Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The winners of the Foldees "A Comic Book Christmas" greeting card design contest

Just a bit of background for the non-regulars... We need to start doing that since our site's traffic spiked up during our last contest, with ALOT of international traffic.

So anyway, Foldees.com is a site that holds regular greeting card contests to recruit designs from the public based on a theme we set. These cards are then sold to the public, with a royalty of US$0.10 for each printed card sold. Our contest to gear up for the Christmas season was set with the theme, "A Comic Book Christmas", inviting designers to come up with their best comic-themed Christmas cards.

And ooh boy what awesome awesome designs they came up with this time. As mentioned in my earlier post, we were a bit pickier this time with the entrants, as you can probably tell. We received about 20% more entries this time,but picked only 60 for the final count. Part of the reason for the better response was due to our AWESOME prize list, which included cash prizes for the top three and a dip into Santa's Bag'O'Gadgets, which held 10 gadgets that the winners would get to pick and choose from worth over US$2000!

Speaking of international traffic, out of the ten winners, 6 are from outside Malaysia, so kudos to them (for those not in the know, Foldees.com is a wee little Malaysian company)! Despite this, however, a few of our local heroes have done us well and truly proud with some awesome cards in the top ten. So, without further ado...

10. Are These Gifts Tax Deductible? by HP (Washington, USA)

Winner of the Apple Keyboard & Mighty Mouse

2008103000194000151208223655_HP - Are these gift tax deductible (Cover)

When this card was first submitted, it went through about a bazillion modifications to actually reach the state it's in now. The original card had loads of gradients and shadows in it, which had to be removed to stick to our theme. Speaking of the theme, it's a reflection of the times we live in that TWO CARDS about economic difficulty made it into our Top Ten

9. Surprise! by monkeypim (Bangkok, Thailand)

Winner of the Belkin Messenger Bag

2008102323353705071279637324_monkeypim - Surprise (cover)

To be honest, when we first came up with the theme, we were expecting a whole LOAD of anime-themed cards. However, only a handful were submitted. It was a pretty good handful though, seeing as how two of those anime-ish cards have made it to the top tier (both, incidentally from Thailand!). We particularly love this one for the totally Japanese way it represents both Santa and his favourite reindeer.

8. Stuck on Christmas by terryisdafox (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Winner of the 8GB FlashDrive

2008101920213602811133348576_terryisdafox - Stuck On Christmas (Cover)

Terryisdafox was actually one of my personal favourite designers from our previous contest, with his design, You Defragment My Life, so we're quite excited that this up and coming designer made it through this time. We particularly love the looks on the individual faces of the reindeer. Look closely at Rudolph's face at the top. Priceless.

7. Express Delivery... by MagicPotion (Unknown, USA)

Winner of the Western Digital 320GB drive

2008102704281704841245745251_MagicPotion - Express Delivery (cover)

Alot of the designers for this contest came up with ideas that put Santa in Superman's shoes, but none of them quite like this. This card lets Superman literally take over Santa's job for a few days, which i think is nothing short of brilliant! Superman's version of HOHOHO is gut-busting.

6. Oops Chimney by Iconwalk (Bangkok, Thailand)

Winner of the iPod Nano 8GB

2008102323325207260015078280_Iconwalk - Oops Chimney (cover)

The second of our designers hailing from Thailand, this design was also anime-ish in style. It's a modern take on Santa, and the fact that most people don't really have chimneys anymore. I have to say, for this one, the inside illustration is the money shot, which is unusual, but quite awesome.

5. The Adventures Of Dave by KelvK (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Winner of the Canon MPC-145 Printer

2008103000263200311978751583_KelvK - The Adventures of Dave (cover)

Who is Dave? Why not Alvin, Simon or Theodore? We don't know... but we don't care either. We're nuts about the cutey pie lil guy. Awwwww.....

4. Snowboarding Santa by Kokuzo (Bandung, Indonesia)

Winner of the iPod Classic

2008102323365400850284316046_Kokuzo - Snowboarding Santa (Cover)

The only entrant this time from our brothers down in Indonesia, this is one of my favourite designs, style wise. The simple clean lines and sense of movement without movement lines is exactly the kind of design aesthetic we love here at foldees. Speaking of which, I think the illustration on the inside is even better!

And now, down to the Top Three kahunas, who will also win US$600, US$300 and US$150 respectively.

*deep breath*


Ok, here goes...

3. The Penguin Christmas Wishes by micute85 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Winner of the WACOM Bamboo Fun Tablet and US$150!

2008103019541203121552504613_micute85 - The Penguin Christmas Wishes (Cover)

Another theme that's starting to get alot of attention today is the environmental issue. As you guys already know, we at Foldees love our greens! As such, we're all for cards that carry a message along with the joy of knowing someone loves you. This deadpan delivery conversation of two penguins perfectly encapsulates that in a way that's both funny, and not heavy-handed, even in the slightest. It also reminds me of a really good book i recently read. Congratulations to micute85, and we wish her a quick recovery from a recent road-rage attack.

2. All I Want For Christmas Is by ZacYouth (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Winner of the Apple iPod Touch and US$300

2008102323071507880853390354_bryanZ - All I Want For Christmas Is (Cover)

And once again proof that Malaysian designers can still hold their own in an international arena. ZacYouth (aka BryanZ) was a designer that also participated in our first contest. He didn't win anything in the previous round, but if there's any proof of that old message "If at first you don't succeed...". This card is another one talking about the current economic climate, with an absolutely hilarious inside illustration that shows one of the reindeer having taken off his antlers in protest.

1. Don't Forget by salchipunk (Jalisco, Mexico)

Winner of the LG 22" Monitor, US$600 and boundless glory and fame!

2008102704461902031671992221_salchipunk - Don't Forget (Cover)

And the winner of our second Foldees contest hails from distant Mexico (our logistics experts are still scratching their heads on how to send him that 22-inch monitor)! This card has enough ideas for three cards, crammed into one. Despite the intense competition, this card has been leading since the first day we opened for ratings, and never looked back since. It's a testament to the combination of clean design, and good ideas, and is a thoroughly deserving winner of our 2nd contest. Congratulations to Mexicans everywhere and we hope to see more of you guys in our next contest!


Also congratulations to all the winners! If you didn't make it into the Top Ten, and would like to fnd out what placing you got, please email me at contact@foldees.com. And don't forget to tune in to the blog this weekend to see our Honourable Mention list :)

In the meantime, thanks to everyone for joining, don't forget to check your Royalties every so often and and get your entries in early for "The Game of Love" for a chance to win that first prize of a cool US$1000 in cold hard cash! The fun never stops at www.foldees.com!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Game of Love Greeting Card Design Contest

As soon as we've closed the ratings for our previous contest, we begin a new one! This is a trend we'd like to continue in future to ensure there's always something for you guys to do on Foldees.com.

This time around, we're getting all mushy with our latest challenge to all you wacky designers out there...


We're taking to our third love (after comics and facebook), for games of any kind!From now until 24th December 2008, we'll be accepting submissions for Flirty/Love related cards having to do with games. What kinda games? All KINDS! Contrary to the misleading poster, we're hoping for designs that come from not only video games, but even things like Monopoly, Warhammer or even Congkak.

As usual, just download our AI template, and get to work! No gradients, filters or fancy effects allowed.

Admittedly, we've gotten lazy trying to second guess what cool prizes to get you guys, so we've decided instead to give Cold Hard Cash!

How much? How about US$1000 for the first prize?

That's 1 MacBook.

Or 7 iPod Nanos

Or 200 copies of WIRED.

Or 500 Foldees Cards (no pressure).

In fact, the other prizes aren't too shabby either. US$600 for second, US$300 for third, and a nice tidy US$100 for fourth and fifth.

As usual, the winners are picked by the public :)

Speaking of which, come back in about five days, and you'll find out who won our last little contest ;)

In the meantime, here are a few ideas that we'd like in particular to see.

  • Romantic interests involving characters in games (we've always wanted to see the Jack of Spades finally get it on with the Queen of Hearts)
  • A few Orc-related cards (e.g. "Your new +10 Charisma armor makes me sweat!")
  • Pseudo game screens like our poster (but not actual screencaps!)
  • Pixel-art!
  • One-page gags involving things you use to play the game such as the relationships between Bowling Balls and Pins or the two parts of the Wii controller.

Beyond that, please please SURPRISE US! We love surprises! Honestly, we really do look forward to the entries from each contest because we're constantly amazed at what you guys come up with.

No, bem69 did not hack our site

Fortunately, he's a better graphic designer than he is a programmer. Or so I've heard. Actually, the logo is our way of highlighting a particular designer once in a while. Since we met bem69 at our party, we asked him if he would like to be the first to try his hand at modifying our logo.

Interested? Simply think of what would be relevant to the time, download our logo on this AI File, and send the AI file right back to us at contact@foldees.com with the email subject as "IMADEYOURLOGOL33T!". In that email, also give us your preferred callname, and your website link.

We can't promise to publish all the logos we receive, but if we think it's suitable, we'll definitely put it up and have a link to your site :)

This gives the particular designer a prominence on our site. In fact, to kick start this off... I'll give 3 free cards to the designer that can make our logo over for Christmas again.

A few things to watch out for when designing our logo

  1. Do not change the dimensions of the crop in the AI file (387x81)
  2. you can shrink the logo to accommodate your illustration, but make sure it's still y'know... visible.
  3. Please refrain from using any words in your illustration.
  4. As usual, no drop shadows, filters or effects :)
  5. (Small print) We reserve the right to basically own whatever you pass to us and modify it as we see fit, although we promise not to do anything wicked with it. e.g. like tattoo it on our programmer's bum.

Hope to see some interesting entries :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photoshop UnPhotoshopped

Proof that creativity exists anywhere, and under the weirdest circumstances. This is an ad for Software-Asli.com in Indonesia. FYI, Software-Asli translates into "Original Software" in the Indonesian language.


Yes, those are REAL PAINTBRUSHES. See the making of the ad here.


also, a quick reminder while we're at it - only 5 MORE DAYS to the close of the ratings period! so get in, vote quickly, vote fairly and get those funkeedoodly FREE CUSTOMISED CARDS!

Monday, November 10, 2008

We can talk!

As you can see, we've just implemented a new chatbox on both our blog, and our Foldees mainpage, so you guys can talk more amongst each other, and better still, we get to talk to you!

Any comments you make will be automatically published to both mainsite and blog, so feel free to use either to keep in touch of who's saying what.

Also, this goes without saying, especially after my previous post, but PLAY NICE! The chatbox won't be moderated, except for profanity and spam, so we're leaving it open.... for now.

In the meantime, enjoy your off-topic discussions!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Play Nice!

Guys, once again, we're happy that there's so much feedback to the cards! However,  there are still misunderstandings aplenty, and as you've probably noticed, we're starting to moderate alot of the comments again.

First off, click on this link to see our stand on comments that we deem are proper or otherwise.

Once you're done with that, allow us once again to say that if you're going to critique something, at least make it constructive. A few comments made on the site such as "No Good" really don't help the designer improve himself. At least a mention of what you don't like about it would help, for instance, something as simple as even "Too dark".

As for the designers, try not to take criticism too harshly. There are so many opinions in this world, and people do tend to be a bit more candid on the Internet than in person, so our advice would be to take what you think is fair, and let the rest just slide off.

At the end of the day, the only opinions that you should take into account are from people you respect :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Parody or Satire

There's been a few comments lately about the use of copyrighted characters and items in Foldees cards, and I thought I'd just clear this up before our next contest. Yes, we did discourage the use of Copyrighted characters in our previous contest, but this was more because we didn't fully understand the difference between a parody and a copyright.

Now we kinda do, although the line is still grey in some areas. Very simply, according to U.S. Copyright laws (and Americans should be the best at this sort've thing)...

Parody is an authorized use of copyrighted material, but satire is not.

Whoah, okay. English 101 lesson here for a second. "What in Mario& Luigi's name is the difference?", I hear you asking. Well, in very very simple non-technical terms...


A Parody is something that used a property (e.g. star wars) to make fun of itself within that universe. This means that Star Wars characters can make fun of each other, or their situations. For instance, Darth Vader dressing up as Santa Claus and giving his son, Luke a present, is a parody. This is because if it wasn't Darth Vader or Luke, this wouldn't be very funny. As far as we understand, this is totally cool with George Lucas (please don't Force Sue us!).

A Satire, on the other hand, is something that uses a property (e.g. star wars) to comment on a societal situation that doesn't involve that character, usually with an intention other than humour (although it might be funny). For instance, Darth Vader slicing through an American ballot box. In this case, you have to ask, "Why does Darth Vader hate American politics?" That's when George Lucas will bring his lawyers down on you and use the Wookie Defence to sue you (and us) for billions of dollars.

However, this only applies to copyrighted characters and likenesses. So how do you know when something's copyrighted? Well, chances are, anything that you've seen in a movie, comic or any modern medium in the past 50 years could safely be considered under this category. Most publications and media have really really teeny tiny text in them somewhere that says they own everything and have the right to sue you to oblivion if they want to.

Most times, they won't unless it's offending in nature, or causes them loss of revenue in some way. However, we'd prefer to at least play it a wee bit cautious, even if at the end of the day, we want you guys to go nuts.

So, for the time being, as long as it's tasteful AND funny or witty, and non-political, we'd probably let it by. Do let me know if I've made any factual errors in this article.

In the meantime, go wild!