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Dash of Inspiration: October 2022 STOCK Design Challenge

October 2, 2022

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With the holiday season quickly approaching, we’re all in the card creating spirit, so let’s create some music themed holiday greetings this month.

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Theme: Christmas Music Theme

Requirements:

  • Christmas specific image for the holiday season that is music themed along with a message that blends the season and image.
  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • Write your own verse, be creative with this will be extremely important in this challenge.
  • The judges will be looking for professional quality text layout, typography placement and font combinations in addition to a unique and captivating message that tells the story of the stock image you choose. Your added value needs to wow the judges!

NOTE: Be sure to reference the GCU Wiki: http://www.gcuwiki.com/ip.html
Fender Musical Instruments – Guitar, Trade Dress – distinctive headstock & body shapes and distinctive elements. See: https://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/images/gcu/guitar_trademark.jpg

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Entry Deadline: Monday, October 31st

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How to Enter: Post the PID (card number) and the URL (public storefront link – please WAIT for the card to be available in the public marketplace, please DO NOT post a link to your Manage Cards area) as a post in the challenge blog. We’ll forward your entry to the jury.

NOTE: Submissions will appear immediately in your Private gallery as they await review.  If approved, the reviewer will move them to the public gallery – they will then become ‘live’ in the marketplace within 24-hours or so just like regular submissions. Be patient and wait.

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Category:

Choose one of these two categories:

Business >> Christmas >> Industry Specific >> Music

Holidays >> Christmas >> Music / Instruments

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Rules:

  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle. Big Stock creations are automatically identified as Fast Track – please add in the Notes to Reviewer: October Design Challenge Submission here is the link to the blog post: (include THIS blog post URL)
  • Only ONE card per artist per challenge.
  • Submissions must be NEW, no existing designs.
  • Your entry must meet the Challenge Requirements and Theme or it will not be included in the challenge.
  • Big Stock Card Creations ONLY will be accepted.
  • Your designs should differ from those already offered in the categories above to offer shoppers a variety of choices, not more of the same.
  • No BLANK cards will be accepted.

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BLIND Judging: We hope each of you enters every month. Entries are submitted anonymously for judging by the GCU Challenge Jury which means that before and during the challenge, judges do not have any way of knowing what artist is behind each entry. This eliminates any and all concerns with ‘favoritism’. Results will post on the Community Blog. The jury will judge the entries on the following criteria:

  • How well the card meets the Challenge Requirements and Theme.
  • How well the card speaks to the Category the artist chooses for the card submission.
  • Creativity, Execution and Marketability. Your overall ‘added value’ determines this.

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Winners: 1st Place:

  • The winning designer’s card and store will be featured on the GCU Public Blog the blog which customers view and follow.
  • As well as featured on the GCU Public Facebook Page nearly 58,000 followers, now THAT’S exposure!
  • The winning card will be Design of the Day following the announcement of the winners (within 48-hours).

    EXCEPTION: Horizontal (landscape) cards may not be featured as DOD due to GCU Home Page space restrictions. In these cases, GCU will choose a different vertically oriented card from your store to feature as DOD. Thank you for your understanding and apologies for this limitation.

  • The winning card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board – currently GCU’s Pinterest Page followers: 5.36K!
  • The winning card, should the artist choose, may be referenced in a new series by the winning artist and he/she may Fast Track all cards in the new series (being sure to give the Challenge URL and winning card PID in your Notes to Reviewer for each card in this series).
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • GCU will create a Meet the Team board for the winning artist under the Pinterest GCU account where the winning artist will be able to pin and promote her own storefront and all that makes them a unique card designer and one of GCU’s artistic community team member.
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!
  • GCU will create a Meet the Team board for the winning artist under the Pinterest GCU account where the winning artist will be able to pin and promote her own storefront and all that makes them a unique card designer and one of GCU’s artistic community team member.
  • 10 free greeting card credits added to your GCU account. Apply them at checkout and they never expire.
  • A Design Challenge GCU digital award for 2022!

2nd Place:

  • Your submission will be Design of the Day the following week of announcing the Challenge winners (within 7-days).

    EXCEPTION: Horizontal (landscape) cards may not be featured as DOD due to GCU Home Page space restrictions. In these cases, GCU will choose a different vertically oriented card from your store to feature as DOD. Thank you for your understanding and apologies for this limitation.

  • Your card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board.
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!
  • 5 free greeting card credits added to your GCU account. Apply them at checkout and they never expire.
  • A Design Challenge GCU digital award for 2022!

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Tips:

  • Visit all the available tips, tricks and guidelines offered on the Big Stock Creation blog page!

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Be inspired to create and learn something new!

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by Doreen Erhardt – Exclusive Creations

Nuts & Bolts: Reminder September 2022 Design Challenge

September 30, 2022
 
 
Nuts & Bolts – Reminder September 2022 Design Challenge 
 

Friday is the final day to submit your entry for September’s Design Challenge!
 
See September 2022 Design Challenge here.
 
Holiday Typography – Create a new typographic-based design for one of upcoming holidays. Write something new and different and show off this wonderful style of artistic expression.
 
 
image
 
 
 
 

The difference is made in the details!

 
Mindy

 

GCU Community Manager

 


Wanted New Cards: Dusserha

September 28, 2022
 
 

Wanted Cards – Dusserha


This category could use more cards:

Holidays > Dussehra / Triumph of Good over Evil Cards

 

image

To expedite the review of these cards, please check Fast Track Review on the card image details page when you create your card and add a Note for Reviewers like “for BLOG– Wanted Cards”. 

 

Consider using Stock Card Creations to create new cards quickly. These cards are automatically set for expedited review so no need to Fast Track. Remember, when you’re submitting your new stock card, add a little note about the intended category in your Notes to Reviewers.

 
 


Be inventive, be clever, be creative. Go for it!

 

 

 

Freebie Wednesday: Mega Bundle 85+ Fonts

September 27, 2022

This bundle is packed with 86 stunning fonts for you to use in your upcoming crafting projects. In this creative collection you can find quirky, cute, fun and playful fonts perfect for birthday cards, invitations, branding, logos, and any other DIY crafts you can think of!

September-Free-Bundles-2

Get these premium fonts for FREE and save $949 before the bundle expires! Our premium lifetime commercial license is included. Go to the Creative Fabrica page for your download —> here

 

Nuts & Bolts: Best of 2021 Feature Page

September 23, 2022
 
Nuts & Bolts – Best of 2021 Feature Page
 

Way back in January, GCU proudly announced the Best of 2021 Founders’ Choice Award winners!  See all the winners here on their very own landing page which is linked from GCU’s homepage.
 
 
 
 
image

This is GCU’s annual “Best of” awards as part of the monthly Design Challenge series.  Be sure to check each month’s challenge as it may be a perfect opportunity for you to submit a design that’s been on your mind, or something totally new, getting you outside of your comfort zone or overcoming an artist’s block.
 

Design Challenges are run each month and announced on both the GCU community blog and GCU Design Challenge forum board.  There is plenty of time to enter September’s challenge, see details here.

Tip: for a design challenge, and any new card for that matter, take a look at what is currently offered in the category and do a little brainstorming to offer something DIFFERENT not just more of the same. This will help your card stand out from the crowd and offer shoppers more choices, and ultimately sales!
 
 
 
 
 

The difference is made in the details!

 
Mindy

 

GCU Community Manager

 


Wanted New Cards: Sympathy for Kids

September 22, 2022
 
Nuts & Bolts – Sympathy For Kids
 

GCU has a large offering of Sympathy cards. Surprisingly none that are suited to give to a child or youth. Please consider making general sympathy cards appropriate for kids.
 
The cards should go here:
Occasions >> Sympathy >> For Kids  cid#37208
 
Note: cid# is the speed entry method of adding a category to your card via category id number (cid#) vs using search terms or click and hunt.  See here on the blog.

Design examples, like GCU’s offering for Get Well for Kids.

image

Be sure to Fortify your Meta-data for Age Range so shoppers can quickly find what they are looking for. 

 
 


Be inventive, be clever, be creative. Go for it!

 

 

 

Freebie Wednesday: Autumn Woodland Collection

September 21, 2022

This Autumn Woodland collection includes 3 pre-made compositions with autumn leaves and mushrooms. It will be perfect for creating various autumn designs of invitation cards, greeting cards, stickers, washi tapes, planners, logo, party supplies, gift wrapping paper, fabric, scrapbooking and other DIY projects, brought to you by ElitaWatercolorArts!

All images come in PNG format with transparent background, 300 dpi, RGB.

What is included in download:

  • 3 compositions, as shown on picture 2

Only available on the Hungry Jpeg site for another 6 Days.

 

800_3524068_e8jhx1hm54cgo7q47pw42cc44505cbogusl46hhh_free-hand-painted-watercolor-wreaths

800_3524068_4hxph0oqf1dygc51yt2czz3heltsx462enlbyed0_free-hand-painted-watercolor-wreaths

800_3524068_g6kxreq1m8dfuu4cv8ilo35tm6gztrtwjk6ns4tu_free-hand-painted-watercolor-wreaths

800_3524068_lg37gc3cbe16wldunidi0hudbrvy9z12nsivyus6_free-hand-painted-watercolor-wreaths

This product comes with a commercial license.

Nuts & Bolts: Composition Before & After

September 16, 2022
 
Nuts & Bolts – Composition Before & After
 
 
Like an outfit and accessories, fashion advice per Coco Chanel is to add accessories at will and then before leaving the house, remove one piece as to not overdo it.  We’ve heard it before, less is more. The same can be said for a composition of many elements in a design.
 
See this wonderful example by GCU artist Laurie Schneider:
 
Note from reviewer: the upper right hand corner of the design is out of balance. consider moving the moon to the right corner. if it is too busy w/ the string lights, perhaps remove the string lights.
 
Before:
imagebefore
 
After:

 

imageafter

 

Great job, Laurie on letting the tree and moon standalone vs compete which balances out the busy lower left hand corner. 
 
 
 
 
 

The difference is made in the details!

 
Mindy

 

GCU Community Manager

 


Wanted New Cards: Halloween Anniversary When We First Met

September 15, 2022
 

Wanted Cards – Halloween Anniversary When We First Met


Please consider creating new cards for:

Occasions >> Anniversary – First Met / When We First Met >> Holiday Specific >> Hallloween  cid#37186


NOTE:
 cid# is the speed entry method of adding a category to your card via category id number (cid#) vs using search terms or click and hunt.  See here on the blog:
https://gcucommunity.com/2022/06/10/nuts-and-bolts-new-artist-enhancements/
 
Consider other holiday cards for first met anniversary like the following (if the holiday you create for is not present submit your card for >> Other  cid#37188):
>> Valentine’s Day  cid#37192
>> New Year’s Eve  cid#37190
>> St. Patrick’s Day  cid#37194

To expedite the review of these cards, please check Fast Track Review on the card image details page when you create your card and add a Note for Reviewers like “for BLOG– Wanted Cards”. (stock cards are automatically fast tracked).

 

Consider using Stock Card Creations to create new cards quickly. These cards are automatically set for expedited review so no need to Fast Track. Remember, when you’re submitting your new stock card, add a little note about the intended category in your Notes to Reviewers.

 
 


Be inventive, be clever, be creative. Go for it!

 

 

 

Freebie Wednesday: Cats in Love

September 14, 2022

 

Cats in Love is a collection of cute cats, cliparts, handwritten phrases, patterns, and cards dedicated to Valentine’s Day. Freebie by Solovarto!

The collection is perfect for creating greeting cards, gift tags, postcards, posters, gift products (mugs, pillows, T-shirts), wrapping paper, packaging, and textile design, wallpaper, scrapbooking, stickers, and much more.

Only available on the Hungry Jpeg site for another 6 Days.

 

800_3524065_vlofy420ruytvtk5zk2thgotahi9m0xsz7ig1y2l_free-cats-in-love

800_3524065_ovug4fdchj3ozeu56zpoaxbgd8hkxg3doqdibdbd_free-cats-in-love

800_3524065_e1ihnr7jd3b04h39ua05pb7w837l2wsl0cigxsir_free-cats-in-love

800_3524065_8eawczjohqgcrfaacksn0olfvzwxd4etqsk7dflx_free-cats-in-love

800_3524065_fk9bq7r4fvp1c5uz6f4c4w4gz1zz3mb3a1p2f76c_free-cats-in-love

800_3524065_nq1y8zjawizhhbjxamakvkdhy9hzxgjim1ap462i_free-cats-in-love

800_3524065_zbvtiknio3fnqw1lslrykhahhk47e316i6z4ow39_free-cats-in-love

 

This product comes with a commercial license.

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