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Rainbow Connection: Christmas in July (part 2)

July 13, 2021

 

Following the GCU Design Challenge – Christmas in July, I will be posting Christmas trend colors for 2021 all through this month. Time to get jolly!

 

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Nuts and Bolts: Dedicate Yourself to the Details – Legibility

July 9, 2021

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Nuts & Bolts – Dedicate Yourself to the Details – Legibility
 
It is often the little details that escape the artist’s eye. It is always a good idea to step away from a design that you have been meticulously working on or ask a brutally honest companion to give it a once over. The review team is certainly a fresh set of eyes and often catches tiny fixes or areas of improvement. GCU is grateful for artists who are open to collaborating with the reviewers on minor adjustments that make a big difference.
 
See this example by GCU artist, Stephanie Laird, with an improvement in the color of the cover image and cover text that really makes this design shine allowing the lengthy cover text to be appreciated with ease.
 
Reviewers request for edits:
We would be happy to take another look at this card if you could fade the horse image further. Currently, the text and image are visually fighting for attention.
 
Before:

before

After:

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Well done, Stephanie, and thank you for working so well with the review team.  Excellent teamwork!
 
It may take a little more time upfront to perfect a new design but this will save you time in the long run especially when creating a like image collection and derivative designs so the follow on designs all shine, pass review, and are highly marketable. See important Pre-approval for Card Series process and tips.
 
See the related Submission Guideline, TYPOGRAPHY – Legibility
 


The difference is in the details.

Mindy


GCU Community Manager


Freebie Wednesday: Lovegame Script

July 7, 2021

 

Lovegame is a cute bounce calligraphy font with heart accents. Add Lovegame to your font collection for all your lovely needs! This comes in OTF, TTF, and Web Fonts!

This cute freebie is brought to you by Beck McCormick! Only available on the Hungry Jpeg site for a week!

 

800_3523835_cjzzlj7owdce0w5eaauye7as3xmvkk1hx8erqhe6_free-lovegame-script

800_3523835_7rmlabr2mzxrket54bp3ztyhgirzkb9m27yna9q3_free-lovegame-script

800_3523835_19hh0vqs2jamvnpf87w0gvcimjn9xnu3bu84xqh1_free-lovegame-script

800_3523835_czxfm0kqao84tnismsrnritp35an1ifia19n9kyr_free-lovegame-script

This product comes with a commercial license.

Rainbow Connection: Christmas in July (part 1)

July 6, 2021

 

Following the GCU Design Challenge – Christmas in July, I will be posting Christmas trend colors for 2021 all through this month. Time to get jolly!

 

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Nuts and Bolts: Winter Holiday Cards in July.

July 2, 2021

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Nuts & Bolts – Winter Holiday Cards in July

 

It’s time to start thinking of new designs for the upcoming winter holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, New Year’s.

Whether you like it or not, as a greeting card designer July is the month when you need to be in full holiday mode to be ready for the shoppers!

Also this is a good time to look at your existing winter holiday cards that are Year Specific and update them for the new year, 2021 (2022 for New Year’s cards), even custom front designs to make them more marketable and ready-to-buy for shoppers.

Why so early you ask?  Like everything else, avoid the holiday rush! Time for you to create.  Time for GCU to review & approve. Time for search engines to index cards. Time for shoppers to find & buy them (and many shoppers buy their cards early). Last but not least, time for YOU to enjoy your holiday season.

Please take some time to look at what is ALREADY being offered and design something DIFFERENT.  Look at current trends in style, design, color, fonts, etc.  Explore the Color Connections palettes that Corrie has shared on the blog.  Maybe use the next Design Challenge or two to be inspired.



See this related post from 2015 which still rings true When to Make Holiday Cards.

So cue that holiday music playlist and grab a mug of hot cocoa!


The difference is in the details.

Mindy


GCU Community Manager


Dash of Inspiration: JULY 2021 Design Challenge

July 1, 2021
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This month we’re pairing our Design Challenge with a fun GCU Promo at GCU for even more exposure! Let’s get to it and have some fun!

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Theme: Christmas in July

Requirements:

  • Create a brand new design the Christmas in July category featuring appropriate summertime Christmas celebrations.

  • Write your own verse/message, be creative and write a message that clearly speaks to your imagery, occasion and recipient.

  • Blank verse will not be considered for entry in this challenge.

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Entry Deadline:  Saturday, July 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.

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Category:

Holidays > Christmas Cards > Christmas in July

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Rules:

  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle– Fast Track your submission with this in the Notes to Reviewer: JULY 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.
  • Stock Card Creations entries will not be accepted.
  • Your designs should differ from those already offered in the category of your choice to offer shoppers a variety of choices, not more of the same.

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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.

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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 58,000 followers, now THAT’S exposure!
  • The winning card will be Design of the Day following the announcement of the winners (within 48-hours).

    EXCEPTION: Horizontal (landscape) cards may not be featured as DOD due to GCU Home Page space restrictions. In these cases, GCU will choose a different vertically oriented card from your store to feature as DOD. Thank you for your understanding and apologies for this limitation.

  • The winning card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board – currently GCU’s Pinterest Page followers: 5.36K!
  • The winning card, should the artist choose, may be referenced in a new series by the winning artist and he/she may Fast Track all cards in the new series (being sure to give the Challenge URL and winning card PID in your Notes to Reviewer for each card in this series).
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 10 free greeting card credits added to your GCU account. Apply them at checkout and they never expire.
  • A Design Challenge GCU digital award for 2021!

2nd Place:

  • Your submission will be Design of the Day the following week of announcing the Challenge winners (within 7-days).

    EXCEPTION: Horizontal (landscape) cards may not be featured as DOD due to GCU Home Page space restrictions. In these cases, GCU will choose a different vertically oriented card from your store to feature as DOD. Thank you for your understanding and apologies for this limitation.

  • 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!
  • 5 free greeting card credits added to your GCU account. Apply them at checkout and they never expire.
  • A Design Challenge GCU digital award for 2021!

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Tips:

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Be inspired to create and learn something new!

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Doreen Erhardt©

Wanted New Cards: Thank You Sanitation / Waste / Garbage Worker

July 1, 2021

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Wanted Cards – Thank You Sanitation / Waste / Garbage Worker

Hard work deserves great praise! Leaving a note of thanks for a waste collector is very common and surely appreciated. Thanks for their weekly service, thanks for their careful ins and outs of the neighborhood, thanks for perhaps removing more trash than your allotment. 

Please consider creating new cards for this category:

Occasions >> Thank You >> Occupation Specific >> Sanitation/Waste/Garbage>>

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: Summer South

June 30, 2021

Summer South is a blend of 2 handwritten fonts with a distinctive and classy style. They are suitable to give a summer touch to all your creative projects!

This stylish freebie is brought to you by Ergibi Studio! Only available on the Hungry Jpeg site for a week!

 

800_3523834_y032japueosb21qlb05hsr57ramw4glhiot4n2zf_free-summer-south-stylish-font-duo

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This product comes with a commercial license.

Nuts and Bolts: Artist Interview Laurie Schneider

June 25, 2021

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Nuts & Bolts – Artist Interview Laurie Schneider
 
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.



A lovely and natural combination of elements from the list of fusion items:a remote control – a mirror – a mailbox – an orange – a daisy – a beach towel – a bird – a coffee mug

Only one week remaining to enter June’s Stock Card only Design Challenge themed CHOCOLATE!  Hello? Yum, how can you not be inspired?! Submit your entries by Wednesday, June 30th. 


The difference is made in the detail.

Mindy


GCU Community Manager


Wanted New Cards: Early Retirement Congratulations.

June 24, 2021

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Wanted Cards – Early Retirement Congratulations 

A rise in retirement rates were evident during the pandemic, particularly early retirements. These can be planned as well as an unwelcome or forced situation. Consider both the positive and sensitive nature in the messages of these cards. 


Please consider creating new cards for this category:

Occasions >> Congratulations > > Early Retirement

Familiarize yourself with some of the issues here.

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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