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Wanted New Cards: Blue Roses.

April 5, 2018

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Wanted Cards – Blue Roses

 

There are many different colored roses with red, white and yellow roses perhaps the most popular.  Roses have different meanings based on their color.

 

Red – love, passion, beauty, courage
White – purity, innocence, serenity, heavenly
Yellow – joy, delight, friendship, welcome back, get well

We have a request for a bouquet of blue roses for a Daughter’s Birthday.  Please consider creating cards for this occasion as well as depicting blue roses for other relations birthdays as well as other occasions.
Blue roses are often portrayed in literature and art as symbols of love, prosperity, or immortality.

 

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!

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Nuts and Bolts: To Verse or not to Verse.

April 4, 2018

To Verse or Not to Verse…

The question is often asked on the Forum. Should I bother putting an inside verse in my card? How well to “blank note cards” and “art cards” sell? Can’t shoppers put their own message in the card and leave me out of it?

The truth is, shoppers on GCU often search for a very specific card, such as “Happy 67th Birthday.” So it is definitely to your benefit to put verse on your cards, inside and out, relevant to the category. Here are a couple of articles that you will find helpful as you design your cards.

Nuts & Bolts: Front of Card Text
Nuts & Bolts: Inside Verse

What about blank cards? What if you prefer not to sully your gorgeous nature photographs with text? That’s your prerogative, of course. And sure, some shoppers prefer to add their own message inside a card. Just make sure you place your cards in the correct Collections category or categories.

Savvy artists will cover all their bases by uploading a design with verse AND a blank card. Since you’re allowed to use the same image 3x, this is the best compromise.

Everyone who designs greeting cards should be capable of producing verses.

So the answer to the original question – to verse or not to verse – is … do both! That way you’ll have twice as many chances to make a sale.

 

 

 

The difference is made in the details!

 

Mindy
GCU Community Manager

Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge April 2018

April 2, 2018

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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 …

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Theme: Parrots

Requirements:

  • 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!

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Entry Deadline: Monday, April 30th

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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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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.

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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: 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.

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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:

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!

Nuts and Bolts: Fortifying Meta-data – Age Range

March 30, 2018
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Nuts & Bolts – Fortifying Meta-data – Age Range

 

Consider adding additional descriptive terms to your cards’ meta-data to help searching shoppers find EXACTLY what they want. By card meta-data, we mean card title, keywords and Artist’s Notes. Shoppers shop via categories, onsite search and also search terms within category. Sometimes that is not enough especially as GCU grows with more and more cards in each category. We need to offer shoppers ways to narrow down their choices quickly and accurately so they can find the perfect card!

 

The better and most accurate description you give your card the best chance of it being found by a shopper. Believe it or not, as specific and refined our categories are sometimes it isn’t granular enough. Think about including terms specific to your card as they relate to: age, gender, tone, style

 

For example, general cards for a grandson’s birthday are not all as general as we’d like to think.  They range in style, sentiment, and age range. A search within category of these cards could easily help shoppers narrowed down if cards include appropriate age category terms like: infant, baby, child, toddler, youth, teen, teenager, adult, senior.

 

Take a look for yourself at the variety of age appropriate designs in:

 

Now add a search term within the category child for example or teen or “teenager”.
If the card is generally applicable across all ages then NO age differentiating terms need to be used. GCU stresses for meta-data like category selection to be what the card IS, not what it could be.
See this related blog article on Easter for Adult Grandchildren.
We will give more examples in future Nuts & Bolts.

 

The difference is made in the details!

 

Mindy
GCU Community Manager

Wanted New Cards: Patriots’ Day

March 29, 2018

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Wanted Cards – Patriots’ Day  

 

Patriots’ Day (officially Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Wisconsin and Patriot’s Day in Maine) is an official state holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.”
 
Holidays >> Patriots’ Day

Note: This is not to be confused with Patriot Day aka: 9/11 Remembrance Day

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: Watercolor Bouquet Builder Set

March 28, 2018
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Freebie Wednesday:

The Hungry Jpeg has a nice Freebie for your design arsenal – download this creatively beautiful watercolor bouquet builder set (this pack includes a free commercial license as well).
Grab your copy today!

 

Includes 20x PNG elements to build your perfect bouquet.

 

Rainbow Connection: Top 2018 Summer Wedding Color Trends

March 27, 2018
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Some 2018 Summer Wedding Color Trends I found on the internet for you this week:

MagnetStreet gives you 8 hot color palettes for a swanky summer celebration.

 

Oh Best Day Ever gives us 10 Wedding Color Ideas.

The Knot shares some Hot Wedding Color Combos for this summer.

And Harpers Bazaar shows us the Best Wedding Colors of the Summer – Inspired by Our Favorite Destinations.

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