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Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge September 2017

September 1, 2017


Another Big Stock ONLY challenge for you this month. We hope to INSPIRE you to fight through the learning curve and enjoy this different creative outlet. Perfect for creating greetings with subject matter you may not have or simply to add something a bit different to your current card offerings. So, August’s challenge is now in the hands of the jury so let’s get started on this new journey of inspiration!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s time for some fun and to let our canine friends do the talking!


Theme: From the Dog’s Mouth


  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • DOG(S) must be the visual focus in the stock image you choose. Cats will be another challenge at another time.
  • FROM the DOG – write your own verse/message, be creative and write a message that clearly speaks from the dog.
  • The judges will be looking for professional quality text layout, typography placement and font combinations in addition to a unique and captivating message that tells the story of the stock image you choose. Your added value needs to wow the judges!


Entry Deadline: Saturday, September 30th


How to Enter: Post the PID (card number) and the URL (public storefront link – please WAIT for the card to be available in the public marketplace, please DO NOT post a link to your Manage Cards area) as a post in the challenge blog. We’ll forward your entry to the jury.

NOTE: Submissions will appear immediately in your Private gallery as they await review.  If approved, the reviewer will move them to the public gallery – they will then become ‘live’ in the marketplace within 24-hours or so just like regular submissions. Be patient and wait.

Category:  Research the category you intend to submit to before creating your card to make sure what you have in mind is different that what is currently being offered and is as good as if not better than current cards in the category.
With that said, choose one of these seasonal themed categories to design for:

Holidays > Thanksgiving Cards > From Pet
Holidays > Halloween Cards > From Pet
Holidays > Chanukah / Hanukkah Cards > From Pet

Note: Utilize the Notes to Reviewer field to include any helpful notes to the reviewer AND to indicate your intended category since you cannot select a category during submission.

Tip: Choose and work with an image that you feel a) fits with your vision and b) will meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and c) is as good as or better than what’s being offered in the category of submission.



  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle. Big Stock creations are automatically identified as Fast Track – please add in the Notes to Reviewer: September Design Challenge Submission here is the link to the blog post: (include THIS blog post URL)
  • Only ONE card per artist per challenge.
  • Submissions must be NEW, no existing designs.
  • Your entry must meet the Challenge Requirements and Theme or it will not be included in the challenge.
  • Big Stock Card Creations ONLY will be accepted.
  • Your designs should differ from those already offered in the categories above to offer shoppers a variety of choices, not more of the same.
  • No BLANK cards will be accepted.


BLIND Judging: We hope each of you enters every month! Entries are submitted anonymously for judging by the GCU Challenge Jury which means that before and during the challenge, judges do not have any way of knowing what artist is behind each entry. This eliminates any and all concerns with ‘favoritism’. Results will post on the Community Blog. The jury will judge the entries on the following criteria:

  • How well the card meets the Challenge Requirements and Theme.
  • How well the card speaks to the Category the artist chooses for the card submission.
  • Creativity, Execution and Marketability. Your overall ‘added value’ determines this.


Winners: 1st Place:

  • The winning designer’s card and store will be featured on the GCU Public Blog – the blog which customers view and follow.
  • As well as featured on the GCU Public Facebook Page – nearly 46,000 followers, now THAT’S exposure!
  • The winning card will be Design of the Day following the announcement of the winners (within 48-hours).
  • The winning card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board – currently GCU’s Pinterest Page followers: 2K!
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • GCU will create a Meet the Team board for the winning artist under the Pinterest GCU account where the winning artist will be able to pin and promote her own storefront and all that makes them a unique card designer and one of GCU’s artistic community team member.
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!

2nd Place:

  • Your submission will be Design of the Day the following week of announcing the Challenge winners (within 7-days).
  • Your card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board.
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!



Visit all the available tips, tricks and guidelines offered on the Big Stock Creation blog page!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie Schneider permalink
    September 10, 2017 12:16 am

    Hi Doreen, I hope all is well with you! Can you believe it’s September already? Fall will be here soon, It is my favorite time of the year! Here is my entry for the month pid#1492226 Good luck to all, 🙂 Laurie

    • September 10, 2017 3:31 pm

      Hi Laurie! It’s been such a hot summer here, so I too am looking forward to fall. 🙂 Entry received, good luck!

  2. September 26, 2017 10:35 pm

    Hello, Doreen!
    Here is my entry into this month’s challenge. Hope all is well with everyone. We are breaking heat records every day here in Upstate, NY! Summer was chilly and wet, now fall is thinking it is summer!

    • September 27, 2017 1:32 am

      Hi, Betsy!

      We’ve had odd weather in my neck of the California foothills too. For the first time in the 37-years we’ve been married, it was in the 40’s on hubby’s birthday – the 22nd of September. Crazy! Entry received, thanks for joining in and good luck!

  3. Kate Taylor permalink
    October 3, 2017 6:16 am Hi Doreen, I am not sure if I have done this right, but it’s an attempt at an entry!

  4. October 3, 2017 7:09 am

    Hi , Hope you are doing well. I know it’s too late. This is the first time I am uploading for design challenge. Here is my entry for the month pid#1495434

    • October 3, 2017 4:43 pm

      Hello Sathesh! It was approved within the deadline and we simply wanted to make sure that someone new to the challenge had an opportunity to officially enter. 🙂 Entry received, good luck!

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