Archive for August, 2010

Batman Under the Red Hood now on Zazzle

August 16, 2010

The newest animated movie of the infamous caped crusader, Batman Under the Red Hood,  is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Zazzle products!

Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when the Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened

Batman Under the Red Hood Poster

Be sure to check out all the Batman Under the Red Hood merchandise in the DC Comics Batman store.

Batman Under the Red Hood MagnetBatman Under the Red Hood Keychain

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

August 13, 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.


basic /nerdcore shirt


Orange you glad? t shirts


bartender tshirt

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 Arncyn

August 12, 2010

Cynthia, from the Zazzle Stores arncyn and poptasticbride, was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about her inspirations and what brought her to Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her stores arncyn and poptasticbride!

Food Fight Dumplings vs French Fries T-Shirt

Bio: Cynthia Bauzon-Arre is a self-employed Graphic Designer in the Philippines. She worked in the advertising industry as an Art Director and consecutively an Associate Creative Director for a total of 9 years after which she decided to go freelance. Since leaving advertising, she has worked on a wide variety of projects that mostly involved website design and music packaging for rock bands. She was also involved in creating the overall look for a local wedding magazine which she eventually worked on as a Design Director for the next 5 years.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Cynthia: Currently I have two stores on Zazzle: Poptastic Bestsellers and Poptastic Bride. The inspiration for the designs on Poptastic Bestsellers is pop culture – funny expressions, the 80s, sports and gaming, references to popular media… I love the retro look, so most of my designs have a 60s and 70s feel in terms of color scheme and illustration style. As for Poptastic Bride, I aim to create wedding paraphernalia that’s funky, bold, and unexpected. I want my work to have a different quality from what one can usually expect from traditional wedding tees and stationery. I think you will also see the retro influence across all my designs on there too.

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

Cynthia: I like all my designs but if I had to choose just one from each store, it would be the Robot Love Wedding Invitation from Poptastic Bride because the idea for it came straight out of left field but it’s been surprisingly well-received, and the Meh t-shirt from Poptastic Bestsellers because it can be tongue in cheek and cute all at once. I put a lot of love in creating both designs and I’m just glad that they are being appreciated by others too!

Robot Love Wedding Invitations

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

Cynthia: Gosh, this is a difficult question to answer because I love absolutely everything about Zazzle. Well, definitely being able to customize so many cool products from neckties to postage to sneakers is an excellent feature! I have yet to play with all the available products, but I just love that, as sellers, we have access to all these fun options. I also appreciate that we can design our storefronts to match our accompanying websites/blogs.

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

Cynthia: I wanted to see what my art would look like on various items like sneakers, bags, shirts, and other products. It was like having a whole new different canvas for my work. What really sold me on Zazzle though, is that it has a wide selection of the coolest products. The easy-to-use customization tool is a great big bonus feature too. I like that customers are free to modify the products to suit them and their individual personalities.

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

Cynthia: There are tons of fantastic designs on Zazzle stores, but that also means that there’s a lot of competition out there, so you have to make your designs stand out. Plan the theme for your shop well — it’s important to have a cohesive theme or else your store will just look haphazardly put together. Make designs for topics you’re an expert on. Check out the marketplace and try to figure out what kinds of designs have not been done yet. Find a niche for yourself and do your best to own it. As an example, there’s a whole slew of “funny t-shirts” on there but are there “funny animals-doing-human-things tees”, “Funny aging-hipster-jokes t-shirts”, or how about, “funny fictional-band-name-logo shirts”? You get the idea. Once you’ve found your niche theme, populate your store with a lot of eye-catching and, most importantly, original work (in other words, don’t copy others’ hard work!).

Thanks Cynthia!

Seller Wednesday – Holiday Prep Volume 2

August 11, 2010

Recommending products – Cross-selling to optimize your Zazzle store and increase your sales.

A great way to increase your sales is to add cross-sale recommendations into the product description.  Say you create a greeting card or an invitation; you could cross-sell matching stamps or envelopes and increase your chances that they’ll buy more from your store.  It’s also a great way to promote your other stores, if you have multiple Zazzle stores.

Examples:

Autumn Save the Date CardAutumn Wedding a7 envelope
Wasootch
Snowman Merry Christmas Card3 Snowmen Wearing Scarves Postage
LisaMarieArt

This is how to add recommended products to your product pages – Find the products you want to cross-sell, and click the “Link” button underneath the share this section on the product page. In the pop up, copy the html code – this is the code you need to put into the description in the 2nd product.

Once you’ve copied the code, go to the description section on the matching product and paste the code in the description area.

Now, once you hit “OK” you can see the cross-sell.

Be sure to submit any holiday prep idea you have in the comments below, and when we have another Holiday Prep blog, you’re tips will be added to the blog.

Holiday Prep tips from Zazzle sellers:

Reflections06 – I have found that people shop for Christmas items ALL year long – so why wait until the fall to begin promoting or designing them? It’s been really hot this summer and to have a little “cool” winter fun I’ve been in Christmas mode for a few weeks now already, designing, organizing the shop, blogging the new goodies (just blogged a new Christmas post today, in fact). Especially for those planning Christmas parties, your Christmas party invitations and address labels should be in your shops NOW.)

TheInspiredEdgeThere is a rule in photography called “The Kiss Rule”
It means “Keep It Simple Stupid” a not so gentle reminder that simplicity is a beautiful thing!
That’s what I try to do with design. Keep it simple, clean & elegant. Keyword, keyword, keyword!
Then link all my products together.

Zazzle likes Froyo!

August 9, 2010

Last week we posted about how our Zazzle design tool works well on Apple’s iPad tablet. This week I’m here to show you how well it works on Google’s Android OS!

Android OS Version 2.2 (codenamed “Froyo”) is the latest iteration of Google’s rapidly growing mobile operating system. Not all Android phones have been updated to Froyo yet, but for those that have, designing on Zazzle just got a bit better.

One of the main issues when using a mobile browser is not being able to upload images from your phone’s memory or SD card to a web site like Zazzle. I won’t get into the technical details of why that is, but Froyo circumvents the issue by supporting full Adobe Flash 10.1.

No, Zazzle’s design tools are not written in Flash. But we do support a small Flash based image uploader right within our tools. It’s seamless, so you probably never even noticed that it uses Flash (and if you don’t have Flash installed, it simply falls back to using the default browser upload control).

In any case, Android 2.2 can now take advantage of our Flash uploader and allow you to upload images you have saved on your phone!

Show me!

First, navigate to a design tool. In this example, I went to create a mousepad using my HTC Evo Android phone, which recently got the Android 2.2 update.

After clicking on “Select image” from the Get Started box, I see my image upload screen. From here I can choose to add an existing image from My Zazzle Images, or upload a new image.

Let’s upload a new one by clicking on the “Select Images to upload” button. This is where the magic happens! Before Froyo, this button was disabled. Now it’s available, and clicking it brings you to a list of images on your device:

Cool! Now just touch the image you want to add. In this example, I added “Androidian Man_4.jpg”, but all the images on my phone (including photographs I took with my phone’s camera) appeared on this list.

After the image finishes uploading, it appears on the mousepad! Simple as pie!

So who out there uses Android, and are you on Froyo yet?

Zazzle’s New Doo

August 9, 2010

There’s always plenty of designing, re-designing, and start-from-scratch-and-then-re-design again that goes on here at Zazzle behind the scenes. We’re perfectionists. One of those “can we make it any better?” projects has involved some style changes for the Zazzle site, and we’ve been toying with the idea for a while now.  The more we thought on it and the more we played with it the more we felt that Zazzle’s “doo” was a little too 2008.  So, operating under the “less is more” principle, we decided to give Zazzle a haircut.  Maybe it’s more of a trim, actually.  Here’s what we did:

The first thing was to chop off the gray background gradient outside of the main 900px wide content area. After we did, the whole page immediately felt lighter and we knew we were on the right track.

While we were shaving off visual page weight, the gray backgrounds behind the side navs had to go too.  There was no longer any framing element for the left nav decoration to sit against.

With the left and right framing elements gone, we needed to stretch both the header and the footer to 100% of browser width.  Doing so gave us a good top-bottom balance and it left the content area plenty of room to breathe and stretch out a little.  I happen to love the new footer style and the way it now serves as a good counter-balance to the relatively heavy header.

You may have also noticed that we’re playing with some different button colors.  We’re tweaking the bright orange button to call more attention to it.  We’ve also livened up the standard gray buttons by making the label color match our link color and lightening the gray background.  We believe the later changes will afford more clicks and less head scratching over what looked like, to some, a disabled button.

Zazzle’s “haircut” isn’t just about slimming down some of the visual page weight.  A nice side effect of reducing heavy colors and backgrounds is that we save ourselves some actual page weight, i.e., the amount of “stuff” the browser needs to fetch from our servers.  Snappy page load and rendering times are critical for conversions, so the more work we do to speed things up the better.  In fact, image request reduction is only one of many changes we plan to make in short order in the name of increased page speed.  Most of these changes may be entirely transparent to our users, but we hope the reduced rendering time will be dramatically obvious.  Stay tuned for that.  Many great things ahead.

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

August 6, 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.


*NEW* Lighter Side of Dark bookmark Post Cards


Cafe time canvas bags


Shard – Unearthed Mousepad


KISS Gene’s Famous Pose Poster Print

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.

Design on the iPad!

August 5, 2010

Many of us here at Zazzle headquarters are enjoying playing with our new iPads.  However, we were a bit disappointed that our design tool did not work as well as it could.  But we recently made some changes to fix this.

When using the Zazzle Design Tool on the iPad you can now re-arrange objects and resize them using your finger.

Zazzle on the iPad

It's easy to re-arrange design objects with your finger on the iPad!

There’s just one troubling limitation – due to a limitation of the Safari browser on the iPad you cannot upload images from your iPad photo library into a design.  But if you have images in your Zazzle account you can use those when making your design – just login to your Zazzle account to access those images.

If you’ve got an iPad go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Steve Thomas

August 5, 2010

Steve, of the Zazzle store SteveThomas, talked with us about the inspiration behind his retro/propaganda style art work and about his time at Zazzle.  Check out the interview below, and don’t forget to check out his store SteveThomas!

Arcade Game Propaganda Poster Last in a Series

Zazzle: Tell us a little bit about yourself – where you live, your profession, etc.

Steve: I live and work just outside of the Twin Cities of Minnesota. I’ve been creating artwork professionally for about 12 years working mostly in newspapers as a graphic artist and illustrator. Between family life and a career, finding the time to illustrate isn’t always easy, but getting the kids involved is a great way to share in the fun. I found Zazzle sometime back in 2004.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Steve: I draw inspiration from vintage advertisement art and illustration. There is a certain life to it that can’t be created with modern means (although I keep trying). Most of my work these days is completed digitally, but I’m working to master more of the traditional media in order to get the feel I want out of my art. My background is in graphics that use a lot of text and typography. I really enjoy the sometimes haphazard placement of text used in old ads, whether it be travel posters, product posters or propaganda. I also like the direct and to-the-point messages they portray. I try to channel some of that energy into my posters – plus adding some campiness and tongue-in-cheek tag lines.

I’m also very inspired by the retro-futuristic images from the mid-twentieth century. All the pulp book and magazine covers printed with images of strange aliens and heroes with blasters saving damsels in distress. The damsels also inspire me as can be seen in my pin-up series.

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

Steve: My favorite design to date is probably my ‘Travel to Jupiter’ poster. The colors, composition, text and images came together easily and it was very fun to do. I think it was my third or fourth image I did for the Planetary Travel series. And I think the Europa Air logo at the bottom really worked out and I was able to incorporate Jupiter’s big red spot into that design.

Travel to Jupiter Poster

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

Steve: Zazzle is a great way to sell artwork in many forms without having to keep a stockpile in the basement. The prints are of a very high quality and reasonably priced. Zazzle is worldwide and is able to get my products in front of anyone with internet access. The exposure alone is priceless.

Zazzle: Do you have a favorite Zazzle feature, if so what is it?

Steve: I would say the referral code that earns me extra cast! I place this code on all my images that link back to my Zazzle store, including my website and blog.

Zazzle: Have any fun stories you’d like to share about being a seller on Zazzle?

Steve: I’ve made some great connections with fellow Sellers who have been kind enough to Tweet or Blog about some of my products. I’ve also acquired some commissioned illustrations from people seeing the products in my store.

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

Steve: Create something that you would want to either wear, place on your desk or put on your wall. When I first started, I rushed to get things in my store and the quality suffered. They weren’t things I would necessarily buy, but thought others might. Turns out I didn’t sell any so I took them down.

Also, when you do upload something, create a bit of a buzz about it. Email some of your favorite blogs and ask them to do an entry on your work. Twitter is also a great place to go. Cool things spread quickly on the web.

Thanks Steve!!

Seller Wednesday – Simple Ways to Simplify your Zazzle Store

August 4, 2010

It’s National Simplify your Life Week! Most of us like things to be simple, so today we’re going to focus on easy ways to simplify your Zazzle store, and make it simple for your customers to find what they’re looking for.

Create Image Sets as your uploading new images

When you upload images, start putting them in separate sets (i.e. animals, holiday, flags, funny, etc.), that way it’ll be a lot easier for you to find images – instead of looking through 50+ pages for that one image you want to make into a shoe .

If you already have a bunch of images uploaded, but haven’t put them into sets, it’s simple to get things organized. Just go into your “my images” section, and click on the “Add Set” link. A little pop up will appear and that’s where you’ll name the set; in this case I’m calling the 2 I’m making “animals” and “christmas”.


Now that we have the sets created, it’s time to add the images to our sets.  Click on the images you want to add to one set, and after you’ve selected all your images, click on the “Add to…” link that’s above your images, pick the set you want the images added to and click “Add images to set”.  Now you can click on the image set, and see only the images you placed in that set.


Create categories for easy browsing through your store, or set up a browse by design store front

Adding store categories is just as simple as creating an image set.  Go into your “products” tab and to the right of the “Quick Create” click on “Add New Category”.

Note: if you want to do a browse by design, you’ll want to be very specific. So instead of “Animals” you’ll want to name it “Cats”, or the name of the image, if you want to be even more specific, “Here Kitty Kitty Kitty”

After you’ve created your categories, check the images you want to add to that category and click the “Move to” link above your products, pick the category, and hit “Done”. Now you can click on the category, and see only the products you placed in that set.

Aggregate all your volume bonuses under one “Master Handle”

If you have multiple stores, and want to get the most out of the volume bonus, pick one account that’s going to be your “Master Account” and go into the “Earnings” tab in that account.  Once there, click on the “Volume Bonus” link in the left hand navigation and type in the username and password of your other accounts and hit “Add”.  Now, the total of all the earnings that all the stores you added make will be added together here, and help you reach the next volume bonus level faster.

If you have any tips on ways to simplify your Zazzle store, share them in the comments and we’ll add them to the blog post!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 671 other followers

%d bloggers like this: