Thu, 25 Jul 2013, 10:27
How To: Create a digital lookbook and add it to your website
Lookbooks are officially in vogue. Popular among the big fashion brands, smaller retailers and boutiques are also now getting in on the act. Fun to create, yes – but brilliant for business too. Here’s how to do it…
So what exactly is a lookbook? Think of it as your own ‘mini magazine’ - a tool to inspire customers and show how your products could fit in their lives.
Whether you dabble in clothing and accessories or arts and crafts, lookbooks allow you to show off your products styled in different ways, give a behind-the-scenes look at your creative process, and pass on hints and tips. In a nutshell, they're a great way to market your products and build awareness of your brand.
Before you start:
- Plan your content. Why are you creating a lookbook? Tailor the content to suit that purpose. It could be for a specific season or event such as a summer festival or wedding fair.
- Prepare your content - have your text written, photos taken, and an idea as to how you'll present it.
- Consider offering a promotion such as a discount code or competition - a great way to reward those who read it.
Now let’s get started…
Designing your lookbook
Free online image-editing tool, PicMonkey
When it comes to creating your lookbook the options are endless - you can make things as simple or elaborate as you want.
You'll need to plan what you want it to say and look like and prepare the necessary images and text, including the cover title, contents, headlines, straplines, body text and product details.
We recommend using tools such as Photoshop and InDesign for editing images if you can, but there are also plenty of free online image editing sites you can use, such as pixlar.com and picmonkey.com (great for overlaying text on your images and creating collages).
As for assembling your lookbook, we find Microsoft Word works perfectly well. Once you've imported all of your content into Word, here's a few pointers for getting the most from its in-built tools....
- To create your front cover, insert a cover page (click Insert > Cover Page and select a template to get things started). You can fully customise the design. You can also determine page numbers from the Insert tab.
- For page colour, border and heading styles, go to the far end of the toolbar on the Design tab at the top of the page.
- To organise your page margins and insert columns for your text, go to the left-hand side of the Page Layout tab.
- Finally, a great tool for aligning your text and images on the page is the Gridlines option under the View tab.
- Don’t forget to include your contact details and links to your website and social media platforms - your lookbook is effectively an elaborate business card that people may stumble across on Issuu, so make sure they can contact you if they do.
Publishing your lookbook to Issuu
Once you've created your lookbook, you can publish it on an online platform such as Issuu, where it can be browsed by visitors you might not otherwise reach.
You can upload most document types, including PDF, DOC, PPT, RTF, WPD, and ODT. Documents must be under 500 pages and 100 MB.
Add a lookbook to your Moonfruit site
Step 1. Log into your Moonfruit site and select the page you want to add your lookbook to.
Step 2. Click Insert from the main toolbar and then select the HTML Snippet from the side bar, under Basic Objects.
Note: Position the widget where you want your lookbook to appear (you can always move it later).
Step 3. Click on the Set Up tab - this is where you'll paste the code from Issuu to embed your lookbook.
Step 4. To grab the embed code, go to the publication you want to share and scroll to the relevant page. Then select the Share option near the large green Follow button.
Step 5. You'll then see an option to embed, either from your current page or the first page.
Step 6. When you've selected your preferred option, click Embed and a pop-up window with your code will appear. You'll also have the chance to style how your Issuu widget will appear.
Step 7. Return to your Moonfruit site and paste the embed code in the Set Up tab. Click Apply.
Step 8. If dimensions are supplied within the code, the widget will ask you if you want to resize using the given dimensions – click Yes.
Note: To later amend the widget size, click on the HTML Snippet. The size information appears on the Info tab of the Editor.
Step 9. Save the page. To view your lookbook, click View my site in the top-right corner of the screen once you've saved the page.
Do have a lookbook? How has it helped you promote your business? Share your experiences below.
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