Archive for April, 2010

Do You Agree With Nick?

April 16, 2010

Look at what’s happening across the pond! British political leaders locked horns on Thursday in Britain’s televised leaders’ debate. A first in Britain and very similar to the televised presidential debates we have here in the US. The catch phrase of the night? “I agree with Nick”!

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, dominated proceedings. Throughout the night, British Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown and Conservative Party leader David Cameron would repeatedly agree with their political opponent, and they both used the phrase “I agree with Nick.” An awesome catch phrase which will forever be remembered in British political history, and on Zazzle.co.uk. Check out these great I agree with Nick T-shirts and other I agree with Nick designs!

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

April 16, 2010

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Love After Death iPhone Case


Green City Mug
Amoeba Design Mug!


Smiling Buddha Poster


Bowling Balls. T Shirts


Disney WALL*E Graphic Tee Shirt

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Magda Lates

April 15, 2010

Magda, from the Zazzle store BluePlanet, was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about her experience as a Zazzler. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store BluePlanet!

Burn Calories Not Oil T-Shirt

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Magda: I was born in Romania, I have Greek ancestors and I currently live in France. I am fascinated by our beautiful planet, hence the name of my Zazzle store. I enjoy studying anything related to the creative fields and I have always taken my hobbies seriously and turned them, whenever possible, into full-time jobs.

I’m a self-taught graphic designer with an education in Computer Science and Economics. I’ve been working in advertising since 1997 (and enjoyed every minute of it), starting as a graphic designer in a packaging and production company and then continuing as a creative director of an advertising agency in Bucharest; I eventually got interested in web design, motion graphics and multimedia and starting with 2001, I have been in charge with the interactive division of a full service advertising company. Four beautiful years followed, with a great team, challenging projects and national and international awards.

By the end of 2004, I have finally opened my own full-service creative studio.

I have been lucky, during the years, to be surrounded by wonderful artists and very talented professionals – art directors, copywriters, photographers, creative directors or web designers – from whom I have learned a great deal about the advertising industry and visual arts in particular.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Magda: Everything that surrounds me, everything I read or hear, everything I see in my dreams.

I believe any artist unconsciously develops a guiding pattern of personal likes and dislikes, an inner encyclopedia of abstract ideas that keep revolving until they find their way to the surface and are finally materialized.

For me, some ideas pop up in the most unexpected moments and when that happens, I write down a few words or make a quick sketch to be developed later on. If I don’t catch them while I can, they fly back into the abyss.

Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Magda: I create each design with much care and although it might sound strange, I always get a bit nervous when the time comes to publish the final product into the marketplace. Moreover, I never publish products that I wouldn’t buy myself, so it would be very hard to choose a favorite.

However, I believe my favorite product line is “Animal Feelings” and especially the Crying Bunny illustration -

I had lots of fun creating it, the scene was inspired from a real life incident and although simple, it’s one of the designs that still makes me chuckle, every time I look at it.

Crying Bunny Miss You Card

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Magda: There are so many great features I don’t use yet, that I feel almost guilty sometimes!

Generally speaking, one of the many things that I like about Zazzle is the great flexibility that the whole system offers. You can make a fully customizable product template or you can lock everything and offer a finished product; you can even play with the products and invent new ways of using them, like making a bookmark or a gift tag out of a business card and so on… You can keep the basic appearance of your store or you could go crazy and customize everything beyond any recognition. You can design and sell your products or just promote other people’s products and make money. Zazzle has a top-notch platform and the possibilities are endless.

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Magda: Once I was contacted by a customer regarding one of the business cards in my store. It was about the Blue Denim Jeans business cards and this lady needed some help with the customization. She also wanted me to send her a sample of the card in order for her to “see and feel the texture” before buying. At first, I didn’t understand exactly what she wanted but after a few e-mails back and forth, I realized that she believed the cards were printed on real denim fabric instead of paper.

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Magda: I knew about Zazzle long before I opened my store but it was in 2008 when I finally decided to join as a seller. As expected, Zazzle has quickly become my favorite playground. It’s the place where I can showcase and sell my personal projects, a place with no deadlines, no endless meetings, no client demands and no production headaches. I can make money and have fun at the same time, doing what I love to do. Who could resist that?

Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?

Magda: Anyone who joins Zazzle should know that, even if you can join for free, nothing can be achieved if you don’t invest time, dedication and energy into it.

I will try to highlight a few first things to consider for someone who is just starting out:

  • Your username – Make sure you carefully choose your username. It will hopefully become your brand and it will be very difficult to change it once you set up the store and have already created hundreds of products. And you wouldn’t want your store to be promoted as joe6389, would you?
  • Read the… manual! :) – Read as much as possible of the documentation available on Zazzle FAQ / Help sections and blogs and also on the public forums, before starting to work on your products and your store. Learn how to prepare your design files, how to create each product, where to find the guide files, how to customize and organize your store, how to properly use the Quick Create tool and so on. It is very important to know what you’re doing before starting doing it. It will also save you much time and frustration later on.
  • SEO or Search Engine Optimization – Use titles, description and keywords (tags) relevant to your products and help the search engines find you. A product that cannot be found cannot be bought. And after all, it’s free marketing, why not taking advantage of that?
  • Keep it simple – Avoid turning your store into a cluttered, confusing place where you don’t know where to start, where to look first or what to do. Keep your store user friendly, avoid strong color palettes and don’t make potential customers leave your store with sore eyes.
  • Caution – Make sure you let your family and friends know that you’re about to begin a wonderful journey and that you are going to spend a ridiculous amount of time in front of the computer in the months or years to come. Zazzle is addictive! :)

Thanks Magda!

North American Bear Center Opens Zazzle Store!

April 14, 2010

Lily, Hope, Juliet and more are just some of the bears you can get on products in the new Lily’s Hope Zazzle Store created by the North American Bear Center! These bears are the stars of a study designed to increase our knowledge and understanding of wild bears. Fans of the bears can see photos, webcams, and find more information about the bears at Bear.org. The Bears’ fame has reached far and wide online; creating a fan following that has generated wonderful fan art in support of the bears. Thanks to the power of the Zazzle platform, that fan art is now available for purchase in their Zazzle store. See below for some of the designs from Lily’s store. 100% of the proceeds go to support the Wildlife Research Institute’s continuing study of bears, other wildlife, and their habitat.

New Season of Deadliest Catch Tonight

April 13, 2010


Set your DVRs to record folks because the latest season of Deadliest Catch is starting up on Discovery Channel tonight! While the King Crab fishermen struggle in the cold of the Bering Sea, I know the biggest thing you’ll struggle with is what Deadliest Catch T-Shirt you want from Zazzle! Check out some of my favorite Discovery Channel Deadliest Catch T-Shirts below and get your crab shirt on!

The $1 Million Comic Book Poster

April 13, 2010

The first appearance of Batman was in issue #27 of Detective Comics. If you happened to own one, you might want to sell it – a copy of that comic went for $1,075,500. But if you don’t have that much money and still want to own a piece of the original Batman, just pick up the officially licensed poster of the comic book cover from DC and Zazzle! Check out below for the First Appearance of Batman Poster from the Zazzle Batman Store which you can get for just about $15 – that’s a savings of $1,075,485! Beat that!

Batman Poster

TM & © DC Comics.       (s10).

In Memory of a Fallen Friend

April 12, 2010

The power of a charitable act is strongest when it comes from people you’ve never met.

One day on the Zazzle Forums, Steve (aka Softproduct) was contacted by Ben, a person he’d never met, to design a skateboard in honor of the memory of his fallen friend Jesse. Jesse was a 13 year old student in the UK at the Liskeard School and Community College. His love of skateboarding was well known, and his death struck the community and his friends very hard. Read the entire news story here. Jesse’s friends were looking for a way to remember him and they thought a Zazzle skateboard would be the perfect way to do this. Steve explained the story, how they got connected, and kept the Zazzle community informed via the Zazzle forums. See below for the finished product.

The Final Design
Jesse RIP skateboard
Softproduct – Jesse Version 14 Skateboard

Due to the expense, the students were afraid they wouldn’t be able to afford the skateboards, so Steve reached out to his fellow sellers and asked them to donate whatever they could to help Jesse’s friends purchase their mementos. With the help of donations from sellers in the Zazzle community, Jesse’s friends were able to purchase their skateboards.  All further donations are being sent to Liskeard School and Community College, the school which Jesse attended, to help pay for other memorial services. Truly a wonderful story of Zazzle Sellers working together to do something beautiful and good in the world.

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

April 9, 2010

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


South Park If I Had Wheels Shirt


Big Business Business Card

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Paul Stickland

April 8, 2010

Paul, from the Zazzle Stores paulstickland, truckstore & naughtylittledragon (along with numerous others), was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about his books, inspirations, and his time at Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out his stores PaulStickland, TruckStore, & NaughtyLittleDragon!

Orange Roar T-Shirt

Bio: Paul Stickland is an Author, Illustrator, Paper Engineer, lover of all things children’s book, illustration and pop up. He is the creator of over 50 children’s books, including Dinosaur Roar, Ten Terrible Dinosaurs, The Christmas Bear, One Bear One Dog, A Number of Dinosaurs, Swamp Stomp, Truck Jam, Big Dig, Big Bug Little Bug and many more.

Based in the ancient stone town of Sherborne, in deepest, dampest Dorset in England, he is the father of Rowan, Felix, Gus, Kit, Arthur and Tabitha Violet Rose (three names, one baby) and when he is not drawing daft dinosaurs, huge trucks, or making outrageous amounts of paper pop out of his children’s books, he is playing and recording with his songwriter and bookseller partner Helen Harvey, and then there is that Zazzle thing…

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Paul: I am using artwork from some of the over 50 children’s books which I have created and have been published all around the world. I have a plan chest full of artwork and if there were enough hours in the day a lot more of it would be going into Zazzle stores. I am lucky in that I control the copyright to most of my work, so I am free to use it on Zazzle. I’ve always wanted to put my characters on a range of quality products, so Zazzle is ideal. Having seen what works on the products, I am creating work especially for Zazzle.  I’m working on a cute new little dinosaur right now.

Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Paul: My artwork is aimed at children, so it looks great on kids products, the baby clothing is really sweet, I love the dinosaur and truck designs. But then I love the huge posters and so it seems, do my purchasers.

Huge Truck Poster

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Paul: Favorite? Here’s several…

- The Forum. You feel part of something and advice is very generously shared. I have learnt so much, html, tagging, promotion…

- Being able to be useful in the store at any time of day or night, wherever you are!

- Zazzle has to be congratulated for its interface, given how much time we sellers spend working on our stores, it has got to be pretty solid and it is. I have pulled my hair out on a couple of occasions but that wasn’t Zazzle’s fault!

- What’s more, the rolling improvements, driven by the incredibly supportive Forum and implemented by the backstage Zazzle techs, are constantly improving the service.

- I can see that the Zazzle store builder could be very useful. I need to learn how to integrate it in my external referring sites, like in my blog.

- It’s free.

- Best of all, the emails saying…  Your Zazzle product(s) have been purchased

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Paul: Not yet, I’ve been here less than a (very busy) year but I intend to dress my little daughter Tabitha up in dinosaurs soon and we’ll see what happens!

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Paul: Having been involved in publishing for the last 30 years, I am all too aware of the dangers of the traditional business model, with stock, overheads, employees, regulations etc all causing problems at one time or another, so I have always kept an eye on the Print on Demand model. This business model is being extended out into many new avenues, and rapidly. With advent of internet distribution, the whole focus of creative work has changed and companies such as Zazzle are a big part of this evolving world. The ease of being able to get ones work out to a global audience is quite a shock compared to traditional channels! Zazzle seems to have got it right in many ways, so after looking at all the other POD companies, I decided to join the Zazzle community and see where it led. The positive attitude and clear success of some of the members of this community is very encouraging. I haven’t been disappointed so far and I can see very considerable potential.

Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?

Paul: Use the forum. Search and read as much as you can, it might take a while but the answer to pretty much everything is there.   Patience, don’t expect overnight results.

Thanks Paul!

Darren Gets Riced!

April 6, 2010

Darren, Zazzle’s Creative Director, just returned from a vacation in China. To celebrate his return the Creative Team had a little present waiting…


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