Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Hot job in the city: intern gear to keep them giddy (and working)

June 11, 2014

Danger in the shape of somethin’ smart

Stranger dressed in black, she’s a fast upstart

No one knows who she is or what her name is

I don’t know where she’s from or how good her coffee is …

 

Hot job in the city: hungry kids are looking gritty. Working hard and gettin’ giddy. To land an offer starting at fifty (or more) …

 

So young to be set loose and on her own

The bosses, they want to give her a throne

When she goes downtown, the other interns stop and stare

When she goes downtown, she laughs like she just don’t care

 

Hot job in the city: it’s because she was ready.

 

From day one, she had her custom business cards.

Showing her name and position, and where to call (or email).

The Simple Black Business Card has taken her far.

Soon she’ll have her own office, and a car:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/professional_elegant_plain_simple_black_groupon_business_card-240314060738546008

 

In meetings, she took notes in her own book.

She knew just what to write, how focused to look.

The Watercolor Splash Notebook had her full name,

So people knew exactly who had game (professionally):

 

http://www.zazzle.com/black_watercolor_splash_personalized_notebook-130919237645357323

 

Every day, she had her own bottle for water,

To keep her energized and thinking sharp.

The Framed Monogram Water Bottle

Definitely helped her get an offer letter:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/black_white_framed_initial_monogram_napkins-185248287461097259?pt=water_bottle-126443917989906874

 

Hot job in the city: it’s all about the gear. So your college kid is in the clear – they will grow up, get a job and stay spiffy.

 

5 Tips for Staying Inspired

June 9, 2014

It happens to the best of us: you finally find a moment to sit down and get designing, but your mind is a total blank. Not an idea in sight!

What to do when the wellspring of creativity dries up? Here are 5 quick tips to help revive your designer mojo:

 

1. Start small

The whole wide world of design can be a little intimidating, and sometimes having too many options can really get you stuck in indecisiveness. Think small! Pick one color, one pattern, one theme, or even one word as a starting point for your design.

2. Unplug

We all know the benefits of getting a little quality time without the stress of work. Walk away for a minute: step outside for a walk, grab a latte at the local coffee shop to absorb the creative vibes, or have a good in-person chat with a friend.

3. Think outside the computer screen

Staring at a blank screen or looking at the same websites all day is enough to stifle anyone’s originality. Try turning away from the computer to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music. Let other types of art and creation spark your own creativity.

4. Research Trends

Now that you’re refreshed and back at your computer, why not see what’s going on in the world? Taking a look at current trends in different areas like fashion or interior decorating can give you a great place to start for coming up with your own designs that complement popular styles.

5. Check out new products

The shape, size or function of a product can help spark ideas for a design that’s just perfect on that product. If you just can’t step away from Zazzle (we know, it’s hard), take a look at our Create page to see if any products catch your eye that may be missing from your store.  You can get the scoop on all of our new products weekly in our official Zazzle News Forum.

What will your next great design idea be?

Father’s Day Featured Designer Interview with Designer Dad Steve Thomas

June 6, 2014

Today we have a special Father’s Day interview with one of our “designer dads” on Zazzle, Steve Thomas.

 

Zazzle: Tell us about you! How many kids do you have – and at what ages?

 

Steve: I have three kids: a girl who is 8, another girl who is 6 and a boy who is 3 and a half.

steve_thomas

 

Zazzle: Has Zazzle helped you spend more time with your kids? How do you balance your creative career and your parenting?

 

Steve: I’m lucky enough that I’m able to work from home, so I’ve been spending my days with the kids since they were born. I’ve been able to do things like volunteer at their schools and spend time with them outdoors in the summer when they’re not in school. When my wife gets home from her job as an environmental toxicologist and we all have dinner together, that’s when I’ll start working. For the most part I spend my days as a dad and my evenings as a working artist. I’ve been pretty fortunate that way.

Zazzle: Do your kids ever ask you to create specific art for them?

 

Steve: They actually haven’t yet. They see me making things but never really request anything – they’re still pretty young. I have taken on some specific art projects like My Little Pony because I have two girls.

Zazzle: Do you find that you draw inspiration from your children?

 

Steve: Yes, I’ve done some things for Disney licensed art (which obviously is not sold on Zazzle). My plan is to do more artwork for kids specifically, kind of in the same style that I do for my travel posters. I have plenty of ideas like this that have come to me because I have kids, I just haven’t been able to quite get to them yet. I’d really like to make some things that would look good in kids’ bedrooms.

Zazzle: Are your kids also creative artists?

Steve: I think so! Some of the things that they come up with or draw I think are pretty amazing. It’s probably the same as with any other parent, though! Once in a while they’ll take their drawings and say they they’re posters. They’ve actually gone out to the front yard to try to sell their art. So I guess I’ve inspired them in that way. My oldest daughter, instead of making prints, actually just drew 10 of the same drawing in order to sell them. A few of the neighbors stopped by and of course bought a couple things. At first she set the price a little too high, but I think she went down to a reasonable price for the neighbors. She needed a little help with figuring out her royalty markup.

Zazzle: How would your children describe your profession?

Steve: I think they would say I draw pictures and sell posters for a living. That would probably sum it up.

Zazzle: Do you have a favorite/most heartwarming “dad moment” to share?

Steve: I know that one of my kids took their first steps when I was home, that was pretty great. I had to call my wife at work and of course I took a video of it.Just being able to be home with them is a big plus. There can also be down sides, such as when I have a big deadline. Especially when they were younger it was hard to get work done while also keeping an eye on them, but it’s worth it.Being the artist/designer in the family, it was also up to me to design all of the birth announcements!

Zazzle: What would you want as a Father’s Day gift from Zazzle?

Steve: I haven’t looked around Zazzle too much lately other than to create my posters, but I know there have been a lot of new products lately. I would probably say that the best gift would be something that I would use the most, like an iPhone case or a t-shirt. Maybe an iPhone case with one of my daughter’s posters on it.

 

 

 

It looks like I’m the queen: a Frozen birthday party!

June 5, 2014

It’s your beloved daughter’s birthday soon, and who wouldn’t want her to be princess for a day – especially a princess from the fifth-highest grossing movie ever!

 

First things first: is she an Elsa or an Anna? Older or younger, magical or “normal,” red hair or white?

 

In case you’ve been frozen inside a glacier, Frozen is Disney’s latest Oscar-winner, starring Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff. It’s (loosely) based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, and involves two princess-sisters, icy powers, a mountain man, a reindeer sidekick, a hapless snowman, trolls, eternal winter, a mammoth castle and a race to save the kingdom or Arendelle from wipeout.

 

Clearly, it’s party material. You could make it a dress-up affair, where everyone comes in character. And make all the food and drinks frozen-themed – icy punch, snow-frosted cupcakes, marshmallow snowmen, ice cream cake. You could even spring for an ice castle!

 

But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves: you need invitations.

 

If your princess is a powerful one, the Elsa Birthday Invitation awesomely beckons, “Unleash your powers”: who could say no?

 

http://www.zazzle.com/frozen_elsa_birthday_invitation-161302807621691979

 

If she’s a positive, determined one, the Anna Birthday Invitation urges guests to “Follow your heart” (and say yes):

 

http://www.zazzle.com/frozen_anna_birthday_invitation-161690135468633127

 

As the epic bash winds down, give her guests an unforgettable sendoff with a Strong Bond, Strong Heart Goody Bag – maybe filled with the Frozen DVD, or trolls, or hundreds and hundreds of snowflakes:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/strong_bond_strong_heart_bags-149271532964810124

And top it off with a heartfelt Thank You Invitation from one of the gals:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/frozen_elsa_thank_you_invitation-161348353620870345

 

http://www.zazzle.com/frozen_anna_thank_you_personalized_invitation-161733720742824278

This party might even eclipse Frozen itself as the event of the season. No right, no wrong, no rules for her. It looks like she’s the queen.

Earnings on the go: the Zazzle App is even better

June 4, 2014

We live in a fast-paced, mobile world. For those of us who are rather obsessed with our phones and tablets, we have an even easier way to use Zazzle. We recently launched the official Zazzle app for iPad, iPhone and Android. It’s now even faster and easier to make and purchase custom products on your mobile device.

Best of all, we’ve added new features to make this app even handier for our Zazzle designers. You can now check in on your Zazzle account and view your earnings in real time, right from your phone or tablet.

 

earnings app 1earnings app 3

 

You can easily see your royalty and referral earnings, as well as information on which products are flying off your virtual shelves.

 

earnings app 2earnings app 4 edit

 

 

 

If you haven’t yet joined in the on-the-go fun, you can download the official Zazzle app in the iTunes App store and also on Google Play.

Top Gifts for Father’s Day

May 31, 2014

Take a look at the top gifts for this Father’s Day.

A manly monogram lets Dad have his personal stamp on handy accessories.

 

Let the gifts do the talking with a bold statement of fatherly perfection.

 

 

 

Get Father’s Day started right with a meaningful mug or give a gift for a personalized dad’s night out.

 

 

The best-ever brunch: more eggs, please!

May 29, 2014

Morning! How do we typically feel on a Sunday? Ooh, it’s a bit bright outside. Might need to stay in bed an extra minute. What time is it? No. The girls are coming in half an hour! Where’s my towel, slippers — everything?!

 

That’s a pretty typical start to Sunday (for us). There’s nothing like a clan of friends coming over super soon, expecting a two-meal equivalent — and a showered host — to kick you into high gear on the laziest day of the week.

 

The checklist is always the same: Eggs? Got a dozen. Bread? Two kinds. Orange juice — making it. Champagne? Not that kind of Sunday (this time). Smoked salmon? Check, and it’s wild.  Muffins? Fruit salad?  We’re on it!

 

It’s not just about the food, though. OK, a lot of it is about the food, and the group, but the little touches are what make the difference. That’s why they keep coming back, instead of just staying in bed with a bagel. OK, a lot of it is about the food, but the extra touches are a big deal!  If you want to be the best host ever, here are some fun items that will truly impress your guests.

 

First, the juice comes out with a flourish on the Shabby Chic Roses Pink Food Tray, as the aroma of salt and cinnamon and toast wafts through the kitchen and every mouth waters:

http://www.zazzle.com/shabby_chic_roses_polka_dots_pink_food_trays-256280958949186820

 

The poached eggs cover the Engraved Swirly Daffodils Plate, in pale green and cream, soothing and calm like that first cup of coffee:

http://www.zazzle.com/engraved_swirly_daffodils_plate-115712216199393710

 

And propping up the crucial muffins is the Yellow Confetti Glass Cutting Board, perky with polka dots and equally handy for a cheese course or fruit:

http://www.zazzle.com/confetti_cake_yellow_buttercream_frosting_ipad_sleeve-205537882529775463?pt=cutting_board-256573773617485841

More coffee, anyone? Yeah, we thought so.

Introducing the Show Off Your Skills Design Challenge

May 26, 2014

Calling all Zazzlers! It’s time to put your creativity to the test, and show us your best. Introducing: the “Show Off Your Skills” Design Challenge!

 

Design_Contest_Banner

 

Here’s how it works: we’re looking for your brand new, never-before-seen, amazing invitation designs that show off your skills as well as showing off one of our new die-cut invitation styles. You can choose any of our new die-cut shapes: ticket, bracket, rounded corners, scallop, or tag – whichever showcases your design best.

You get the chance to win one of three $500 prizes – and your winning design featured on our lovely home page!

Check out our official submission page here for all of the details.

Who’s ready to show off their skills? Happy designing!

Fabulous Father’s Day Cards

May 24, 2014

Show your dad how much you love him this Father’s Day with the perfect card! 

Tell him with a funny card!

original[1]

Surprise  him with a cute card!

Or customize a “you” card!

 

 

 

 

Featured Designer Interview with Christine Britten

May 23, 2014

Today we’re catching up with Christine Britten, the marketing-savvy creator behind Zazzle store stineshop and the blog Zizzling Zazzle to talk about her store and how her blog and promotional efforts have helped make her a Zazzle success.

Zazzle: Tell us about you! Where are you from?

Christine: Hi, I’m Christine. I’m 31, and I live near Cologne, Germany with my husband. I just love Zazzle!

Zazzle: What is your background in art and design?

Christine: Actually, most of the photographs I use in my Zazzle store are shot by my husband! I’m not very talented with actually taking the photos, but it’s his favorite hobby. I’m more of the editor and product designer. I enjoy looking at his photos and making edits to them, and then using them to create products on Zazzle.

What I absolutely love is online marketing. So, our two hobbies are a great combination. He takes the photos, and I help us earn money with them! He has been able to buy a new camera, and we even funded a small vacation with our earnings. We make a good team.

Zazzle: How did you get started with your Zazzle store?

Christine: An online friend from the US actually told me about it, and I’m so glad she did. We met online, and she always said that our photos were so beautiful that we should sell them on Zazzle. She tried to convince me for months, until I finally opened an account (I think back in 2011). I designed a few products and totally forgot about Zazzle until about 9 months later when I got an email that said “Hooray! You’ve sold something”. I will never forget it, it was an iPhone case! I thought, “hey, this works!”, and I started to design a lot of products. I have almost 40,000 now. That was some hard work! It started with just one or two sales per month, then gradually grew to a few more sales per month, then several sales per week. It’s grown so much, it’s just wonderful.

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle product to design?

Christine: I love to design postcards. It sounds a little boring, but I love them, and they make up a large part of the products I sell. I also have another hobby that I’m passionate about, which is Postcrossing. It’s a group where you can exchange postcards all around the world. I love to design postcards for Postcrossing. I’ve even ordered a lot of my own postcards, just to mail them around the world to others participating in Postcrossing!

I also really like to design smart phone cases, because smart phones by themselves are pretty boring! If I could, I would love to have a different phone case for every day so I could change it and make my phone more exciting. Unfortunately, that would get just a little bit expensive!

Zazzle: Have you noticed any products in your store that seem to be best sellers?

Christine: Yes! About 4 years ago, we took a typical West Coast vacation in the US, and we have one especially great photo of the Santa Monica pier. I have done so many different photo edits and filters on just this one photo. I have about 100 variations of the Santa Monica pier in all kinds of colors and shapes. I don’t have them all online yet, but it’s definitely the bestselling design, in any color variation: pink sparkles, orange. Sometimes the worst color combinations are the best selling items! It’s amazing, it’s the same photo, but after a little bit of editing I suddenly have a totally different picture.

Zazzle: We love your blog! How did you get started with blogging?

Christine: For over ten years I’ve had some kind of blog, about anything! I’ve also had a German blog for about 15 years now; it’s not very successful but I just love blogging. When I started to realize that I was generating sales on Zazzle, I thought that adding in my blog would be a great marketing opportunity to help generate even more sales. It’s fun, too! You can present your products, you can blog about certain topics, or showcase your ideas – it’s a great way to show your products to the world. I once read that there are over 1 billion products on Zazzle so you have to do something to sell your stuff. A blog definitely helps a lot.

Zazzle: We noticed you like to show off other Zazzler’s products on your blog as well. What has your experience been with being a Zazzle Associate?

Christine: I have a few online friends who are also Zazzlers. We have an active Facebook group about print on demand sites like Zazzle, and we like to help promote each other. I also try to help my friend who introduced me to Zazzle, since she did so much for me! On the other hand, I also try to promote things about a certain topic. For example, I might get a silly idea like “geek wedding invitations”. I searched for “geek wedding” on Zazzle and found some beautiful invitations, and thought “hey, that’s worth a blog post!” The chance to earn a referral is a plus, too.

There are so many pretty designs on Zazzle – if I had the money, I would buy so many different products from Zazzle. If I ever win the lottery, I might end up buying those 365 phone cases!

Zazzle: Speaking of promoting, are you involved with any other marketing strategies like social media?

Christine: Oh yes, I do a lot of that! I have a job during the week, so on the weekends, I work even more on Zazzle. I’m usually busy creating products, writing on my blog, and marketing online. I use Pinterest, I use Twitter, I use Facebook, Google+, Wanelo – everything! It’s so much work, but it’s fun ad I love to do it. It’s a great hobby.

Zazzle: Do you have any advice for designers who are just starting out on Zazzle?

Christine: Promote and use social media. Don’t just use one site to promote, use as many websites as you can handle to spread the word about your products. You need to be persistent, and never give up. My first sale was after about 9 months, and now the sales are only increasing! You don’t have to have as many products as some other stores might have, but you do have to know how to spread the word.

 


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