Creating My Printable Creations: My Design Process
Today I wanted to share with you, my lovely readers, my process for creating my Printable Creations from start to finish. This post is more the process for creating the post itself rather than designing the actual printable. How I design my printables is another post in itself (and is on my list for potential future posts) but can also be seen in the process videos that I include in the blog post for the printable. You can watch all my process videos (plus some other videos that I have created) on my Vimeo channel. Without further to do, let’s get into the process! SIDE NOTE: I currently do not use affiliate marketing so I am not making any money from talking about the different products I use. I use these products because I love them and they work well for what I need and my process. Thanks!
Depending on how I am feeling, I will sketch first on paper or just start in ProCreate in my iPad Pro.
I digitize my lettering work in Adobe Illustrator with my drawing tablet. I will use a picture of my paper sketch or ProCreate sketch as a guide (transparent in background) and draw over the sketch with the blob brush tool. You could also use the pen tool for this step depending on the style you are looking for. If I like the style of a word in my sketch then I will use the pen tool to get a better outline than the blob brush will give me.
I also record my screen during this step so that I have a process video of designing the printable. I use Bandicam to screen record.
Want to know about more of the tools I use everyday? Check out my list of 20 tools
Resize for blog freebie
Once I have finalized the design as 8x10, I copy the design to a 5x7 artboard for the blog freebie.
Save Different File Types
I save both artboards as jpgs for Blog PDF and later mockups. I also save the 8x10 artboard as a PDF for my Etsy listing.
Blog PDF design
To make it easy for everyone to print, I put my 5x7 blog freebie printable version on a branded 8.5x11 page template that I designed in Adobe InDesign. In the template I have a color band across the top with “Printable Creations” on it that I change the color of. I will choose one of my brand colors that goes with the colors in the printable. I then save this design as a PDF that is later uploaded to Dropbox.
Next I will open up Photoshop and create the mockup image that I will use in my blog graphics and for my Etsy listing. I open up the mockup from the previous week (I use the same mockup for all my printables), change out the printable image in the smart object layer, change the frame color to go with the printable, and switch the background. This mockup has two background textures that I like to switch each week so that all my images are not all exactly the same but are still white backgrounds.
Create blog graphics
Now that I have the mockup, I can create the rest of my blog graphics. There are three graphics that I create for each post: a main blog image, featured image, and square (Instagram) image. I have a template for all these images so I just resize the mockup in each of the templates and then export them as a jpg. Exporting them from Photoshop rather than save them as jpgs is best for images that will be on the web (RGB) since I created the design in CMYK for print.
Edit process video
I upload my Bandicam footage from earlier into Adobe Premiere and speed it up. I try to get the time under 2 minutes so that the file size will be under 500 MB (the maximum for uploading weekly to Vimeo on the free account!). To make the video more fun to watch, I add background music also. The site I have been using lately for music is bensound.com.
Upload process video to Vimeo
Once I have finished the rendered the video, I upload it to my Vimeo profile.
Upload blog PDF to Dropbox
While the video is uploading, I open dropbox and upload the blog pdf that I created earlier in InDesign. I then share it and create a link for it with an expiration date. The links expire the Wednesday after the printable is posted to my blog.
Write blog post for Printable
Now it is time to get the blog post ready. Using Google Docs, I make a copy of the previous week’s post doc and then just change out the intro for the quote, tools I used, and link to the video.
With the post written and all the graphics done, I am now ready to get the post setup in WordPress. I copy and paste the text and then insert all the images. I also fill out the SEO data, choose the category, choose the tags, and schedule the post.
Schedule Social Media posts
Using Later, I will then schedule my Instagram posts. I schedule the “New Printable Creations” post for Wednesday morning using my square image as well as a “Sneak Peek” post on Tuesday that is a super zoomed-in version of the printable so it isn’t revealing the entire quote. I have also started noticing that my Facebook page posts that were coming from WordPress were pulling the wrong image for the post. So I have started scheduling my Facebook page posts on Facebook natively.
Design MailChimp email
The last step for getting my Printable Creations post ready to go live is to set up the email to my subscribers. I have a saved template in MailChimp for my printables that I just change out each week with my Dropbox link and WordPress post link. I schedule the email to send out 15 minutes after my post goes live on WordPress.
Etsy Listing Prep
At this point I should continue and finish saving/creating files for a Etsy draft listing, but that rarely happens until the next Wednesday morning when the new Printable posts.
As protection for me, I add a copyright footer and password to all my PDF files for Dropbox and Etsy in Adobe Reader. This restricts the actions of the viewer to only be able to print the files as they are.
After post is live:
Change Download Link
My current system causes me to have to manually change the download link in my final welcome email that MailChimp sends to new subscribers. It links to the current Printable Creations freebie. I have yet to figure out a better system for this so if you have any ideas, comment below!
Pin to Pinterest
I also go to my site and pin my new printable to all the applicable Pinterest boards. Most of them are secret BoardBooster boards so that the pins are posted throughout the day.
The final step in the process is to get the previous week’s Printable Creations listed in my Etsy shop. If I got the draft listing done earlier in the process then I will just make it live. If not then I will finish creating all the files needed for downloading and create the listing on Etsy.
I was inspired to write this post originally because I realized that for one blog post, I was using four different Adobe programs. Four!! So I wanted to share my process with you as to how I go about creating the Printable Creations each week and everything that goes into those posts.