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Critique Clinic – March 2-3, 2013

March 2, 2013

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 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 intended for sale at Greeting Card Universe.
  • 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 before submission. Give us the link where we can see the card, such as your private gallery, Flickr, Tinypic, etc. If you do give a private gallery link, be sure your private module gallery is ON. Please do not post links to your Manage Cards section – do you really want strangers tinkering with your cards? And please don’t ask us to critique a card that’s pending review – we can’t see it until it’s approved.
  • 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!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2013 2:07 pm

    Here is my link to a card that receives clicks but not sales yet…

    Would be interested in your thoughts on it.
    Thank you!

    • March 2, 2013 2:18 pm

      First, let me say the illustration is absolutely adorable. What may be letting you down is the inside verse, which is pretty generic and doesn’t seem to tie in with the illustration on the front. You might want to try something like, “Hoping your birthday is full of sweetness” – which references the cupcake. Perhaps a little brainstorming might give you some ideas.


  2. SHIRLEY STARCK permalink
    March 2, 2013 2:18 pm


    • March 2, 2013 2:20 pm

      Hi there, you need to leave a link to the card you’d like critiqued, not a link to your store. Thanks!


      • March 2, 2013 3:15 pm

        The photo seems good to me. The subject matter is kind of bleak. Why not use it for a Sympathy card geared toward the loss of someone in the military Occasions – Sympathy – Loss of Military Serviceman/Servicewoman

        You’ll need to come up with some appropriate inside verse suiting the occasion.


      • March 2, 2013 4:13 pm

        Hi Shirley,

        I would also look closely at this photograph for color noise, I can seem some in the sky above the tree and that might cause you some issues in the future.
        Good luck!

      • March 2, 2013 4:46 pm

        Thanks so much for the advice and in the future (when I see the Sun trying to peak through the Fog doesn’t mean that it’s O.K. It could just be viewed as “Noise” It must be wonderful to have mastered the complete art of making a Card. Who knew… well now that I am learning in bits and pieces I think I am certainly a “NEWBIE!” Thanks for all the help along the way from all of you at GCU. Shirley

      • March 2, 2013 5:04 pm

        Thank you so much for the heads up and in the future I will pay attention to what I see and if the viewer will see it as the Sun peaking through (because I know that) or as just noise in the Photo. I truly appreciate all the advice you can give me. Believe me when I say I am storing up all this good advice like a squirrel storing up acorns. ! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Just the Newbie Shirley

      • March 2, 2013 5:47 pm

        Shirley, just in case you misunderstood me … the ‘color noise’ that may be present in this image is not due to the sun. Color noise is a degradation of image quality and comes from things like resolution issues, incorrect camera settings that cause an incorrect exposure, the quality of equipment can be the cause and certainly post-processing is a big culprit. So if that noise is in your image, it’s NOT because of the image you chose to shoot 🙂 Just so you know if it helps you at all 🙂

      • March 2, 2013 5:58 pm

        Thank You again and yes that did clear up the issue.

  3. March 2, 2013 2:21 pm

    Thanks Corrie… I do find that I often struggle with the interior message.

  4. March 2, 2013 3:05 pm

    Sorry Corrie this is my first time to post so it’s certainly apparent I don’t know what I am doing. Hope I did the right post this time?

  5. March 2, 2013 3:26 pm

    Thank You Corrie that made the day! The advice from a PRO to a Newbie. A perfect helping hand. Wish we could all be this way. Thanks. Shirley

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