Skip to content

Wanted New Cards: For Babysitter Variations

November 9, 2017

wanted new cards head


Wanted Cards – For Babysitter Variations


You can really split hairs and get specific.  At GCU, we take that seriously! To get really personal, a card should be spot on, not just pretty close.


Consider breaking down specific types of relations serving as a babysitter. GCU will be adding the following sub-categories to the >> For Babysitter subcategory:


>> General Babysitter
>> Other Babysitter
>> Au Pair
>> Nanny / Nannie
>> Mother’s Helper

 So, take a look at your Babysitter cards and consider also creating versions for Au Pair, Nanny and Mother’s Helper too.

If the new subcategories do not appear under your category/occasion of choice yet, simply submit to >> For Babysitter and leave a note to the review re: this post.


Rainbow Connection: Pantone Color Trends for 2018

November 7, 2017

Here are Pantone Color Trends for 2018:

Fashion Spring/Summer 2018

Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman revealed what color and design trends we can expect next year, and there seems to be something for just about everyone.

“Metallics we know are classic, but they have really moved over into neutrals,” Eiseman said. She also predicts a continued infatuation with iridescence, since “the human eye can absolutely not avoid” anything pearlized or translucent.

Another standout trend will include a movement to intense colors rather than pastels — music to the ears for bright color lovers.

“Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” she said.

Nuts and Bolts: Dedicate Yourself to the Details II

November 3, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Dedicate Yourself to the Details II


Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious.  Maybe you’re in so deep or have been staring at the image for so long that you simply can’t see the flaws, or the potential areas of improvement.  A fresh set of eyes, yours or someone else, may spy a subtle change that never crossed your mind.  The review team may catch some of these details and share suggestions with you.
Here is an excellent example of edits requested during review on a card by GCU artist Laurie Schneider.  


The reviewer’s request:
“We would appreciate a couple of edits to make this young lady shine. To offer more distinction between the wall and the floor, and to add a little contrast to bring out Roxy’s colors, please make the wall area a slightly lighter shade. Secondly, it would be great if you could also lighen ONLY the eyes, if you would like to give that a try.  Don’t lighten the whole image, just the eyes, to make the eyes grab the shopper’s attention when they view the card.”


Aww, now look at that pretty girl!  Tiny and subtle changes but a big difference.  Good job, Laurie!
Do you use a lot of people and animal photographs in your designs? See this helpful throwback on Catchlights by Doreen Erhardt.


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager

Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge November 2017

November 2, 2017


The last Big Stock ONLY challenge of the year is here! 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.

With the holidays approaching, this will be our last challenge for 2017 and the deadline will be extended to December 15th to give all of you a bit more time to participate in both your seasonal hustling, but the challenge too.


Theme: Make Them Laugh


  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • Humor is the key in this challenge. Find an image that makes you laugh and create a funny greeting.
  • Write your own verse, be FUNNY and 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: Friday, December 15th


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.

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!

Wanted New Cards: Chinese New Year / Year of the Dog 2018

November 2, 2017

wanted new cards head

Wanted Cards – Chinese New Year / Year of the Dog 2018


The 2018 Chinese New Year, on February 16th, brings us the Year of the Dog.   Please consider creating new designs specific to the year of the dog.  There are many sub-categories in need of cards.


If you plan on leveraging a design to make a series, please be sure to follow the Series / Concept Review process and submit your first design with a note and await approval before creating the balance of the series.


Here are important tips and guidelines on CNY cards and categories worth reading if considering updating a Chinese New Year card from 2017 or different zodiac.


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

November 1, 2017

Freebie Wednesday:

Here are some Freebies for your design arsenal – as always, be sure to thoroughly read and follow the contributors TOU (Terms of Use), and to offer that link in your Notes to Reviewer when you utilize 3rd party resources.

Design Cuts offers a set of free Floral Illustrations, Flower Stock Photo and High Resolution Textures.

This freebie pack includes some amazing design resources from Annie Sauvage, Roman Jusdado, Vector-Hut and Retro Supply! This includes paper textures, floral illustrations, an editable stock photo of flowers, and a beautiful glowing lights graphic.

File types: this freebie pack contains .PNG, .JPG and .PSB files

If you are looking for a new quality Font that’s 100% free for commercial use be sure to check out Font Squirrel.

Bukhari Script is a bold monoline cursive font created by  Mikrojihad Inc. It’s also called “Mouse Lettering Typeface” because it was created from a bold line with a computer mouse. Perfect for various design projects from posters, business cards, badges to t-shirt design. Bukhari Script contains almost 380 glyphs with several OpenType Features. Free for personal and commercial use!

And the last freebie for today are these 10 Coffee Paper Textures from PixelBuddha.


Nuts and Bolts: Intellectual Property

October 27, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Intellectual Property 

There are many images, phrases, lyrics that are intellectual property and cannot be used on cards offered on GCU. GCU tends to take a more conservative IP position on product submissions compared to other POD sites. The review team will review IP considerations on card submissions, however it is the artist’s responsibility to first do their due diligence before designing and submitting.  As a rule of thumb, if in doubt, leave it out.


Here is a helpful link to the Marketability: Intellectual Property Submission Guideline.  And partial listing on GCU’s Wiki of Intellectual Property to avoid.


TIP:  If the review team feels your submission has merit without the IP content and you are committed to your original design, explore how you can revise and salvage the design.  Often, it is possible and fruitful. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water!  The review team is happy to work with you.


Here is an excellent example by artist Susan Nollmeyer of Sunshine Studio who worked with the review team to revise a submission with VW Bug vehicle IP elements.  Thank you, Susan!
And similarly GCU artist, Ron Magnes who worked with the review team to make some minor edits removing IP content spoof of Girls Gone Wild.  Thanks, Ron!


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager
%d bloggers like this: