What do cards have in common with the Big Bang Theory?

Copyright © 2009 Kate Harper

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to watch the filming of the Big Bang Theory TV comedy at the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, California.

Being about 20 feet from a stage set with about a hundred people swarming around 5 actors was something I'd never experienced before, and found quite fascinating.

Everywhere I looked I saw art. The colors and angles of the set, the choice of clothing, placement of items on a desk, and people running on stage for 4 seconds just to adjust an angle of a scarf. When a new scene started in a different section of the stage, the entire crew ran to that section like a ballet troupe, in perfect alignment as if they'd practiced jumping over cables and rolling heavy cameras in unison for their entire lives.

I also was quite moved to see actors I've admired, in front of me, performing their art. What made me so respectful of their skills were not just their words, but their facial expressions, body motions and pausing between words. It looked like a very challenging and yet rewarding skill.

But what really surprised me is their reshooting of several scenes with different lines, to see what line got the biggest laughs. When something didn't work, the scene was cut; people ran on the stage, rewrote a line and tried something new. I do the same with cards. I offer several versions of the same text, and often have customers choose which version they like best before committing to a design. Writing is a true art, and you just never know what single word will turn a smile into a laugh.

I was humbled when attending this filming, knowing that most of these actors came out of nowhere and got their parts by attending a "cattle call" of auditions. One thing that drew me to this comedy in the first place, is that one lead actor, playing the role of an astrophysicist, is from India. You rarely see Indian actors playing lead roles on U.S. Television. This brought a fresh flavor to what could have been a formulaic comedy. How was he chosen for this role? I don't know. But I believe he did what we all need to do, even in the card business: Use all your skills to create a good product, and then you will stand out, even among the stars.

So, give it your best, do your homework and enjoy the process - eventually you will succeed. That's the big bang of cards too, and it's not just a theory.


-Kate

(photo credit CBS ign.com)

Greeting Card Quiz: How much do you know about the industry?

Copyright © 2009 Kate Harper

- GREETING CARD QUIZ -

Here are some things I've learned in all my years working in the greeting card industry. Can you guess the answers? -by Kate Harper


1. What did the Greeting Card Association advocate for, that happened in 2007?


2. What is an A-7 and why does it matter?


3. What card publisher uses wind-generated power for its museum?


4. The Louie greeting card awards are named after Louis _____who?


5. What famous card designer didn't go to art school or learn how to paint?


6. Why do retail stores prefer vertical designs?


7. What is the term often used by greeting card sales reps, that refers to a card line sample set?


8. What card event happens in New York in May?


9. Meryl Hooker, a top selling card rep in DC, created something called "Road Rage" that's available to everyone. What is it?


10. David Ellis Dickerson recently published a memoir about being a greeting card writer at Hallmark. What is the name of this book?




- ANSWERS -
If you managed to guess all these answers correctly,
then you are an official greeting card industry nerd!
If you guessed half of them, you're still an expert.



Link to References

#1 Greeting Card Association Advocacy
#3 Wind Power Company

#8 It happens in May
#9 Road Rage
#10 Memoir/Amazon.com



Did you like this? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll do more. -Kate

7 Sets of Christmas Icons

Here's a helpful resource on Christmas imagery.



*Always check copyright guidelines on digital art for reproduction rights.
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What color palette should I use?


This is interesting...worth trying even for fun. Check it out.

Freelance Advice from 6 pros

http://www.freelancereview.net/fr/Images/pic-blog-freelance-advice-pros.jpg

Article worth reading. Here's an excerpt:
Thinking about starting a new career as a freelance designer? We've gathered advice from six pros to help you navigate through what can be at times tricky waters.

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