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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Art Licensing Editorial: What Makes the Willow Tree® Brand Such a Success?

When fine artist Susan Lordi received her Masters in Fine Arts in Textile Design in 1993, I am sure she had no idea that she would not only become known for her fine art textile designs but also for her sculptured figurines created for the gift market. The transition from creating fine art that appeals to individuals to creating art for the mass market is no easy task. But, Susan did it right because her Willow Tree brand has been a huge success for the last 15 years. Consumers worldwide purchase Susan’s figurines and her other products produced by DEMDACO.

Studying how artists become successful is really informative and one of my favorite things to do. I have followed Susan Lordi's success for years and have always admired the simple carved wooden look of her Willow Tree brand figurines and her ability to show emotion without facial expressions.

Art brands tend to sell more products than non-brands because the customer base grows as the brand becomes more popular. To become a brand that is recognized by consumers the art must be unique and different from other art. And, to become successful and stay successful the brand must resonate some emotional response with the consumer, appeal to a wide spectrum of consumers, grow slowly, and stay true to the look of the brand but continue to be refreshed. I think Susan Lordi has encompassed all these requirements in her Willow Tree brand. The following is why I think so.

• Recognized art style
When Susan decided to create for the mass market in the late 1990s, she did her homework and noticed that there was a void in the gift industry of simple figurative sculptures that depicted relationships with others and the world around them. By creating a sculptured style of less-is-more and capturing a moment in time between persons and nature in her carvings, Susan created a style that is truly unique and recognized by consumers.

View "Susan Lordi Marker, Central High 1972" video of Susan describing her art background and the creation of her Willow Tree brand. And, also view "Susan Lordi - "Willow Tree" video to see a major influence in Susan's carvings. Note: These videos show Susan's passion in creating her work, which is truly inspirational!

• Appeals to consumers
To sell any product, it has long been known that the product has to somehow resonate an emotion with the consumer so that she/he feels the need to purchase it. Susan Lordi creates figurative sculptures that depict sentiments anyone can relate to. And, because no expressions are shown on their faces it allows each person to interpret the meaning of each figure in their own way and makes it more personal. Thus, her sculptures appeal to a large number of consumers. Unlike successful art based on trends that evidentially fade away, Susan’s sculptures are timeless and are continually sought by consumers. No wonder the Willow Tree brand is so successful.

Note: What is critical to Susan’s success is that she carves from her own life experiences as a mother, a daughter, a wife, an aunt, a granddaughter… In other words, something she knows to be true… something that interests her, something she’s experiencing, instead of trying to make something that she thinks might sell. Or, in her words, “it has to come from a personal place in order to resonate with others.”

View "Willow Tree Family Groupings" video to hear Susan's reasoning on why she creates her carvings the way she does.

• Continue refreshing art
Consumers are always looking for new and different looks when purchasing products. Thus, artists need to regularly keep their art fresh and new looking when submitting to manufacturers for licensing consideration.

Susan Lordi has met the challenge of evolving and keeping her carvings fresh over the years while keeping her own aesthetics so that they are still recognizable as belonging to the Willow Tree brand. Although she has kept soft washed colors that are a trademark of the brand, over the years she has refreshed her sculptures by adding some embellishment to her work with deeper colors, and/or metal accents.

Note: Susan really out did herself with the introduction of her elegant Signature Collection at the January 2015 Atlanta Gift Market. When I walked by the DEMDACO showroom in Atlanta, I couldn't stop looking at the collection. A gradation of deep turquoise blue at the bottom of the figures with a scattering of gold-leaf raised dots makes them absolutely stunning. And, gold accents on a turquoise blue background on her triplex shadow boxes of Starry Night Nativity made them really beautiful and totally unique.

• Slow introduction of new products
Brands will not have staying power in the gift market if they swamp the market at once with all kinds of products. This is what happens when manufacturers hop on a perceived new trend like last year's chalkboard style art seen at the Atlanta Gift show. This year there were nowhere as many showrooms using chalkboard art on their products and probably that style will soon disappear. It is better to slowly introduce new products so that the market is not inundated with them and consumers will look forward to seeing what is new each year.

The Willow Tree brand follows that business practice and has slowly added new products over the 15 years since it was introduced at the January 2000 Atlanta Gift show. For more information about the product introductions, read "The Willow Tree History".

There is much to learn from sculpturer Susan Lordi even if you as an artist do not have an art style that is unique enough that consumers recognize as yours or even if you have several art styles. Susan’s success has shown the importance in learning what attracts consumers to art, to create from your heart so it resonates with consumers, and to continually refresh art so that the product is salable. And, most importantly you need to continue to learn everything you can about the art licensing industry and all industries associated with it. Education is power that will help you in creating licensable work and obtaining licensing contracts.

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: ).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Art Licensing Editorial: 2015 January Atlanta Gift Show

The 2015 Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishing Market is for retail buyers to purchase products for their business'.  It is also where artists can meet with art directors that license art for their companies products, get contact information on where to submit art, get inspiration for creating new art, learn about the licensing industry and see trends. Note: Since this is a trade show for buyers, it is difficult for artists to attend unless they have the right credentials. For suggestions on how artist can attend the show, read "Art Licensing Editorial: 2014 Atlanta Gift Show - insights on walking the show"

The Atlanta Gift show was booming this year with huge crowds in comparison to the last several years.  And, the Reps in the showrooms were extremely busy writing up lots of orders. Although not everyone attending the show feel that the attendance is up significantly from last year like I do, the hallways and showrooms were often at times difficult to get through because of the crush of people. Also, the elevators were so slow and full that most people used the escalators (which were also full) or even the stairs to access the 20 floors in Building one, 18 in Building 2, and 15 in Building 3.  Note: As with all trade shows, not all showrooms were doing as well as those that had a huge selection of SKUs (stock keeping units), were not selling only to a niche market, or were a distributor that represented multiple manufacturers.

Tidbit:  Because taking photographs inside the AmericasMart is prohibited unless you have permission, I instead took two photos from outside.  The photo at the top shows the 8:30AM rush of exhibitors streaming into Building 1.  It is across the street from the Peachtree Station for MARTA rapid transit system. Once you are in any of the three buildings comprising the Mart's campus you can get to the other buildings via bridges that are located on certain floors.

The photo at the left is of a 120-foot long (8 stories if each story is 15 feet tall) escalator from the MARTA railway to the street level.  The three 120-foot long escalators at the Peachtree Station are considered the longest escalators in the Southeast. Because so many people use MARTA and the escalators during the 8:30AM rush to get to the MART for the 9AM opening of the show, sometimes security is forced to hold people back so that there are not as many on the escalator at the same time.  Otherwise, the weight of people and luggage would shut it down. I find it mind boggling that when the escalators are not as busy, riders like me need to move to the right because those that have the stamina literally run up it on the left. Gasp!

There did not seem to be any "NEW" trends at Atlanta but coastal images were showcased in lots of showrooms.  I was really surprised because the last I heard coastal was considered kind-of-a niche theme.  When I questioned one showroom Reps if the Mart had sent out a flyer asking the exhibitors to showcase coastal, she laughed and said "No, it is just popular right now."  She also said that coastal products are not just sold in stores on the east and west coasts of the US but in stores along the many waterways throughout it. Most of the coastal art and products in the showrooms and in the temporary booths had a distressed patina look although there still were a variety of other art styles.

• What Seen
Other than coastal I did not see many other themes stand out. But the usual rustic looking products with a distressed finish on them were visible as well as distressed finished American flags on many products from kitchen products to handbags. If there was anything really trending at the show, it was the distressed look with unsaturated color palettes for all kinds of themes.

Of course, the typical popular themes usually seen at the show and seem to be the staple for home and gift products were abundant.  These included flowers, butterflies, birds, grapes and wine, cats, dogs, owls, cupcakes, coffee, high heel shoes, inspirational words either alone or with art including lots of angels.  Also popular were seasonal, holiday and special occasion art such as for Valentines Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.  And, do not forget the most popular holiday of all – Christmas.

Showrooms had major displays centered on either Santa or snowmen, but over all there seemed to be a fairly even distribution of both. Other Christmas images seen were snowflakes, polar bears, penguins, deer, nutcrackers, angels, Christmas trees, white foxes, owls, partridges, more amaryllis flowers than poinsettias, pinecones and needles, presents, and ornaments.

As usual, the use of colors for art depended on the type of product and what it was used for.  The traditional red and green were predominating for Christmas art with the exception if the art style was graphical or whimsical for a younger consumer.  Then a bright red and chartreuse green were used.  Unsaturated and muted colors are still used for home decor but brighter colors are starting to appear on products in some home decor showrooms.

• What Not Seen or Less of
Last year chalkboard art was everywhere on products at the Mart but this year it was not prevalent.  Even though there are still evidence of owls and red foxes, the whole concept of the woodland theme seemed to be on the back burner.  The anticipated next new woodland creature "the hedgehog" was missing from most products with the exception of stuffed animals.

This & That
• Be Prepared
The key to getting the most out of the Atlanta Gift Show is to be prepared.  A month before the show is a good time to ask art directors for an appointment to show them your art. Although, I am finding that in most cases when artists ask for an appointment they tell you to just drop-in. Appointment times seem to be saved for art licensing agents that have more art to show.

Bring business cards, postcards and if possible an iPad with your art on it. It is now the standard to show art with an iPad when attending Atlanta.  You never can tell when you ask for contact information if you will also be able to show your art to an art director.  It happens to me all the time.

Wear comfortable shoes and take plenty of breaks to overcome exhaustion and sensory overload and to write notes.

• Importance in Asking Questions
Asking questions from EVERYONE attending the show is a must if you want to take full advantage of attending the show.  Talking to buyers, Reps, art directors, and other artists is huge because it gives you information about all aspects of the art licensing industry and gives you a better understanding of it.  I drum-up conversations with people anywhere - while taking a break, waiting in line for food or an artist signing, on MARTA, and in showrooms.  This is the most friendliest trade show that I have ever attended and everyone loves to talk about products and their business.

Having a big smile on your face goes a long way and I am always amazed when busy Reps and art directors are willing to show me their products and talk about them even though they know I am not a buyer. It gives me the opportunity to ask what are good sellers, the artists that created them, and what themes do best.  Getting any information is huge in understanding the industry that I would not get it unless I asked.

This year I even went into showrooms that I assume only used in-house designers (most of the art look like the same artist created it) and got a big surprise.  Several of these manufacturers also license art from free-lance artists.  And, the Reps even spent some time showing me the products that they licensed and of course gave me the contact information to submit art.  Huge!  So make sure you talk to everyone and ask lots of questions when you attend the show.

• Traveling Woes in Attending the Atlanta Show
Traveling and hotel problems happen all the time to those attending trade shows.  For this show I was one of the unlucky souls that experienced airline and hotel woes where everything went wrong; airline delays, broken MARTA train and standing outside in freezing weather for 20 minutes until another train arrived and then the clincher - no room at the inn.

Every year there seems to be a lot of broken pipes at the hotels in Atlanta during the Atlanta Gift Show.  But the broken water pipe excuse is really a euphemism for over booking hotel rooms.  5-6% of booked rooms in hotels are no-show, so hotels make the practice of overbooking with first come first serve.  I do not know about other customers but with me it really cost the hotel that gave away my room. I paid for it four months in advance and had to wait over two hours for them to find me a room in another hotel.  They paid an $85 taxi fare to the new hotel with a free night lodging and a customer that will never book with them again. It is not fun to spend all day on an airplane, have hours of layovers at airports, and not get a hotel room until 1AM.  The only solution seems to be to book a hotel room far from the AmericasMart so that there is not the likelihood of losing your room OR arriving early enough so that the room is still available.  Because I live on the west coast, the second option is not feasible unless I am willing to take a red-eye flight.

Articles  - information and photos of showrooms and products
• Art and Product Licensing: Thought and Comment from Jim Marcotte - "Atlanta – A Study in Contrasts…and Not"

• Gifts and Decorative Accessories - "Direct from Market: Atlanta Winter 2015"

• J Wecker Frisch "AmericasMart 2015"

• the moon from my atticThe 2015 AmericasMart Atlanta - "The Nation’s #1 Product Destination"

Related Articles (originally posted for the January 2014 show)
•AmericasMart Atlanta (youtube video) - "The Atlanta International Gift Market - January 2014"  Note:  The 2015 video will probably be posted on youtube later in the month or in February.

• "Art Licensing: 2014 Atlanta Gift Show - the amazing AmericasMart campus"

• "Art Licensing Editorial: 2014 Atlanta Gift Show - insights on walking the show"

• "Art Licensing Editorial: 2014 Atlanta Gift Show - trends"

The health of the gift industry ultimately affects art licensing and the amount of art that is licensed by manufacturers. Thus, successful gift shows (Atlanta and other regional ones) bodes well for the licensing industry. This year seems to have started off well and hopefully that means good news for artists in obtaining many licensing contracts.

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Art Licensing: Tips on Using the Indispensable Mac Preview App

One of the most useful application that is included with Macintosh OS X operating system is Preview. Preview makes it fast and easy to view and edit pdf, jpeg, tiff, png, etc. files. Also image files such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator can be opened in Preview as non-layered files.

Preview also has other functions such as scanning documents or photos, sharing files via email or chat, changing the file format, capturing screen shots, editing photos, and batch processing actions. Learn how to use these functions by reading the articles listed in the Related Articles section at the bottom of this post.

Note: The features found in Preview for the Mac are available in Windows QuickView for PCs. However, QuickView is no longer shipped with Windows. But a third party equivalent that supports XP, Vista and 7 is available according to the QuickView section in Wikipedia.

PDF files
Preview is best known as an alternative to using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat to view and alter PDF files. It is faster to launch Preview than Reader and had lots of useful features. PDF documents can be combined; pages can be moved between PDF files, reordered and rotated. Pages can be bookmarked, comments added, background color changed, view a PDF slideshow, a rectangle or circle can be drawn to emphasize an area. It also has other features depending upon the OS X Preview version. For instance, OS X Lion Preview version and greater allows PDF documents to be digitally signed. Note: Preview does an excellent job in displaying large PDF documents and allows some editing and other features, which may be all that is needed. But, it does not have all the bells-and-whistles of the latest versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat support.

As an artist, I find the Preview app viewing function indispensable as I manipulate and edit my art and collections into pleasing compositions. Preview also includes helpful tools such as the ability to add text to the image, some image editing capabilities, batch processing, view slideshows and animated gif files, and change file formats. It is much faster to open an image in Preview and use Previews functions and tools than to open the image in Photoshop or Illustrator to do the same thing.

A single image or several images can be dragged onto the Preview app to open it. Or, images can be opened from the Preview app. Or, if the image file is a jpg, png, etc., it can be opened in Preview by double clicking on the image. To temporarily open images in Preview select the image or images with the mouse and then hold down the command key and push the Y key. Hint: Place the Preview app in the desktop tool bar so that it is easily accessed.

Useful ways of using Preview

• Viewing Images
– When manipulating parts of the image in Photoshop, it is difficult to look at the entire image to determine if the composition is pleasing and balanced unless you standup and move away from the monitor. I have found that it helps to instead reduce the size of the image when viewing the composition. A quick way to do that is make sure the Photoshop file is saved and then open the image in Preview by selecting the file, hold down the command key, and pressing the Y key. The image in the Preview window can be quickly enlarged or reduced by pulling on the bottom-right window handle. For information about composition read "Creating Licensable Art: Composition Tips"

– Using Preview to view multiple images in one window is a wonderful way to compare the images and determine if the collection is cohesive. Select all the images you wish to view at one time and use the command and Y key strokes to open the images in Preview. The four images displayed together at the top of this article is an example of opening multiple images in a Preview window.

– If you have a large photographic reference library like I do, you may have trouble finding what photos you wish to use as a reference for new art. By selecting a slew of images in a folder and opening them in Preview you can quickly scan and select the ones you wish to use.

 • Marking Images to be edited
When refreshing art, adding images to a collection, and working with art directors, there are times that you may want to mark changes and write comments on the image. Instead of printing the art and marking-it-up by hand, Preview allows you to do it on image files. See an example of a mark-up on the above tulip image.

• Labeling Images
Preview allows you to quickly label images with copyright and contact information. This is helpful if you want to place the image on a blog or submit it to manufacturers for licensing consideration.

• Changing size, resolution, and formats
Images can be resized; the resolution and the format can be quickly changed in Preview. So instead of waiting for a large high resolution file to open in Photoshop, Preview can converted it to a smaller size, lower resolution jpg file in a fraction of time. That is very useful when submitting art to manufacturers for licensing consideration.

• Rotating images and editing color
In Preview, images can be rotated and colors adjusted. I found the ability to rapidly adjust the color saturation useful when placing images in the sidebar on my blog. For some reason, when images are placed in the sidebar the color saturation is reduced. Thus, I need to increase the saturation of the image before placing it in the sidebar.

Related Articles

While in Preview, open Help at the top right of the function bar to find out how to use its many functions. Also read the following articles for more information on using Preview.

• "Mac Basics: Preview app views and edits images and PDFs"

• "What IS Preview (and Why You Should Use It)"

• "Scanning with Preview in Mac OS X"

• "How to use Preview in OS X Lion to digitally sign documents".

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: ).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Art Licensing Editorial: Changes in Art Styles Used on Products

When I first started researching the licensing industry over 15 years ago, each manufacturer used many art styles. But now that has changed and manufacturers have different art needs. Even though some of the manufacturers in different product industries still use a variety of art styles on their products, many have shifted to only one or two. Thus, there are not as many opportunities for artists to license their art unless they use multiple styles. For instance, it is harder to license realistic styled art to greeting cards manufacturers because many now use more graphic and whimsical art styles.

This article discusses the three art styles seen most often on products (whimsical, graphic and realistic).

Art Styles
To avoid confusion, below are the definitions and links to images of realistic, whimsical and graphic art. Note: All three of these styles have a large range of looks but they still fall into these categories because of their general characteristics.

• Realistic
Realism is a visual art style that accurately depicts what the artist sees. The images are accurate, detailed, and not embellished. This art style ranges from a painterly look to almost photographic in appearance. To see some examples, view "Artists Directory of Realistic Painters".

• Whimsical
A whimsical art style is often described as colorful, fanciful, playful and also as mischievous, quaint and eccentric. Images can range from a simplistic childish look to a sophisticated intricate look. See examples of whimsical art at "Favorite Whimsical Artists" and "The Whimsical (Decorative Art)".

• Graphic
A graphic art style is the depiction of things seen by an artist using an illustrative representation with a drawing, sketch or painting. Often artists create this style on a computer with Adobe Illustrator application. See "9 Inspiring Graphic Designers and their Distinct Design Styles" for examples of this art style.

Change in Art Styles
In the past, manufacturers used numerous art styles on their products. Therefore, artists were successful in licensing one image to many industries. Now it is more difficult to get multiple licensing deals for one image because each product industry and even manufacturers in the same industry have their own specifications on what they want. And, the specifications are not uniform from industry to industry or manufacturer to manufacturer. Below are some of the industries and a "generalization" of the art styles now used on their products.

• Greeting Cards
The greeting card industry is one of the most changed industry that licenses art. To compete with e-stores, manufacturers that sell to retail stores have increased the embellishing of their products with ribbons, glitter, jewels, metallic, laser cut designs, etc. Many manufacturers use a graphic style art since embellishments can be easily used on them. Also, the graphic art style appeals to the esthetics of many consumers that feel that simplicity of graphic art is sophisticated and for those who believe in the maxim that "less is more".

Those that walk the National Stationery Show or look at greeting card websites listed on artist Kate Harper's blog will discover that the majority of manufacturers use graphical, whimsical, and cartoons styles on their cards. Although some of the larger card manufacturers having numerous card lines do license some realistic art styles. Also, card manufacturers that cater to niche markets (museums, historical monuments and parks, catalogs, specialty gift stores) tend to license more realistic art than other styles.

• Decorative Flags
The decorative flag industry is also moving away from using realistic art. Flags are now mostly colorful whimsical styles with a central image that stands out. Look at the decorative flag e-stores on the Internet such as "Just For Fun Flags" to see examples of the licensed art styles.

• Gift Bags & Wraps
Although some manufacturers use realistic and whimsical art for their gift bags and wraps, graphical styled art is now more prevalent in large chain stores including dollar stores. See examples of Target and Walmart gift bags on their websites.

• Fabrics
Depending on the manufacturer, all three art styles are used on fabrics for the quilting and craft industries. Look at the website of Robert Kaufman Fabrics to see the selection of themes and types of art styles they license.

Below are some facts that artists should be aware of when submitting art to manufacturers. These are my opinions and of course others may have different opinions.

1. In the past, artists could submit art to almost any manufacturer in any industry and her/his style would fit the needs of the manufacturer. NOT ANY MORE. Now to make sure their art fit the needs of the manufacturer, artists need to research every manufacturer they plan to submit art to.

2. Fewer manufacturers are licensing realistic styled art than in the past. Artists that create realistic art will have a harder time finding manufacturers that are willing to license their art.

3. Now, whimsical styled art seems to be the most popular style for most industries. Artists that create whimsical art have the best chance in finding manufacturers that will license their work.

4. Graphic style art is prolific in the greeting card and gift bag industries. Artists that use this style will have any easier time licensing their art to manufacturers in these industries than those artists that have a realistic or whimsical art style.

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: ).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Art Licensing: Using PDF Files to Submit Art

Manufacturers want art submitted to them for possible licensing consideration in different ways. A few want hard copies or a CD of images sent to them via snail mail but the majority accept and want them as single image tiff files, jpg files, files in a folder as a compressed zip file, or in a multiple image pdf file.

If the files are sent via e-mail, the artist must take into consideration the size of the files attached to the e-mail. Many e-mail providers limit e-mails to 2MB in size. So the number of files attached is limited and the size of each must be small. Other alternatives are to upload more and larger file(s) onto file sharing sites such as Dropbox, Hightail (formerly YouSendit), and WeTransfer. And then send a link to the manufacturer so the file(s) can be downloaded. Note: Not all manufacturers use each of these file-sharing sites and they may have a preferred one. Or, they may not want to download any images and will only accept single images attached to an e-mail.

The only way to find out what is preferred is to look at the manufacture guidelines on their website (if posted) or call and ask. Or, take a chance and submit a small sampling of art as jpg images in the e-mail and ask what method they prefer. Note: I usually send one jpg image with a short introduction e-mail and then follow-up with a pdf file with multiple images that can be downloaded from Hightail. If the file is not downloaded, I then know that either they do not want to download the file or they are not interested in my art enough to want to download more images.

The advantage in using a pdf multiple image file when submitting art is that the images can be placed into the pdf file so that they can be easily viewed as a "slide show" by using the free application Adobe Reader that most manufacturer art directors already have. Each image in the pdf file can be printed and download onto the desktop. The pdf file can also be opened in the Macintosh operating system with the Preview application or in the Preview Pane* in Windows operating system. Note: jpg and pdf files are already compressed and they will not be dramatically reduced further if zip compression is used on them.

*There are complaints that the Preview Pane does not open pdf files in Windows version 7 and 8. I suggest that you Google the Internet with "can windows preview pdf files in Windows 7 and 8" if you want to find out if there is a work around for the problem.

Preparing PDF multiple image files
When submitting any images for licensing consideration, the images should have the artist contact information on it. See the image at the beginning of this article for an example. Some artists prefer to place a watermark (copyright symbol and artist name) on top of the art to protect their copyright. However, many manufacturers feel watermarks detract from the art and discourages using them.

Hint: To avoid doing repetitive tasks such as placing contact information on numerous images, you can use Actions in Photoshop to record a series of commands when adding the contact information to an image. You can then play back this action in the Batch or Create Droplet commands that are available in Photoshop under File/Automatic so that the action can be applied to one or multiple images. A video example on how to use Actions and Batch commands can be viewed on "Photoshop - Actions & Batch Processing".

Multiple Image PDF Applications
The following tips show how to created pdf multiple image files in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Bridge, and Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you have purchased Adobe Creative Suite or have subscribed to Adobe Cloud, you should have access to all these applications.

Acrobat Pro with the PDF Portfolio command allows the inclusion of not only image files but other application files such as Microsoft Word and Excel. However, Photoshop and Bridge only allows image files. Being able to include art and a biography if written in Word or another application may be very useful when submitting art to manufacturers as a pdf file.

Warning: Images can be added and text placed on the image when in the pdf command of Photoshop and Acrobat Pro. The text is separate from the image and if the image is selected and dragged to the desktop the text will not be on the image. Thus, this is not a good method of putting contact information on an image. Contact information should be placed in the file before adding it to the PDF Presentation or PDF Portfolio.

• Adobe Photoshop (how to create a simple PDF Multi-Page Document or Presentation)

– Quick tutorial written by artist Jill Meyer
1. In Photoshop go to File > Automate > PDF Presentation.
2. Choose either Multi-Page Document or Presentation (slide show), upload the images, press Save. 3. Fill in the name of the PDF, select where to save the file, and press Save.
This may take a little while to process and the pdf file to appear depending on the amount and size of the files in it.

– More detailed tutorial written by Peter Bauer from Photoshop CC For Dummies – "Create a PDF Presentation in Photoshop CC"

– For those that prefer watching videos look at "How To Combine Multiple PDF Pages in Photoshop"

• Adobe Illustrator (how to save multiple PDF files in Illustrator)

– Tutorial video by howtechgraphics - "How to Save File as PDF in Illustrator"

• Adobe Bridge (how to create a multiple page PDF file using Bridge)

– Tutorial written by Noragu - "[Adobe Bridge CS5]: An alternative for Photoshop's PDF Presentation"

– Tutorial written by Barbara Obermeier from Photoshop CS6 All-in-One for Dummies - "How to Create PDF Presentations from Photoshop CS6 Files in Bridge"

– Tutorial video by Mary Castillo – "How to create a PDF in Bridge"

•Adobe Acrobat Pro (how to create a multiple file PDF Portfolio)
According to Adobe "A PDF Portfolio contains multiple files assembled into an integrated PDF unit. The files in a PDF Portfolio can be in a wide range of file types created in different applications. For example, a PDF Portfolio can include text documents, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, CAD drawings, and PowerPoint presentations. The original files retain their individual identities but are assembled into one PDF Portfolio file. You can open, read, edit, and format each component file independently of the other component files in the PDF Portfolio." For more information, read "PDF Portfolios."

– Tutorial written by artist Joan Beiriger
1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro and a menu window will open.
2. On the right side under Getting Started double click on Create PDF Portfolio and another menu window will open. Click on Add Files at the bottom of the menu.
3. The menu for selecting the files opens. Find the files in the folder or the desktop and select the them. Press Finish.
4. The Portfolio menu opens. This can take a while depending on how large and how many files you select. I recommend that you do a trial run and only add one file to discover how long it takes. Otherwise, you might think nothing is happening.
5. Once the files are loaded they are visible in the window. You can move to the next image in the window with the arrow. You can also move the image placement by selecting and moving the smaller images at the bottom. Also more images can be added by clicking on Add Files that is located at the top of the side bar in the window.
6. Once you have added the files to the Portfolio go to File / Save As / PDF Portfolio.
7. Name the file and location (desktop or folder) you want it saved and press the Save button. The pdf file will appear in the location you indicated once the file is saved. It may take a while if the file is large.

– Tutorial video by "How to create a PDF portfolio"

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