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Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge April 2018

April 2, 2018


For about 20-years, not so long ago, I was the mom of two parrots in addition to my furry family and learned that the pet bird lovers are many, and they are just as drawn to cards with their feathered friends on them as dog and cat lovers. In promoting pet related greetings recently, I noticed a lack of true pet bird greetings in many categories and thought that it would make a good Stock Challenge with the many offerings available. So let’s get to this month’s challenge …


Theme: Parrots


  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • PARROTS is the focus of this challenge. These are the most likely varities to have a pet bird lover market: Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Parakeets, Parrotlets, Caiques, Conures, Lories, Lorikeets, Pionus, African Greys, Amazons, Cockatoos, Eclectus and Macaws
  • Write your own verse, be creative with a message that ties the image you choose, the recipient and the category together.
  • 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: Monday, April 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.

Any category with Animals >> Pets >> Birds

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: April 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!



To make sure your parrot lover card is found by customers, make sure you include the type of parrot in your meta-tag data.

Sharing your life with a parrot is a very different experience from that of cats and dogs. Learn about these feathered friends and speak to the parrot lover.

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

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie Schneider permalink
    April 3, 2018 9:04 pm

    Hi Doreen, here is my entry for the month pid#1520320
    Good luck to everyone! Take care, Laurie

  2. April 9, 2018 6:34 pm

    Hello Doreen, Here is my entry for this month’s challenge.
    I hope there are lots of entries to squawk about!

  3. juliat2 permalink
    April 21, 2018 12:04 am

    Hi Doreen!

    Here’s my submission:

    PID: 1522096

    Good luck everyone!


  4. April 29, 2018 6:31 pm

    Hi, Doreen – Just fyi, I submitted a card for the contest yesterday, and I presume I’ll hear by tomorrow whether or not it it qualifies!

    • April 29, 2018 6:40 pm

      Stacia, until your card is approved by the review team and then available for public view in the marketplace – at which point you enter a link on this post – I have no way of knowing if your card meets the entry requirements. I’ll be on the lookout though and I’m sure the review team will get to your submission tomorrow. 🙂

      • April 29, 2018 6:50 pm

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you would know if it would qualify: I rather meant to generate excitement that you might (only might) have another entry yet coming. And if it turns out I won’t have one to submit, I’ll let you know that, too.

      • April 29, 2018 7:28 pm

        Hi Stacia! Gottcha! I misunderstood and am indeed thrilled to know I can count on your entry. 🙂 I thought you may be concerned it wouldn’t make it and needed help. I’ll ping the review team tomorrow, just to make sure they get it done for you!

  5. April 30, 2018 11:36 pm

    Yay! Card PID #1523394 is approved and available at GCU so it can be submitted for the contest! (The little weird hiccup at the moment, however, is that when you put in the PID, it shows the card being located at Occasions > Thank you Cards > Animals / Pets > Birds, but the URL says This oddity is likely to resolve soon as the Reviewer has already activated the change of category to be Occasions > Thank you Cards > Animals / Pets > Birds and may just need to few more hours to be fully corrected.) Thanks! sg

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