Merchandise an Online Shop: Create Your Own Product Lookbook | Kate Miss | Skillshare

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Merchandise an Online Shop: Create Your Own Product Lookbook

teacher avatar Kate Miss, Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Getting Started


    • 2.

      Five Common Concepts


    • 3.

      Shooting Products


    • 4.

      Using Your Lookbook


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About This Class

In this 14-minute class, you'll learn how to create a lookbook with Kate Miss, an independent jewelry and graphic designer who works with artists all around the world to create successful Big Cartel shops.

A lookbook is an artistic depiction of your product in a particular setting beyond straight-on simple product photos. In a digital world, it helps achieve the feel of physical presence, staging, design, and planning that traditional retailers put into a brick-and-mortar store. It helps buyers perceive your product in the way you want.

You'll learn common lookbook concepts, tips for shooting your product, and best practices for finalizing a lookbook that's right for your products and brand. All you need to get started are products to sell!

Big Cartel helps makers, designers, musicians, and other artists build a unique online store and run a creative business. Explore more at Big Cartel.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kate Miss



Kate Miss is a graphic designer, jewelry designer, and photographer. She was raised in the Seattle area, spent formative years in New York City, and now lives in Los Angeles. While she owns and runs her own business now, she has over 10 years of experience under her belt as a designer for DwellStudio and the CAA's Intelligence Group/Cassandra Co. While her focus is mainly graphic design, she is a creative jack of all trades and would love to help you with a plethora of other fun creative stuff, including photography. Besides look books, product photography, and portraits, she takes on a small number of wedding photo jobs each year in the LA area and beyond.

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1. Getting Started: Hi, I'm Kate Miss. I'm a graphic designer and jewelry designer in LA. I usually shoot my lookbooks myself. I have a background also in photography. So, I like to dabble in a lot of different creative pursuits. I think that photography is a lot more accessible today for people. So, you don't need to feel overwhelmed and scared of doing this all yourself. It is possible and it's also really awesome to be able to collaborate with other people out there, with your other creatives making your lookbook. We all spend so much time creating these products and working with our hands. So, we should spend some time shooting these lookbooks to make our products look great and put them out in the world, and give them the attention that they deserve. I have two big cartel shops, one for my jewelry and one for my photography prints. I've had my jewelry shop for about six years now. I have two different styles of necklaces in my shop. One, they are bronze necklaces that are made originally out of wax that I create, and then a local cast store in LA cast them into bronze. Another line that I have are concrete necklaces that I hand form out of concrete into beads. So, I hope this will be fun for you. 2. Five Common Concepts: So, what is a lookbook? A lookbook is going to be different for every brand. But essentially, what it is an artistic depiction of your product beyond simple product photography. A lookbook gives customers an idea of the personality and the story of your brand but more practically it gives them an idea of size and fit. A lookbook is important especially for fashion and homeware brands because customers aren't going to see your product in person, in a retail environment. So, what you want to do is recreate that experience for them as best as you can and to give them context. How big something is, how it fits on a person. Give them an idea of all of that, they're not going to see in person. It's also fantastic press and imagery for social media. So, for blogs, Pinterest, Instagram even print publications. This is a great way to get these really beautiful images out there in the world to promote your brand. So, you want to start by choosing a style and concept for your lookbook. what's really helpful is to maybe look at other brands that you admire and get an idea of what they're doing for their lookbooks. I think it's really helpful to start a mood board or a Pinterest page of other lookbooks that you like. So, you can start to get an idea of a common theme that you like and see what's working for you and what you think could work for your brand. Other people are doing interpreting it in your own way. We created a Pinterest page of some examples of lookbooks to KickStart some ideas for you to see what other people are doing really cool ideas that are all over the board. I'm going to walk you through some popular concepts for lookbooks. We looked through a ton of other lookbooks and distilled them down to these ideas to give you a place to start from and to KickStart some ideas. This isn't everything. This is just a general list to give you some help. So, the first one is what we like to call things organize neatly lookbook and that essentially is a grid like depiction of your products usually shot from overhead and is very basic and simple and doesn't require Props or too many expensive things. It could be interspersed along with model shots as well as overhead shots, whatever works best for you. The second one is pretty similar. Shooting your products on top of a colorful background or pattern. This could be combined with the first concept or it could just be used on its own and you could do just one product on top of something. A really good example of something that could work on top of a pattern, is say a stationary line. That's something that you don't see a lot of lookbooks for and that is something that laying card on top of a cool pattern background could give it a fun context. The next idea would be products or models in nature or on location. So, this is a pretty common theme, basically taking your product, putting it on a model and just going out to a beautiful location, which is really simple. Go to a park or somewhere out in nature or maybe out on the streets or even not even involving a model and putting your product outside. Another place that doesn't necessarily have to be inside it could be inside somewhere, maybe you have a friend who has a really cool house or a cool workplace that you could shoot your product in. Just stepping outside into an area that is going to make your product look professional and elevated. The last idea is basic and this is just shooting on a white seamless. So, seamless is a piece of paper or fabric that is just white from top to bottom underneath. This works best if you have a fashion line or accessories. So, just a simple way of shooting on a white background. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get very creative and colorful. One of the examples on the Pinterest board is even model shot on a way and then someone had painted on top of the photo after or maybe you're using fun products or something interspersing color. There's ways that you can make that a little bit more exciting or you could just keep it super simple. So, this idea is a little bit more complicated and that is setting up a stage or a staged area of props. Basically, there's some really fun ideas on the Pinterest board of this. It's basically using different props or maybe of an artist to create something that your product lives in on a setup stage. This one may require a bit more or maybe it's something that you can create yourself and shoot it on some colorful background or a white background just creating a little world for your product. For any of these ideas you could choose to include your packaging. It doesn't work for every brand but maybe you have cool packaging that you want to include it into one of these ideas. It could work especially for the things organized neatly, including that into that. Also, as you choose your concept very lookbook just make sure that you're making one of these concepts your own idea. These are just starting points, take it run with it, make it your own thing, make it work for your brand. So, when you think of your concept keep in mind that you want to keep this fresh. You want to keep it unique, you want to make something memorable that people can remember. Make it cohesive with your lines so that, people see it somewhere and they immediately can connect it with your brand. Also, keep in mind the story that you're telling. If you have a fashion brand shooting models on a sunny beach smiling is going to give a totally different story and feel than shooting models on a white background. So, keep in mind the story that you're trying to tell. So, I picked one of these simple concepts for my own jewelry brand and now I'm going to walk you through how I would set up a lookbook for that. 3. Shooting Products: So, I decided to do the things organizing neatly idea, cutting out paper trickery and interesting background. I'm just going to shoot this on my phone but obviously having a photographer would result in more high-quality images. But for this, I'm just going to use my phone and test out and see how that looks. I'm going to walk you through the steps to how I did this. So, first off, I made a sketch to get an idea of what I wanted to do and where I want to start and how it would look like. So, just sketching out on a simple piece of paper with a pen just some different ideas using my concept. Then I made myself a shortlist. A shortlist is a really excellent way to keep yourself on track. You want to know exactly what you need to shoot, how you need to shoot it, do you want the products to be together, do you need shots where they are on their own. This will keep you and if you're using a photographer or anyone else on task. So, I made myself a little list so that I wouldn't get off track and then I wouldn't miss anything, so one have to set my setup over again. So, some examples of what could be on a shot list are the different products that you have, less list of that do need details of those, do you need them to be shot alone or shot together certain things like that. Then I made myself a budget. So, for this, this is super cheap, a couple bucks to buy this paper but your budget might be completely different and more elaborate, but for this one super simple super cheap. Then I decided where am I going to shoot this. So, I decided I'm just going to shoot it in my studio next to a window using natural light and then I got to work. So, I cut out some organic shapes out of paper just to create an interesting organic background that will contrasts nicely with the hard lines that are in my product line. I ended up using black and white paper but I also bought a neon green thinking that might be an interesting thing to pull in. But once I tested that, I could tell right away it was way to visually distracting and created a reflection that was not working. So, I decided to keep it simple and just go with black and white. Also, while I was laying out the necklaces, I realized that the necklaces looked better when they were on white and the black was more of an accent because they got lost on the black. So, I tried to rearrange, move the paper around see what fit better. Also thinking about my crop, I needed more horizontal images from my slideshow, so keeping in mind the shape that I'm creating and the crop that I'm creating with these photos. Then I took the pictures with my phone from up above and I tried out different crops, getting closer, pulling back farther, different things like that, figuring out what looks best, moving things around, making sure that the crop was looking good and that all of the necklaces were looking like there was a good balance going on. There wasn't anything too far out of the photo, too close together, was the black in the middle creating too much of a distraction, was your eye drawn to the right places, things like that. So, if a photographer is shooting this, they're going to handle post-production. But if you're shooting it yourself and on your phone, there are tons of apps that you can use to do a little bit of retouching, late filters, brightening things up, stuff like that. Super simple easy things that you can have access to to make your photos look great, get them the right crop and get them ready to put into your Big Cartel shop 4. Using Your Lookbook: So, now that you have these beautiful images you want to think about where you can use them in your shop. A few different places are in your slideshow, which could be above your products or on your homepage, another place that you could use them is with your products for product photography, they can even be your main product photos depending on how that works for your shop. It could just be alternate images showing people different ways in different contexts of your product, or they on a model in a different light showing the scale next to your other products. Also, these are great promotional imagery. So, they can be used on Instagram, in your mailing newsletter, very important Twitter, Facebook, stuff like that. So, once you figure out where your images are going to be, now you can crop them and resize them for what you're ever you're going to be using them for. So, cropping them for your slideshow or for social media, stuff like that. You could also consider having your LookBook images printed, put them into a physical LookBook an actual book, and we'll have some resources, some great places to have booklets printed. You could also have them made into postcards, so use these great images for promotional materials to send out to people, or a LookBook that's actually a booklet, stuff like that, and we'll have some great resources listed for you to be able to do that. I walked you through choosing a concept and then showed you a way that you could do a concept, and so after this class, you should now be able to come up with the concept, create a shortlist, create a budget, figure out who to hire, and then what you're going to be doing with those images. Hopefully, those tips will help you create a great LookBook, and if you have any other questions on starting your own store, you can watch the other Skillshare class that we made on starting your big cartel shop. I walked you through choosing a concept and then walked you through how I would execute that concept, and now moving forward, you should have a concept for your LooBook, figuring out who you need to hire if anyone, a shortlist, and a budget, and what you plan to do with those images. I hope that all of these tips will help you create a beautiful LookBook and then it'll be really fun to do, and if you have any questions about starting a store as well, you can watch our other skillshare video. I hope you had a good time.