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Critique Clinic – June 7-9, 2013

June 7, 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!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2013 11:01 am

    Hello Corrie,

    Please critique this card in my private gallery.

    Best Regards,

    • June 7, 2013 11:53 am

      Beverly, the makings of a good design are here, I think it just needs some refinement.

      I get why you put the playing cards on the front, but they seem very jarring, not at all integrated with the rest of the design but just plunked there as an afterthought, which I’m sure wasn’t your intention. The sort of curlicue ribbon on the side is messy and doesn’t add anything to the overall design, nor does the framing effect. The font is okay, however a little bit of space is needed between the “happy” and “birthday” otherwise it’s difficult to read.

      The colors are nice and cheerful, however do they really “go” with the graphics/colors of playing cards? Something to consider.

      My suggestion would be to lose the digital ribbon effect and clean up your birthday cake – the lines are too thin and the candles aren’t outlined (when the rest of the graphics are) and look oddly jammed over the cake rather than on top of it.


      • June 7, 2013 11:58 am

        Hi Corrie,

        I will work on those changes. Do I submit another link for your critique. Not sure how this works.

        Best Regards,

      • June 7, 2013 12:03 pm

        Sure, you can post a new link to an altered design for further critique while the clinic is open.


    • June 7, 2013 2:02 pm

      Hi Beverly,

      What I see is an overall lack of balance and harmony within the elements of the design, so I wanted to offer this link in case you missed it which might help you.

      Good luck on the redesign!

  2. June 7, 2013 2:21 pm

    Hi Doreen,

    I will read and hopefully improve the card. Thank you for your advise.

  3. June 7, 2013 3:26 pm

    Hi Corrie and Doreen,

    Here is the remake. Pretty different from the first. Honest opinion is what I need.

    • June 7, 2013 3:33 pm

      Now that’s what I call a redesign … LOL! Much, much better in my opinion.

      • June 7, 2013 3:35 pm

        Thank you Doreen, I just could not get the playing cards into the design.

    • June 7, 2013 3:44 pm

      Looks better – the playing card symbols are much more integrated into the design as a whole.


  4. June 8, 2013 8:58 pm

    Thank you Corrie,

    I did not get a notice that you had make a comment. Thank you for your help. I am sure I will enter another card again sometime.

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