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Nuts and Bolts: How to Write Greeting Card Verse (re-post from March 12, 2015).

October 13, 2017

It’s not just the picture on the front of the greeting card that sells it – the message inside the card is usually the deal clincher or the deal breaker.  Some shoppers prefer blank cards. The majority buy cards whose verses reflect their own feelings and emotions, and  send the exact message they want to convey to the recipient.

Creating the perfect verse to go with your fabulous design isn’t easy for everyone, so here are some tips to help you craft an attractive message.

In General

  • When writing greeting card verse – and by verse, I don’t mean poems exclusively, I’m simply referring to the text outside/inside the card – make sure what you write is appropriate to the occasion and the overall “feel” of the card. Study the front image. What does it say to you?
  • When you’re starting to write, don’t get too hung up on grammar, spelling, etc. Just jot down your thoughts. Play around with ideas. Think about the occasion and the intended recipient. Is the card supposed to make the recipient laugh? Smile? Catch their breath? Feel better? Always keep the recipient in mind.
  • Use ordinary language and a conversational style (unless you’re designing for very formal occasions such as wedding announcements). Shoppers prefer a down-to-earth voice to a forced or awkward formality.
  • Stick to the point and get your message across without rambling or getting off topic.
  • When you think your verse is ready, read it aloud. Here’s where you’ll catch clumsy phrasing, incorrect grammar, and phrases that just don’t sound right.
  • If possible, read the verse to a friend or family member who will give you an honest assessment.
  • Put yourself in the shopper’s place. If you were standing at a card rack in a shop, would you pick up this card? If you looked at the inside verse, would you be tempted to buy?
  • Make certain to correct all spelling and grammar mistakes BEFORE submitting the card for review.

The Three P’s

There are three types of greeting card verse: Poetry, Prose, and Punchline.

Poetry: Rhymed, metered verse. See an example below. While poetry in greeting cards has fallen somewhat out of fashion these days, there are still shoppers who find sentimental or comic poetry appealing. Consider the theme of your design. What message would a shopper want to send to a recipient? In the example below, the theme is “reconciliation.” Both the image and the verse beautifully reflect that theme.

Silly me, silly you, what the heck did we both do? Wanna take another chance and rekindle our romance? (Inside Verse: I’m ready to kiss and make up … are you?)

Prose:  Not rhymed. A written message meant to reflect the shopper’s feelings and thoughts. This type of verse is preferred by many shoppers. In the example below, the artist has created the verse as if the shopper were speaking directly to the recipient, sharing feelings of sympathy at the loss of a loved one. Consider the occasion your card is intended to address. What would you say to someone at such a time? Speaking from the heart is always a winner.

Inside Verse: I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.

Punchline: Humorous verse, often with the the joke set up on the outside of the card, and the punchline delivered on the inside (though not always). See the example below. Obviously, the purpose of humorous cards is to make both shopper and recipient laugh. Consider how best to accomplish this goal with your design. Is there a play on words you can make? Some way to add zing to your visual joke? Try not to be too corny unless designing cards for younger children.

Inside Verse: So eat a whole cake, a whole gallon of ice cream, and have yourself a happy birthday!

I’m sure you can find many, many more examples of these three types of verses.

Don’t settle for generic, ho hum verses that could be found on any old card. Make your cards stand out. Be unique. Use your personal voice and your creativity to set yourself apart from the crowd. Write verses that are relevant to your design, appealing, and heartfelt, and your sales will soar!

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Wanted New Cards: Sports Specific College Acceptance.

October 12, 2017

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Wanted Cards – Sports Specific College Acceptance
 
Students aspiring for college acceptance letters can set themselves apart as a candidate in many ways. The application process can be grueling and the competition tough.  Aside from the merit of smarts in academic performance there is also the merit of brawn in athletic performance.

 

Consider creating college acceptance congratulation cards that are sports specific to celebrate in the student athletes. Some may be scholarship recipients, and others not.  Either way, being a college athlete is something to cheer about!

 

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!

Nuts and Bolts: Storefront Organization

October 6, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Storefront Organization

 

Ever wonder how to arrange the cards in your store?  What’s the best way to catch shoppers’ attention when they visit?  How to keep a fresh and organized look?
There are a few to go about organizing your GCU storefront.

 

1. PRODUCT GALLERY SORT – Newly approved cards coming into your storefront will be placed at the beginning of your Product Gallery.
To make changes to the order in which cards are displayed in your Product Gallery you can use the Arrange Gallery tool here: Images & Cards >> Arrange Gallery.  Once you have created an artist’s arranged gallery, Artist Choice now becomes your stores default sort.

 

Here are some good tips on the blog for Arranging your Gallery.
Visiting shoppers can view the Product Gallery by Newest, Most Popular or Artist Choice. The sort that the shopper chooses will follow them as they visit other storefronts.

 

2. FEATURED PRODUCTS MODULE – Another way you can present your store is by using the optional Featured Products module.  This is a section that can feature up to 25 cards.  The cards you choose to feature here will remain in your Product Gallery.  It doesn’t move them, it simply features them.  You can turn the Featured Products module on / off here: Look & Design >> Store Layout & Content.

 

You can also move your Featured Products module up or down in your storefront by simply dragging and dropping. I personally think it is best below the welcome message and above the Product Gallery module.

 

Select cards to feature either by pid# in Images & Cards >> Featured Cards (where you can also drag and drop to order) or indicating yes / no per card for Featured in Manage Cards.

 

Not sure which cards to feature in your Featured Products module?  Here are a few ideas.
Top Sellers
Sampling of Seasonal Picks
Variety of your favorites or best selling cards

 

TIP: not sure what the current seasonal occasions are?  Take a peek at the GCU homepage.  We are always updating it with the next Upcoming Holidays & Events.
 

 

3. SUB-GALLERIES – GCU used to offer Sub-galleries however they never worked optimally.  Please do NOT use the sub-gallery feature.  If you currently use it, we strongly recommend you delete any sub-galleries you have created here: Images & Cards >> Configure Sub-Galleries.

 

No matter how you organize your storefront there are two important thing to keep in mind. First, although the majority of shoppers shop via the categories and on site search, they do still click through to storefronts so you should be ready for visitors. Second, your work should be what shines so don’t overdo or over think it. Take a peek at some other artists’ storefronts and see how they are arranging their stores and decide what looks good to you.

 

The difference is made in the details.

Mindy
GCU Community Manager

 

Wanted New Cards: Custodial Worker’s Appreciation Day

October 5, 2017

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Wanted Cards – Custodial Worker’s Appreciation Day 

 

Earlier in the week on 10/2 the hard working workforce of custodians and janitors was recognized as Custodial Worker’s Appreciation Day. GCU could certainly use more cards in this category.

 

 
Considering modifying designs you may have for Thank You Janitor/Custodian to speak to Custodial Worker’s Appreciation Day.

 

Note: when submitting a new card based on the design of a previously approved card be sure to mention in the Notes to Reviewer something like:  “based on approved card PID#123456”.  This will speed reviews for all artists. 

 

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: Kyle Almonte Font

October 4, 2017

The Hungry Jpeg has an elegant Calligafry Typeface Kyle Almonte Font by meFounderies available for the next 7 days.

 

Introducing Kyle Almonte Typeface; which has a hand lettering brush style. It looks natural and handmade. This font is best used for your design projects that incorporate summer, fun and brave. It can also be applied to the design of a logotype, lettering a quote, t-shirt design , posters  and etc.

Kyle Almonte come with coconutezz type as a bonus!

This freebie includes:

  • Kyle Almonte Typeface (OTF, TTF)
  • coconutezz Typeface (OTF, TTF )
and comes with a complete Commercial License.

Rainbow Connection: Mid Century Chique

October 3, 2017
by

Here are some Mid Century Color Schemes made into color palettes for you:

 

Dash of Inspiration: October 2017 Design Challenge

October 1, 2017
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Judging for last month’s Big Stock Challenge has begun and it’s time to lift off with October’s Design Challenge.

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Theme: From the Cat

Requirements:

  • CAT(S) must be the visual focus in your imagery and message.
  • FROM the CAT – write your own verse/message, be creative and write a message that clearly speaks from the cat.
  • Blank verse will not be considered for entry in this challenge.

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Entry Deadline: Tuesday, 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.

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Category:

Any category that is well-suited for your From the Cat design.

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Rules:

  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle– Fast Track your submission with this 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.
  • Stock Card Creations entries will not be accepted.
  • Your designs should differ from those already offered in the category of your choice to offer shoppers a variety of choices, not more of the same.

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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.

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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 55,000 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: 2K!
  • 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!
  • NEW starting this month, 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.

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!

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Tips:

Check out these tips, tricks, freebies, and tutorials from our own GCU Community Blog which might be helpful in this month’s Challenge.

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Be inspired to create and learn something new!

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Greeting by Doreen Erhardt©

 

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