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Nuts and Bolts: Homework Always Pays Off

April 22, 2016

Nuts & Bolts: Homework Always Pays Off
Part of making a marketable card is finding a way to creatively reflect the occasion or holiday that will resonate with shoppers.  If it is an occasion or holiday that you are not familiar with it’s important to take the time to do a little research.  If you are familiar with the occasion or holiday more research can be helpful to find new inspiration.


There is an endless source of information online to learn about occasions and holidays – customs, symbols, religion, origins, colors, terminology, trends, etc.  Wiki pages are a great place to start.  You can quickly glean a list of important elements to incorporate into your design, verse, title, keywords and artist notes.  Become your own subject matter expert.  If you are not interested or willing to do the homework then do not create for the occasion.


The review team has seen some cards that have not only nothing to do with the holiday but also embarrassingly designs / sentiments that are incorrect and could be offensive.  We’ve seen dreidels on Bat Mitzvah cards.
Hajj Mubarak, Congratulations on Islamic Pilgrimage to Mecca card 2016-04-22 18-57-51
Here are some examples of occasions that are not what they may seem:


Veterans Day is an official United States pubic holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans, that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. 
Memorial Day is on the last Monday in May. Formerly known as Decoration Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who lost their lives as a result of wounds sustained in battle.


Don’t Confuse the Two:  Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service


Patriot Day observed in the United States as the National Day of Service and Remembrance, occurs on September 11 of each year in memory of the people killed in the 2001 September 11 attacks.
Patriots’ Day is an official state holiday in Massachusetts and Wisconsin commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.


Here is a helpful, related post about designing for different cultures:


So do try something new, step out of your comfort zone, but do your homework first and have fun as you learn something new!  A little extra time on the front end will result in approved cards and sales on the back end.
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