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Critique Clinic – October 11-13, 2013

October 11, 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!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2013 2:17 pm

    GOOD MORNING GCU: I have a collection of cards that were all declined by GCU for reasons such as too strong vinette, gravel (Pebbles) showing in the garden. There are about 4 different images for many different categories. The Original photo without any afffects was primarily photographed for stock sites. . . I intentionally heavily blurred the borders inwardly on this card to give it a more dreamy garden affect. I have personally had the card printed from other sites where it looks great. It has also repeatedly sold in another sites too. Needless-to-say, I was surprised it was declined in GCU. The gravel in the card is really pebbles and nature things which I believe add to its charm.

    I’m not sure in the directions included for this forum exactly how I’m supposed to post this image since they instructed not to give the link from managed files as to protect our privacy there which makes perfect sense….

    Note: on the cards towards the top I do have a green transparent ribbon banner with text such as, Happy Birthday Mother etc, etc.

    The purpose of the heavy blurring around the card is to put the emphasis on the tea for two setting in the midst of the garden as in the orig. photo one is viewing a much wider view of the garden and details of every branch etc… so for cards I prefer it this way… why they don’t want the gravel as they say, but really pebbles to show I don’t know, it just goes with the garden… I wouldn’t be able to remove that.

    The garden tea images are all different some including my dog for character.

    I would appreciate your constructive feedback. Thank you in advance . . .Trudy

    • October 12, 2013 2:24 pm

      As I’m not a professional photographer, I can’t speak to the technical aspects of the photo. Aesthetically, it seems very cluttered to my eye and the heavily blurred edges only provide more unnecessary distraction.


      • October 12, 2013 5:29 pm

        Thank you kindly Corrie for taking the time to place your input . . .Of course, this image you see is for cards. As most all English Cottage gardens they are very busy and a lot going on, guess that is what I love best…not all have the dog in, but the idea is Tea for two in the midst of an English Cottage Garden. Thank you for your time. Really do appreciate it.

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