Archive for September, 2012

Winners of the iPhone 5 Case Design Contest

September 28, 2012

We had a tremendous showing of various interpretations of the number 5 in our recent iPhone 5 Case Design Contest! There were so many fabulous entries; the judges had a really hard time selecting winners! A big thank you to all who participated. And now for the winners…

Our Grand Prize Winner:

marlenedesignerTehno number 5 iPhone case

And here are the Honorable Mentions: -

Jamene_Clothing - Personlized Orange Green Funky 5s iPhone case

 

TriBrushGimme 5 Retro Striped iPhone case

Congratulations to the winners and a big thanks to all who participated!

Foto Friday!

September 28, 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.


BoardWalk Trucker Mesh Hat
Ever since I received my trucker hat from Zazzle my facial hair started to grow rapidly and my voice sometimes turns into Chewbacca. The Zazzle Support team tells me to get a replacement or refund, but I refuse because I’m 100% satisfied. – Joakim


Ten Tiny Zombies Kids Basic T-Shirt

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

Seller Spotlight: CancerApparelGifts.com

September 27, 2012

CancerApparelGifts.com was launched when two sisters decided to create merchandise to help rally support for the fight against cancer. Twenty percent of the proceeds go toward a variety of organizations that promote cancer awareness, research and advocacy.

In honor of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, CancerApparelGifts.com discusses how they got started and what inspires them to create some of their favorite products. 

Too many people around us have been diagnosed with cancer, and we’ve overcome personal battles with cancer ourselves. We were participating in awareness walks, and we realized that we didn’t have great shirts to wear. Many print shops charge an upfront fee and that’s why we were attracted to Zazzle (along with the selection, ease of use and quality!). We’re proud that CancerApparelGifts.com is a cancer survivor run store — half of us are cancer survivors.

We are moved by the stories of survivors, and find inspiration and ideas for our products everywhere we go. From listening to cancer patients as a volunteer mentor to the stories cancer survivors write to us to talking about our stories, we’ll often stop and say “Oh, hey that would make an inspiring slogan!” or “That’s a really touching and empowering story — can we create something around that?” One of our favorite lines is our Fight Like a Girl products. The phrase has been around forever (remember grade school?), but one day we stopped and realized that yes, you should fight like a girl. We are braver than people think, and the line is perfect for cancer survivors.

We are passionate about getting the word out. Everything we create is from the perspective of cancer survivors. Having been survivors, we understand the plight from a personal perspective, and we understand what everyone’s going through. It’s not just business for us, it’s a personal mission.

Where to find CancerApparelGifts.com

On Facebook

On Twitter 

CancerApparelGifts’ Blog

Scripted Fight Like a Girl Breast Cancer Refrigerator Magnets
Scripted Fight Like a Girl Breast Cancer Refrigerator Magnets by cancerapparel
Breast Cancer Picked The Wrong Diva Mug
Breast Cancer Picked The Wrong Diva Mug by cancerapparel

Is It Fall Yet?

September 24, 2012

The first day of fall was this past Saturday, and man — was it a beautiful day in California’s Bay Area! Yeah, yeah, we know California doesn’t have the same seasonal changes as say, Vermont or Massachusetts, but we’re definitely starting to feel the chill in the air and see the subtle changes of color.

So while we wait for the fall season to briefly appear, we’ll be busy splitting our time between looking outside and looking online at fall inspiration filling the marketplace.

  

From fall inspired binders to family greeting cards and personalized cases, autumn’s in the air! Are you a fan of autumn? Show off your fall season sensibilities with some personal flare designed by you!

Waiting in line for the iPhone 5? We’ll be there, too!

September 21, 2012

Today is the day many have been waiting for, we finally get our hands on the iPhone 5!

We’re just as excited as you are. We’ll be there in person at two special locations in the Bay Area to talk to you while you’re waiting in line. We’ll also have another discount to give you for Zazzle iPhone 5 cases – but you can only get the code if we see you in person!

We’ll be in Palo Alto and San Francisco today – hanging around while you’re waiting in line. And just a suggestion if you’re bored, you can always start designing a custom iPhone 5 case using Zazzle Instant on your iPhone. Just sayin’ – could be a productive way to spend your time!

See you soon!

5 Tips for Designing iPhone 5 Cases

September 21, 2012

We’ve invited Nidhi, from the Zazzle store, nidhiart, to give us some tips on designing cases for the iPhone 5. Thanks for being our guest today, Nidhi!  We’ll also be inviting other sellers to guest blog in the future for our regular Thursday series. Take it away, Nidhi!

I’m so excited about the Zazzle iPhone 5 Design Contest that I wanted to provide a few tips for everyone as they are working on their submissions.  I have 5 tricks (yes, 5!) to share for those of you who are newbies or for those of you who have also been designing for awhile.  Anyone can be a seller on Zazzle – it’s such an easy set-up that I encourage all of you first-timers to give it a try.  Why wait?

Tip #1- Design for the product

When designing anything on Zazzle, it’s important to design for the product.  So an illustration that fits on an iPhone case may be different from one that works well on a t-shirt or mug.  Make sure to reconfigure your existing design to fit the product by shrinking or expanding it.  Always keep the iPhone 5 itself in mind – for example, make sure you know where the camera lens cut-out is.  Those features could attract the eye, and even be a focal point for your key design elements.

Tip #2- Tug at those heart strings

The iPhone 5 will be close to everyone’s heart, so tug on those heart strings.  I always tend to go toward bright, bold colors in my illustrations and aim for my images to create an emotional response and make you feel the love!  The image or pattern must warm people’s hearts whenever they look at it or show it to anyone – they will want to have pride in showing off their new case.

Tip #3- Patterns, patterns, everywhere

Even with just a little work, a previously used pattern can be beautiful on an iPhone case.  If you put in the work at the beginning to make the pattern fit the case, you’ll sell more iPhone 5 cases (and make more money!).  For example, a design element that Is a repeated pattern can work well on a case, as long as it’s engaging and fits properly on the case.  What sells well on t-shirts are often statements and words, but for iPhone cases, patterns are the hot thing.

Tip #4- Awesome customization

Don’t forget to keep Zazzle’s powerful customization tools in mind.  For example, you could design a frame that allows people to use your frame with their photo.  So you’re designing something but leaving room for people to add their own individual mark.  Not just photos, but simple, fun text elements are great for people to insert their favorite quotes or phrases.  You’ll still make the sale, as the person who buys it is getting to make something unique with your design!

Tip #5- Excuse me, is my tag showing?

At Zazzle, it’s important to make sure your tags are appropriate!  Tagging can sometimes be a chore, but it’s worth time at the onset.  For this contest, please use this tag – zazzleiphone5casecontest.  You can only submit one entry, so go with your best design!  All of the other cases ought to be tagged using descriptive words, in addition to tags related to the topic or theme (e.g., ‘retro’) and subject of the design (e.g., ‘puppy’).

I’ve already got a few iPhone 5 cases up on Zazzle:

Thanks Nidhi! The Zazzle iPhone 5 Design Contest ends on September 25th, so be sure to enter before the deadline. Good luck and have fun designing!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with OccasionInvitations

September 20, 2012

Christine, from the Zazzle store OccasionInvitations, talks with us about her discovery of print-on-demand and the unique opportunities she’s found with Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store OccasionInvitations!

 Zazzle: Give us a brief bio. Where are you from and when did you become interested in design?

Christine: I currently reside in Indianapolis, Indiana with my awesome husband of 12 years come September.  As a kid I always loved to draw and craft.  I happily stayed up late at night making birthday cards and such for my family.  Art was always one of my favorite subjects in school, and the margins of my notebook for my non-art classes were often filled with doodles.  However, I never entertained the thought of pursuing art as a career until after I completed a degree in zoology and then nursing.

During our first year of marriage, my husband suggested that I take some time off and figure out what I truly loved to do.  I did some research and came across the book, Mary Englebreit: The Art and The Artist.  She broke the mold of what I pictured an “artist” to be.  I was inspired by her tenacity, belief and passion for her artwork and her business entrepreneurship.  It was during that year of soul searching that I landed my first paying job as an artist.  I became a freelance cartoon editorialist for a small paper in Phoenix, AZ.  A few years after that Chrissy H. Studios, LLC was formed, and I began my professional foray into the art world.

Zazzle: Where is your favorite place to create?

Christine: Creation for me can take place anywhere at any time.  I carry my iPad wherever I go.  At a moment’s notice, I can pull it out, draw, take a picture or jot down some notes whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.  Eventually, the ideas from my iPad will make their way into my actual workspace.  I do the bulk of my design work from my home office.

When I design, I need space to spread out.  I work in front of two large monitors with my graphics program and reference pages from the web open in one monitor and my photo editing program, email and Pandora streaming in the background of the other.  My laptop sometimes makes an appearance, and I need space for my drawing tablet.  My desk along with my super-duper, ergonomic chair is quite like my personal command station and control center.  It makes my work life more efficient and enjoyable.

Zazzle: Your name gives it away – you’re all about occasions. What’s your favorite to create for and why?

Christine: Oh, I love creating for many occasions.  It’s hard to choose!  Baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays… it’s all good.  It’s a great feeling and an honor knowing that somehow I was part of someone’s special day.  With invitations, I get the opportunity to work with clients over the phone and through email.  When planning parties or showers, customers often have special requests that involve customizing their invitations further. It takes some extra effort, but in the end, it’s worth it.  Nothing beats having a happy customer contact you after they have received their items.

Zazzle: What is your favorite product in your shop?

Christine: I actually have over 30 different shops at Zazzle with all kinds of products that I love.  In this particular store, I love the paper products.  Invitations, postage stamps, stickers, etc.  They are all great!

Zazzle: When you’re not designing, how else do you enjoy spending your time?

Christine: When I’m not designing, I love to go out with my husband for dinner dates, shows and dancing.  We love to dance – swing and ballroom!  I also love to read and listen to audiobooks when time permits, and I exercise daily.  Although I can’t say that I enjoy working out, I do enjoy catching up on my favorite TV shows and FaceTiming long distance with friends and family while I’m on the elliptical.

Zazzle: How did you become interested in selling your designs on Zazzle?

Christine: Zazzle was probably the third print on demand provider that I joined.  I became interested in selling at Zazzle for the same reasons I started selling at other PODs.  When I first started my business, Chrissy H. Studios, LLC, I sold my illustrations on greeting cards to retail stores. I was limited to creating only 20 or so illustrations a year and printing up to 20,000 greeting cards at a time.  I was dependent on sales reps in specific regions of the country to market my cards.  In the beginning, I was going door to door myself.  I was packing and shipping all of my own orders, and I was cutting checks to my sales reps.  It was a lot of work and a lot of inventory.

Then at a trade show in New York, a fellow artist in a booth next to mine had mugs with her designs on them.  I asked her about it, and she mentioned the name of a web print on demand provider.  I had never heard of it.  I didn’t know what a POD was.  I didn’t think much about it until a couple of years later.  Around that time I began experimenting with graphic design and illustration.  Prior to that, I had created my artwork in watercolor, marker and pencil.  Now that I am doing more work on the computer, I started to explore my online options.

In 2007, I joined my first POD site, and I was pretty much hooked from the start.  I sold my first piece of artwork on a t-shirt within a few days of posting it.  Talk about motivation!  I realized fairly quickly that I could create as many designs as I wanted and put them on as many products as I wanted.  I no longer had to think about inventory.  Printing, shipping and handling were all outsourced to someone else.  Now, I could spend more time doing what I loved the most – creating more designs.  I loved how my shops were open all day everyday, and I was no longer limited to a local, regional audience. Chrissy H. Studios went internationaI within a couple of months of my print on demand adventure.  Since then, I have seen my designs on products shipped to over 47 countries worldwide.  I find that amazing, and I love that Zazzle has been a part of making that happen.

Zazzle: How do you promote your store?

Christine: Not as much as I should!  I am grateful for the affiliates who help promote and sell my products and the customers who find their way to my stores on their own.  I have my own website that directs customers to most of my stores at Zazzle, and I also have a Facebook page promoting my latest products and designs.

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

Christine: Enjoy it!  Relish every sale.  Do the happy dance!  The excitement never goes away.  It gets better and better.  Work hard and work smart.  Try different things.  It’s okay to evolve and change as an artist.  What may work for one Zazzler may not work for you.

Also, never stop learning and getting better.  Go to the Zazzle forums and READ.  Ask questions.  Google it.  YouTube it!  We live in the information age.  There is almost nothing you can’t find the answers to online.  Resources are everywhere.

Zazzle: Do you have any new designs in the works? If so, can we get a sneak peek?

Christine: Sure, here’s a screenshot of a lovely couple that I’m working on right now.  It’s a work in progress, but once it’s done, I’ll be adding the Love at First Fright design to Halloween themed shower invitations, matching his and her products and a few more items soon.

Zazzle: Adorable! Thanks for sharing Christine!

Aaaarrrrggggh, Sea Dogs! It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!

September 19, 2012

Ahoy, me hearties! It’s that time o’ t’ year, when landlubbers everywhere get in touch wi’ their inner buccaneers. What’s this, ye say? Blimey, ye didn’t know? Lend yer ears! Not only be today International Talk Like A Pirate Day, this year’s t’ 10th anniversary o’ t’ fine day! Yarrrgh!

Aye, a little background for ye scurvy dogs and bilge rats who haven’t been keepin’ up with t’ important holidays. You’ve got John Baur and Mark Summers (or Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy, as they’re called) t’ thank for dreamin’ up this booty o’ a day. Wi’ a lil’ help o’ Dave Berry back in 2002, what could’ve been just a crazy an’ brilliant idea has now turned into a worldwide day full o’ piratey parrrrrty an’ swashbucklin’ fun.

Still feel like ye need t’ brush up on ye pirate lingo? This video will get ye t’ old salt status in no time. (T’ more nautically inclined may want t’ try their hand at some pirate pickup lines t’ make the sea wenches swoon.) So what be ye waitin’ for, scallywags? Get yer pirate booty below, weigh anchor an’ hoist the mizzen!


Wear it loud and wear it proud, mateys!


For all ye baby buccaneers out there!


Shana Tova!

September 18, 2012

Guest blog alert! Shelli is here to tell us all about the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and how to make it perfect with Zazzle.

Shana Tova! The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, has just passed. We hope our Jewish Zazzle Customers and Sellers celebrated the New Year sweetly with apples and honey and that they have an easy fast for Yom Kippur.

Idea! Coordinate your New Year’s greetings; check out the collections below inspired by Rosh Hashanah:

Collection: “Apple Tree Rosh Hashanah”

Collection: “Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year”

Collection: “Framed Classic Rosh Hashanah”

Collection: “Rosh Hashanah Shana Tova Dove”

Zazzle iPhone 5 Case Design Contest

September 17, 2012

One of the most anticipated product releases of the year has arrived!  Zazzle, in partnership with Case-Mate, is adding to this historic moment by having the first custom iPhone 5 cases available! To celebrate this beautiful gadget (that many of us will be dreaming about), we are hosting an iPhone 5 Case Design Contest. The theme of this contest will be “5″ so show us your best design that incorporates the number 5, 5 of something, or just the spirit of 5! The Grand Prize winner will be walking away with $200 and a copy of their winning Case. Two honorable mentions will also receive $25 Zazzle Gift Certificates. See below for prize information and the details on how to enter the Zazzle iPhone 5 Case Design Contest. Good luck!

PLEASE NOTE: You may only submit ONE entry for this contest and must by a US Resident to receive the monetary prizes. International members are encouraged to participate and if chosen as the winner or runner-up will receive placement of their winning design on a Case-Mate cases page as well as a post in the blog.

Prizes:
Grand Prize = $200 and a copy of your winning case

Honorable Mention Prizes = $25 Zazzle Gift Certificate

How to Enter the iPhone 5 Case Contest:

  1. Create a Zazzle Account (It’s free!)
  2.  Create your iPhone 5 case:You must submit a design for the new Case-Mate Barely There iPhone 5 case product. Only one entry will be allowed per person!
  3. “Post for Sale” your Case with the tag zazzleiphone5casecontest in the Zazzle Marketplace (learn how to tag your product here)
  4. You’re done, good luck!

 View Entries   

Contest entries must be received by September 25, 2012 at 11:59pm PT         

Contest Rules:

  1. You may submit one entry for this contest.
  2. Entry must be a Case-Mate iPhone 5 case product.
  3. Entries must be received by September 25, 2012 at 11:59pm PT, to be eligible.
  4. Entries will be judged on uniqueness of design, overall creativity, and best use of the case space.
  5. Entering a contest is done by tagging your product with a specific contest related keyword (or “tag”). If you don’t know how to do this, please read the instructions here. You should also leave a comment under the contest announcement with a link to your product to give it more visibility.
  6. Read the Official iPhone 5 Case Contest Rules.

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