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Dash of Inspiration: Typography – Font Choice

May 20, 2013

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen

Typography: Font Choice

Let’s keep this series going by moving into the TYPOGRAPHY grouping of the Submission Guidelines, and first up  is:


The Submission Guidelines state this:

Find the right font to fit the occasion the greeting card is being designed for AND fits the style of your design. Pay attention to age, gender, and formality of both your design and the category you wish to place it in. Declines may include, but are not limited to: overly formal cursive, heavy blackletter font on cards for young children, elegant fonts on humorous images, excessive sizing which appears unprofessional, excessive use of dingbats and/or special effect fonts, etc.

We’ve talked a lot about Typography, offered links to a ton of good font choices and touched on typography layout within your card design … more articles on all of these subjects exist in the Community Blog, but let’s narrow in on Font Choice today and how the wrong choice can cause declines.

Overly Formal Cursive: This comes into play when creating cards for kids, men, and humorous imagery for example. Your font should be chosen based on many factors; age of the recipient, gender and feel of the overall design. Use contemporary fonts with contemporary designs. Use cartoon fonts with cartoon-style humor, use formal script fonts for formal occasions and so on.  Poor choices which conflict with the subject matter and category will result in a decline.

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Excessive Sizing: A common mistake by those new to greeting card design is to take an existing piece of art or photograph and ‘slap’ text across the front. When designing a greeting card, you absolutely must know where the best placement for the text is going to be during the design phase. Text on the front of a greeting card is not an afterthought, it’s part of the design. Though we’ll go into this further when we get to Text Placement in a future installment of this series, in this section GCU is cautioning against using text to fill up space by making it huge and/or placing the excessively sized text across the front of your design.  Both are likely to cause declines, because both give an unprofessional appearance.

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Excessive Use of Dingbats/Special Effect Fonts: There are many fun fonts out there, but just because they look cool doesn’t mean they are a good choice for a greeting card. Keep in mind that many of the special effect fonts were created for advertising and they work well for that purpose, but a small 5×7 greeting card makes these types of fonts nearly illegible and therefore distracting.  The other type of font to be aware of are those in the dingbat category. Those which have the letter encased in some object.  These, if used at all, must be used sparingly. Sometimes you can use these type of fonts for the first letter in Merry Christmas or Happy Halloween, but if you use these choices for all the text on your card, it’s likely to be declined.

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Next week we’ll continue on our Typography journey into Font Combinations. Till next week, I hope I’ve inspired you to go look through your store and see if you can weed out any images that the reviewers will find during their weeding which might fit TYPOGRAPHY: Font Choice.  Now’s the time to improve those card fonts before the weeding team declines them for the reasons we’ve talked about.

For great resources & tips visit the  SalonOfArt


6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2013 10:05 am

    Always good to read these posts to be reminded of good typography. Thanks!

  2. May 20, 2013 11:55 am

    This post is sure to help many people!

  3. May 20, 2013 12:36 pm

    Thanks, that’s a helpful orientation on the use of fonts!

    • May 20, 2013 2:46 pm

      Thank you Sandra, Stacia and Steppeland for stopping by and enjoying the read!


  4. Angela Castillo permalink
    May 21, 2013 11:54 am

    Doreen, your effort is always appriciated. Thank you so much, your posts have made things so much clearer for me!

    • May 21, 2013 2:50 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that Angela. That’s exactly what I’m hoping to provide … a clearer picture 🙂


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