Author Archive

This week’s #Zazzlemade winner: Justin Graves

July 22, 2014

2014 07 21-Zazzlemade-winner justin graves

Congratulations to this week’s winner of the #zazzlemade contest, Justin Graves! We loved this great photo of his matching stickers, laptop case and phone case.

To see all of the fun #zazzlemade entries, visit http://bit.ly/1kjW5eg. To enter your own photo of a #zazzlemade product, simply tag an Instagram post or Tweet with #zazzlemade! All Facebook entries can be submitted directly here.

Template tips for easily customizable designs

July 21, 2014

Wondering how to make the most of all of the customization options that Zazzle designs have to offer? Here are our best tips for creating tip-top templates that will give your customers the most options for personalizing their purchases.

 

1. Make your text or image elements template object

 

When creating a design, you can make the most of your customer’s personalization experience by already marking each customizable image or text field as a template in our design tool. By making template objects, you’re making it even easier for your customer to make your design their own! On your product page, each field that your customer can edit will be immediately visible, without having to click on the “Customize it” button.

 

You can make a design element a template object with these easy steps:

 

  • Select the text field or image you would like to make a template
  • Click on the gear icon
  • Check the box “Make this a template object”
  • Enter the product page label. This will be the name of the field that the customer sees when they are on your product’s page. For example, you might enter “Bride’s name” for the product page label if you are marking the text area where your customer will enter the bride’s name on a wedding invitation.
  • Name the URL parameter. Make sure this is an entirely unique name, as having duplicate URL parameter names will cause errors in customizing!
  • Make sure that the box for “Allow editing on product page” is checked

mark as template

2. Allow as many template fields as possible

 

Now that you know how to make a design element a template object, you can start thinking even more about how this feature can help your customers create their perfect product. Maybe one customer loves the default message on your product, but isn’t as in love with the border design. Another customer might think the border is perfect, but would rather change the message to their own words. Making more design elements into template objects means even more opportunities for the perfect personalization of your product for your customer.

personalize it 1personalize it 2

3. Be generic in your design but specific in your title, description and tags

 

This is a particularly handy tip for products with themes which include a year, such as holiday greetings . For a holiday card for this year, make sure you use the actual year “2014″ in your product’s title, description, and tags so that customers can easily find your current design.

In the design itself, mark your text field for the year as a template object and use the template text “20XX”. Your customer will be able to enter in the appropriate year during their customization, and you will have a design that won’t be outdated for next year! When 2015 rolls around, all you’ll need to do is update your title, description, and tags without having to publish an entirely new design.

20xx

title tags 2014

4. Variety is key

 

The holidays can mean many different things to many different people! Offering a wide range of designs, styles, and messages will help your customers find just what they’re looking for. Try themes like Christmas, general holidays, winter, Hanukkah or New Year’s and styles like photo templates, monogram and family name templates, or patterns.

5. Don’t forget matching products

 

A perfectly customizable product needs perfectly customizable accessories! If you’re making a card or invitation, don’t forget to create matching products to go with it such as stamps, labels, stickers, envelopes, and more.

This week’s #Zazzlemade winner: littlemissjmt!

July 18, 2014

zazzlemade littlemissjmt

 

Congratulations to Jennifer, whose photo of her adorable custom coaster is this week’s winner of our #zazzlemade sweepstakes! She writes, “Thank you @Zazzle for our super cute new coasters 😃 #byebyebachelorpad”

 

To see all of the fun entries, visit http://bit.ly/1kjW5eg. To enter your own photo of a #zazzlemade product, simply tag an Instagram post or Tweet with #zazzlemade. All Facebook entries can be submitted directly here.

Featured Designer Interview with Barbara of Wasabirose

July 18, 2014

Today we’re talking with Barbara McConkey, the multi-talented artist from Zazzle shop WasabiRose, about her artistic journey and graphic design career.

Zazzle: Tell us about you! Where are you from/where do you live?

Barbara: I’m a graphic designer and mixed media artist originally from California but I now live in Washington state. I live with my husband and three kids, and work from my home office for my design business called InForm Design.

I’m very active in my community as a volunteer for nonprofit organizations. I specialize in work for nonprofits, so they are my regular customers and I often donate my design services to them as well.

Zazzle: What is your background in art and design? When did you first start creating?

Barbara: I started creating at a very early age! I was always creating something: sewing, drawing, or building things. As I got older I learned about a whole bunch of different artistic mediums, so over time I tried out a lot of different creative pursuits.

As a young adult I started a career in graphic design. I didn’t go to school for it, but just got started when computers began to come in to play in the graphic design field. I learned along with the rest of the industry. The other thing about my creativity is that, while I was really confident in my professional life as a graphic designer, I struggled privately to find myself as an artist. I was looking for that special niche thing that was going to be mine. It was frustrating to me because I was trying so many different things – felt-making, sculpture, pottery, and photography– and then I realized that I was in love with all of them! It took me a long time to figure out that I am a mixed media artist. I thought I was looking for one thing when I was really looking for a lot of them. So, I do a little bit of everything!

 

Zazzle: Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

Barbara: I like to paint, so sometimes my designs will be inspired by something I painted or drew. I have some painted designs in my store, as well as some computer drawn images. I’ve found I can even use some of my collage designs on Zazzle. I can use a variety of the things I do as long as they are 2 dimensional. I also do a lot of black and white pattern work.

I’m very inspired by my pets. My yin yang cat design is very popular! That one was definitely inspired by my cats. I volunteer for a Japanese nonprofit organization in town, and have many Japanese friends, so that’s really inspired me as well. That definitely played into the yin yang cat design, and the design called Dragonfly Journey. Those are two of my more popular ones.

Other designs like the tattoo inspiration ones with black and white patterns are from sketchbook drawings I’ve done over time, and from tattoo designs that I’ve created for people.

“Shine” is a digital collage that was meant to look like a silk screen print. That one was really just for fun – I do a lot of sketching and I ended up drawing this bird, and then was inspired by my son who is a musician to add the guitar and other musical elements. That’s a happy one!

Zazzle: How did you get started with Zazzle?

Barbara: I heard about Zazzle online; I just ran into it while looking for something online and thought it was cool. I decided to set up a little shop and see how it would do with offering design work, but not having to worry about all that goes with the sale of physical art. It’s nice that Zazzle handles everything and I don’t have to worry about things like shipping.

Zazzle: Which are your favorite Zazzle products?

Barbara: T-shirts are good sellers, and I like designing them. Also mugs and bags – the tote bags are great. I like that there are also print products like the posters. There are just so many options! I love how easy it is to put your designs on so many different kinds of things, like phone cases. People are always looking to have a unique phone case, and with Zazzle you can get just about anything. I really like the necklaces a lot, too, and they’ve done well. They’re very pretty!

Zazzle: What advice would you give new Zazzlers starting out with their own store?

Barbara: Use your best ideas. Post the ones that are your absolute best. Make sure that you follow the templates as well, that makes a big difference with how designs look on the products. You want to make sure they’re scaled properly and that the proportions are correct. The biggest thing would be to really think like a shopper when you’re tagging your products. Tags make a huge difference! It took me a while to figure it out but if you keep working at it you’ll get the right tags and find that people will be able to find your designs much more easily.

Try your designs on a lot of different products, and also try designing for the product so that you’re thinking of the product itself when you’re designing. Make sure you have enough products, so that you have a good variety and customers have more options.There are also neat tools Zazzle provides like the flash panel so that you can show off your work. Try showing it on Facebook and other social media to get the word out.

I’ve had a great experience on Zazzle – it took a while to build my sales, but you do eventually get a decent-sized audience and start to see income. It takes time to get out there, but don’t give up hope!

 

 

France Series: La Seine

July 16, 2014

Ah, the Seine! You’d have to be crazy to go to Paris and not spend some time on the Seine. Forty centuries before Paris was born, farmers and herders settled on the left bank of the Seine, reportedly because the sound of the river here was so soothing for man and beast alike.

The river is named for the goddess Sequana, known for her healing ability and her love of waterfowl. When the Romans founded their city of Lutetia Parisiorum here, they depended on the Seine as their major trade artery connecting all of Gaul.

Since then, the banks of the Seine have drawn countless generations of painters, filmmakers and lovers throughout the centuries, who come to be touched by the river’s incomparable magic. From Serrault to Godard, artists have incorporated the sensuous curves of the Seine into their iconic visions. Today, a trip to Paris is virtually defined by sitting at a cafe on the Seine, looking out on the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame. Even seasoned travelers can see Paris with new eyes when they ride a bateaux past the Eiffel Tower and magnificent Musée d’Orsay, sampling the world’s best cuisine with a bottle of champagne.

The only problem with the Seine is that you have to leave it eventually. How can you leave behind the mysterious heart of the City of Lights? Simple: don’t. Bring the Seine home with posters that evoke its ancient, sinuous majesty.

Relive the moment you discovered the Seine, with bateaux gathered along the Left Bank in a black and white composition that recalls the ghosts of Godard in his heyday.


http://www.zazzle.com/the_left_bank_paris_posters-228312062898332545

The sun is setting on the Eiffel Tower as your bateaux dinner cruise begins. As the twilight darkens the skies above the Seine, the City of Lights is about to twinkle into life.


http://www.zazzle.com/river_seine_posters-228046879446327935

Approaching the Musée d’Orsay from the Seine presents you with the most dramatic view of Paris’ greatest former railway station and the world’s most prestigious home for Impressionist and Post Impressionist painting and sculpture.


http://www.zazzle.com/view_of_the_musee_dorsay_from_the_north_west_poster-228066542856637178

It’s hard not to wish you were in Paris right now, isn’t it?

Christmas in July

July 14, 2014

It might be the middle of summer, but here at Zazzle we’re already gearing up for the holiday season. Here are some of our best tips to help you get your Zazzle store ready for the holidays, too!

1. Think ahead and start creating holiday products now!

The opportunities for using Zazzle products to celebrate the holidays are nearly endless. Here are some of our top picks to get you started with thinking of some festive designs now:

  • Gifts: Help your customers find the perfect present for their loved ones among our impressive selection. Fun shirts, cool electronics cases, personalized jewelry, handy bags, cute watches and snazzy wallets are just a few ideas. Not to mention the custom wrapping paper for personalized packaging!

 

 

 

 

 

2. Don’t forget to add great titles, tags, and descriptions.

Now that you’ve gotten a start on making some amazing holiday products, help your customers find them easily by optimizing your product’s title, tags, and description. Stumped on where to start? Take a peek at our handy tips from last week for the best ways to make sure your products are getting the attention they deserve!

3. Make it customizable.

The holidays are the perfect time to show friends and family just how you feel. Customers are sure to love products that they can really make their own by adding that personal touch that gives meaning to the design and product. Make sure your customers have that opportunity by creating products that are easily and endlessly customizable!

4. Do some research.

Take a look around the web and you’re sure to find the latest trends for this year’s holiday season even now. Patterns, colors, and themes are all great thing to look out for when you’re gathering ideas for your next Zazzle design. Pinterest is a great place for visual inspiration and keeping up with all things trendy.  If you want to get serious, you can even take a peek at Google trends to get really in-depth with what’s popular.

5. Spruce up older designs.

Still not sure where to start getting ready for the holidays? Take a walk down memory lane by reviewing older designs to find any candidates for a holiday makeover! Take a gander at some of those previous products and update them for the new year, or spruce them up to make them perfect for this season.

 

Bonus tip: Make sure to check in on our News forum for new product announcements every Friday so you’ll be the first to know about any new holiday items. Also keep an eye out for our celebration of Christmas in July on the site – coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Klimt: a kiss to build a dream on

July 14, 2014

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same – but sometimes, things do change. Take the painter Gustav Klimt, born on this day in 1862 (happy birthday!).

 

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, his work was controversial: too sensual, even deviant.  Now, we can’t get enough of him. His paintings break records at auctions. Every major modern art museum shows them. He has influenced legions of painters. He was truly ahead of his time.

 

Klimt mainly painted aristocratic women. He did paint them sensually, and he was interested in the female body. Once you’ve seen a Klimt, you can spot them a mile away: the symbolic shapes and patterns, with so much gold. There is truly no one like him.

 

It’s one thing to see a Klimt on a museum wall, but entirely another to live with it at home. (We’re more interested in Option B.)

 

Give us a kiss to build a dream on, and we’d choose The Kiss. If you’ve never seen it, you’ve been under a sad rock. We could swoon every day at how truly it captures the bliss of love. Imagine sitting back on The Kiss Art Nouveau Pillow at home. As Louis Armstrong crooned, our imagination would thrive upon that kiss:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/the_kiss_by_gustav_klimt_vintage_art_nouveau_pillow-189319984054922746

 

Then set your drink down on a Tree of Life Coaster. Interpreting the famous tree from the Garden of Eden, this iconic work is all about unity – between the skies, the earth and the underworld, between women and men. What a useful thing to remember over drinks with your loved one:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/gustav_klimt_tree_of_life_beverage_coaster-163989772315435509

 

For a big finish, Klimt’s Fulfilment is about as sensual as it gets: an impassioned embrace, with epic golden swirls emanating around it. You can literally carry it with you in the Study for Fulfilment Serving Platter, which captures that love and passion as immortally as Klimt’s work:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/study_for_fulfilment_c_1905_09_w_c_gold_on_pap_piocservingtray-256868356777805460

 

 

Summer Travel: Overseas Adventures

July 10, 2014

This is the second and final post in a series on summer travel was written by Matilda Gollon, one of our fabulous marketing mavens.  Her previous blog post was posted last week.  She is always planning her next trip, and is famous for her expert travel bag packing skills.

 

Perhaps the souvenirs were a disappointment. Out of the suitcase, they’re a bit battered and not as cute as you thought they were after a few afternoon cocktails. Or maybe you’re an armchair traveler, dreaming of far-flung adventures. Either way, we could all do with some overseas inspiration in our lives. Luckily, Zazzle has beautiful designs showing off all corners of the globe.

 

“It’s London Baby!” Remember Joey in his Union Jack hat? With the classic double decker bus, Big Ben, black cabs and soldiers in funny hats, London is one of the world’s most iconic capitals and so, souvenir central. As a Londoner myself, here’s my pick of what you won’t find in the gift shop.

 

 


All eyes have been on Brazil this summer for the soccer and samba. Feel the energy with these colorful creations.

 

 

From ancient pottery to modern manga, Japan is famous for its art and design.

 

 

Still dreaming of Hawaii? These prints also fit this season’s tropical trend.

 

With the rise of Nordic Noir, everyone’s sporting patterned knits and loving lampshades. Get some Scandinavian chic with these folky designs.

 

Relive La Dolce Vita with images of Italy

Or just be really alternative with a shirt like this…

All these designs offer an artist’s unique interpretation of a place, whether it’s their hometown or own favorite destination. So why not leave the souvenir shopping until
you get home!

 

 

 

France Series: Les macarons

July 9, 2014

The ingredients are simple, but the result is extraordinary. Macarons (pronounced de-lish-us) are a meringue-based French confectionery classic, comprised of almond powder, sugar, eggs and food coloring. Sometimes they have flavors added, sometimes they don’t, but there’s nary a time that they cease to amaze.

Macarons are so good, in fact, that there is an entire museum dedicated to them. The museum, Musée de l’Amande et du Macaron (also known as The Almond and Macaron Museum), is in Montmorillon, a small French town that has made its macarons with the same recipe for over 150 years. A century-and-a-half of the same recipe? You know those are some tasty treats.

You know what they say, though: a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. So what’s a sugar-fiend to do? We’ve got just the solution for you. Turn your fixation with these crazy-colored confections into art.

Take these sweet treats and hang them high. Turn your apartment into a shrine to the glorious macaron. While all the prints are calorie-free, we don’t recommend eating them. These beauties are best seen and not tasted.

This adorable French Macarons Watercolor Print features five heavenly macarons floating their way down from, presumably, heaven. Pink, blue, yellow, green and purple macarons pop against a white backdrop for a fun yet clean look. Frame it in a bold, contrasting color to make it really funky or keep it classy with a thin black frame.

http://www.zazzle.com/french_macarons_watercolor_print_11_x_8_5-228028616703081348

Transform your suite into something sweet with the Macaron Suite Gallery-Wrapped Canvas. This great canvas is customizable, so you can get the exact size you need. Whether you’re looking for a smaller version for that awkward nook in the kitchen or a larger-than-life size for above the sofa, this delectable print is certain to satiate your sweet tooth.

http://www.zazzle.com.au/macaron_suite_gallery_wrapped_canvas-192276836893321760

Of course, if you’re in need of a truly bold statement piece, this Macaron-centric gem from the Baker’s Joy Collection may be just what your heart has been yearning for. The extra-large poster features renderings of 15 French macarons in just as many colors against a bright green background.

http://www.zazzle.com/bakers_joy_collection_french_macarons_posters-228499036812494050

Can’t decide which print is best for you? You could always get one for every room. There’s no such thing as too many marvelous macarons!

Meet this week’s #zazzlemade winner: Amber Hilton

July 8, 2014

We (virtually) sat down with Amber Hilton, the winner of this week’s #zazzlemade contest, and the design genius behind the ADH Graphic Design store on Zazzle.

2014.07.07-Zazzlemade-winner

Congratulations again! Tell us the story behind the photo that you submitted!
The photo I submitted is of Bicycle cards I ordered from my shop. I had been wanting some of these for a while and finally placed an order. I ordered two sets, one with one of my spooky graveyard scenes, and one with an abstract self portrait. I love them!

How did you discover Zazzle?
A friend and fellow artist told me about Zazzle.

What was one of your first Zazzle purchases?
My first Zazzle purchase was a skateboard with one of my designs.

As a designer, how do you promote your store?
As a designer I promote my store on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

What are your favorite Zazzle products?
My favorite Zazzle products are the Rickshaw bags, Lamp in a Box, Bicycle Cards, the compact mirrors, postcards, and stickers! There are so many great products!

What products do you wish that Zazzle offered?
I wish Zazzle offered blankets, sheet sets, and more shoes!

What is your best-selling design?
My best selling design is Zebra Pop Art! I have sold a lot of postcards with this design. I have also made lots of sales of wrapping paper with various designs, wallets, and Rickshaw bags with other designs.

What is your favorite ADH Graphic Design design in your Zazzle store?
My favorite design in my store is called “Prosperity” and it is the design I printed on the skateboard I ordered. It is a picture of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.

What did you think you would be when you grew up? Were you right? ;)
I thought I would be a singer when I grew up and I still sing but then when I finally did grow up I wanted to be and artist and I was right to follow my dreams! More people should do that.

How will you spend your $50 Zazzle credit?
I already spent it on a Dodocase for my iPad and I can’t wait to receive it!


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