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Rainbow Connection: Pantone Posts

October 2, 2018
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Get inspired by food stylist Lucia Litman as she matches food with Pantone Colors.

#PantonePosts

“I grew up, but didn’t stop playing with my food. A casual hobby of matching food to Pantone shades has turned into a large collection of images, all of which you can find under the #pantoneposts hashtag on Instagram that I started.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge October 2018

October 1, 2018

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Hard to believe, the harvest season is already on top of us as we enter the last Big Stock Challenge of 2018!  Let’s have some fun and put on our creative hats …

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Theme: New Year’s Resolutions

Requirements:

  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • This challenge is category specific: Holidays > New Year’s Cards > Resolutions
  • Write your own verse, be creative with a message that ties the image you choose, the recipient and the category together  – this will be extremely important in this challenge.
  • 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!

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Entry Deadline: Wednesday, October 31st

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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.
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CATEGORY SPECIFIC CHALLENGE:

Holidays > New Year’s Cards > Resolutions

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.

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Rules:

  • 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: October 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.

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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.

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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!

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Tips:

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

Nuts and Bolts: Artist Interview Tam Moody

September 28, 2018
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Nuts & Bolts – Artist Interview Tam Moody

 

One of the many perks of being a GCU Design Challenge winner is an interview.  These mini-interviews are fun reads and a peek into the makings of the winning card.

 

Congratulations to Tammy on her winning card!

 

Note: Read about the other rewards, in addition to bragging rights, of being a Design Challenge winner.

 

 

The difference is made in the details!

 

Mindy
GCU Community Manager

Wanted New Cards: Wedding Welcome Bag

September 27, 2018

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Wanted Cards – Wedding Welcome Bag

 

There are some wedding traditions that will never change, perhaps the exchange of the rings and vows.  But there are always new traditions and tokenary touches that make the day even more special (and expensive!).

 

It is becoming common for the bride and groom to greet the arrival of their wedding party and even wedding guests with a Wedding Welcome Bag.  This is especially true for destination weddings with a majority of out of town travelers and multiple planned events.  The bags contain local and personal items with event itinerary, maps and a personal note of thanks.

 

Please consider creating cards to the bride and groom can include in their Wedding Welcome Bags.  Since it’s customary for these to be highly personalized, we strongly suggest creating custom front designs.  Consider popular wedding themes (beach, bohemian, winter wonderland, state specific, etc.).

 

 

If you are not familiar with Wedding Welcome Bags do a little research online to see what they are all about and how brides and grooms are assembling them to make their special day even more special.  Here’s a glimpse per Martha Stewart Weddings

 

 

We’d like you to create at least one card for these categories using the Stock Cards function (Bigstock) or your own graphic designs.

Remember, when you’re submitting your new card, add a little note about the intended category in your Notes to Reviewers. Be inventive,  be clever, be creative. Go for it!

Freebie Wednesday: The October Free Font Bundle

September 26, 2018
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Freebie Wednesday:

 

The Hungry JPEG has an amazing free font bundle with 11 font families for you (available this week only!)

 

 

 

 

This product comes with a complete commercial license.

 

Rainbow Connection: Pantone Color Trends Spring/Summer 2019 (part 3)

September 25, 2018
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Each season the team at the Pantone Color Institute creates the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report; a color overview highlighting the top colors fashion designers showing at NY Fashion Week will be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season. With color on the catwalk a key indicator of the color stories we can expect to see showing up across all areas of design, the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report is your easily accessible guide to the season’s most important color trends.

PANTONE 13-0919
Soybean
Subtle Soybean naturally appeals as a reliable and versatile neutral.

 

Macro shot of soybeans fills the frame

 

PANTONE 17-0542
Pepper Stem
Zesty yellow-green Pepper Stem encourages our desire for nature’s healthy bounty.

 

 

PANTONE 15-0960
Mango Mojito
The golden yellow Mango Mojito feeds our craving for pleasant comforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuts and Bolts: Custom Card Requests, Holiday Ready?

September 21, 2018
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Nuts & Bolts – Custom Card Requests, Holiday Ready?
 
The holidays will be here sooner than we realize!  Shoppers are beginning to look for that perfect holiday card.  Custom card requests are on the rise.  Are you ready?

 

Please be sure to check your Manage Custom Requests tool for requests.  Put it on your daily to do list, or even set an alarm.  Otherwise you may be missing out on sales opportunities.

 

We are seeing holiday card custom requests coming in and they are for larger quantities: 150, 250, 500, etc.  Opportunities you do not want to miss!

 

See these Custom Card Request blog postings for more info and tips.

 

Here is a recent custom request by GCU artist Tam Moody:
Shopper request:
Birthday card design for elementary students. School Bus and on side read Owasso Public Schools showing 46 near stop sign similar to card 1502484 that I previously ordered. Children hanging out of windows holding on to Birthday Balloons. Inside card read wishing you a Happy Birthday in different colors.  With a male driver, please.

 

Before:
After:
Thank you, Tam, for forging a strong relationship with this shopper who continues to purchase school bus themed cards from you and GCU since 2015!

 

Tip: Remember custom requested cards can be set for FastTrack review.  Just leave the reviewer a little note like “for a shopper’s request”.

 

The difference is made in the details!

 

Mindy
GCU Community Manager
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