The Greeting Card Business: Design and Sell Your Own Cards | Kate Harper | Skillshare

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The Greeting Card Business: Design and Sell Your Own Cards

teacher avatar Kate Harper, Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.

      Introduction to the Greeting Card Business


    • 3.

      Ways to Enter the Greeting Card Business


    • 4.

      Online Card Businesses


    • 5.

      Easy Entry Into the Card Business


    • 6.

      Greeting Card Sizes


    • 7.

      Create Symbols


    • 8.

      Learn How Symbols Change Occasions


    • 9.

      Create a Background


    • 10.

      Writing Sentiments


    • 11.

      Create Six Sentiments


    • 12.

      How to Make a Card Out of Anything


    • 13.

      Text font


    • 14.

      Where and How to Sell Cards.


    • 15.

      Create a Card Line


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About This Class


This class is for the artist, cartoonist, photographer or crafter who wants to learn the basics of how to get into the greeting card business.

In this class you will learn:

  • The fundamentals of professional card design
  • Transforming art into a greeting card
  • Writing sentiments
  • Making designs "market-ready" according to industry standards
  • Top selling occasions
  • How to turn one card into a larger "collection"
  • How to make a card out of any image
  • Where and how to sell cards (including online and through apps).
  • Licensing art on cards
  • Manufacturing and distributing nationally

Whether you want to get your cards into stores, sell online, license your designs to card publishers, or work at a publisher, this course will cover the basic information on the greeting card business.

As a final project, students will submit a line of six greeting cards according to industry standards. They are also encouraged to submit their designs to be featured on my blog "Greeting Card Designer," which has over 30,000 visitors and subscribers a month.



Meet Your Teacher

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Kate Harper



I have worked in the greeting card industry for over 20 years and continue to enjoy the experience of putting my designs out into the world. I have published my own card line and placed them in over 2,000 retail stores nationwide, and I have also licensed designs to other publishers for royalties. From my years of experience in this business, I understand the nuts and bolts of the industry, and the common obstacles beginners face. My motto is "In the greeting card business, there is always room for someone new with a good idea."

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2. Introduction to the Greeting Card Business: - Hi. - Welcome to my class. - I wanted to start out this course by showing you two very old photographs that I was able - to dig up and when I first started my own greeting card business. - So the first photo I wanted to show is a picture of boxes. - I was getting ready to ship of greeting card orders, - and the box that's pointed out with the red Arrow is about 12 by 12 by six inches. - But inside of that box is an order for about $500 worth of greeting cards. - So this points out that cards were really small. - They're lightweight and you get a huge order in a very small box. - And in this photo I'm pointing to a box that holds about 300 greeting cards. - And there's about 120 of these boxes in this room, - so that's about 36,000 cards. - Now. - If you notice there was 36,000 of persons or books or socks or hats or any other item, - you could never get them all in this really small space. - So this is another reason why cards were a great product of manufacture because you can get - a whole lot of cars in a very small space. - So in conclusion, - I just want to say that cards a really great to make and sell because the lightweight - they're easy to store and they're inexpensive to ship. 3. Ways to Enter the Greeting Card Business: - so not going to talk about different ways to enter the greeting card business. - From my experience, - there's about six different ways. - Making and selling cards to consumers. - Making selling to local stores, - selling nationwide with sales wraps, - licensing designs to publishers, - working for a greeting card company and selling online. - In this video, - I'm going to talk about the 1st 5 and then the next video. - We'll talk about online, - since it's an expanding part of the business making and selling cards direct. - So this is like if you went to a crafts fair, - put up a table and sold your carts directly to the consumer, - the person who will use the card and probably mail it to somebody. - You could do this at a craft fair. - Open studios where people come to your studio through family and friends. - That's how I got started. - If you find that people are asking you to make cards for them and they want to buy them, - you could be onto a new idea. - If you like service businesses and you're like helping people of meeting one on one, - you might consider the invitation industry where you can make personal wedding invitation - invites baby showers. - And for handmade artist, - this is a good thing to consider selling to local stores. - This is a different business because now you become a wholesale business. - So you're making the cards, - you're going to a retail store and then they're selling to the consumer. - Now, - in this situation, - you need to get your prices down so that they can double your price and sell them to the - consumer for a reasonable price. - There are ways to do this. - If you manufacture large quantity, - you can make a pretty good profit if you're just packaging them all up at once and shipping - them to the store, - which is a much easier than selling one card at a time to individual people, - it stores if they reorder frequently, - you don't have to keep looking for new customers, - and you have a reliable account. - If you can't find a way to get into a local Reese tail store, - try going toe art galleries where they like to carry local artists designs selling - nationwide with reps. - So this is a step up from the second business where you're just selling locally. - Even though you're still selling to retail stores, - it's it's really a big jump up, - and you probably need to work with sales ribs. - And there are specialized sales reps who work in the greeting card industry, - who may have 2030 40 greeting card lines and they take them around stores and show them to - the retail store. - Now this is convenient. - When you live in one city and you want to sell in another city, - it's really hard to sell through mail order or even online. - A lot of stores don't want to go from website to website to order 30 different card lines. - They'd rather have ah, - sales rep Come and sit down. - They can touch the cards, - open them, - read them. - The sales report arranged the card rack. - Make sure there's envelopes and the store can have the one meeting look at a whole bunch of - cards in order for the whole quarter. - So that's one thing. - If you want to grow, - you probably need to think about working with sales rips license in your design. - So again, - this is a whole different business. - You're not manufacturing cards, - you're not shipping them and you're not selling them. - All you're doing is making the design and then you give it to a publisher, - and then they do all the selling and distributing, - and then after that, - you get paid a royalty. - So it's very similar to book publishing where you write a book and you get a publisher and - they do a lot of the promotion and selling. - Working at a card publisher now, - I was just curious to see what kind of positions exist at a card. - Publisher went to the one of the largest ones in the country to see what they required for - skills and design jobs, - and I found these four. - The interesting thing was, - all of these jobs required knowing the adobe suite with photo shop and illustrator, - and some even wanted you to have Web design skills So you might think about if you want to - actually work it, - a publisher that you really need to get those skills. - And if you worked there, - you might not get copyrights or royalties from the artwork you do. - Since you're working for the company 4. Online Card Businesses: - Now I'm going to talk about the sixth way to be in the greeting card business, - and this is selling cards online. - This area at the business is chaotic in a positive way because people are trying all - different kinds of things, - and some small businesses are actually succeeding, - and even the larger corporations air purchasing them because they are so skilled at selling - online. - Now there's a wide variety of ways that cars were sold online, - and I'm going to talk about four ways that seem to be trends. - The first way is selling directly to the consumer. - Now this is kind of like the craft fair model where you're setting up a booth except it's - online and people are buying your product. - You are making it and you are shipping it to them now. - It's really hard to get people to come to a website of your own, - usually unless you have a huge following already. - So what artists go to is usually places like a craft site, - where they have a huge following already, - and the artists will pay a small fee to be on that side, - or they will pay a commission to the site When they sell a product, - and sometimes they do both. - Now the advantage of this is you already have an audience shopping for crafts. - The only disadvantage is usually the site is not curated. - So what happens is you can get thousands and thousands of other greeting cards on the site - of all different qualities, - and the consumer has to go through a lot of products to find what they want. - And here's a block website that has a lot of the different companies I'll be talking about - in this video selling to print on demand. - This is just like the first way you're selling to the consumer, - but you're not making the card and you're not shipping the card. - But print on demand company does that for you. - That is what they're in the business of doing, - and they don't usually charge any fees to be on the site. - So again, - the disadvantage is usually there's thousands and thousands of designs up, - and the customer is challenged to go through and find what they want. - These sites are not usually curated, - and they will usually either Hey, - you a royalty, - a commission or you pay them a commission every time you sell the cards selling through - mobile APS. - This is another way to sell where you load a digital file, - and I currently work with an app maker. - And here's how it works. - So I send the image to him. - He puts it on the APP. - The consumer goes to the app like on their cell phone and let's say they want to send a - card to their sister. - They pick out a card on the APP, - they say what they want to have inside. - They give the address to the APP maker and they print and mail the card for the customer so - the customer may never even touch the card. - So this is more of a convenience business, - and people can order cards right on their phone and have it mailed now. - Usually these are curated in my experience of looking at different APS, - and in that way it's ideal to be on a nap because the up companies are invested in your - success and they will help promote your cards and the way you get paid with this is usually - a cut for each items sold. - So maybe you get 10% selling through crowdsourcing. - This is not only a new trend in greeting cards, - but also in all kinds of products. - And the way this works is the consumer is involved in the business early on. - So what happens is, - let's say the crowd sourcing company wants to feature ah Halloween card on their website, - and what they'll do is they'll ask people to submit designs. - And so the artists submit a bunch of designs. - The crowd sourcing company will select the best ones they like, - and then they'll allow the consumer to vote on the ones they like. - And these guys usually have a popular following because people like to vote on what gets - produced and once the winner is selected, - or perhaps 10 winners been. - That card is printed in a large quantity, - and the people who voted on it will buy it now. - The disadvantages, - of course. - You could design a card, - and it's never selected. - The positive thing is they usually pay well. - You usually get a cash award and a royalty, - so there's really no risk. - It doesn't cost anything to submit your card. - So I think it's worth trying. - So here's the overview of what we talked about the selling direct to the customer print on - demand, - mobile device, - abs and crowdsourcing. - And here are three questions toe asked. - Whenever you sell things online, - who is making the card and who is shipping it? - Is it the artist, - or is it the website? - Is the site curated or not? - Ideally, - it's great to get on a curated sites, - so there's a limited amount of designs, - and the site usually helps promote you. - How is the artist paid? - There's a lot of different ways that artists are paid in online businesses, - royalties, - commissions, - cash awards, - sometimes a mixture. - And the last thing is, - the nice thing about online selling is I found a lot of these sites, - especially the midsized and smaller companies. - They never assumed they will get a copyright. - They always protect the artists around copyrights. - They don't demand exclusivity, - so you could sell your cars at multiple places, - and they're fine with that. 5. Easy Entry Into the Card Business: So I wanted to go over what I think are the easiest ways to get into the business out of the six ways we talked about. So I made a little chart here, and it has the six different ways we discussed on the left and then kind of the qualities of each one of those ways. So I have, you know, artists make ships and bills. Artist decides what's published etcetera. So each way of working in the industry is very different. And, for example, if you work for reading car company, you notice you have to have computer graphics and you get financial stability. Whereas let's say you're making selling to local stores, you don't have to have those things. Now there are some financial investments, and son of some of these, they're usually not very much. And as you notice in the online category, there's a lot of questions about which way things air blowing. It's really scattered in terms of a consistent industry standard around. Do you get royalties? Do you get a profit on top of the costs? Um, some financial investment. In some cases, that's usually not very much. Do you decide what gets published on some sites. You can put up whatever you want on a curated site. You can't. So this a variety of ways. You can work in the industry in terms of the different qualities that are involved, and I've highlighted these three areas that I think are the easiest ways to get into the business. So making and selling to consumers I actually recommend. Everyone do that because you get a lot of feedback on what sells and you can expand the area of your lying that sells. So if you find out they really like your animal images that maybe the other images of calligraphy they don't really sell, then you can expand the animal party line. Selling to local stores is very doable. You just go to the store and see if they would be interested in trying your card lines. A lot of stores actually like to support artists that don't be afraid to approach a store an online. I think there's a lot of possibilities for trying out all kinds of things, and most of them won't cost you anything, so what the heck, try him out. This chart is also attached to the class notes 6. Greeting Card Sizes: - Now let's talk about card sizes and how to figure out what kind of size you should make - your card before you design it. - If you've been into stores, - you've probably seen all of these sizes of card, - so it's hard to know which one you should start with. - The most common card size you probably seen is the five by seven. - This is pretty standard with publishers, - and a lot of stores carry racks that fit this size of card. - The next common sizes, - born half by six. - And I've noticed that a lot of handmade card artists use this size. - So if you're a handmade designer, - you might consider that there's also card orientation. - Does it open from the side or does it open upward? - And that's something to think about. - So here's an example of a horizontal card, - and here is a problem of the horizontal card in a store. - What happens is it takes up too much space on the card rack, - and sometimes retail stores don't like that. - In this case, - they'd rather have two cards there instead of one where that horizontal card is, - and also you can't even see the design on the card. - Now, - when exception to this is online, - it's much easier to sell a horizontal car because you're not limited by rack issues. - What if you took that same Cardiges turned it sideways so you could still fit? - All these cards on the rack will notice. - You can't even read the card or see what the design is. - But let's say you put this on a wire rack so the cards weren't overlapping, - but they have each individual spaces. - We would still have to turn your head sideways to read it. - Now some wrecks do accommodate the horizontal card, - but not that many. - So that's something to consider when you design a card. - If you're going to design a horizontal card, - it may be a limited audience that you could sell that, - too, - especially in stores. - What about square cards? - Now? - I loved designing the shape of the square. - Unfortunately, - a lot of stores don't like to order square cards because the post office charges more for - this stamp because their machinery can't really read a square card. - And what they require or prefer is that if you do square cards, - put it in a standard envelope and then the customer won't have to pay more for a stamp. - But if you do that, - you end up with a card rack where you have a hidden square card and a big old envelope kind - of looks sloppy. - Also, - if you have square cartes where envelopes sometimes it can be hard to get a supplier that - does square envelope. - So that's another consideration. - What about note cards? - It's kind of the next size down. - Um, - I know some handmade artists who did great with this size. - I will say, - if you start out, - though, - it may be hard to get in stores unless you have a really beautiful handmade card on that - size. - Or you have a special rack that goes with your cards that they fit Well. - If it gets hidden in Iraq like this, - though, - it probably won't have good sales. - If you can't see the card, - what about tall cards? - Well, - I don't see them that often. - It isn't outsized. - It doesn't sit in a standard rack very well, - possibly in store chains. - It does, - but not in most independent stores again. - You might have to get a special rack for that. - In my opinion, - these air the best sizes, - the ones on top. - If you're doing handmade, - I would say it's okay to go to the second size down the 4.5 by six. - In general, - designing for a five by seven is good. - You could always make it smaller if you have to. - The other ones on the bottom, - I would say Avoid at first it doesn't mean later on. - You can't try it, - but you know why Set up obstacles in the beginning. - Start with the standard sizes and then later on. - If you want to explore other sizes, - go ahead. - So, - in summary, - we have five by seven would be the first choice, - or 4.5 by six. - The second choice, - especially for Handmaid's. 7. Create Symbols: - so Never talk about three parts of the greeting card, - the 1st 1 being symbols now that I've worked in the industry have kind of found that - there's three things that always happen on a greeting card. - There's usually a central image or what I'm calling Assemble. - There's a background, - which is usually a pattern, - are color. - And then there's the sentiment or the text. - So what's this symbol about? - Well, - if you look at these three cards we have on the left a card with words and not a real - central symbol, - and then the one in the middle has words and symbols, - and then I'm right. - We have just assemble now. - If you looked at TheStreet cards, - the ones with just words, - you're not really sure if that's a Love Carter birthday card or just a friendship card? - Where is the one in the middle? - You see both the words in the heart, - and you kind of get the sense it could be romantic. - And on the right, - it's pretty clear there's a heart. - There's probably something to do with love or romance, - so the simple really jumps out at communicating the message, - even when it doesn't have words. - So if you make this smaller, - which is usually what cards look like when they're on a store rack, - people are walking, - buying. - They see all of these cards that I level. - And as you notice, - the words don't really pop out. - But the hearts do so. - If you're scanning Iraq, - you can really see the hearts communicating a love theme before they'll read the words, - and this goes for websites. - Also, - the websites usually have small cards on them, - but the images will jump out first before the words often. - So when you look at symbols, - it's easy to kind of immediately know what is that occasion or what is that thing? - And if you look at these, - you can probably tell just by these outlines of black shapes what they mean. - And here is a list of how you might interpret them of bound time Christmas following - graduation birthday. - Now, - if you took those same symbols and we mixed them up and put the words of the symbols on the - cards again, - the symbols jump out before the words do. - If you're just scanning something with our website or card back, - the image definitely jumps out and When you add color, - the image jumps out even more before the world goes. - But usually cards don't just have one word on them. - They usually have a sentence. - So if you're comparing these two of the top in the bottom again, - the symbol definitely is important. - People really get text weary when they read. - They don't want to read a whole bunch of cards. - They'd rather scan a bunch of cards, - see the image and start their before they even read the words. - And I should mention that if your card's gonna be sold in store card racks, - usually the top third of the card is important because the rack will often cover up the - bottom. - And if you have images that are really strong, - you may not even need words if that image already communicates the message. - So what you need to do is create a variety of symbols for these cards. - For birthday, - thank you friendship in love and play around with all different kinds of things. - If you can't think of anything, - start with flowers. - If you like doing animals, - I think that there are really great because it's like two people talking and a fear of - photographer. - Your image is probably already your symbol, - so you probably won't need to create a bunch of symbols if you have photos of things that - are clearly communicating the message or the event so, - in summary, - create a set of symbols for birthday. - Thank you. - Friendship or love. - Many of the symbols can be used for multiple occasions. - Flowers, - for example, - and some symbols. - You could start working on our hearts, - cakes, - candles and flowers if you can't think of what symbols to create. - And if you do do animals, - that's great. - Character dons or animals are really good on cards because again it's people communicating - to each other. 8. Learn How Symbols Change Occasions: Now I want to show you some examples of how one little symbol can change the whole occasion of a card, even though you haven't changed the article just to review. We have three parts of the car, the symbol, the background in the sentiment. So now we're gonna talk more about the symbol. Here's how you can add symbols to the same design and change the occasion. So I look at this card. I'm not clear on what this card is about. There's no words. There's no symbol. There's just a dog. I'm not sure what exactly this card is about, but what if I add this cake now? It's pretty clear this is a birthday card. What if I took the same art and just added a graduation hat? Now we know this is a graduation card again. We haven't really changed the art. Hardly at all. What if I took that dog and rotated him and put a flower in the middle? Well, now this could be a friendship or thank you card. And what about adding hearts? Something as simple as hearts tell you already this is a love or romance card. Now we can tweak that a bit in AdWords and then saying You're the best that kind of turns it into possibly a friendship or a thank you card. It could also be a love card, but by adding the words, it kind of expands the possibilities. Now, what about putting a star here? Well, I'm not sure what that's about. So sometimes assemble doesn't really explain what the occasion ism again. Tried to use symbols that make it clear what is the occasion? 9. Create a Background: - So now let's talk about the background where the second part of a greeting card on this - example the background is the pattern worth. - You have the swirlies and the tiny little hearts. - Now her. - Some general things about background are, - too. - Try to focus on. - Usually you want cheerful and upbeat colors a lot of brown or black and make a Cardinali - dark, - and you have it on a shelf or even on a website. - The darker cards tend to disappear among the brighter of beat color, - so trying to do that also, - if you're working, - especially with publishers, - they tend to want the very traditional colors for all the holidays. - The Christmas Red agreeing Tanaka Blue Valentine Red, - pink, - purple, - etcetera. - You also want to leave room for spaces for text and your assemble. - So remember when you work with background, - try not to make it too cluttered, - because then you will have any room for the other items. - And here's an example of what I mean. - Here's two cards that say the same thing with the same symbol, - but the one on the right has a very overpowering design in the background, - and the whole message is lost, - so make sure your background is actually only a support for the message. - So I would say Just play around with patterns, - textures, - colors, - photos. - See what kind of backed grounds you can come up with because you really don't want just a - flat white background on cards. - If you could avoid it, - you really do want something that draws the eye to the shelf or to the website to sign. - Now here's an example of creating the blank space within your background. - So on the pumpkin card, - we're just have this open space where I painted over on top of the image in the middle card - . - I've created a long rectangular space for text and an image. - You noticed that the symbol on the pumpkin card We don't really need to make room for an - extra image where the other two cars we kind of need a symbol on that or something that's - communicating with the occasion is so we need more room When you play around with the - background, - try to mix them with your symbols to see what you can come up with. - So here are some examples on the bottom of how I've taken the background pattern, - and I placed the symbol within it. - I still haven't put my text in, - so we're gonna put that in later. - It. - Now, - here's the project again. - We want three birthday cards. - One thank you Card. - One friendship card in one love card. - At this point, - you're not writing the text yet. - These are just the symbols in the background. - So try to work on those and again leave open space for the text. - Unless, - of course, - you're doing something like handmade or you're just doing graphic design where you're not - gonna use words, - then don't worry about it. - But if you can try to use text because sometimes just putting Happy birthday on a handmade - card makes all the difference in sales. - And if you could try to use similar colors on all of your cards, - so they look like they go together as a family. - Now, - in this example, - even though it looks like there's a lot going on, - I still have open space for texts on each one of these cards. - In summary, - create background art. - It is decorative like the color but will not interfere with the texture of the symbols. - Create a set of symbols or photograph to express different occasions. - You can use hards, - cakes, - candles, - flowers, - animals or characters. - A wide variety of traces here leave open spaces for your text. - Select symbols and backgrounds for the three birthday one. - Thank you one friendship in one love and try to use similar colors so that the cards look - like they go together. 10. Writing Sentiments: - now going to talk about writing sentiments for your card and deciding what to say. - The thing about greeting cards is they aren't like something you would buy in a store toe. - Hang on your wall or a bumper sticker for your car or even a magnet. - You would hang up cards. - Our relationship between two people and usually people buy cards because they have a - specific person in mind. - They're going to give it to It's very personal items, - and a lot of times the cards will have the words I and you and them. - It makes it very personal item versus like again. - A poster on the wall is probably not going to say I you in it. - It's more of a display. - A lot of times people make a great car design, - and then they will put words on it. - That really narrows the audience. - You always need to ask who's going to buy and send this card and who's going to receive it - . - And here's some examples of how you could really accidentally narrow the amount of people - that could buy the car. - Here's a car that says Mom, - your kindness is immeasurable. - Happy Mother's Day from your son. - Let's ask the questions. - Who is the sender? - Who is the receiver and what is the occasion? - So in this card, - the only person who could buy and send it is a son. - The only person who can receive it is that son's mother, - and the occasion is limited to Mother's Day. - What happens if you cross out from your son? - Well, - you just double the amount of people that could buy it, - because now the daughter convey, - Iet this receiver is still the mother on Mother's Day. - What have you crossed out, - Mom? - And put a mother's kindness is immeasurable. - This makes the card a little less personal, - and you're really talking about your opinion of mothers versus you as my mother. - Interesting enough, - Um, - people send Mother's Day cards to people other than their mothers. - You may send one to your sister, - who's a new mother or your neighbor who's a mother. - The sender could be a son, - a daughter, - a husband and friend of sister brother. - A lot of people could buy this car. - The receiver is still a mother, - but it could be any mother, - and the occasion is Mother's Day. - What if you cross out Happy Mother's Day and put Happy Birthday Well, - this changes the whole market. - Now the card can sit on a store shelf or on a website for every day of the year. - It could be bought every day of the year, - and not just on Mother's Day. - The receiver is still a mother, - but the card can be so generous. - System. - Five days a year now what we've done if we we've taken off the word a mother and put your - kindness is immeasurable. - Happy birthday. - The sender can be anyone, - and the receiver could be anyone. - They don't have to have a relationship. - Oh, - in terms of a relative, - and they don't have to be the person's mother. - That they're sending it to the occasion is limited to birthday. - But again, - when we take the word mother out, - we really widen the amount of people who could buy it and receive it. - What if we cross out Happy birthday and put thanks well, - now here's a subtle difference, - which is before you could buy this card for your sister on her birthday. - But now, - since it's a thank you card, - you can send that to her you know, - 50 times a year. - If you want, - you can send a thank you card. - You don't really need a specific occasion of a birthday to send this card. - What happens if you cross out thanks and put thinking of you now, - this is a very subtle difference, - but usually when you thank someone, - that means an event has happened. - You're thinking someone usually because they did you a favor or you appreciate them or - there's something that happened that you want to acknowledge them for. - Where is the thinking of you could be for any reason, - any day of the year and just because you're thinking of someone so it doesn't have to be - about an event happening. - This is especially nice if someone lives far away and you want to send them a card. - Periodically, - we went from the Mother's Day from the sun clear to this thinking of you, - so we really changed the audience through all these different ways. - We've used words, - and this is an example of how you can use words to expand the amount of people who could - buy the card. - In summary, - make a list of people who consented. - Your card and make a list of people who can receive your card. - Try to expand the amount of people on both of those lists. - Always ask yourself, - Would you buy this car? - That's a real reality check. - Would juice If you walked into a store and saw the card he designed, - would you buy it? - Do you think it's that interesting and doesn't say the right thing and named the person you - would give it to? - If you can't think of but one person you might give it to. - Maybe your audience is too small, - and you need to change your words to widen your audience. 11. Create Six Sentiments: - Now I'd like to talk about creating sentiments for your six cards for your project. - So just to review, - we have three birthday cards. - A thank you card, - a friendship card in the love card. - The first thing to think about is to keep your sentiment short, - especially if it's on the front of the card. - My rule of thumb is to only use 10 words of possible, - and one way to do that is to really look at the words in the sentiment and see what you can - remove. - And here's an example of a card that says When a new child is born, - so is a happy and smiling grandparent's. - And I pulled out some adjectives and got right down to the point when a child is born, - so is a grandparent, - right? - For real people, - it's easy to go in a card store and look at what other people have written and think, - Oh, - boy, - I should write like those people, - and it can see kind of artificial. - So I would encourage you to sit down and think of a real person, - you know, - and what you would like to say to them, - even if you've never said it or you never will say What's in your heart of what you'd - really like to say to them. - Of course, - I'm not talking about things like you're driving me crazy but more of the positive things - that you would like to say them, - because that usually means there's a lot of other people who would like to say the same - thing and greeting cards talk for you. - So a lot of people will buy a car for that very reason. - It's easy to have the card say what you want to say rather than trying to come up with the - words yourself. - Here's two examples of trying to write like people talk. - Also, - the Here's an example. - The paths in life for two full choose the one where people are dancing. - Okay, - that's kind of a distant message. - Let's see if we can make it more intimate when faced with two paths. - Take the one where you can dance and again I got the word You in there, - I'm talking to you. - Exchange places with the recipient. - Here's to kind of extreme examples of what I'm talking about, - but maybe I'll use these just to make a point. - when you put a sentiment on the card, - it's not the same as buying a plaque and hanging on your wall or putting something on your - bumper sticker. - You have to really think about the person is going to end up with this card and how they - would feel when they got it. - If you create a car that said, - sometimes it's OK not to be perfect and you sent it to your friend. - When they receive it, - it could be completely misunderstood. - They may think you're trying to tell them that they're not a perfect person or something's - wrong. - And maybe you were just trying to be funny and you were thinking like Oh, - this is something funny to hang up in your cubicle at work And here we have even a more - extreme example. - Anger never leads to happiness. - This is kind of a deep, - heavy thought, - and it's a true thought, - but it doesn't mean you want to receive that in the greeting card. - If somebody received this car, - they might really think the center is think saying they're angry. - It's important to really think What is it like to receive this card? - Here's a little check sheet I made Bit goes over who can send a card and who can receive it - . - And you can check all of these categories to see if each one of your cards fits in it. - For example, - can your car be sent by a brother? - Can the brother received? - The card can't be sent by a group of people. - Can a group of people receive the card? - Any religion? - You can go down this list. - It's kind of a check list of how wide is my audience. - Have I limited the audience by using the word she It's important to kind of test this. - Add up the total see if you can at least get half of those categories and then you're - probably on track for a good sentiment. - Be upbeat cards air about supporting people, - trying to make them smile. - Being positive. - Here's two examples on cards I have on your birthday. - Celebrate how much you've gotten away with, - and I'm glad I made because I have you for a friend, - so that's very supportive. - Cheerful. - What about turning a sentiment into an occasion? - Here's an example of a card. - It's not easy being a superhero. - Well, - on the front. - I have no idea how to change that into an occasion. - But one ways you could really build a bridge between the statement and the inside. - So this card was transformed into a thank you card on the inside, - it says, - But you sure make it look like it is Banks. - Don't be afraid to make leaps like that from the front to the inside. - Even if you think about what is a superhero have to do with a thank you card, - we'll try making leaps and see what happens. - What if you don't have any ideas? - Try these exercises. - What have you said lately that made someone laugh? - Write it down. - You notice that happens? - What do you secretly wish you could say to your child? - Spouse, - friend? - Parent? - Of course, - we're talking about a positive loving thing. - What would your pet say? - What's that? - Pets. - Point of view of the world. - How did they see the world and what's obvious to you about the world. - But no one seems to notice what you wish you could just scream out. - That's kind of obvious, - but people talk about it. - How would you, - um, - say something if you're somebody who had an attitude wanted to say Happy Birthday. - So there's another perspective in summary. - You want to write six sentiments for your cards. - Keep them short. - Right for riel. - People imagine being the person who receives the card and be upbeat. 12. How to Make a Card Out of Anything: - so now. - But to talk about how to make a card out of anything. - Perhaps you've looked at all your designs and you're just not sure what it began or which - style to pick out. - And you need some kind of starting point. - And here's some ideas. - What I did is I went to my computer and looked for four images that I thought would be - really hard to make a card out of, - and I kind of made a challenge to myself of. - If I had to make a card out of this, - how would I do it? - So here's card Challenge Number one. - So I had this pattern that I just had played around with, - and I pulled it out and thought, - OK, - what if I had to make a card out of this? - So we have a very busy pattern, - has dark colors. - There's no place for text or image, - and I'm thinking, - What do I do first? - Okay, - so the first thing I did is I pulled out the dark. - I thought that might leave a little room for some other motion in the image. - I also needed space to put a symbol and text so I pulled out a lot of these little parts. - So there's some open space where the red and the yellow is. - It's a little less busier. - Then I played around, - just added Happy Birthday and I also added, - Assemble. - So there. - We have a very difficult beginning of all these patterns, - and I kind of emptied out the center to be able to add a sentiment in an image and just to - play around more, - I thought, - What if I had a text on the inside? - I could also play around adding patterns to be inside. - Also Card Challenge Number two. - Here's a photo of our local community garden. - I just happen to take a picture of and I looked this and I thought, - Wow, - this is a big challenge because it's so dark on the top. - But the flowers kind of are good for a card. - So I was thinking, - What can I do? - Well, - I thought, - What if I just put thinking of you on the top is there's this open space that's right about - the flowers. - But then I saw that the background is kind of cluttered. - I mean, - the thinking kind of bleeds into the sky and the trees, - and it's hard to read, - especially if this card was on Iraq, - you know, - seven feet away. - It just looks too busy. - So what I did is they went into the back and I kind of filled that in. - So you've got one solid color, - And then I thought, - Oh, - but it's so dark, - and I don't like to have a lot of dark on the top of my card. - But once I put the words back on it lightened it up. - And then again, - I played about what would I put on the inside and little flower here? - Car Challenge Number three. - This is a picture I took when I went on a trip up north and in that old Alfred Hitchcock - movie, - The Birds. - This is the church that was featured in the film, - and it just so happened there was a janitor working that day and he let me in and I - photographed the inside of the church. - It's really a beautiful church, - and this was basically on my iPod that I took the picture, - and I also had a cap where you could play around with manipulating the image. - So this is where this image came from had no intention of making a card out of it. - I was just playing around, - but when I looked at it, - I thought, - Well, - on the top, - you could put text. - But then I thought, - Well, - what kind of card would have a church on it? - And then I was thinking, - You know, - what kind of religious event? - And I couldn't think of what that would be. - And even if it was a specific religious event, - that's a very narrow audience. - So then I thought, - Oh, - a sympathy card. - Maybe that's what we could do. - And then I was thinking, - What would it say, - where I could widen the audience? - So it's It's not just one narrow topic, - and so I put God dwells in many places, - but he is always beside us and our sorrow with deepest sympathy. - So I felt like that kind of widened the audience beyond just the church thing. - Car charge Number four. - Here's some flowers my neighbor gave me and I photographed them one day, - and here I have a square shape of flowers, - which again we talked about square cards that aren't so good. - So I thought, - What's the simplest way I could resolve this problem and make a fight by seven card. - And what's the occasion? - Well, - I just stuck. - Thanks on the top. - And I made some great aided lines of green there and just made a thank you card, - so that seemed pretty simple. - So again, - we have four cards here, - not the best in the world, - that these are examples of the process you go through to try to solve problems when you're - starting with designs and you're not sure what direction to take it. - So you might want to try this out by making space for your texts, - making space for your symbol. - I'm avoiding dark colors when possible and also using blocks of color and putting text on - it. - And you can also experiment with bonds, - of course. 13. Text font: not gonna talk about putting it all together at this point. We still have not put her text on our cards, so let's think about where do that. So here's an example of a car design that it has the image. It has the background, but it still doesn't have the text and the text I want to put in it is the one here. Wise women. No, love isn't really champagne by the fireplace. So I look at the layout and I'm thinking, Where can I put the text? Well, I was thinking I would put part of it on the top and part of it in the flower, but I'm gonna have to arrange it so that it'll fit. And it's really fine to split up a sentiment like this in different parts of your card. It kind of breaks up the sentence in a way that you take a little breath. So here's the layout I thought of. I just did it for the space. I change the size of the fart. I also adjusted the line height between the words, and I even used the space bar to kind of move the world fireplace in love. in different directions. Now, what about the fawn? Sometimes I think it's good to try really fund fonds and not stick to the traditional bonds that people see everywhere. So I actually created my own thought and changed this to the one on the right. And here's some other funds I've created. I really encourage you to play around with creating your own font. And here's the way you can do that through fought generator. If you type in Google Front Generator, you'll find a lot of companies and Softwares. Um, that will do this. And here's the layout on some of the companies on this one. I used your phones where you just right in the letters on a little grid, and you can even write down symbols. I've made it fun out of symbols. And then when it shows up on your computer, as you can see, the pull down tap here that has all of the different fonts of mine, and it blends in right with the regular funds. Now on this card I had is kind of a zinger on the inside. It's more like beer next to the dishwashers. So when you think about breaking up your text. You can have a zinger on the inside. You could put the whole thing on the outside. Now this quotes a little long, so I kind of needed to be split up. But consider putting a whole zinger on the on the outside to where you don't have to have printing on the inside. So that's the whole question. Do you have inside texts? Well, not always necessary, especially if you have handmade cards or they're sealed in cellophane bags. You kind of don't want the person to have to open the bag to look at the inside text. And even if you printed on the back to say what's inside, people don't always turn it around to see. Also, if you print inside, it costs a lot more, and it may not be the direction you want to go. If you're trying to keep your price per unit, damn. Also, sometimes publishers want to put their own inside text in, so that's another thing to consider. Here's something I do when I send designs to companies, which is I make inside text, but I also give them a whole bunch of options, and this is usually the layout I used to give to them. And if they don't like my first choice, they can look at all the others. And sometimes they like that so they don't have to come up with inside text. So should he use inside texts? Well, it's not always necessary and mention before. Handmade cards don't always have inside text and costs more to print, and publishers may want their own. So if you do, try to do an entire sentiment on the front, try to make it as short as possible. So, in summary, finished your cards by putting your sentiment in the open space. Get your sentiment by adjusting the font size and line high. Consider making your own fart avoid Inside Texas, you're using celo bags or you're making or printing your own cards. 14. Where and How to Sell Cards.: - So let's talk about selling cards, - and this is a big topic because there's so many ways to sell cards, - but we'll start with the basics. - So first of all, - let's over the breakdown of what kind of cards sell so about half a birthday, - about 20% of Christmas, - 20% or card tickets in any day of the year and about 8% or holiday cards. - Now one thing you'll find is when you start looking at cards statistics, - there's two things that happen. - Most of them are based off corporate sales, - which doesn't always represent independent car businesses. - And another thing is, - they usually separate out the statistics into everyday cards and seasonal cards, - and they don't mix them together. - And that's what I've done here. - Mixed all the different categories together to see what really sells per year. - So birthday is much bigger than Christmas, - although Christmas gets a lot of press for being a big selling time, - and it is a big selling time, - but is doesn't necessarily mean it's the biggest piece of the pie for card sales, - and I'd like to mention that I would avoid putting too much energy into trying to sell - Christmas cards because a lot of customers will buy discount cards box cards where they'll - make their our own cards online. - Unless you're a handmade card. - Ours who makes really elegant cards that people would buy as a gift, - I would say Don't put a lot of attention on trying to develop Christmas cards. - And here's why seasonal cards or kind of challenging because you can over print you can end - up losing money on them and what I call end up of cards in the basement that you can't even - give away. - So I think it's good to be very careful when it comes to specific holidays, - because they only sell maybe two weeks out of the year and the rest of the year you can't - sell them. - One pro is that I noticed the sales reps would often ask me, - You know, - can I show some? - Valentine's cars and I tended toe always avoid holiday cars, - But what I found is, - if I made a few, - the store would end up ordering the rest of my line that weren't holiday card, - so that is one advantage. - About one solution I found is besides doing small print runs as you can create cards, - crossover themes. - And here's what I mean. - I found this very successful where I had a card that could be sold as a holiday theme on - the holiday. - But I could also sell that you're around and you'll notice this car that says the monster - who lives under my bed needs another cookie. - If you open that up, - there's nothing on the inside. - It doesn't say Halloween. - There's nowhere on the car that says Halloween. - So this card was sold your around. - But it was also featured on Halloween, - and the stores would buy it for hollowing the same with the other car. - The older get, - the smarter my mother gets. - You can sell that on Mother's Day. - A lot of independent stores, - they basically just want the theme. - At that time of year, - you can really get away with not adding the holiday name. - And here's an example of how you could take the love card you're working on for your - project, - and you could add Valentine's Day to just a few, - and then you have both. - So if you have, - like 1000 of these printed and you are really into, - you know stamping Happy Valentine's Day and some of them. - Or if you do Hamid cards, - you're used to gluing embellishments on your cards. - You could just add that seasonal name to a few cards, - and then later you can sell. - It is an everyday car your around. - So let's talk about scalability. - With any manufacturing business you want to be able to grow. - You don't want to be limited to just you baking the cards, - especially if you're in the handmade card business. - And everything depends on your labor. - You really want to make your business in a way that you congrats. - Oh, - larger so that if you got 100 orders tomorrow, - you could fill them. - Now, - if you're just selling to consumers like, - say, - it craft fairs, - it's really hard to grow because you're depending on a new customer to come each time. - That craft there, - and even if someone buys a card from you now doesn't mean they're going to keep buying one - every month. - Where a stores will buy repeat orders throughout the year of your cards continue to self, - so that's really a scale herbal business, - and I've highlighted that here on this little diagram, - I think that's a sweet spot for really growing in producing a full line where you can make - a full time job out of it and you get to decide what's published. - If you see a theme or a societal change happen and you want to jump on that, - make a card out of it, - you can do it immediately. - So in order to grow nationwide and have a scalable business, - you really need to think about working with sales reps, - and that is a whole nother topic. - But I do have a website that talks all about working with sales reps and where you find - them. - But before you approach them, - you really want to make sure that you have some sales experience. - You know, - your card selling stores and the stores have reordered them. - Even if it's just five stores, - you really need to find out if these cards are going to sell. - What you don't want is for a sales rep to pick up your line and let's say it doesn't sell, - and that rep doesn't want to carry it. - And that Rip also tells another rap. - And then suddenly you know you're the artist who didn't make a good card line and and - perhaps you created a whole new card line later, - but you can't really get people's attention. - So what you want to do is definitely get feedback. - Talk to stores, - even a consultant, - and find out how to make your cards better. - And if you deuce, - approach ribs after you have some sales statistics, - they do like numbers. - They want to know what the top sellers are, - what people reorder, - that kind of thing. - And if you're going into licensing the same thing with publishers, - I have a website here that talks about all the different companies. - You can apply to that look for artists and my general approaches to send six cards a month - to the publisher. - Don't overwhelm them with too many cards. - A lot of times just six cards in a small line can show them a lot about your art style. - Also, - you really should know photo shop and be able to deliver digital files very quickly if you - want to go into licensing, - and it helps whether you're a manufacturer or doing licensing to have a website and have - some of your designs up there, - sales reps also like to go to websites, - and they can see a line really quickly to see whether they want to carry it. - Also, - be able to describe your card line in a sentence, - and now I'm talking about card line in terms of a bigger meaning of your CART business. - So if you are a manufacturer and you're making 100 cards and you have a huge carbine, - you need to be able to describe that as if you were talking over the phone to someone. - Meaning you want to describe it visually so people may want to go and look at it just from - hearing the description. - And I have some samples here of how to make something some interesting when you don't have - a visual image to go with it and just to reiterate, - get feedback before you invest a lot of money into printing cards. - You can do this even a craft fair. - You can talk to customers about what they like. - Find out what they buy. - Um, - you can also interview professional consultants who work in the card industry, - and I have those on my website. - Also, - one very important thing I found. - If you want honest feedback from professionals and you meet with them. - I find that if you ask, - do you think these cards would sell? - Versus Do you like these cards? - Makes a big difference because I find that consultants, - reps, - even store buyers they really don't want to hurt an artist feelings that they don't like - the line. - But they have a better sense of whether it will sell, - and it's much easier for them to talk openly if they're asked the question, - Do you think these will sell? - And that conversation also leads into What can I do to change them? - And it takes the whole emotional thing out of the conversation, - and you can get a lot of good advice. - So if you're willing to hear honest answers and ask if they think they would sell on how - they could make themselves better, - I think you learn a lot. - So in summary, - try to ride a one sentence that describes your cards to someone cannot see them change a - few words in your love card to see if you can make it into a Valentine card. - Look around in your neighborhood or in your city and look to see if there's about six - stores that carry cards that you think your designs would work well and get feedback from - people and learn about how to find card ribs and look at publishers who do licensing. 15. Create a Card Line: - Now we're gonna talk about creating a card line. - So what is a card line? - Well, - here's an example of a line I did. - It only has 12 cards, - but as you noticed, - they all look like they belong to the same family. - They have a similar layout color palette. - Our work. - The font is similar, - so some people call these collections. - You can call it a collection or a line, - but they all look like they go together and in your project again. - Try to create not only a layout that's similar, - but a family of collars that look like they go together and don't feel like you have to use - more than three. - In fact, - this line I designed here only had three colors total. - Also, - I think a really fun thing to do is give your line and name. - Not everybody does this, - so it's really a neat thing to do here I have on the left a line I made called retro atomic - style, - which was based off of what I have always admired is some of the art styles of the late - fifties and some of the colors and the ink spot line. - I was just playing around with some ink and rubber stamps, - and I created a line around that. - So think about what you want to call your line. - Also, - if you go on Google and look under the EMAS Image Search, - you can find a lot of lines that other people have done or on Etsy, - you'll find some nice lines. - So when you look at these sites, - look at the things like, - Is there a theme? - Are the colors unified and how many cards air in their line? - It's nice to look at how other people put together a line and does it have a name? - And of course, - I want to add that when you look at other people's lines again, - you're not trying to copy what they're doing or used their ideas. - Your you want to stick to your own ideas. - You're just looking at their lines to see how did they make their line looking unified? - And here's another card line I did, - and what I wanted to point out here is on that rack. - You can't really read the words or see the images from this distance, - but you can still kind of tell it's a line and it goes together. - So on your project, - you want to create six cards that go together with similar colors, - a similar art style, - and have fun and play around with unique names.