Posts Tagged ‘Space Cadet’

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!

The Personal Touch: Perfect Gifts for the Crafty Gal

December 3, 2012

Our special Gift Center series has shown you how to find just the right gift for Vintage Bettys, Young Bucks, Yo Bros and more.

From stocking stuffers to holiday cards to customized gifts, our Gift Center has thousands of presents to help you satisfy all of your loved ones — including the very special Crafty Gal.

This woman is always making you something fabulous, from cookies and sweaters to flower bouquets and jewelry — so how can you make her smile in return?

Give her a Personalized Recipe Binder so she can keep all of her favorite recipes in one easy place –

Personalized Food Recipes Binder
Personalized Food Recipes Binder by open_door_designs

Help her show off her love of farmers’ markets while keeping busy and keeping tidy, with a Support Your Local Farmer! Apron –

Support Your Local Farmer! Apron
Support Your Local Farmer! Apron by ericar70

And a stylish I Love Knitting Tote Bag will fit all the tools of her trade, from yarns and knitting needles to gardening shears and gloves –

I Love Knitting Tote Bags
I Love Knitting Tote Bags by tshirtdujour

Crafty Gals work every day to keep us happy, healthy and fed, so give them thanks with a gift that’s as thoughtful as them.

Coming up in our final Gift Center post: geek out gifts for the Space Cadet.

Our New Gift Center Makes Holiday Shopping a Cinch

November 28, 2012

What do you get for the crafty gal, the animal lover and the space cadet? If you’ve been following along on Facebook and Twitter the past few days, we’ve been showcasing personas from Zazzle’s brand-new Gift Center. We’ve filled it to the brim with all of our holiday gifts to make it easy to find the perfect present for every special person in your life, and to have your holiday shopping covered in one place.

We’ve got you covered for the people with real personality — the Crafty Gal, Mr. Mom, Vintage Betty and more.

We all know a Vintage Betty — someone who loves to wear red lipstick and curl her hair. How do you find her a nifty holiday gift?

Show her what’s buzzin’ with a Retro Cherry Wallclock:

Red Retro Cherry Wallclocks
Red Retro Cherry Wallclocks by opheliasart

Keep her phone hip with a Ringy Dingy iPhone Case:

One Ringy DIngy iPhone 5 Case
One Ringy DIngy iPhone 5 Case by digitalgirlies

And help her haul in style with a Red Cherries Gingham Messenger Bag:

Red Cherries Gingham Messenger Bag
Red Cherries Gingham Messenger Bag by suncookiez

Besides our fabulous Gift Center, remember to browse through our stocking stuffersfestive cardscustom postage and gifts for every holiday — from Christmas to Hanukkah to New Year’s.

Or create your own gift that’s made by you, just for them. Find Dad the perfect tieCreate an ornament with the latest family photo. Find the wristlet in your BFF’s favorite colors. Or customize a skateboard for your little bro.

Next up in our Gift Center series: the perfect presents for Young Bucks and Bros.


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