Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Contest Deadline Extended to 28th (yes, we know... we know...)

Okay. I know what we said earlier (No free lives, no extensions... blah blah), buuuuttt... how were we to know that our dear hosting providers would be visited by evil elves in the middle of the night and sabotaged on THE LAST TWO DAYS OF SUBMISSIONS!?

Anyways, even though the site is back up now, we would like to at least give a chance to those who have been trying to submit their entries to the site for the past two days. So, we're extending the contest to the 28th of December for submissions!

You can continue to submit on the site, but once again, if you have any problems whatsoever, please submit your entries via email. Details for email submission here. also, if you're unsure whether your submission got through successfully, do send an email to and we'll check it up for ya :)

In the meantime, our humblest apologies to those who have been trying to get through to our site with submissions for hours! We're really grateful for your efforts, and will find a way to make amends for your patience, so watch this space.

Looking forward to seeing your entries... In the meantime, if you're looking for something to do this Christmas, check out It's a place where you can sponsor micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries to help them improve their situations! We've just sponsored a candy shop in Tajikstan!

Make a loan
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Location: Bolivia
Loan Needed: $2,725
25 % funded would love to wish everyone in the whole wide world, including our users, customers, suppliers and designers a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Problems with uploading engine

Quite a few of you have emailed in saying that you're having problems submitting your designs. Unfortunately, it's a problem with our hosting company, which we have already submitted a complaint about already.

They have offered to move us to a more stable server, though, but this will require a few days of downtime, which we're scheduling for the Christmas period instead to minimise the inconvenience to you guys.

For the time being however, if you really really can't submit through the uploading engine, please email the designs directly to a new email I've set-up for you guys -

When you email your design, please include the following information.

Email - (The email you used to register to Foldees)

Design Title



Speaking on that topic of Titles, I also want to mention that you should try for more unique sounding titles. This will enable your card to stand out from the rest, and be more easily indexable and searchable on our site, and other search engines. For instance, for our first contest, there must've been at least 15 cards entitled "Happy Birthday". Why not change to something a bit more unique, like "Only one candle!?" or something else that describes the crd a bit more. Here are a few good examples :-

cmmoong - I Don't Like Big Butts!

uden - Santa Vader

KarmaKloth83 - The Missing of Mr.Snowman

Remember, only 5 days to go! Get those submissions in quick!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Interview with Salchipunk, winner of "A Comic Book Christmas"

By day, he's Mauricio E. Moreno Flores, a 38-year old graphic designer for a web company in the second biggest city in Mexico. By night (or even sometimes during a spare moment in the office), he's salchipunk, the winner of the publicly voted Foldees "A Comic Book Christmas" greeting card competition.

His design, "Don't Forget", won by a significant margin during the voting period for the contest, which invites the public to rate the cards in Foldees contests (as an incentive, voters who voted for all the designs would get a free card). It featured 3 steps to remember while preparing for a visit from Santa, as shown below.

 2008102704461902031671992221_salchipunk - Don't Forget (Cover)

We recently had a chance to interview Mauricio over MSN, and found him to be a surprisingly humble (almost shy) person. Primarily because English is not his native language, we found ourselves talking alot more than he was. However, after a few minutes of conversation, that's when he starts displaying a wicked sense of humour that just peeks out on rare occasion (thus asking him to tell us a bit more about himself only at the end of the interview once we warmed up). Here's the transcript from that interview (which has been edited for readability) :-

Foldees Hi Mauricio! How's it going man?

salchipunk Fine thanks how about you?

Foldees Great! Are you ready to be interviewed?

salchipunk Yeah is okay but remember my English is not that good

Foldees No worries... we'll edit before it goes out. So first, I wanna ask you how you got into graphic design?

salchipunk Well, I don't about know this career before, and I was looking for a career that don't have mathematics and my brother tells me about graphic design. So here I am!

Foldees Did you study it?

salchipunk Yes I did , but for technical level only, in fact was a short time

Foldees Wow... but from your work it looks like you already have a lot of experience. Do you sketch it out first and trace it or do you draw directly into the computer?

salchipunk I sketch first and then I trace it in illustrator with a digital tablet.

Foldees WACOM?

salchipunk Yeah but my tablet is not profesional is a wacom graphire - only the smallest model.

Foldees Hahahah... we were offering the big A4 one for our first competition. You should have joined :) Your art style is very cartoony and simple, yet there's actually quite a bit of attention to detail... what are your influences?

salchipunk Yeah, I saw it in your blog but I didn't know about that contest. I love the actual cartoons, the cartoon network style is so static with strong outlines and short characters. My favourites are Puka, Courage, Sponge Bob and Fairly Oddparents.

Foldees Now the serious questions. How did you find out about Foldees?

salchipunk A friend of me told me about it

Foldees And how did he find out about it?

salchipunk I don't know, he just told me.

Foldees Oh. That doesn't make a very good story

salchipunk Hahahaha... ok let me ask him

Foldees Hahahah. ..Yes please. Lemme know when he gives you an answer. Meantime, let's continue. Have you entered any other contests before and have you won?

salchipunk Once, in my city. And I won a motorcycle. That was about 7 years ago! It was a contest run by one of our local radio stations to draw one of their radio announcers. The drawing was in water paint over paper, so that means i don't have it anymore.

Foldees What was the model of the bike did you win?

salchipunk Vespa Ciao.

Foldees That's awesome! It's one of those italian scooters, right?Are you still using it? 7 years is a long time man... means you must be older than i think you are

(At this point, Mauricio proceeds to draw it out for me using the crude-at-best MSN mouse drawing function. Unfortunately, MSN doesn't save that in its history, so the drawing is gone. Rest assured, it was a very decent rendition of an italian scooter)

salchipunk Like this. I love my motorcicle.. until I fall jajaja and I sell it

Foldees You had an accident?

salchipunk Yeah a little accident. But I did preffer don't risk in that way so I sold it

Foldees So old are you?

salchipunk 38 years and counting

Foldees Wow... that IS alot older than i expected What is your job?

salchipunk Guess.... graphic designer

Foldees What kinda company are you working for? Does it have a website?

salchipunk website not, only impress you know the habitual, invitations, magazines, etc... But i learn by my own to make websites and i work sometimes freelance, just for extras.

Foldees What's the graphic design scene like in Mexico? Are there alot of graphic designers there?

salchipunk Yes, in fact at this time we're so many that the pay is bad.

Foldees Hahahaah. I'm sorry to hear that. But now with the web, there are so many ways to market your work!

salchipunk My friend told me that he know about your contest by this page

Foldees Foldees ahh... yes. we know them quite well :) Did he join too?

salchipunk Yeah he's mdavict. He draw a thin Santa.

Foldees Awesome! So when you guys joined, did you think you could win?

salchipunk No. In fact I didn't know if I should get in because i'm so negligent sometimes and i sent my work the last day.

(sound familiar anyone? for the record, Salchipunk's latest entry, "I Don't Need" is already in for "The Game of Love" *hint*hint*) 



Foldees Glad to see this time you submitted VERY early! Are you submitting any more entries?

salchipunk I don't think so because I don't have another idea that I really like me

Foldees No worries... so before we finish, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

salchipunk Well I'm not married but I have a kid and I live with my girlfriend and I think that I live in 2 ways because I love the punk music but I love too pop music and I like a lot the animation movies of Pixar and Dreamworks but I like too the most bloody disgusting movies... jajaja

Foldees And where do you stay?

salchipunk I live in the second city most big in Mexico and like any big city is a mess. The city's called Guadalajara - you can see it in Google Earth... jajaja.

Foldees Last thing. Anything you want to say to your fans and the people that voted for you...because you won by a very big margin?

salchipunk Oh.. I want to thank every single people that voted for me. Ouch. I try to say a lot of words but I don't know too many, I should be study English. I think that was my purpose of this year

Foldees HAHAHAHAAH. No worries man. Thanks for your time, Mauricio

salchipunk i just want add that I honestly didn't think that I've won because there was may good works there

Foldees Yes there were. Don't worry though, I'm sure that they'll give you a good fight for this next competition G'night from Malaysia...

salchipunk And good morning from Mexico.

- end -

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do design contests devalue designs?

I read an interesting blogpost the other day when trying out some Google searches to see how Foldees fared. The post was about how design contests somehow devalue your designs.

You can read the rest of the post here...

But the gist of it is that when people launch design contests, what they're really doing is wasting the design talents of hundreds (or thousands) just to get one, or a few designs they like. To the corporate Man, it's the cheapest way to get loads of designs and ideas, while appearing to support the community.

The argument is that those designers who don't get picked simply waste their designs, and those that do, don't really get much besides a hastily written press release and perhaps a single line mention in the local newspaper.

I posted a comment on that blog, claiming that the title (Design Contests, Devaluing Design, and Is It Ever OK?) was misleading. Corporate Design Contests can be devaluing, but we'd like to think sites like ourselves and threadless actually give you guys some room to play, and interact with your peers.

While other user-created design sites like Zazzle and Cafepress accept just about any design that comes in, we find that you designer guys tend to perform better with a bit of a carrot dangling from a stick :)

That's why we're very proud of our design collection (which we have to thank you guys for), and we will continue to pursue the contest business model until at least we've reached a year.

Honestly speaking, the contests aren't exactly the cheapest way to run a business, but each time we see the designs coming in, we realise it's all worth it. Even though we might not see a profit from those designs today (we need to be selling ALOT more cards first), they can be sold for a long time to come.

Sales are already picking up, as those who've been checking their Royalty tabs can attest to, but we still have a long way to go, finding ways to promote the site, and to make the process of sending cards as painless as possible.

On the other hand, we also want to give you guys the tools by which to help yourselves. That's why we've since switched from the card popups to the new individual pages like this one.

If you notice, the link on the page has all the keywords you need to search for your card on Google. On top of that, we also have the new Share This sidebar, which allows you to forward the links to your friends, as well as to Digg, Facebook, or choose from one of any other 21 social networking engines to post on.


We've also got other plans lined up to help you guys, one of which should be launching next week, which is the individual designer pages. Not only will these pages feature all designs from one particular designers, but the links to these pages will also be featured at the back of each card we sell. This means that if the person receiving the card likes the style, he/she can come onto the site and see the rest of the designer's masterpieces.

So do design contests devalue your designs? Well, i guess it really comes down to what you do with the designs after the contest. In a corporate context, alot of the designs simply go to waste and disappear once the contest ends.

Here at Foldees, it's only once the contest ends that things start to get really interesting. Going to waste? Not a single vector.