Become A Greeting Card Designer | Anne Bollman | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Become A Greeting Card Designer

teacher avatar Anne Bollman, Anne Was Here

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Do you know you have the talent and the ideas to create amazing greeting cards but have no idea how to get your designs into stores? Then this is the class for you!

Illustrator Anne Bollman, of Anne Was Here, has sold and licensed hundreds of greeting card designs over the last five years that are now being sold in major retailers world wide. In this class she shares her step by step process for how to research and concept saleable greeting card designs and then provides actionable strategies for submitting them to companies who can get your designs into stores. Students who take this class should already have the artistic skill (this is not an art class) and basic Photoshop skills.


Market Study

  • Greeting Card Categories & Themes
  • How to Research What is Selling in a Theme


  • Brainstorming within a Theme
  • Guidelines for Creating
    • Viable Forms of Media
    • Technical Specifications
    • Incorporating Text
    • Considering Embellishments
  • Laying Out Your Design for Presentation


  • How to Write a Brief Email Pitch
  • How to Find Companies to Submit to
  • How to Find Contacts at Those Companies
  • Typical Responses to Expect and How To Follow Up
  • Contract Overview
    • Typical Compensation Structures for Greeting Cards
    • Other Factors to Look Out for in a Contract
    • Resources for More Information

*To download the Resource Guide mentioned in class you must be enrolled in the class and click on "Class Project." The link to download will be toward the top right of that page.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Anne Bollman

Anne Was Here


Anne Bollman is the author and illustrator behind Anne Was Here, a studio which provides art and illustration for products and publications, designed with humor and style, that is meant to make you smile. Anne's artwork can be found online and in stores internationally on a wide range of products including children's books, stationery, fabric, gifts, apparel, home decor and more. Her debut children's book, Help Find Frank, was released by Sterling Publishing in May of 2018 and won the Excellence in a Picture Book Award from the Children's Literature Council of Southern California.

Anne is passionate about busting the myth that an artist has to be starving, and through teaching on Skillshare she hopes to bring success to other artists. After quitting her in-house de... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. INTRO: Do you have the talent and skill to design greeting cards but you have no idea how to get your designs into stores produced by companies like Pirates or American Greetings? Then this is the class for you. My name is Anne, I'm an illustrator and designer who has had hundreds of card designs printed by leading greeting card manufacturers and sold in stores around the world. Selling and licensing my greeting card designs has been one of the most lucrative parts of my business. In this class, I will take you step by step through my process for creating saleable greeting card designs. This is not a how to draw or paint or illustrate a class. You should already have the artistic skill and also basic Photoshop skills. If not, I recommend taking some other classes first and coming back to join us later. In this class, we'll cover saleable greeting card themes, how to research and brainstorm ideas, viable forms of media for greeting cards, incorporating text and embellishments to your designs. How to lay out your finished designs as a presentation for submission, writing a brief pitch for your submission, how to find companies to submit to, typical responses to expect, and how to follow up, and understanding compensation structures for the greeting card industry. The project for this class is to use the steps outlined to concept design and lay out a greeting card in presentation format. In the end, you'll have a design that you can submit to real companies with the hopes of it turning into a real greeting card some day. I hope you'll join me in class. 2. MARKET STUDY: Before we dive into design, first it's important to understand the greeting card market in general. There are two basic categories of greeting cards that can be broken down into popular themes. Those categories are everyday and seasonal cards. First, let's look at everyday themes. These are not the only things, but are some of the best selling themes and when starting out it would be good to stick to them. Birthday is the best selling every day theme. You can't go wrong by designing lots of birthday cards. Other popular everyday themes are wedding and anniversary, get well and sympathy, hello or blank cards, thank you cards, congrats or celebration, and baby theme cards. Next, let's take a look at the seasonal category of cards. The top theme in this category is Christmas or generically holiday cards. Other popular themes are Valentine's Day, Mother's and Father's Day, and graduation. Again, these are not the only themes that can be found for sale in greeting cards, but as a beginner, this list is a great place to start. Now that we've gone over some popular themes in greeting cards, let's talk about how to research in order to have the knowledge to design salable greeting cards. To start, I would recommend selecting one or two themes so that you don't get overwhelmed. Once you have the themes you'd like to design for, do some homework. Go to stores that sell greeting cards. These can be small boutiques, large department stores or even grocery stores. Bring your phone to take pictures with, and a notebook, and a pen. Look at cards in your theme and take notes on the media, the imagery or icons, the color palettes, the text and tone, and the embellishments used in your theme. In addition to doing this in stores, you can also look online at your favorite retailers such as Paper Source, Hallmark or Papyrus. Pinterest is also a great place to look for popular themes and art work. Take notes on the same details that you did in the actual stores. Here's an example of the kind of notes you can take using a couple of cards I designed in the birthday theme. This first one was produced by Papyrus. The media for this card was a digital illustration. In this case, done in photo shop. You may not be able to tell for each card, but you can make your best guess. The imagery and icons used are cute animal, in this case a hedgehog, an ice cream cone, a banner, and the imagery is humorous as the hedgehog is sitting like a scoop of ice cream. The colors are bright and bold. The text is a hand-lettered look and the message is simple with an upbeat tone. The embellishments used on this card are sprinkles on the hedgehog's back, glitter on the ice cream, a tip bong for the banner, and a full color envelope liner with a coordinating pattern. Let's look at a second example. This birthday themed card was produced by Studio O. The media is hand painted and, in this case, it was done in gouache. Once again, make your best guess if it's not obvious to you. The imagery and icons on this card are cake and candles. Pretty simple basic birthday. The colors are muted bright, if that makes sense. You can take a picture to remember colors by if you have trouble describing them. As it appears I do. The text is hand-lettered and the tone is humorous, as it is for many birthday cards. The embellishments for this card may be hard to see on the screen, but in person you would note that the card is embossed or raised on the design elements. And there's textured paper and it includes an envelope sticker. If you do this exercise with 10 to 25 cards in your theme that are being sold in stores and online right now, you'll be equipped with the knowledge of what is trending and how to design a card that is salable in the current market. Once you've done all this, you'll be ready to move onto the fun part, designing. 3. DESIGN: Now that you've done your research and know what sells in your theme or themes, it's time to brainstorm some ideas. For each theme you selected, try brainstorming three ideas. I find that much of the time, my first idea isn't my best. If I have to design six cards for a client, I try to come up with 15 to 20 ideas and then narrow them down to the best ones. You'll find that once you get your creative juices flowing, the ideas get better and better. I usually start brainstorming by just writing down descriptions of my ideas, and then once I have several, I sketch them out. Here are three examples of ideas for birthday themed cards. These are actual brainstorm sketches that I did for a real life project. They all ended up turning into real cards. The first idea was to have an old school cassette tape with the saying Oldie But Goodie written across the label. The second idea came from looking at popular party decor. Word balloons were trending and so this card had balloons that said "Yay". The third idea was to show a classic birthday image, a cake with a humorous twist. A slice had been taken from the cake and the card giver claimed to have removed some of the calories from the cake for the birthday recipient. Once you have three ideas for each theme, pick your favorite one and turn it into a greeting card design. After looking at greeting cards in stores and online, you will have noticed that there is a variety of media use to design them. In traditional media, we see a lot of watercolor, gouache inks, and sometimes acrylics, mixed media, a collage. On the digital side you can't always tell what program was used to create the design, but the most common ones are done in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Art Made with both of these programs is widely accepted in the greeting card industry. Less commonly digital artists created with Korral painter, which was the old standard, but is currently losing steam. Procreate is a newer program designed for use on the Apple iPad that is gaining in popularity, and if I had to guess, will likely be a strong contender in the future. You'll also notice that cards are designed using photography, which is a classic media. Here are a few examples of cards I've done in different mediums. This first one was done in watercolor, scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop. This card was painted in gouache and also scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop. If your greeting card artist hand painted, Photoshop is the program best for you to use to convert it to a digital file for submissions. This next card was designed digitally in Illustrator and can be submitted directly as an illustrator file. Finally this set of cards is an example of designs that were done digitally in Photoshop. Whatever medium you choose to design with, you must have the ability to convert your artwork to a clean digital file. Most companies prefer either illustrator files or Photoshop files. Your file should be layered as much as possible. Manufacturers like this so that if they need to move things around or just the size of a card, it is easy for them to do. So, if you are working digitally, keep your artwork on layers so that icons and text can be moved separately from the background. If you are working traditionally, it would be great if you either paint your icons separately from your backgrounds, or you cut them out in Photoshop so that your files are layered and easy for manufacturers to work with. When I do hand painted art, I usually paint the backgrounds separate from the icons from the very beginning to make this easier, and then I end up assembling them in Photoshop. I even go as far as painting parts of the icons separately. For example, if a dog is wearing a birthday hat, I would paint the dog first and then the hat separately. So, that if a company wants it to be a Christmas hat instead of a birthday hat, it's easy for me to make that change. Most greeting cards are size five by seven or smaller. So you should work at a minimum size of five inches by seven inches with bleed. Bleed is extra canvas around the edges, so that the manufacturer can trim the artwork and not have any white showing at the edges of the card if the cutter is off slightly. Your file should be set to 300 TPI. I typically design my cards even larger than five by seven, so that the artwork can be used for other larger projects. For example, if a company wants to license the artwork from me for wall art, I need to have a much larger scale than for a greeting card. You can always scale it down for the card companies. Unless working digitally, in Illustrator, scaling up your art will not work and it will be pixellated. For artists working in traditional media, you may want to paint larger than the card size and then scan it in as high a resolution as your scanner allows. I typically paint on a nine by 12 paper block and scan it in a 600 TPI. So in actuality, it can print up to 18 by 24 inches. Your digital file should be set to CMYK color mode which is the standard for files to be printed. You should think about incorporating a message into your card from the beginning of the design phase. Refer to the research you did for appropriate tone for your theme. If you aren't super creative in the writing department, or just not comfortable coming up with creative copy yet, don't be afraid to just keep it simple. Most cards have a very simple message anyway. So that's perfectly okay. For a birthday card, there's nothing wrong with it saying happy birthday or something like it's your day. Manufacturers may suggest their own text anyway, but it's great for you to show them you already thought about the tone and the placement on the card. It's hard to fit text into a design that doesn't already include it. You don't want it to look squeezed and you can either use a font, or you can hand letter the text. Hand letter text is very popular right now, so if that is a skill you have, I encourage you to use it. Just make sure whatever you choose that it is easy to read and it looks cohesive with the design. This is not something that most greeting card designers do, but I know from inside intel that manufacturers love it. If you have already thought of what embellishments would work great with your design. When showing them, just make sure they are a separate layer so that they can remove or change the embellishments if needed. They will decide based on their project budget and their own knowledge of trends in cards, whether they can use your embellishment ideas on a card. Here's a quick overview of some of the kinds of things that you can embellish your car designs with. Foil, foil can be colored but it's usually used as a metallic, it gold, silver, copper or rose gold. Glitter comes in all colors. The top image is hard to see but parts of the bear like his bow tie are covered in a clear iridescent glitter that allows the color beneath to show through. The bottom image shows a mock up of gold glitter on a card design. Gems. These are little jewels that have a flat vac and are glued onto the card. They also come in any color you can imagine. Fabric applicators. These can be stitched on or just glued on, and they can be any material really. But these two shown are felt which is a popular material right now. They add depth and texture to a card design. Die cuts are used to give a card shape instead of just being rectangular such as this cut valentine card. Laser cuts can be used to cut out detailed designs within a card showing through to a line or beneath such as in this example of a heart shaped world, where the water has been cut out showing a liner beneath that is a blue vintage map. Tip-Ons are similar to appliqués but usually just a card stock piece that has been dye cut and attached to the top of a card to give it dimension. See how the banner pops off of the card in the bottom image. Hologram paper can be used on cards to give them a special blend. It usually comes in lots of different designs and always has an iridescent quality to it. Embossing is when the card has been punched so that certain areas are raised on the design, such as the letters, and the image on the top right, and the cut and parachute on the image on the bottom right. Debossing is the same concept except a portion of the design has been pressed down instead of up. Pull tabs or even weils can be used to make an element of a card move, as in this anniversary card where the muscle man is lifting his weight. Pop-up cards are cards that lay flat when closed and pop up into a dimensional design when opened. These are not simple to design and will take some time to engineer, but they are so fun to see when finished. Check out up with papers cards to see lots of examples of these. Spot UV is a coating that can be applied to a portion of a card to highlight it and give it a sheen. For example, if you had a card with a whale spout and water, it would be cool to have the water drops coming out of this spout covered with a Spot UV to make them look wet. Cards can come with stickers that can be used on envelopes as a seal. You can design something that coordinates with the card. Once you have your card designed, the next step is to lay it out in presentation format so that you could eventually submit it to a manufacturer. Your presentation sheet should include your design, or designs marked as cards. A matching envelope is also a nice touch, and any embellishments you included in your design. If the embellishments aren't clear, feel free to use colors pointing them out. The presentation sheet should include your contact information and your copyright symbol. This is really important because if an art director saves your attachments from an e-mail, they will be separate from your e-mail. If your contact information isn't on each image, they may not be able to find you when they want to purchase your image. Your presentation sheet should be originally formatted in high resolutions that if you ever need it printed for a presentation, it is high quality. Then you should also save it as a low resolution PTF if it's multiple images or JPGs for email submissions. Eight by 10 inches is a good size because it's easy for the recipient of your e-mail to print out if they want to. At this point, you should only send a low res image at 72 DPI. If they want or need a higher resolution version, they can let you know. Your file should be saved to RGB colored mode, so it looks correct when viewed on a computer or phone. Great. Now you have all the tools you need to design some amazing greeting cards. Now to the hard part, how to get these designs in stores. 4. SUBMISSIONS: Now, for the trickiest part of becoming a greeting card designer, how to get your designs in front of the right people in order to get them into stores. Before you start emailing your lovely designs to a company, you first need to write a brief but thoughtful email pitch. First, you should introduce yourself and describe any related experience you have. Next, explain the reason you are emailing them. What's your goal? What's attached? Then, tell them about any other services you can and want to offer them, such as custom work or further portfolio access. End with a positive closing statements, such as, I would love the opportunity to work with you and hope to hear from you soon. Make sure that you have an email signature with contact info, including a phone number and your website if you have one. As an example, this is a screenshot of an actual email pitch I sent out in 2014, when I had just begun submitting artworks to greeting card manufacturers. It reads, "Hello! My name is Anne and I am an illustrator of surface pattern designer. I have experience as an in-house designer at a leading gift and stationery manufacturer, where I was Lead Designer. This role gave me in-depth understanding of the paper goods industry and how to translate trends into art that sells. I am now freelancing and licensing and would like to share with you a few of my brand new collections I have available for the holidays and everyday. If these designs are not what you need right now, I would love to hear what you are looking for as I just might have with you need. I also love doing special custom projects. I feel that my style is a good fit for your company and I would love the opportunity to work with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your consideration!" Here is the actual presentation I had attached to that email. In this case, I showed not just greeting card designs but also gift bags and gift wrap. I also included separate swatches of the artwork so that they could see it at a larger scale than the small mockups I included. Once you have your pitch written up, you can start looking for contacts to send your submission too. How to find companies to submit to and how to get their contact info, is probably going to be the most challenging part of becoming a greeting card designer for you. There is no easy way out and if you are not willing to do the hard work it takes, it just won't happen. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to do the work. First of all, it's important to understand that you want to submit to greeting card manufacturers and not just the retailers. Just because a store sells cards doesn't mean they manufacture those cards. There are some manufacturers who are also retailers, like Papyrus, but not all are and you can't assume so. In order to make a list of card manufacturers, you need to look at physical cards. Go to stores that sell cards and flip them over. Look at the back to see who makes the card. This is usually in the fine print towards the bottom. Sometimes there is a logo. Sometimes it's just text with the copyright symbol. Sometimes it will say the manufacturer and the artist. You obviously want the manufacturer. You can also do Google searches for greeting card manufacturers. You'll come across some helpful lists, such as Kate Harper's Greeting Card Designer Blog in, which she shares a list of greeting card manufacturers, and even has many of the contact info for them. Once you have your list of greeting card manufacturers, the next step is to find email contacts for them. Some companies will have submission guidelines right on their website. Some websites will have executive contacts listed. Some will require more sleuthing. If you can find a one person's email address at a company and the name of the art director, or an art buyer, you can usually put together what the art director's email address will be. For example, add a hypothetical greeting card company called Crazy Cards. You may find on their website that the sales contact is You also find or know from your Internet searching that the art director's name at Crazy Cards is Julie Jones. You can bet that her email address matches Harry's and is Use Google searches and LinkedIn to gather as much contact information for a company as you can, and then you can use this method to put it all together. It's worked for me in the past. One thing you should not do is ask other artists or greeting card designers for their contacts. They have put in years of work and sometimes paid tens of thousands of dollars exhibiting at trade shows to gain those contacts, so someone asking them to just hand a contact over is quite frankly just rude. Additionally, not all art directors or art buyers want their information shared freely, and asking someone to give you someone's private contact information could be asking them to break the trust of one of their business partners. If an artist friend offers to share contacts with you, that's one thing, but asking is never okay. Sometimes you will not be able to find contacts for a company, and as frustrating as it is, don't sweat it. There are many reasons for this. They may be so inundated that they cannot handle unsolicited submissions. Even if you were able to get through to them, they may not have the time to even reach your email. Once you are more established, you can exhibit at a trade show if you choose, and this is a great way to get some of those untouchable contacts. This is how I got some of my most difficult and coveted contacts, and because they have met you and are familiar with your work, your email submissions will be welcomed by them at that point. Additionally, some companies, whether you have their contact info or not, may not work with outside designers. Some only do in-house work or buy art from shows. This is why you can't sweat it when you can't find the contact. There are plenty that you will be able to find, and you're never going to know anyways which ones will work out and which ones won't. The goal is to find as many appropriate companies to submit to as possible. Finally, after you have a list of manufacturers and their contact info, refine that list into those that are truly a fit for your artwork style. To do this, look at the cards on their website. Would your artwork fit in? Do they sell cards in the themes that you are pitching? For example, some companies don't do Christmas cards, so it's best not to have your first introduction to them be an email that has Christmas designs attached that has no relevance to what they do, or if they're a company that does really sophisticated serious artwork and your style is more whimsical, and fun, and humorous, it's just not appropriate to submit to them. Once you have your refined list of manufacturers that are good fit for your style, customize your pitch and presentation to each. If you have names, address them personally in your email. Briefly tell them what you like about their company and any details about you that are relevant to them specifically. For example, if the company does a lot of pop-up cards and you have experience making pop-up cards, definitely tell them that. Also, remove any designs from your presentation that are not relevant or appropriate for them. For example, if they're a humorous card company, don't send them your sympathy card designs. Consider sending your designs to one company at a time. Wait a week and if you don't hear back, move on to the next. This isn't a rule but only a suggestion. If you send to multiple companies and you are lucky enough to have more than one interested in your designs, it wouldn't be the best to tell them the design you just sent them a day ago is already unavailable. Again, this is not a rule, but if you want to be extra careful, it's something to think about. Now, let's talk about the types of responses you can expect after submitting to greeting card companies and how to follow up with each response. The first type of response is the good old no response. Do not dismay. It is completely normal to not hear back and it doesn't mean that they hate your art. Art directors are extremely busy and get tons and tons of submissions. If they took the time to answer each one, they wouldn't have time to do their job. It's okay to keep sending new art, not the same art over and over again. But new art when you have it as long as they never email you and ask you to stop emailing them. Another response is that they could say thank you for your email but they're not interested at this time. In this case, it was super kind of them to stop and take the time to acknowledge your email and respond. Again, unless they specifically asked you not to email them in the future, it's okay to send along new art when you have it. Now, in the case that they respond to your email that your art is not a fit for them, this means it's time to cross them off your list and to stop emailing them altogether. Don't get down if this happens to you. What isn't a fit for one company is a fit for another. It definitely doesn't mean your art isn't good enough for greeting cards. Some companies are just looking for something very specific and in this case, it might not be your work. You may get the response where they ask, "What else do you have?" This usually means that they like your work and see it as a fit but the specific art you sent is not what they need at the moment. In this case, you should send any additional art that you have that's appropriate for them or a link to your full portfolio of work online. When you do email them the additional work, also ask them what specifically they are looking for and let them know if you're willing to create something custom to meet their needs. Ask if they do calls for submissions which are emails that go out saying exactly what they need at a certain time of the year. If so, ask to be included in any calls for submissions they sent. Ask what themes they are looking for coming up next. Greeting card manufacturers usually work in seasons, so while they may be looking for Christmas art right now, in a month they may need Valentine's and Mother's Day art. This way you can start compiling or designing for that season now and be ready to send it to them in a month. Finally, you may get the response that they are interested in some of the art you sent in your presentation. Woohoo, you just hit a greeting card hole-in-one. They may like it just as it is or they may want to make some adjustments. Typical adjustments could be to the layout, to the colors, or to the text. Sometimes they'll ask you to make the adjustments and sometimes they'll ask if you are okay with them doing the changes in-house. The next step when you have a company interested in your work is to figure out the contract details and compensation. First, let's talk about typical compensation structures in the greeting card industry. The first option is freelance or work for hire. In this situation, they commissioned you to create new work to their specifications and art direction. It is usually for an hourly fee. With freelance and work for hire, the company will own the copyright to any artwork you produce. As someone who likes to leverage my work in multiple markets outside of greeting card design, this type of compensation is the least desirable to me, but it could work just fine for you. The next type of compensation is a flat fee buy-out. In this case, they pay you a specified dollar amount for the transfer of ownership of your artwork from you to them. They will own the copyright. Again, if you are interested in using your work in other non-competing markets, this is not the best option. Sometimes though, artwork really only works for a greeting card. In that case, it might be okay. A flat fee license is similar to the prior and that you get paid a one time specified dollar amount. But it's different in that they are only licensing the right from you to use your art on a specified product. In this case, it could be greeting cards for a specified length of time. Now, while they could specify that, that length of time is in perpetuity, usually it's for a number of years at the end of which they can either terminate or renew the contract. If they renew, you get paid again. This is the beauty of a license. In this situation, you also retain ownership of the artwork and can usually license it in other categories. A royalty license is the most complex of the compensation structures. In this case, they pay you a percentage of sales of your design for a specified length of time. Sometimes an advance is paid. For instance, they may pay you in advance of $200 and once that is earned out by sales they'll give you eight percent of additional sales. A royalty license can be great if a company has wide distribution and you can expect a lot of sales. If it's a smaller company that may not sell in larger quantities, you may want to negotiate for a flat fee license so that you're guaranteed a certain amount. You should have a rough understanding of what you will accept from them or ask of them in the case that a company is interested in your art. If you feel conflicted or confused about this, refer to the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook for fee standards. You can't really ask another artist to answer this question for you because compensation is different for every artist based on experience and demand. For instance, 2014 Ann may have accepted lower compensation than 2018 Ann would. You really just have to think about how much time you put into your work and what you were willing to part with it for. You will get more confident about pricing as you gain more experience, I promise. If you are totally freaked out, you can always hire a consultant to help you. Check out the resources guide I've provided for the class to find some options. Other than compensation, there are a few other factors to look for in a contract. One is rights ownership which I already touched on. You want to make sure that you know who will own the copyright of the artwork once the contract is signed. Another is exclusivity, a non-exclusive contract means you can use the art however you want. Non-exclusive contracts are unusual though. So, when a contract specifies exclusivity, you want to make sure that it's limited. A greeting card company should only define exclusivity as pertaining to greeting cards and any other products they carry such as gift wrap or gift bags. If they get exclusivity in those categories though you should also get compensated for those. You also want to look at the term length and renewal language. How long's the contract last? Two years, five years, forever? The longer it lasts, the more you should be compensated. Usually, you want the term to be limited so that if the deal is not working out for you, you can get out of it. Some contracts will also include renewal language that specifies whether the contract renews automatically unless terminated or if renewal needs to be mutually agreed and signed upon. Look to make sure that there is language in the contract that states the artist will get credit on the greeting card. If you look at the back of cards I've designed, it will say the manufacturer's name and logo and that the artwork or copyright is by Ann Was Here which is my studio name. If you want to receive samples of the cards you design make sure that the quantity of samples you are to receive is specified in the contract. If you are in any way uncomfortable with a contract or don't understand what you are reading, you need to get expert help. When I first started out I did this. I hired Maria Brophy to help me with the complex contract. The experience was great because she helped me negotiate a better contract and I also learned how to understand licensing contracts in general and what to look out for. Again, check my resource guide provided to the class for more information on contract help. You definitely don't want to sign something you don't understand. It could cause you major problems down the road. If you were just starting out this all may seem very overwhelming to you as it did to me when I first started out, but I promise you if you take it step by step, you'll figure it out as you go and always ask for help when you need it from professionals. Now, that you have all the tools you need to become a greeting card designer the next thing I want to talk about is the project for this class. 5. PROJECT: A project is to create a saleable greeting card design using the steps outlined in class. First, select a greeting card theme, then go to stores and research your theme. Next, brainstorm and sketch three ideas for a greeting card. Illustrate your favorite idea incorporating text and embellishment ideas. Finally, layout the card design in presentation format. Please share your design with the class. I'd love for you to post your three brainstorm sketches as well as the final design in presentation format. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you enjoyed the class. Now, go get those cards in stores.