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Critique Clinic – July 6-8, 2012

July 6, 2012

How does it work? For three days a week (Friday-Sunday midnight), I will open the clinic to any artist who wants an honest peer review and critique of a card which gets plenty of clicks but no sales, so something’s probably not quite right, or you’ve got a new design you want to test drive, or you’re unsure about the marketability of a card. Or perhaps you’re a newbie who isn’t sure if a recently submitted card is up to a marketable standard. Anyone is welcome to participate. In fact, I encourage everyone to at least look at the cards in question and read the critique comments – you may learn something. The purpose of the clinic is to help artists improve the commercial appeal and marketability of their cards.


  • ONE card per artist only.
  • Card must be for sale at Greeting Card Universe.
  • We will take an unlimited number of artists, including those who have submitted recently, HOWEVER I reserve the right to close a clinic for the day if the submissions become overwhelming. If the clinic has been closed, and you submit a card, your comment will be deleted.
  • To submit a card for critique, post a link to the card at GCU in the comments section of this clinic post. Allowances will be made if you’ve had a card declined, or made a new design you’d like advice on. Give us the link where we can see the card, such as your private gallery, Flickr, etc.
  • Any artist is free to comment and/or give a critique of a submitted card. HOWEVER, post-and-run comments like “great card” or “you suck” will not be tolerated, nor will abuse. Criticism should be constructive, not destructive. Play nice or you will be banned.
  • I also won’t tolerate temper tantrums if you decide your “artistic integrity” is being stepped on because you asked for a critique, and someone told you the photo you’re using isn’t in focus. If you can’t take honest criticism, don’t submit. Once gets you a warning; twice and you’re banned from submitting in the future.
  • Artists who critique may do so by giving their opinion, posting an example of another card, or pointing the submitter to a video, on-line article, or other helpful suggestion.
  • Don’t forget that artists who are giving you tips and helpful advice are volunteering their time and trouble. Be nice. A link back to their store on your website or blog is appreciated (but not mandatory).
  • You are free not to take any advice offered. There’s no guarantee any card will be a bestseller, so don’t come into the clinic with unrealistic expectations.
  • Rules may change as we go along and we see how things turn out, okay?

So without any further ado, I declare this week’s Critique Clinic open!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2012 3:11 pm

    Hi, It’s me again! Since it’s not to busy in here, atm, I have a card design here that was recently approved. I had such fun making it, but every time I see it, something annoys me about it. I re-did it 3 times before it was approved, but even now I am still bothered but can’t put my finger on it. Any suggestions?

    • July 6, 2012 6:26 pm

      Hi Tracie,

      I find that since there is a fair amount of text on the front two things could be improved; first is layout – I would try perhaps putting the ‘on this day . . . ‘ text in the upper portion of the image; this allows a pause for thought when reading the card. The 2nd thing that might give it that extra touch is that I find with fancy fonts, they can quickly become overwhelming rather than elegant so something I like to do is either vary the font sizes or use two fonts in these situations; keeping key words in the elegant font and/or larger font, and supporting words in a smaller font or more standard font. Here are a couple of examples of mine to help you visualize:

      Hope that makes sense and sparks those creative juices. This card design has the potential to be a very good seller. The imagery is lovely 🙂

      One more note: I find that if the customer can not read the text on the inside in the Large View, your sales potential goes down; so make sure when making inside verses that the inside text can be clearly read in the PUBLIC Marketplace Large View – this card can not be read inside.


  2. July 6, 2012 3:51 pm

    I like the ethereal feel of the card… the most jarring aspect is the text in black, since the rest is in a silvery gray. It stands out too much, I think.


  3. July 6, 2012 8:37 pm

    Corrie and Doreen,
    Thank you so much for your help. In my mind I can see what makes a good card, but without extra (more experienced) eyes to pinpoint certain issues, it is so hard to figure out how to make a good card translate on paper. I have learned so much from you guys! …I’m going to go fiddle now.

  4. July 19, 2012 9:25 pm

    LOVE the transformation you’ve made! 🙂

    • July 19, 2012 9:44 pm

      Thank you! I’m so excited too. I sold my first card with this design this morning. I doubt I would have if I didn’t have help 😀

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