Archive for December, 2009

Visit to Zazzle Headquarters by All Things D!

December 25, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, Kara Swisher, author of the popular Silicon Valley tech blog “BoomTown” on the website, paid a visit to the Zazzle headquarters to speak with Bobby and Jeff about all things Zazzle.

The blog post and video were published a couple of days ago.  Check it out at, and feel free to leave a comment on that page about how good looking Bobby and Jeff are!

Merry Christmas from Zazzle

December 24, 2009

As we celebrate our 5th Christmas on Zazzle, we feel truly blessed. In 2005, we launched the public version of the Zazzle website with a handful of dedicated people. Today, those people have become our family, and Zazzle has become a vibrant community of millions of sellers, buyers, partners, and employees, all helping to create some of the most innovative products in the world.

The stories of the people in our seller community never cease to amaze us. To give just a few examples… Jen (ColourfulDesigns) from Canada, due to the success of her store, was able to quit her day job and now stays home with her children. There’s Vlad (VladStudio) from Irkutsk, Russia, who’s been a Zazzler since 2004 and has sold his Zazzle products all over the world. Bradley (retropolis_travel), a self-described grumpy visionary, has been an integral part of the Zazzle community has routinely helped other sellers improve their stores. And there’s Lydia (customizables), who recently quit her job at Wal-Mart because she now makes more money selling her creations on Zazzle.

The stories of happy Zazzle customers are too numerous to list. Every day, Zazzle makes and ships thousands of custom products to people all over the world. This holiday season, we invited customers to Give Zazzle, and the results were overwhelming! Shoppers seized the opportunity to make and give custom gifts this year, each one unique, personal, and special. We’re thrilled that Zazzle can enable this level of thoughtfulness and personalization in gift-giving, and we’re excited by the response.

We know these are hard economic times for many. We feel grateful for our ongoing success and we are happy that our company, which allows anyone to design and sell products, has helped so many people supplement their income this year.

So from all of us here at Zazzle, today we say thank you for being part of our family, and we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview With Jamie Rushad

December 23, 2009

Jamie, from the Zazzle Store jamierushad, was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about his inspirations and his friend (a fellow Zazzler) that introduced him to Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out his store jamierushad!

Robot vs Army Men T-Shirt

Bio: Jamie Rushad is a graphic designer, web developer, illustrator, 3-D and Flash animator and fine artist working out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has worked as a graphic designer for a large jewelry company, grocery chain and a print company, and was an elementary school art teacher.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Jamie: I really like quirky designs, tv-shows, movies, and general artwork that has a bit of a sense of humor usually inspires me. Sometimes, the things that will make me laugh really make little sense to most people. I believe I’m border-line cheesy.

Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Jamie: I really love the Spaghetti Cat design I did.  It’s just silly. I mean c’mon, what little kitty eats spaghetti with a fork and a bib.

Spaghetti Cat T-Shirt

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Jamie: I really love the feature that allows you to place designs on multiple products. I remember the days doing individual products, and that was tedious. It made me appreciate the mass production much, much more.

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Jamie: I started a while back with the intention of paying for my Honeymoon with my earnings. Some people laughed at the idea, and some were pretty supportive. I was able to accomplish this, and as I type my wife and I are sitting on a cliff-side in Santorini, Greece. I know that sounds cheesy, like one of those infomercials with the guy saying he got rich from selling knife-sets or something. Yet, here I am!

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Jamie: My friend Albert (spacedust) had a really great design he did of Sarah Palin, with the “We Can Do It” Rosie the Riveter pose and it really took off. He showed me how it works and now I am an addict.

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

Jamie: I think the most important tip I can give someone is to post at least one design a day. You’ll build a following of people looking to see what you just created.

Thanks Jamie!

A New LABz T-Shirt of the Week!

December 22, 2009

New T-Shirt of the Week from Artsprojekt Artist 2H | Joseph McSween

This week we are featuring a design reproduction of the original painting “Thought Progress” by Texas-based illustrator and painter 2H. This piece features a hypnotic stare from a brooding girl with glasses and an abstract geometric print on her shirt. We used a clear gel ink to accent the rims of the glasses, in an effort to create the same kind of effect you get when you do a spot UV on a printed paper piece. We also popped a copper foil logo collaboration with Mr. 2H himself, Joseph McSween, on the back between the shoulder blades. It’s choice cuts.

The Week 2 LABz Tee will be available through December 31st.


New Pemberton & Oakes Binders and Calendars!

December 21, 2009

Pemberton & Oakes, one of the most famous collections of childhood artwork, has just added Pemberton & Oakes binders and Pemberton & Oakes calendars to their Zazzle store! These products join a huge collection of great Pemberton & Oakes oil painting reproductions on Zazzle including Pemberton & Oakes cards, Pemberton & Oakes Posters, and more. See below for some of the new products. They make a perfect last-minute Christmas gift!

Foto Friday (Christmas Edition) – Earn $5 with your Zazzle photos!

December 18, 2009

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun – Christmas Edition! Pics below of customers enjoying their Christmas themed products!

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? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.

Jingle Bell Rock Tshirts

bar code child t shirt

Lil’ Big Beard Santa Custom Shoes

Seida Bacon Merry Christmas Holiday 2009 Ornament Photo Cut Out

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to

ARTSPROJEKT x SPECK iPhone Cases on Zazzle LABz!

December 17, 2009

Greetings iPhone Lovers!

Artsprojekt x Speck® Fitted™ Hard Shell Cases for iPhone® 3G/3GS

Zazzle LABz and Artsprojekt Global Creative Network just remixed the Speck Fitted™ iPhone case for to bring you groundbreaking cases for your iPhone 3G/3GS. This is the first full color continuous-tone printed iPhone case combining tech fabric and hard shell construction to truly serve the artists with high-end reproductions of original works. Check out the 3 limited edition cases on the Zazzle LABz homepage!

What’s Zazzle LABz? Think of LABz as participation R&D, you help us make the decisions! Zazzle, in partnership with Artsprojekt, releases limited editions of groundbreaking and exciting new products to share with the world. If you like them (hint: you buy it), we bring it back as a full-on Zazzle product with the unlimited customization of the Zazzle Platform. If you don’t – well then it’s even more limited edition. Check out LABz now and vote (with your purchase) for your favorite Zazzle LABz initiative.


Zazzle Featured Seller Interview With Tracy VonGruben

December 16, 2009

Tracy, from the Zazzle Stores Phetefirst and MugUSA, was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about her inspirations and what brought her to Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her stores Phetefirst and MugUSA!

Oregon Green Tree Mousepad

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Tracy: I’ve made it a goal to do something creative every day.  It’s my way of bettering the world, one pretty design at a time.  I decided the best way to achieve my goal was to major in Fine Arts; that was the only area of study that looks favorably on assignments covered in doodles.  Since I graduated, I’ve entertained myself with computer graphics, animation, video editing, web design, and custom framing.  Whatever I happen to be doing at any given moment, it usually involves something creative, and I love what I do.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Tracy: Beer Money.  Just kidding!

I’ve lived in a bunch of different places, and only one of those places has ever truly been ‘Home’….I’ve always suffered a bit of homesickness when away, and seeing Home-related shirts made me feel better. A majority of the designs I have up right now are State Names.  I don’t see why showing off a little pride has to be boring or lame.  So the inspiration behind these designs has been to bring my brand of creativity and trendiness to this category. My other designs are influenced by a love for rock music, grunge elements, abstract art, and modern advertising.

Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Tracy: A little part of me might die if I actually answer this question…..I really like my Blue Graphic Circle design (just don’t tell the rest of my designs, OK? Don’t want anyone to feel left out…).  I love blue colors, I like the horizontal layout, and I like how clean all the elements are except for the coffee-cup ring in the background.  It’s kind of grunge, it’s kind of modern, it’s kind of abstract…and it’s for Missouri, so all of those together make for a pretty unique shirt design.

Blue Graphic Circle Design

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Tracy: I totally dig Advanced Store Customization.  I love being able to specifically tailor everything that I show to the world, be it product or blog entry, and the website itself is a huge part of that. I’m a bit of a control freak, so this feature appeases my inner OCD angst.  It’s also a great learning tool – I am self-taught when it comes to html and css, and playing around in my store’s code has been great practice.

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Tracy: I don’t have any specific stories….my days and nights begin to blur together after so many hours in front of a computer.  I will say this:  if you are a Zazzle seller, then you have the world’s best community to interact with.  The forums are filled with helpful, friendly people who are happy to provide you with information and support.   That’s pretty fun to me.

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Tracy: The day I realized companies like Zazzle existed was a beautiful, glorious day.  My Creations + Zazzle Marketplace = Entrepreneurial & Artistic Heaven.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone, and an enjoyable one at that. I love being able to focus on design and share my creations with the world….without all the headache.  I tried out a few different POD sites but Zazzle’s quality, support, and structure were the BEST.

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

Tracy: It’s OK to not finish something. In fact, you will never be finished.  Always keep pushing yourself to make better designs, improve your tags, and increase your promotion.  But really, you’ll never be done.  And that’s OK.  I’d also like new Zazzlers to learn from my mistake—I got so wrapped up in tweaking descriptions and adjusting tags and customizing my store that I lost sight of the design creation process.  I kept thinking, “it has to get done, it has to get done,” and for awhile I didn’t create any new products.  Mix it up so you don’t burn yourself out.  Now I’m back into it, and I’m very comfortable knowing that my store will never be absolutely 100% finished.  What a relief!

Thanks Tracy!

A Visit to SJSU

December 15, 2009

There’s a lot of super smart people working at Zazzle.  Many of them attended Stanford or Cal, but there are other schools represented.  I did my Master’s in Human Factors and Ergonomics through the excellent program at San Jose State University, while still working my day job.  My advisor while there was Dr. Anthony Andre, and he recently invited me to come back and talk to his current crop of students about what I do at Zazzle and how I have put my degree to use in the “real world”. As someone who moved from User Interface Design into Product Management, I have a somewhat non-traditional job for a Human Factors degree.

Last month, I visited the SJSU ISE 290 class and talked about Product Management, User Interface Design and how these roles fit in at Zazzle.  And, of course, I presented a few case studies about how good interaction design benefits Zazzle customers.

Mike T at SJSU

Mike T presents to ISE 290 class at SJSU

Some things that we discussed:

1.  Product Management 101:  look for problems and create solutions, don’t make a solution and look for a problem it might solve.  At Zazzle we’re always striving to solve problems for our customers.

2.  Talk To and Listen To your customers.   This is important for UI Designers and Product Managers.

3.  How UI Designers work with Product Managers

4.  How UI Designers make excellent Product Managers

5.  Case study: Zazzle Product Page re-design.  More on that in a future blog post!

And just to show that Zazzle has something for everyone, even User Interface Designers, here’s a few related products

Fitts Law T-Shirt

UI Designers have to remember Fitts' Law!

UXWear T-Shirt

User Experience T-Shirt

Requiremens Mousepad

Requirements gathering is one of the first steps in the process

Zazzle Custom Gingerbread Houses!

December 15, 2009

Customizable gingerbread houses? It could happen! The Zazzle Team spent some time last Friday doing a little “holiday product testing,” with sugar, icing and gingerbread. Check out the pics below. Customizable deliciousness, I like the sound of that…

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