Skip to content

Nuts and Bolts: Don’t Fall Into These Traps!

May 2, 2014

Don’t Fall Into These Traps!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Greeting Card Design

Designing greeting cards is a lot more than a hobby. It’s hard work. You not only have to consider the actual design, whether you’re working with a photograph or an illustration, you also have to pair it with the right words. Overcoming these challenges isn’t easy, but with practice and by keeping certain things in mind, you will be making marketable, commercially appealing cards.

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to designing greeting cards.

  • Do Follow the Rules: GCU isn’t like other POD sites. Their team reviews your uploaded designs to ensure the cards meet their submission guidelines. So make sure you understand these guidelines before you begin or you’ll be inviting a lot of needless frustration. You’ll find lots of helpful articles with examples right here on this Community blog.
  • Do Decide the Right Category First: A big mistake made by a lot of GCU artists, especially newbies, is trying to shoehorn an existing design into a category it isn’t suited for. Instead, choose the category first, then design the card to fit.
  • Do Keep the Recipient In Mind: When designing your card, put yourself in the place of the intended recipient. Will a six-year old really appreciate gloomy colors and a serious message? Nope. Will someone who’s lost a loved one appreciate bright colors and a cheerful message? Nope. Your design and text must reflect the intended occasion.
  • Do Make the Image and Text Relevant to Each Other: Let’s say you have a lovely photo of an elephant with a clown hat on its head. Ask yourself – is this the right picture to use on a sympathy card? Probably not. Ensure whatever image you choose is appropriate for it’s intended category and recipient.
  • Don’t Forget the Inside Verse: Some artists prefer blank cards. That’s fine. However, by far the majority of shoppers want cards with inside verse. Remember a card is a personal communication between two people. Adding inside verse will make your cards a lot more appealing. A really good verse makes the shopper feel like you’ve looked inside their heart and expressed how they feel perfectly. If you need help, here’s a couple of articles: Nuts & Bolts: Front of Card Text and Nuts & Bolts: Inside Verse. For help writing humorous greeting cards: Nuts & Bolts: Writing Funny Greeting Cards.
  • Do Avoid These Writing Pitfalls: Don’t rely on cliches unless you’re putting a spin. Don’t be insulting or offensive (unless that’s your goal, in which case, your cards will appeal to a somewhat  limited market). Don’t be overly sentimental – make your verse sincere. Don’t be overly formal unless required (for example, a formal wedding announcement) and do mind your grammar, punctuation and spelling.

By applying what you’ve learned about designing greeting cards, you’ll be making better cards in no time!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sal permalink
    April 22, 2015 7:07 pm

    Not sure if this is where I should ask this but I saw a card you made for Thanksgiving and on the bottom half we’ll say was a banner with wording in it. Even tho that banner w/writing in it appears to get very close to the edges of the card, might they get cut off or trimmed too close?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: