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Nuts and Bolts: Like Image Series Stock Card Creations.

November 17, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Like Image Series Stock Card Creations


There are many different steps and guidelines with GCU’s Stock Card Creations service (aka: BigStock Cards) vs traditional submissions. Since announcing in 2015, the number of Stock Card Creation submissions is picking up speed and is now a collection of nearly 3,000 cards. All reside here as the primary category Collections >> Off the Cuff.


We have noticed that once an artist gets the hang of the tool it opens a floodgate of opportunities and ideas.


One thing that is the same that you may not think of is a like image collection or series.  Once you have a card design that you think is a real winner (and it has passed review), just like any other card, consider variations of the design for other categories like an age specific or relation specific series.


Here is a wonderful example of a Thanksgiving In Remembrance series by GCU artist Danielle Duckery:

Consider how that concept can be replicated for a different occasion / category as clever Danielle has done here for a Christmas in Remembrance series:
Be sure to follow the Series Concept Review process to save you and the review team time and grief.  Since Stock Card Creations are already expedited there is no reason to request FastTrack review as is customary with the series concept review process.


Note: While submitting a Stock Card Creations card, if it didn’t dawn on you to create a like image series and the idea for a series came after its approval, no worries! Simply create your next design (2nd like image submission) and include in the Notes to Reviewer your intention to create a series based on the original design PID######).


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager

Wanted New Cards: 1st Holidays as Newlyweds Relationship Specific

November 16, 2017

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Wanted Cards – 1st Holidays as Newlyweds Relationship Specific 


Being newlyweds is a very special time, so many new firsts! Officially sharing each holiday together as a married couple is the beginning of many new traditions together.


Please consider creating relationship specific cards (Especially for >> Son & Daughter in Law and >> for Daughter & Son in Law) for the following categories and any other holidays for that matter:



Any relationships without a specific subcategory should be submitted to >> Other.

As well as for spouse to spouse on the 1st holiday together for >> Our 1st Thanksgiving Together:


We’d like you to create at least one card for these categories using the Stock Cards function (Bigstock) or your own graphic designs.

Remember, when you’re submitting your new 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 – Peomy Free Script Font

November 15, 2017

Freebie Wednesday:

Here is a cute Freebie Font for your design arsenal.


Peomy Free Script Font is a handwritten free font made by Wild Ones Design. The handwriting style of the font is perfect for unique and personalised concept designs. Peomy has only caps letters and a huge character bade – 385 characters, all Caps letters. Free for personal and commercial use!


Nuts and Bolts: Card Finish Default Setting.

November 10, 2017


Nuts & Bolts – Card Finish Default Setting


As the artist you have the control on setting the default Card Finish for each and every card you submit;  matte or glossy.  Please be sure to give it some thought as shoppers trust your judgement.  Shoppers often inquire what the difference is between the finishes and what finish GCU suggests. We typically suggest the finish that the artist has set for the card.


Of course people may simply have a personal preference across the board.  Some of us are glossy fans, and others are matte lovers.


Here are some elements worth consideration when you set the finish:


1. tone and occasion of the card – glossy tends to be showy and modern making it not be well suited for a somber, sad occasion like sympathy or to a vintage or antique design
2. predominant color – if your design is predominantly black these cards unfortunately are susceptible to scratches so glossy is a good choice to “protect” the color
3. glossy does tend to make colors more vibrant but at the same time a bit darker / deeper


On the site GCU advises shoppers:
Matte finish has a traditional and flat finish. It is a good choice for black and white photos and subtly colored images. Glossy finish has a high shine and smooth finish.
It is a good choice to show off rich vibrant colors.
Shopper can change the finish before purchasing, but please note that they do tend to rely on your recommendation.


Tip: See for yourself!  It would be good for you to see a variety of your own cards in the different finishes.  If you have not done already, order a card or two of your own cards each in both finishes and keep for reference.  Note: In Store Pickup (Target / Bartell’s) only prints in 1 finish, semi-gloss, so the default setting is not used in that case. 


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager

Wanted New Cards: For Babysitter Variations

November 9, 2017

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Wanted Cards – For Babysitter Variations


You can really split hairs and get specific.  At GCU, we take that seriously! To get really personal, a card should be spot on, not just pretty close.


Consider breaking down specific types of relations serving as a babysitter. GCU will be adding the following sub-categories to the >> For Babysitter subcategory:


>> General Babysitter
>> Other Babysitter
>> Au Pair
>> Nanny / Nannie
>> Mother’s Helper

 So, take a look at your Babysitter cards and consider also creating versions for Au Pair, Nanny and Mother’s Helper too.

If the new subcategories do not appear under your category/occasion of choice yet, simply submit to >> For Babysitter and leave a note to the review re: this post.

Rainbow Connection: Pantone Color Trends for 2018

November 7, 2017

Here are Pantone Color Trends for 2018:

Fashion Spring/Summer 2018

Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman revealed what color and design trends we can expect next year, and there seems to be something for just about everyone.

“Metallics we know are classic, but they have really moved over into neutrals,” Eiseman said. She also predicts a continued infatuation with iridescence, since “the human eye can absolutely not avoid” anything pearlized or translucent.

Another standout trend will include a movement to intense colors rather than pastels — music to the ears for bright color lovers.

“Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” she said.

Nuts and Bolts: Dedicate Yourself to the Details II

November 3, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Dedicate Yourself to the Details II


Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious.  Maybe you’re in so deep or have been staring at the image for so long that you simply can’t see the flaws, or the potential areas of improvement.  A fresh set of eyes, yours or someone else, may spy a subtle change that never crossed your mind.  The review team may catch some of these details and share suggestions with you.
Here is an excellent example of edits requested during review on a card by GCU artist Laurie Schneider.  


The reviewer’s request:
“We would appreciate a couple of edits to make this young lady shine. To offer more distinction between the wall and the floor, and to add a little contrast to bring out Roxy’s colors, please make the wall area a slightly lighter shade. Secondly, it would be great if you could also lighen ONLY the eyes, if you would like to give that a try.  Don’t lighten the whole image, just the eyes, to make the eyes grab the shopper’s attention when they view the card.”


Aww, now look at that pretty girl!  Tiny and subtle changes but a big difference.  Good job, Laurie!
Do you use a lot of people and animal photographs in your designs? See this helpful throwback on Catchlights by Doreen Erhardt.


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager
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