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Critique Clinic – August 2-4, 2013

August 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!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2013 5:22 pm

    This is my first time submitting to a card clinic. This is a card that has sold but few for the number of clicks compared to other cards I have in the same catagories, any suggestions?

    • August 3, 2013 5:27 pm

      I’m not a professional photographer, so I can’t really give you a critique on the bird photo. However, I will say that perhaps a slightly more colorful and complimentary background might work better, say a pale or Tiffany type blue? Just to lift the tone a little. It’s a birthday card and the palette currently seems more suited to sympathy.


      • August 4, 2013 12:04 am

        Thank you Corrie, I will try out some different backgrounds latter to see what differance it might make.

    • August 3, 2013 10:34 pm

      As a professional photographer, I have to say though the composition and clarity is wonderful, the overall tonal values could really use some punching up. It’s rather unexciting for a nature photograph. To give you a visual, I wanted to show you what I meant by ‘punching up’ the values. When viewed in levels, there are no blacks or whites in your version, so I brought those values in. I increased the overall saturation as well which pulled out some color from the image. This version has more of an eye-catching pop. This link will take you to a private (non-public) viewing area so you can have a visual of what I’m referring to. Nature photography on greeting cards really needs to pop off the card, otherwise it just doesn’t catch the eye … unless it’s a very rare subject. Hope this helps Michael! View it here:


      • August 4, 2013 12:02 am

        I could not get access to the link, however, I took the image into photoshop and did some of the work you described and it made a huge differance.

      • August 4, 2013 1:07 am

        I’m sorry you couldn’t access the link Michael, I wanted to make it private to protect your image. I thought if I shared the link you would be able to see it. Glad you got the gist of it though 🙂

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