Archive for April, 2012

The Power of the Zazzle Platform: CTC Art Featured on American MoJo Pillows

April 30, 2012

A product as a vehicle of social good is an idea that’s gaining traction in the US and helping to change the meaning of “good business.” At Zazzle, we love being a part of this movement (the American MoJo pillow is an good example of that), but there’s a whole other level of social good, which we want to make the norm. Through the marriage of content and products on the Zazzle platform, we create two beneficiaries with any one product (the manufacturer and the content producer). Applying this to charities, that means two charities from opposite ends of the world can work together to drive social good. The latest example of this? Check out the American MoJo custom pillows in the Comfort the Children (CTC) store on Zazzle. The content is hand-painted art (digitized on Zazzle) created by Comfort the Children’s school children and the product is a hand-stitched pillow produced by American MoJo single mothers. A consumer purchasing this product will benefit both the CTC charity in Africa and the American MoJo charity right here in the USA. Of course this kind of collaboration is something these charities could do together if they made a project of it, but the speed, execution, and experience powered by Zazzle is something that would be impossible to replicate at scale. The beauty of these organic collaborations is exciting to watch and another testament to the power of the platform. See below for some of these new pillows designs in the CTC store.

Fotos (and videos) for Friday

April 27, 2012

Check out this week’s Foto Friday!

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? See details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Gone Squatchin Tshirts


Gym, Tan, Laundry Tee Shirt


r/Trees Pineapple Club 1.25″ Button


311-Posh Pooch Damask Shimmer | Pink Poodle Business Card Template


Skip to about 3:15 and that’s where I show off my awesome business cards you guys made for me!

Join in the fun now! Learn more about submitting your photos and videos to Foto Friday!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with scruffshop

April 26, 2012

Carla, from the Zazzle store scruffshop, talks with us about embracing her childhood passion and discovering opportunities with Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store scruffshop.

Zazzle: Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself!

Carla: My name’s Carla and I live at the bottom of the world in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve been designing on Zazzle for nearly two years under the name of Scruff. That name originated from my continual inability to keep grubby fingerprints off my artwork!

Zazzle:  When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been making art?

Carla: I’ve been making art since I was little – drawing was my favorite thing to do. I still have some of my old books full of endless drawings of girls, cats, complicated city scenes and maps of imaginary countries. Later on I trained in illustration, graphic design and animation – I had ambitions of becoming an illustrator of children’s books, but ended up working in animation in the UK for six years instead. That was a challenge for me as I find it hard to sit still! During the past few years I’ve felt a pull to return to the kind of work I loved when I was younger: funny-looking animals, cute characters and intricate hand-drawn doodly patterns. I remember my grandma once telling me off for not spending enough time on my art. “You’ll come back to it when you are older and aren’t so restless,” she said. As usual, she was right!

Zazzle:  How would you describe your style?

Carla: Quirky hand-drawn illustration with a sense of fun, sometimes for kids, but really for anyone who likes a little bit of whimsy. Drawing’s my first love, but I also have a passion for good old-fashioned painting and printmaking.

Zazzle:  What’s your favorite medium to use?

 Carla: Most of my work originates from drawings I create by hand, usually in pen and ink. I have a stash of favorite fountain and drawing pens, though occasionally I’ll deviate into ballpoint pen territory! When I started on Zazzle I taught myself the basics of Adobe Illustrator, which makes it easy to create large vector images. Usually I clean up my original drawings in Photoshop then transfer them to Illustrator for coloring and adding other design elements.

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

Carla: I first heard about Zazzle on an online illustrator’s forum – at the time I had just started to think seriously about getting back into design again and was looking at ways to kick-start that process. I was also interested in the world of art licensing, and Zazzle gave me the opportunity and tools to begin building my own collections. I’m now represented by an art licensing agent in the US, which is a new and exciting development.

Zazzle:  What was the first product you ever sold on Zazzle?

Carla:
The first thing I ever sold on Zazzle was a customized baby bunny children’s poster, to someone in Australia! Seeing that first sale was very exciting – I remember obsessively checking my earnings history just to make sure it was still there.

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

Carla: Patience, by the bucket-load. Building up your store (and sales) takes time, and there are plenty of moments when nothing may appear to be happening. Persistence, determination and consistency are all important. When I started I was very impatient and sometimes self-doubting, but I kept going, regularly adding new designs when I could. I try to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. I take the time to make sure my designs are well-placed on each product they are suitable for. I try and get my tags and descriptions right (I’m still in the process of fixing my original tags, some of which were just plain wrong). I read lots – online forums, design blogs, articles on anything to do with art licensing. Designing and creating makes me happy, and I love the creative options and range of products that Zazzle offers.

Zazzle:  Can you give us a sneak peek of future designs? Pretty please!

Carla: I have never-ending ideas for new designs and wish I had more hours in the day. Recently I’ve been drawing lots of monsters and have plans for a new little monster collection. I also love creating hand-drawn floral and animal character patterns, so there are lots more of those in the pipeline.

Thanks for sharing Carla!

The Growing Zazzle Ecosystem – Nidhi’s Workshop in San Francisco

April 24, 2012

The Zazzle ecosystem is constantly growing and evolving beyond the platform and into the far reaches of the web/real world. I first noticed this when Sellers started offering services to create stores and merchandising for local merchants (restaurants, bike stores, etc.) to sell their products. Now, Sellers are even offering educational programs on how to sell on Zazzle. Nidhi Chanani, of the Zazzle store smallhandsdesigns, created an event tomorrow in San Francisco called “Pay Your Rent with Zazzle, Beginners Workshop.” It promises to be a, “…hands-on workshop to learn how to earn money with a Zazzle shop.” That’s pretty damn cool. These professional services businesses, created by Sellers to leverage the Zazzle platform in new and creative ways, are just continued examples of how Zazzle is empowering commerce that’s like nothing else. I can’t wait to see what new types of business spring up from Zazzle in the future. I can’t even imagine what’s coming next.

Have you noticed new businesses and ecosystems created around the Zazzle platform? Have you created a new ecosystem based on Zazzle? What real world events and gatherings would you like to see from Zazzle in the future? Share in the comments!

ZOMG Pink Gorilla T-shirt Design Contest

April 23, 2012

Zazzle has teamed up with Talenthouse to launch one of the most epic design contests ever!

Boston has its Marathon… Pamplona has the bulls… New Orleans has Mardi Gras… San Francisco has the historic Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12k!

The 101-year old Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12k is one of the world’s largest and oldest footraces, held annually in San Francisco, California. The name reflects the traditional course which takes tens of thousands of participants from the northeast end of the downtown area near The Embarcadero (the “bay” side of the city) to the west end of the city and the “breakers” of Ocean Beach. The 7.46 mile (12 kilometer) race features world-class athletes in addition to costumed runners and ‘fun-loving’ folks out for a great day of running and walking through San Francisco.

During the week leading up to this epic event, Zazzle will be hosting a series of ZOMG events throughout the city at some of the largest and most popular venues. Visit zomg.zazzle.com for information about the ZOMG Events! The mascot of this years’ ZOMG is “Pink Gorilla”. Zazzle is looking for an amazing t-shirt design that will be used as the official ZOMG t-shirt for all of the epic events hosted throughout the city during the week of May 13-20.

The winning design will be showcased in the Official Pink Gorilla Store, and in front of the 100,000+ participants in the ZOMG events, at the 101st Zazzle Bay to Breakers, and within the user-generated video with up to 2 million anticipated views. The winner will also receive $1,000 in prize monies. Three runner-ups chosen by Zazzle will receive exposure through the Zazzle social media channels and will each receive $50 in Zazzle store credit.

How To Enter

  • All entries must be received by May 3rd 2012 at 11:59pm PST
  • Participants must use the t-shirt design templates that can be downloaded at www.zazzle.com/mk/custom/guidefiles
  • Designs must be original (meaning not using third party pre-existing copyright materials)
  • Submissions must be submitted in either JPEG or PNG format (max 5MB)
  • All entries must be in the spirit of “Pink Gorilla” and are encouraged to utilize this color palette
  • Please do not include the event name “Zazzle Bay to Breakers”
  • All entries must be posted for sale on Zazzle (may be a private product and not visible to the public) so that the winning design can be ordered and displayed in the official store. To post for sale, upload your design onto a t-shirt at http://www.zazzle.com/custom/tshirts and click the red “Post for Sale” link at the bottom. Please tag your design with the tag “talenthousecontest” so that we can find your entry (learn how to tag your product here).
  • Submit your entry at the Talenthouse Contest Page

Please note: This contest is open to US residents only.

Foto Friday Feature: Kiarra

April 20, 2012

This week’s Foto Friday is all about Kiarra. Her search to find the perfect customizable t-shirt took to the far reaches of the internet but eventually landed her on Zazzle for a perfectly fitted shirt. Did she like the shirt? I’ll let her tell the story.

My name is Kiarra and this shirt is part of my senior project (college senior). I’m coming out with two children’s books: one is about building community and the other is about a missing child named Christian Ferguson. I illustrated both books and I wrote the one about community building. The t-shirt has the first logo I ever designed and it is for an organization called Looking for an Angel. The organization is a non-profit organization that raises monetary rewards for missing persons.

Looking for an Angel was founded by my friend, Theda. Her son, Christian, went missing in 2003 from St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, Theda has been trying to keep the story alive and is trying to start her organization. She even started an annual march and does anything that she can to help people with missing loved ones. I met Theda when I was 15 (I am 22 now) and I volunteered to illustrate her book. Since my drawing improved, I decided to make a second attempt at illustrating. I knew little about Photoshop or Indesign prior to creating my books, so it was a difficult challenge. I had numerous people helping me every step of the way and I honestly do not know how this book is in its final stages. I didn’t charge Theda anything. She didn’t have the money and I don’t have the money either, but I believe in a higher purpose and if you want something, you will make a way. I want to use my talents to actually leave a legacy and I do not mind if that legacy is in the form of a children’s book.

As far as the t-shirt, I was happy to find Zazzle. I had gone to someone in my college town (which is in the middle of nowhere with no buses or even a hospital) to make my shirt. The cost was around $30 for one white shirt and that is the cheapest they had. Fortunately, I found Zazzle and the coupons are amazing! Anyway, the logo is a magnifying glass, symbolizing that we are still looking for missing loved ones. The wings are about angels. I drew the magnifying glass by hand and then posterized it, so it looks a bit scruffy. But I am still proud of it because somehow, I completed it. Here are the covers of my two children’s books, I hope you like them ^_^

Join in the fun now! Learn more about submitting your photos and videos to Foto Friday!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Chibibunny

April 19, 2012

Dao Thuy Duong, from the Zazzle store Chibibunny, talks with us about her love of Japanese art and the joy she receives from selling her designs on Zazzle products. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store Chibibunny.

Zazzle: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Dao Thuy Duong: My name is Dao Thuy Duong (aka tho-be) from Hanoi, Vietnam. I’m a self-taught anime illustrator and designer. I graduated from the National University, major in business administrations and worked for some IT companies for several years before I decided to pursue my dream to be an artist. I started to draw at the age of 12, inspired by Japanese anime named “Sailor Moon”. I didn’t draw continuously during my school time and early working time but I always love art and my desire to become an artist still remains the same. 2 years ago, I quit my job as a senior training coordinator, joined deviantArt and focus on drawing to build my own style.

 Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Dao Thuy Duong: My inspirations mainly come from Japanese anime/manga style and now simple kawaii style. I also find inspirations from various talented artists on deviantArt with different styles (digital, traditional, photography, artisan crafts …)

Zazzle: How do you get out of creative ruts?

Dao Thuy Duong: Sometimes it’s hard … I just stop creating but wandering on art websites and also other Zazzler’s stores to get inspiration back.

Zazzle: What’s your favorite Zazzle product to create?

Dao Thuy Duong: It’s really hard to choose, I love the t-shirts, cases, mugs, calendars, notebooks, folio, messenger bags … But if I have to choose one, I’d choose pillow. They’re soft, fluffy and lovable.

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

Dao Thuy Duong: My dream is not to become an artist with art hanging on the wall. I always love to see my art on normal things in life. When I discovered Zazzle, I was really happy. It’s a special feelings like that you can touch your dream. In addition, Zazzle’s designing and promotion tools are easy to use, customer service and support team are great, plus other Zazzle designers are really friendly and willing to help. By the way, I would like to give special thanks to a talented Zazzle designer named Mai, owner of sugaroverkill. She introduced Zazzle to me and helped me a lot.

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

Dao Thuy Duong: I just want to share some experiences:

  • Be patient, patient and patient. Everything needs time so do as your sales.
  • Keep the layout design of your store simple, clear, and easy for customers to navigate.
  • Update your store regularly. Try to create at least 1 new product every day.
  • Join the forum. You can find almost everything you need there.
  • Tags are important. Search engines find your products based on tags.
  • Promotion is the key. Zazzle has billions of products, how can customers find yours? Zazzle promotion tools are convenient and easy to use. Promote your products on your website, blog, FB, Twitter, etc.
  • Build your own style, that’s how customers find your products unique and recognizable.

Zazzle: Can you give us a sneak peek of future designs?

Dao Thuy Duong: I’m working on some detailed illustrations with a combination of semi-realistic, anime and also kawaii style. The mixture of those things together has received many “likes” on my art page and I hope they’ll be loved here on Zazzle too.

Thanks for sharing Dao Thuy Duong!

The Avengers Assembled – Vintage Comic Fan Gear on Zazzle!

April 17, 2012

Avengers fans assemble! Earth’s mightiest heroes are hitting the big screen May 4th and you need to be ready with official Avengers gear from Zazzle. The recently launched official Avengers merchandise store features classic and conceptual designs from the famous comic series on Avengers t-shirts, Avengers iPhone cases, Avenger posters, Avengers mugs, and more. You’ll probably need Hulk like strength to carry all the stuff you’ll want to get from this store.

If you’re not excited about the movie coming out yet, just watch the trailer below. It’s magical.

Who’s your favorite Avenger? What Avenger product do you plan to bring to the movie on midnight (you know you’re going)? Share in the comments!

Squidoo Review Provides Detailed Information on Zazzle Invitations

April 16, 2012

I had to share this…Zazzle Seller Pip Gerard put together the most comprehensive and detailed analysis of Zazzle’s invitation papers, sizes, and printing process that I’ve ever seen – even a caliper was used! I highly recommend you read Pip’s Zazzle Invitation Squidoo Lens. The photography alone makes it worth checking out.

Have you created a lens that provides detailed information about Zazzle products? What’s your favorite invite paper type on Zazzle? Share in the comments!

Foto Friday

April 13, 2012

Check out this week’s Foto Friday!

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? See details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


I ordered a canvas of my gangster portrait on Zazzle. The printing is excellent and shows the gritty feel of the photo perfectly. I will hang it in my living room.


HAY GUYZ Smiley Shirt


REACH REBELS AWAY HOODIE

Join in the fun now! Learn more about submitting your photos and videos to Foto Friday!


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