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Critique Clinic – September 13-15, 2013

September 13, 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. September 13, 2013 1:03 pm

    This card was declined and is in my private gallery so you can see it. I think it was declined for composition, but I could be wrong, it was a few weeks ago and I deleted the email already. I hope it shows up. Thank you for any help 🙂

    • September 13, 2013 1:29 pm

      I can’t speak to the photograph, but for me, it’s the fonts that are the problem. “On Your Birthday” is already a fancy font and you’ve paired it with a fancy script font, Scriptina. If I were you, I’d choose different fonts. Scriptina is too formal for a child’s birthday card and you shouldn’t pair two fancy fonts together – it doesn’t look right.


    • September 13, 2013 3:05 pm

      Much better font. Some slight tweaking … bring the “Grandson” line in a bit so the end of the word is justified right with the birthday – then it won’t look off kilter.

      I’d still wait to see if anybody wants to chime in about the photo before resubmitting for review.


    • September 13, 2013 3:16 pm

      Hi Jane – what I see, is the shadow of another person on the left as a distraction. The diaper sticking out from the cute suit is distracting and there isn’t much room in the composition in front of the child. So the child looks to be gazing out, but there isn’t enough ‘view’ to support that type of composition. In other words, compositionally, it’s a little cramped.
      Any, all or none of these things may have been seen by the reviewers, but that’s what I see as possible ‘compositional issues’ which may not make it a good image for a greeting card.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      • September 13, 2013 4:54 pm

        Okay, thank you Doreen…I’m thinking I might as well scrap this one. Oh well, lesson learned and on to the next one 😉

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