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Nuts and Bolts: Inside Verse Considerations * Font Size

August 18, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Inside Verse Considerations * Font Size


There are a few important elements to consider when choosing a font size for your inside verse.  The most important of course?  Simply is it large enough to be legible to the average person.  It should be large enough to easily read but not so large that it’s shocking and appears as shouting.


Your choice in font style can impact font size.  Different fonts translate differently in the same size and it’s NOT an apples to apples setting.  So, make sure the size is appropriate for the font style you have chosen.


See two different font styles both in size 16:


SnellRoundhand (16):

Comic Sans (16):


GCU specifically has issues with the following fonts used for inside text when smaller than the specified size noted below.  GCU shares an alert message to artists and shoppers when trying to use these fonts in a size that will not translate well.


Alert Messages:
The BernhardFashionBT typeface may be difficult to read at any size smaller than 16.
The BibleScrT typeface may be difficult to read at any size smaller than 16.
The Curlz typeface may be difficult to read at any size smaller than 16.
The Snell Roundhand typeface may be difficult to read at any size smaller than 16.
The Edwardian typeface will be difficult to read at any size smaller than 20.
The FreeHand591 typeface may be difficult to read at any size smaller than 16.
The TimesNewRoman typeface may be difficult to read at any size smaller than 14.


There are cards on the site that were created before GCU programmed in the font size alerts.  GCU will begin to return cards for artists to edit that have font size concerns. Especially Edwardian smaller than 20. Thank you in advance for your understanding and quick edits to remedy the font size issues.  In the long run this ensures happy shoppers and card recipients.


One element to consider on font size is your audience.  If your card is expressly for someone elderly that likely has vision challenges, consider a larger size font (for example a 90th birthday card).  You can even note this as an added feature in the Artist Notes section like “large font size in inside verse for easy reading”.


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager


Wanted New Cards: Thank You Like a… to Me

August 17, 2017

wanted new cards head

Wanted Cards – Thank You Like a … to Me
Having a surrogate in your life to take the place of a non-existent, absent or deceased family member can be a very special relationship.  Perhaps it is someone who takes on the role of a sister that you never had, or having lost a parent, someone who has stepped in to be that supportive father or mother figure in your life.


Consider the gratefulness of these treasured relationships.  Like a Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Grandmother, Grandfather.  Other relationships can go in the >> Other subcategory.


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!

Rainbow Connection: Vintage American Signs

August 15, 2017

Here are some Vintage American Signs made into color palettes for you:



Nuts and Bolts: Design Challenge Tips

August 11, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Design Challenge Tips

We are pleased to bring you a guest post by GCU artist Betsy Bush of Dragonfire Graphics and Birthday Cards Cafe:

Greetings fellow GCU designers,

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day so far!  I feel so privileged to be writing to you in the Nuts and Bolts section of the Community Blog. I am here to offer some tips I use when designing for the Community Design Challenges that GCU offers each month.

I appreciate so much the time and effort Doreen puts into bringing these challenges to us. Also, the time of the judges and Mindy for trying to give us a fun and creative way to design new cards to bring us more greeting card sales success! Before I begin I just want to give you my statistics of the designs I have entered into the challenges since they began. I have entered 27 contests, placed either 1st or 2nd in 11 of them, and 18 of the 27 designs have seen sales. A few of which have seen many sales. I tell you this because I am so thrilled to have these designs to offer that I would have never had if it had not been for the challenges. You can see all the winning entries on GCU’s Design Challenge Pinterest board.

I really want to encourage everyone to take the time to enter these challenges. They are fun, interesting, and I believe they give us a chance to try new things, learn new things, and give us practice on our skills. OK, onto the tips!


Read and Reread the Challenge Requirements:

This tip stems from my not doing this! I entered a design in which I completely missed the MAIN requirement of the challenge due to my faulty Evelyn Wood reading skills! (Does anyone remember who Evelyn Wood is?) Anyway, just a few minutes can save you a lot of work. I did end up with a fun design as a result, but this isn’t something you want to have happen if it is close to the challenge deadline!


Embrace the Theme:

Try to give the latest theme a really good think. Don’t just jump in and create for the sake of getting it done. Ask yourself, “What can I do differently to really make my design POP!”

Use your life experience and think about how the theme may pertain to something you experienced that could be used in your design and verse.



When trying to think of a different angle, don’t be afraid to search for something new, under addressed or offbeat. An occasion, a religion, a cultural event, etc.

Become really familiar with your subject matter so you can do the occasion justice.

Thanks to the Peace challenge I can tell you all about Native American Day, a day I had never heard of before, because I did extensive research on it when I decided this would be the focus of the design.

The next tip takes me to how I came to choose Native American Day.


Scour your Resources:

This is exactly what I did when the Peace challenge came about. Many times I let my resources give me inspiration for a design. I found a dreamcatcher made of feathers and it led me to research Native American culture and I found Native American Day. And, if you’re like me you just can’t wait for the latest email of the new offerings

from the HungryJpeg, Design Cuts, or any of the numerous design resource sites. Definitely an addiction of mine! A resource you may have not ever noticed in your files may become the shining star of a Design Challenge win!


Take your Time:

When creating your design, second guess everything you have done. Make sure it is up to your standards. Ask yourself, what can I add? What can I take away? What is making this design stand out?

For the April 2015 Kid’s Imagination, Create A New Animal theme, my design folder has 126 files dedicated to creating that design! The reason being, I worked SO hard on the first design I created and it just didn’t cut the mustard, so it was back to the drawing board! It may seem like wasted time but it wasn’t. I learned so much about combining elements and using photoshop tools I never used before.

Inside Verse:

Don’t forget to take your time with your inside verse, as well! We all know matching the sentiment to the design is key. I always try to imagine I am the recipient and am reading the inside. Try different ways to make a play on words, or puns, if the sentiment needs

lightness or humor. If a serious occasion, I don’t like to be too somber, just supportive and sympathetic.


Big Stock Creations:

We all know how awesome it is to have a resource like BigStock in our design toolkits.

When using their photos for the challenges, the judges are looking for serious attention to adding appropriate verse to the picture. Here again comes the time for taking your time.

Look at the picture you have chosen and really think about what it is telling you and how you can relay that message to the customer to make them want to chose your design.


All of these tips may sound like second nature, but it never hurts to have a reminder.

Take care, I look forward to many artists’ Design Challenge entries in the future!

Challenge yourself and you won’t be disappointed!

See all the Design Challenges posted.


And, as Mindy always reminds us: “The difference is made in the details.”


GCU Community Manager


Wanted New Cards: Thank you for your Patience

August 10, 2017

wanted new cards head

Wanted Cards – Thank you for your Patience
There are so many tangible things to thank people for like watching your home, walking your dog, helping you move, volunteering at the bake sale and so many other helpful actions.  A very important thing someone can do for you is simply to be patient with you. This is particularly appreciated if you’re elderly, struggling with emotional, mental or physical issues, or have simply found yourself being a bit difficult.


Please consider creating cards for this category:

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!

Font Frenzy: Karliyna Script

August 8, 2017

The Hungry Jpeg has a lovely modern Script Font Karliyna by Jamalodin for only $1 for a limited time only.

Karliyna Script comes with 400+ glyphs. The alternative characters were divided into several Open Type features such as Swash, Stylistic Sets, Stylistic Alternates, Contextual Alternates and comes with a complete Commercial License.


Nuts and Bolts: Inside Verse Considerations * Line Breaks

August 4, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Inside Verse Considerations * Line Breaks



Another important consideration with inside verse alignment is where the line breaks fall. Here are some considerations and tricks for appropriate line breaks.
Line breaks, the point at which two lines of text are split, are ideally at the end of a sentence however this is not always possible and a break can happen mid sentence.  It is important for you to manually adjust line breaks so they fall logically within the sentence. You can add these manually with the <enter> key or better known as carriage return for us old school typewriter users.


It is best to adjust your line breaks after you have finalized the content of your inside verse as well as finalized the font style and size. After these are final then you should inspect your verse and adjust with manually line breaks if necessary.  The main considerations should be maintaining a logical and natural flow of the meaning of the sentence as well as balanced line length.


Easy to eyeball lines about the same length.


Not balanced:
Happy Birthday to the
best Mom.


Happy Birthday to the best Mom.
Happy Birthday
to the best Mom.


Often finding the right place to continue a sentence on the following line is where you find a natural pause in the sentence or thought.


Not Natural Breaks:
Natural Breaks:
Here is a good reference and tips for How to Break Lines.


TIP: sometimes it takes reading the verse out loud to yourself to hear where the natural breaks and pauses are
within a sentence. Re-read outloud after manual line breaks to hear if it makes sense and flows naturally.


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager


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