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Font Frenzy: Free Gab Font

May 3, 2017

The Hungry Jpeg has a fantastic freebee on offer for you for the next 6 days.

Gab is a quirky font designed by Denise Chandler and comes with a complete Commercial License.

Rainbow Connection: Soft May Colors

May 3, 2017

Here are some Soft May Colors I found on the internet this week:




Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge May 2017

May 1, 2017


“And now, here’s something we think you’ll really like!” Rocky and Bullwinkle

Just to keep things interesting, we will now be tossing Big Stock ONLY challenges into the monthly design challenge themes for something a little different; and hopefully to inspire you to really stretch those creative wings of yours. If you have never tried Big Stock card creation (aka: Stock Card Creations) before, this is the time to learn – and – don’t think that just because you are using a stock image that it’s easy peasy and boring. That’s very far from truth.

As with all creative processes and creative tools, there are idiosyncrasies to become familiar with and technique development to fine tune your skills, and the GCU Big Stock Card Creation Tool is no exception.

Before we get to the specifics of this month’s challenge, please note that we have added a Big Stock Creations page on the GCU Community Blog, snuggled right next to the Artist Resources, where we’ve collected all the great tips and tricks from blog posts, so that you may read up on using this creative tool – and – it’s HIGHLY recommended that you do exactly that!


Theme: Let Them Eat Cake


  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • Cake has to be a strong element in the overall stock image you choose. So think cake! Any and all uses are acceptable so it should be ‘a piece of cake‘ for you to create the perfect image and verse combo that ‘takes the cake‘ and wins the challenge!
  • Write your own verse/message, be creative. Find an image that speaks to you.
  • The judges will be looking for professional quality text layout, typography placement and font combinations. Your added value needs to wow the judges!


Entry Deadline: Wednesday, May 31st


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. With that said, any category is accepted for this challenge as long as your card is a strong contender.

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: May 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!


from Exclusive Creations at GCU by Doreen Erhardt

Nuts and Bolts: Oops! Reviewers Miss Too

April 28, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Oops! Reviewers Miss Too


There are so many elements to inspect and consider during the card review process.  Artists should, and do, give their submissions a first, second and maybe even third look-over.  Yet errors and imperfections may still go unnoticed.  Well, this happens to reviewers too.  Not often, but it happens.


An error or imperfection may be noticed after approval.  These errors are reported by shoppers, other GCU artists or GCU staff may spy it.  No matter how they are found, GCU’s goal is to get it corrected and make the shopper happy.


If a shopper reports an error or imperfection on a card they’ve purchased GCU is quick to resolve the issue satisfactorily by issuing a refund or sending a corrected reorder, at GCU’s expense of course.  The artist does not get “dinged” for this as the card passed GCU review, unless the artist submitted the card for Waive Review.


When an error is found, artists will likely get the card(s) Returned for Edits with a detailed note.  The shopper may be waiting for a reorder of the corrected card so it is important for artists to make the corrective edits quickly.


Here is an example of a recent error which was reported by a shopper.


Note to Artist: 
Thank you to Liz Van Steenburgh of Starstock Greetings for your quick work to correct the entire series!


Since many cards are in a like image / versed series, it is important for artists to capture and correct ALL cards in the series that likely have the same error.


TIP: Inside verse errors are easy for artists to correct.  However the error may be on the front cover, which would require artists to have access to the original file to edit and update the image with the resubmission.  This is an important reason for artists to keep their original files in an organized system so retrieval is quick and easy.


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager


Wanted New Cards: Installation / Induction Invitations

April 27, 2017

wanted new cards head

Wanted Cards – Installation / Induction Invitations


This category is in need of general as well as position specific cards for Installation or Induction Invitations. Those designed with custom front text are encouraged as well as photo cards.


Invitations >> Installation / Induction


Offering subcategories all in need of cards:
>> Bishop
>> Deacon
>> Elder
>> Female Clergy
>> Minister
>> Monsignor
>> Pastor
>> Preacher
>> Priest
>> Rabbi
>> General
>> Other
>> Hall of Fame
>> Honor Society
>> Knights of Columbus
>> Masonic / Freemason


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!

Font Frenzy: Georgia

April 26, 2017

The Hungry Jpeg has a fantastic freebee on offer for you for the next 6 days.

Georgia is a super swirly font by Debut Studio and comes with a complete Commercial License.

Nuts and Bolts: Watermark Regeneration Complete

April 21, 2017

Nuts & Bolts – Watermark Regeneration Complete


In 2016 GCU made a change to simplify watermark settings making card images more marketable and increase sales exposure. The regeneration of all images on the site based on the new setting is complete.


Please see original Watermark Change posting.


Moving forward if you desire to change your Watermark Setting you can, in Global Preferences, and it will automatically be applied to your NEW cards.  If you change your setting and want the change applied to cards created prior to the change you must contact GCU to initiate your images to be regenerated.


As a reminder, GCU now only offers copyright watermark protection on Large images. See the original forum posting for more details.


If you see any images that do not abide by your store’s Copyright Watermark setting and feel the images were not regenerated properly, please contact us.


NOTE: Watermarked cards cannot be submitted to Google Shopping which is a fruitful source of sales for GCU.  If you choose to reset your large image watermark to “yes”, these cards will NOT be submitted to Google Shopping and will receive less exposure than non-watermarked cards. 



The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager


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