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Tips and Tricks: How to Save a Declined Card

February 11, 2014

How to Save a Declined Card

Sometimes as artists, we have a certain vision for a particular card design. Unfortunately, that vision isn’t always suitable for GCU. We’ve all had cards Declined that didn’t follow the Submission Guidelines or had an error we overlooked.

The Reviewers give reasons for the decline and it’s up to us to decide if the design can be salvaged or if we need to start from scratch. The key to this decision is paying attention to the notes given by the Reviewer which state the reason for the decline.

Here’s a recent example. This card design was submitted by Frankz Paw Printz and subsequently Declined as unmarketable. As you can see, the background can be seen through the dog silhouette.

valentine 1

The artist didn’t give up. She took the Reviewer’s note in hand and retooled the design. Much better! Her new submission was Approved.

valentine 2

So a Decline isn’t necessarily the end of the world. Instead of feeling insulted or angry, or giving up on a design, taking Reviewer’s notes and/or suggestions can point you toward success if you’re willing to listen.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tori permalink
    February 11, 2014 9:49 pm

    I love the top one and would buy that one. The optical effect is interesting and fun. While there are often reasons to decline a design, this one seems completely subjective. Let artists be artists now and then.

  2. February 13, 2014 10:58 pm

    You are correct, the review process, even with GCU’s detailed Submission Guidelines, has some inherent subjectivity. Differences in opinion will be a given. The guidelines are established with greeting cards in mind, not simply art cards. This is not at all to say that greeting cards are not artistic, clearly they are, but at the same time they need to be marketable per GCU’s opinion and curation process.

    Frankz Paw Printz resulting card stays true to the original design, is artistic and very marketable and works well resulting in their 63 like image card collection here:

    Kudos to Frankz Paw Printz for a collection of Valentine’s Day cards that dog lovers are sure to find irresistible!

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