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Dash of Inspiration: Mastering the Art of Greeting Card Design

October 12, 2015

DashInspirationBanner_2015We all know that pushing yourself to be better, creates a natural ability in ourselves to improve. Most of us are very competitive with ourselves even if not so with others and that’s what drives us to improve. Whether that’s pushing through another mile for the runner, getting closer to the target for the marksman, or growing as an artist in both technique, quality and marketability; the same desire for growth exists. To be competitive with the best in the ‘business’, such as professional athletes, the greeting card artist never stops improving their knowledge base and skill level.

For those artists who have recently jumped into the greeting card world – and for any artist who has not mastered all these areas, whose cards are not making it through the review cycle at GCU with 100% approval rate – be honest with yourself and look at your cards to date. You should recognize the areas which need strengthening in order for you to grow as a greeting card designer. If you do the time to master your craft, your cards sales will grow and those thresholds will be met every quarter!

Eight areas to master to be a competitive greeting card designer. For the past four-years, the Community Blog has been offering tips and tutorials from some of GCU’s best selling artists. Take advantage of these tools and you will reap the benefits!

1. Ability to create artwork and verse well-suited to the occasion, age, gender.

Occasion/Gender/Age Marketability

Make the Image Match the Occasion

2. Creative and proficient typography skills.

Card Front Text

Typography Terms

It’s All in the Type

Typography Tips

Vertical Text Etiquette

Typography Golden Rules

Text Placement

Hundreds of Fonts to Grab for Your Toolbox

3. Strong understanding of composition and how to balance elements in an image.

Balance of Elements

Text Alignment and Balance

4. Fine tuned expertise in the medium you choose to work in, e.g., photography, digital, watercolor …


Placement and Position

Excessive Effects

5. Willingness to write unique verse.

How to Write Greeting Card Verse

Inside Verse Tips

Rhyming Verse Tips

What’s in a Verse

Writing Funny Verse

6. Attention to detail, e.g., grammar, spelling, image quality, alignment …


Grammar Tips

Tonal Values

Framing and Alignment

Grain and Color Noise

Image Resolution

Sharpness and Clarity

7. Strong color sense, i.e., the ability to create pleasing and appropriate colors and to combine colors.

Working with Color

Choosing Color Palettes

Color and Contrast

Color of Text

8. Thorough comprehension of Terms of Use, i.e., public domain vs. creative commons, crediting the resource, commercial use vs. personal use …

Credit Where Credit is Due

Fair Use and Copyright

Don’t Be a Copy Cat

Terms of Use (TOU)

Intellectual Property

Creative Use Policy

Licensing DO’s and DON’Ts


Why not push yourself to be GREAT at what you love to do?

Check out our October Dash of Inspiration Design Challenge, you could be the next winner!

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