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Nuts and Bolts: Back of Card Credits

March 19, 2014

Put Your “Pro” Face On: Back of Card Credits

It’s time to talk about the Back of Card Credits (BOC). That’s the information printed on the back of every one of your Greeting Card Universe cards – your logo + your store’s URL.

I don’t know about you, but when I pull a greeting card out of the rack at a grocery store, I look at the card’s front, inside, and the back as well.  So do shoppers. The BOC is the second face of your store, something that represents you as an artist, a greeting card designer and a business person whenever a shopper buys your card and sends it to someone.

Just as you want your storefront to be professional looking, you want your BOC to be as professional as possible. It’s your brand, it helps sell you to customers, and it says a lot about you as a business. A logo can make or break a business, which is why companies pay thousands of dollars to design firms to come up with consumer-attracting logos.

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. When the recipient of a card flips it over to look at the back and find out where it came from, no matter how nice your front of card design is, a BOC that looks amateurish, ugly, sloppy, or just plain bad will not draw shoppers to visit your store.

And in case you weren’t aware, in the beginning GCU actually had cards returned by shoppers because the BOCs weren’t well done – hence the option for shoppers to choose a “simplified” BOC instead – meaning store URL only, no logo.

So what goes into making a good logo? Think about the company logos you see every day, the logos of companies you trust to give you a great product experience in exchange for your money.

The basic rules of logo design are:

Follow the Fundamentals – The logo must follow the basic principles of design – form, clarity, consistency, space and color. This means your logo must have aesthetic appeal, the same as the greeting cards you design, and be designed to attract shoppers of all types. No personal photos. The logo should not appear distorted or squished. Every element of your logo, including any fonts you use, must be visible and above all, recognizable or readable at a small size. For GCU, a 200×200 pixel square is the ideal size for BOC.

Form Follows Function – Keep it simple. You logo must be instantly recognizable and usable in any context, at any size, on any background (from plain to patterned, any color) – whether on the back of a greeting card, in a store banner, on a T-shirt, on a matchbook cover or a bumper sticker. The fussier and more intricate your design, the further you’re getting away from a functional logo. Do not under any circumstances use shadow, 3D effects, texture effects, embossing, beveling, glare, or gradients. Simple is best.

For Consistency: Use your logo on every product you produce, on every on-line store you maintain, on your business cards, brochures, and everywhere else. Branding is important to create consumer awareness. The more shoppers see you out there, the more they’ll want to find out more about you.

Find Your Face – Choose an image for your logo that represents something about you as an artist, or some aspect of your business. For example, my CorrieWeb logo is an illustration – the Earth encircled by different animals because a lot of my art has animals in it, and our tag line is “The Wonderful World of Corrie Kuipers.” Your logo should be unique, and have a classic, timeless quality that will not become dated in two years. And don’t be a copycat. It’s a fact that copycat logos will fail. Don’t believe me? Just ask Pepsi. Their old logo was very similar to the one used by Coca-Cola. It wasn’t until Pepsi completely redesigned their logo to be unique that they saw a big increase in sales.

Bottom line: if your logo doesn’t have the professional look, how can shoppers take you seriously?

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 19, 2014 3:23 pm

    Great advice Corrie! My logo, though it has received three face-lifts since it’s conception in 1994, has served me well. It was designed by my business partner and I back when we opened the St. George Salon of Art inside a historic hotel. Even after my business partner’s unexpected passing when I closed the physical gallery and went solo via online in 2009 … the logo was already tied to me and recognized by many, so I’ve kept it.

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