Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zodiac Zoo – What’s your sign?

I never really believed in star signs. The thing that really got to me was that that Virgos, and by association my good self, are supposed to be perfectionists. Just by that belief alone, I thought all star signs were rubbish.

I was the guy in class who would laugh at the other guy who studied 7-days a week to score 99% in Advanced Maths, while I probably put in half a day for my 85%. Both still As after all, right?

However, I have recently discovered my perfectionist streak. It comes in two forms. The first is in language. As a former Editor for some of Malaysia’s top tech magazines, I always cringed enough to form a black hole everytime i saw the smallest error in the final print. Also, yes I do spel-check my blog entries… but then again, doesn’t everybody?

The 2nd is in Foldees’ interface. We were supposed to launch our new interface (which you can check out in a VERY short while) a month ago, but due to small refinements – which, by the way, I think are STILL not enough yet – it’s been delayed till sorta now.

Anyways, as you can see… i’m sort’ve a believer in this now, and it’s for that reason, in combination with my Chinese blood that makes me think this is our most brilliant contest yet! See, this year, Valentine’s Day coincides with the first day of Chinese New Year!


Simply design a card that uses elements of ANY Zodiac Calendar, and you could win up to US$2500 in cash prizes! We’re primarily looking for Love related, and Chinese New Year cards, but if you’ve got a good idea for a get-well, or birthday card, then go for it!

As usual, please submit vector art only, minus the gradients, opacity filters, effects or rasters, and original work only :)

Also, in a new feature I’d like to start, if you have any ideas for a greeting card for this contest, but don’t have the skills to start, why don’t you leave a comment on this blog with your idea and your contact, and have one of the designers contact you to work on your idea together?

Contest submissions close on January 10th 2010, which gives you a month and a half so get cracking and submit your entry here! The earlier you submit, the more time you’ll have to work on the feedback we’ll give you to make the best card possible :) Looking forward to the usual deluge of amazing ideas from you nutty lot.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Foldees is EVERYWHERE this Christmas (14 stores & counting…including Penang!)


As a nice close off towards the end of 2009 (and Foldees peak season: Christmas!), we are very very very dizzily happy to announce that we’re now available in 14 stores across Malaysia, including two of the most hip hoppenin shopping malls in Penang!

Currently, most of these stores will be selling a select number of your Christmas cards, and some will also stock our usual selection of wacky birthday, love and other cards.

We’re also exploring other retail channels in other countries, most likely including neighbouring Singapore by the end of the year!

In the meantime, check our Store Locations page to see where YOU can pick up some very very funky Christmas cards.



Our newest retail partner is S&J, a company that sells all sorts of gift items! Like us, they’re also started up by some very young (although maybe not so young) people. Two brothers called Sam and Jeff. Thus S&J. These guys started with two stores in Penang, and have now expanded to include pretty much every major mall in Malaysia with the exception of the snobs over at KLCC.

Anyways, we browsed through their 1 Utama store, and here are some of our favourite bits.


WATCH YOUR STEP: A door stop shaped like a banana peel!



UH?: As near as we can figure, this is a miniature japanese house that can light up from your car ciggy lighter?


MIDGET SHOPPING CARTS: Useful for Kero-Keropi fans shopping for bottle caps.




RUDOLPH!: Like searching for a red-nose in a haystack



Oh… and an MJ impersonator for good measure :)

Welcome aboard guys!

To see where you can find S&J stores, visit our store locations page, or the S&J homepage itself :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interview with Kokuzo (a.k.a. Franz Liu)

We owe quite alot of interviews. As of now, we still owe interview time to RocknRolla and Noelevz. Well, at least we’ve got one out of the way for now.

Kokuzo, otherwise known as Franz Liu, has been with Foldees since our first XMAS contest back in 2008 entitled “A Comic Book Christmas”. He recently took a few minutes to have a chat over MSN about how he started drawing since he was a kid, and the unique way he lets ideas come to him.


CHAK: So, let's start with the basic stuff. How'd you become a graphic designer?

KOKUZO Hmmmm... simply I can say drawing is just like my daily food since I was a lil kid, so when graduate from high school, I decide to study in 2008102323365400850284316046_Kokuzo - Snowboarding Santa (Cover)design, visual communication design actually...and here I am now.

CHAK: So how old were you when you started and what kinda stuff did you draw?

KOKUZO Wow... maybe I should ask my mom about this question. Can't remember....hahaha

CHAK: Okay, what's the first thing you remember drawing?

KOKUZO if I don’t get it wrong, I drew some stick man on the wall in my room or maybe almost everywhere in the house, and my mom began to grumbling all day

CHAK: Did you get spanked?

KOKUZO Fortunately not...and I'm thankful for that because if my parents stopped me from doing all that thing, I won’t be here now. Maybe I'd study accounting or business in college.

CHAK: What do your parents do?

KOKUZO They're entrepreneurs, producing homemade cake and bakery, kinda like that.

CHAK: Did you study design in Indonesia or overseas?

KOKUZO My hometown is in Medan, Sumatera. Very close to M'sia right? Perhaps you've been there? Or not? Anyway, I studied design in Bandung, West Java.

CHAK: Your English is quite good... where'd you pick that up?

KOKUZO Movie I guess. Hahaha

CHAK: I think I picked mine up from Voltron :)

KOKUZO I just about to apologize you if my grammar is broken. Hahaha...yeah, English is very very rarely use in my country

Inspirations: Mickey Mouse, Manga and Singaporean women.

CHAK: And who are your idols?

KOKUZO Wow... so many. But maybe I can say Walt Disney inspired me the most, and that guy created SpongeBob, (dang, I forgot his name) he's brilliant. For comics, I like Takehiko Inoue. We can say manga actually, cos I seldom reading western comics.4049557905_b6bb7f4eda

CHAK: Ah...but your art style is not really that manga.

KOKUZO Hahahaha... that’s a bit long story you know? Actually we're targeted to be a creative director or any position in advertising field. I still got my manga style drawing until couple years ago. Then, almost 1,5 years I stopped drawing and focusing on advertising... photography, digital imaging, copywriting, wicked idea, something like that. 

I only draw sketches for idea visualization. But I thought "hey, drawing is what I do since I was a lil kid, why stop doin’ it now?" Then like someone back from hell, I started drawing again and on that time, my friend offer me a project, drawing cartoon and maybe I can say that’s the starting point of my drawing style right now.

CHAK: Is that your day job now?

KOKUZO the project is for promotional purpose of a vehicle dealer company - not exactly became my day job, but still got projects from that same client. I just graduated 2 weeks ago... and I'm planning to find job in Singapore after Chinese New Year. Until then, I'll be a freelancer

CHAK: what's your interest in Singapore? I remember we sent your prize there the first time you won on Foldees

KOKUZO hahaha, I knew you’d ask that. Becoz my girlfriend is there. Good memory Chak...haha

CHAK: is she a graphic designer as well?

KOKUZO yep, same college, same class with me. Couple times I asked her to join Foldees... but she's too busy for that

CHAK: it's okay. We’ll pay her to keep you happy. So how'd you first hear about us and what were your initial thoughts?

KOKUZO I was browsing web and somehow I found a web named or something like that and I saw mostly the contests are logo, logo and logo. And then I found Foldees, vector drawing, and thought "Wow, that’s what I'm looking for!” Because at that time I just started to learn AI, so I think it's nothing to lose to join. That time I was still learning AI - the tools, effects, etc...still tried to understand the software.

My college teach Corel draw as vector too, but I thought the colour is not that nice. Then my friend suggested me to use AI so I learned by myself by reading the help tab, and sometimes when I got stuck, I search tutorials online.

The Drawing Cycle: It all starts in the bathroom.kokuzo-teddy-sketch

CHAK: How does your drawing cycle start? Let's start with the ideas.

KOKUZO Talkin about this one, it's really depending a lot with my mood. Sometimes it can pop out from nowhere, but sometimes it won't come out even a bit. But tell you a secret - I got mostly my idea while 'relaxing' in bathroom in the morning. While 'relaxing'.

CHAK:'s not going to be a secret anymore after this interview goes up

KOKUZO Dang! I shouldn’t tell you that. Now I regret.

CHAK: we will start selling laxatives on Foldees to our designers so they spend more time "relaxing" (compliments with ROLLEES).

KOKUZO Another nice business idea

CHAK: So after the idea, do you need to write it down or draw it out immediately?

KOKUZO Usually I just write it down first with the key words. Then in my free time, I'll draw it.

CHAK: On paper? I remember seeing one of your scanned sketch layers for your Monochrome submission

KOKUZO Oh that one... while checking the file, I remember I forgot to delete the layer, and I thought "oh cr*p".

That drawing I made in Corel painter actually. But before I start to draw digitally, I always draw n doodle on paper first and I'll keep sketching until I satisfied. Then I'll start to draw in digitally

CHAK: So besides us and the vehicle dealer, who else gets to benefit from your work?

KOKUZO Mostly are friends or friend of friends or friends of client.FYI, I also had worked in design studio for handipoints online game, that’s what I do for about a year until last august

CHAK: And how come you don't have a proper website?

KOKUZO Haha... told you I just got back from hell to illustration world. I want to focus on illustration, and now what I want to do first is making many, many good portfolio. Once satisfied, I'll make the proper one. Actually I really, really want to enter this and that contest, but sometimes have no time between college work and freelancing. But I've finished my study, so I think from now I'll try to submit in many contests, just to kill time before I go to Singapore.

CHAK: Don't forget about us once you're famous aight? Anything else you wanna add?

KOKUZO Dunno, nothing I guess, you're the interviewer. ask I answer.

CHAK: about this? Any advice to other designers out there after winning?

KOKUZO Wow, this tough... I'll look like a smartass by answering that... but I think voters on Foldees like funny, cute cards. Also idea is important, so I just try to design according to that. I remember my Halloween design, I like it personally, and you said you guys like it so much (if you're not lying). But not many people like it...not cute enough I guess.

CHAK: Awesome.

KOKUZO. Thanks alot.