Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

Seller Spotlight: Steve Thomas — Space Travel Posters Take Off

December 13, 2012

A few years ago, Steve Thomas could have never predicted that a background in newspaper graphics and a love of Gen Con would lead to Zazzle holiday Gift Center fame. His “Visit Mars” poster is now featured on our Space Cadet Gift Center section (all you galaxy geeks, be sure to check it out). Steve shared with us how he combines space travel, science fiction, imagination and WPA poster art into the planetary creations you see on his store site.

I have a background in informational graphics and graphic illustration. I spent 14 years handling graphics for every part of a newspaper, specializing in charts, cutaway views of products and maps.

Gen Con came around one year, and I wanted to set up an artist booth at the event. I had never done anything like this before, but I was determined to figure out how I could combine fantasy with space travel, but also still retain mass appeal. I sketched out the Mars and Venus travel posters, and they got so much attention that I decided to do all of the other planets. Some bloggers found my designs (picked up in the “geek art section”), which helped build buzz.

Visit Mars Print
Visit Mars Print by stevethomas

Having a poster of just a painted dragon or simple space scene wasn’t enough for me. I decided to add one extra layer on top of my art, in the style of the old WPA propaganda posters used during FDR’s New Deal era. These posters are in bold, art deco-style and were used in everything from war propaganda to wildlife education.

Office Propaganda: Avoid Downloads Print
Office Propaganda: Avoid Downloads Print by stevethomas

I usually start out with a thumbnail sketch in my notebook and then I move on to gathering backdrop images of mountains or old retro rockets. I start on my computer, usually Illustrator and then I take the piece into photoshop. The products that work best for my designs tend to be posters and t-shirts, but if someone requests my designs on another product, I’m happy to do it. I just finished a Transylvania travel-themed poster and one about the North Pole.

Transylvania by Train travel poster
Transylvania by Train travel poster by stevethomas

If I have any tips for other designers, it would be to put the designs that you personally find interesting on products, and also have patience and persistence. When I first started on Zazzle, I just threw anything I could onto t-shirts and posters and they weren’t selling. And for good reason — the designs really weren’t that interesting. The moment I combined passion with quality was when everything really started to take off.

Venus by Air Posters
Venus by Air Posters by stevethomas

Geektastic Gifts for the Space Cadet

December 4, 2012

Our brand-new Gift Center is your one-stop shop for holiday gifting — stocked full of ornaments, greeting cards and gifts for every person on your list.

As we’ve seen in our Gift Center series, you can “shop by personality” to find the perfect gift for Vintage Bettys, Young Bucks and Yo Bros, Crafty Gals – and finally Space Cadets, who just can’t get enough of the stars.

It’s easy to indulge their passion with an intergalactic Custom Dry-Erase Board for all of their wild new ideas and brainstorm sessions –

Higgs Boson Dry-Erase Board
Higgs Boson Dry-Erase Board by Funkyworm

Or get them a pixelated Mosaic Messenger Bag to cart around their gizmos and gear (portable telescope, anyone?) –


And salute the days of using real, handheld calculators for square roots, division and factorials, with a Vintage Calculator iPhone 5 Case –

Vintage Calculator Geek iPhone 5 Case
Vintage Calculator Geek iPhone 5 Case by zlatkocro

We’ve been highlighting special gifts for all kinds of personalities — and on the Gift Center, there’s even more. Check it out to easily and quickly find a gift for every holiday, budget and loved one in your life. Happy Holidays!

Seller Spotlight: TDSWhite

November 8, 2012

Matthew and Trevor are the dynamic duo behind one of Zazzle’s most popular stores, TDSWhite. Specializing in awesome holiday products and all things classic weddings, they’ve been selling their creations on Zazzle since its early days. Trevor has a background in photography and design, and Matthew has the writing chops, which is put to good use copywriting descriptions for their products.

If we had to describe our style, we’d say it’s timeless, classic and long-lasting. When we’re focusing on designing Zazzle custom postage or wedding products, we’ll make sure to include a beautiful white gown, flowers that don’t go out of fashion (like roses) or popular colors for the season.

We’re especially proud of our Zazzle custom postage for the holidays, which incorporate winter scenes and snowflake patterns. They’re a hit with customers. As for weddings, our background in floral photography helped us design successful products. We started out with Zazzle custom postage, and as more products were added, like invitations or towels, we adapted our designs to fit the products.

One of our biggest pieces of advice when designing for weddings is to pay close attention to color in your products. We try to keep our designs timeless, but we also pay attention to popular colors for each season. The color selection for wedding products in the fall and winter is different than spring and summer. There’s more earth tones, bright oranges and reds. As you go into winter, cool colors like blues, greys, bright red and white are popular all the way through the holiday season.

As if creating and designing on Zazzle isn’t enough to keep Matthew and Trevor busy, Matthew is also a screenwriter & novelist. Trevor designs all of his book covers. Check out their work at Matthew’s website:

Silent Night Christmas Postage Stamp
Silent Night Christmas Postage Stamp by TDSwhite

Seller Spotlight: HolidayJazz

November 1, 2012

With the holidays quickly approaching, thoughts turn toward family, friends, gatherings and gift-giving. Besides thinking about what’s on your holiday wishlist this season, many of you also have to plan décor and decorations.

Here at Zazzle, we’re especially excited about ornaments this season. Often overlooked as a key element of holiday cheer, ornaments are staples of Christmas trees everywhere and are also great outlets for showcasing creativity and design.

For Erica Low, her Christmas ornament is designed to celebrate a baby’s first Christmas. Erica, Zazzle designer superstar at HolidayJazz, had one of the most popular Christmas ornaments on our site this year. After spending many years in the corporate world handling graphic design, she left to raise her kids and focus on her artistic passions full-time.

Her ornament is beautifully designed with holiday colors and customizable to fit your child’s photo on one side and a personal message on the other. Many families will cherish an ornament like this for years to come as a souvenir from baby’s first Christmas. Erica also pointed out that many moms and dads love customizing this ornament for other children and even pets.


Baby's 1st Christmas Custom Ornament (green)
Baby’s 1st Christmas Custom Ornament (green) by HolidayJazz
View other Baby 1st christmas Ornaments

What are some of your favorite ornaments on Zazzle for this holiday season?

Where to find HolidayJazz

On Zazzle: holidayjazzdesigns, icandydesigns, gradcentralstation

On Facebook: holidayjazzdesigns, icandydesigns, gradcentralstation


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