are scaling objects.


Toolbar settings:

You can turn snapping on and off easily with the ‘tool settings’ button and we will remember your settings! We also moved gridlines and guidelines under the toolbar settings.


Basic Functionality of the Shapes tool

With this shapes feature you can add the following free-form shapes to your designs:

  • Lines
  • Rectangles
  • Ovals

For lines, you can change the line colour and line thickness. For rectangles and ovals, you can change the fill color, add a stroke/outline colour and change its thickness. By holding down the ‘shift’ key and dragging a corner, these vector images can be scaled without any pixilation while maintaining the aspect ratio. 

These shapes are vector paths which means that you can scale the objects infinitely to your heart’s desire without any blurriness or pixilation. This feature is currently available on the desktop.




You can select a shape and edit the fill colour and stroke outline, as shown below.




Image FAQ: Accepted Image Formats, Colour Profile Specs and More

For more designer specific information regarding the creation of images, formats and specifications, please click here.

For complete access to our guide files for all Zazzle products, please click here.