If you don’t have words on your card, make sure your image is an attention grabber. Pin your card on the wall next to store bought cards and step back 10 feet and look at it. Does your card stand out? Ask a friend to send you out of the room and rearrange the cards in new way. When you reenter the room notice where your eye is drawn and why.
Think of a card design as the art of Ikabana, Japanese flower arranging. In Ikabana, you start with a primary flower as the center of which all other flowers support Try to find your main strength and build around it.
Paper can be used as your main focus. For example, a fiber filled handmade paper red with clusters of pine needles may make a great Christmas card. Colors can also be the used by painting one bold red brush stroke across your card, and supporting it with a word or decoration.
If you like to use humor, it may not be necessary to create a perfectly illustrated design with carefully chosen colors. The main point may be the message. You don't want the image to detract from the humor.
Some cards rely completely on abstract images, such as a collage. They usually don’t have words on them, but the materials are carefully chosen for their unusual character, texture or color. College cards often attract customers to pick up the card because they want to know what it's made of.
(photo credit: Daziladi)
Posted by Kate Harper at 5/11/2009