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Dash of Inspiration: Coordinating Custom

February 15, 2016


Having to search for my own post from years back to reference while card making this past weekend, I thought I’d pass on these Custom Front Card tools, tips and tricks for those of you who need a reminder – and – for all those newbies out there.

  • Make the text and photo areas of your Custom Card PLANNED elements when you create your design – DO NOT make them ‘after-thoughts’.
  • Attempting to create a photo card out of a previous non-photo-card design, rarely works and is most likely a waste of your time. Check out these examples.
  • DO NOT try to stuff your card front text in whatever space may be left after you consider your design complete.
  • When planning the design of a photo-card or custom text card at GCU, whenever possible, choose a color for the text within your card front that matches the GCU custom text color palettes. We’ve provided this tool to you over the years and it’s including again in this post. Click here for a downloadable version you can use to color pick in your design programs to match your design colors to the card front text colors on your custom front card. Makes for a more professional design!


  • Remember when designing a custom front card, whether a photo-card with custom text or just custom front text, that the typography you use embedded into your design, must be able to pleasingly coordinate with the custom text font you choose from GCU’s options.  Click here for a post with links to obtaining the fonts offered through the custom front options at GCU so you can add some or all of them to your own font collection.


  • Be confident in your creation of Custom Front cards. Once you create a custom front card by creating a text box or transparent area and saving those placement areas, you can not return that card to a Standard style. In other words, there is no going back, no way to remove custom text boxes and transparent boxes entirely – the system will not allow you to save complete removal. You’ll need to delete the card and start over as a Standard card. So think it through carefully.
  • Placeholder images – ALWAYS use placeholders from GCU’s selection which offers shoppers a much more consistent and professional experience when browsing photo-cards. The ONLY exception should be when your card requires a need that the GCU placeholder offerings simply can not fulfill. Such as; unique pet requirements, black and white selections, etc.
  • Many of us artists at GCU, prior to GCU creating the custom front tool, created personalized cards. Today, IF you choose to make specific NAME cards (Carol, Clara, Clarice, etc.) put some thought into your time and effort first. If there is nothing terribly unique about the way the name is added to the card front, then create only one per each letter and place them in the appropriate Custom Name categories. This means you create 26 cards instead of hundreds, thereby allowing the customer to change Clarice to Carol if they so desired. You’ll increase your chances for sales and improve the browsing experience for customers.

Hope you find these tips and links helpful. Enjoy and go create!


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our February Dash of Inspiration Design Challenge!





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