The Handmade Card Business: Backcopy


Backcopy
by Kate Harper

Backcopy is the information that is on the back of the card, such as the card name, publisher, price, copyright symbol. Usually this information is pre-printed on the card, but when your first start your business, you may not be able to afford to pre-printed cards. Use a rubber stamp and then graduate to pre-printed labels. Other ways to put this information on the back is to use Xeroxed paper inserts that you can slip behind your card in the bag.

Most importantly, make sure your company name and address is on the back of your cards. I am surprised at the number of cards that exclude this information. How will anyone ever contact you if they want to order cards? Some retail stores have gotten a hold of me solely from using backcopy information. One card designer also adds a warning "Always have enough information on the back so that people can find you. Your store buyers will be reluctant to give out your name and address to competitors."

Sometimes store buyers get a hold of your card in unusual ways, such as picking it up while vacation. Remember, the back of your card is like your business card.

Besides your company name on the back of your cards, consider including other optional information such as:

  • The recycled symbol, if you are using recycled paper.
  • The price of your card.
  • The code number, or order number of your card.
  • General information about you, as an artist or the art process you are using.
  • A Logo, that represents your business image.



Handmade Card Business Articles by Kate Harper



The Handmade Card Business: Card Codes

The Handmade Card Business: All About Envelopes

Starting a Handmade Card Business: Manufacturing

How to Make a Living in the Handmade Card Business

Making Cards: Questions to Ask

Simplify Card Making for a Profit

How to Set Up a Handmade Card Factory

Paying People to Make Your Cards

The Handmade Card Business: Card Codes

Determining Card Codes

Codes are those numbers and letters you always see on the back of greeting cards. Since it is very difficult for you or a sales reps to take orders by writing down the description of the card, you really need to identify the cards with codes.

Everyone has their own coding system and you can create your own. It's helpful, when you have cards of the same style or of the same family, to prefix all of them with a similar code. That way, when you or your sales rep needs to take a fast order, she can just write one prefix, and a series of suffixes. For example, let's say you have ten Christmas cards and you have coded them like the following example:

36-GO Christmas Card Goose
23-TR Christmas Tree Card
47-CG Christmas Card Green
37-CR Christmas Card Red
39-BL Blank Christmas Card
55-BI Bird Christmas Card
88-WR Wreath Christmas Card
78-AN Angel Christmas Card
99-SA Santa Christmas Card
63-SN Snow Scene Christmas Card


This way of coding cards can be very difficult to write when taking an order, especially for reps who are often taking orders simultaneously for several different card lines. While the letters give you an abbreviated description of the card, the numbers are all over the map. It is also hard to rely solely on letters because you can run out of them pretty fast. A better way to code these same cards would be like the following example:


36-GO Christmas Card Goose
36-TR Christmas Tree Card
36-CG Christmas Card Green
36-CR Christmas Card Red
36-BL Blank Christmas Card
36-BI Bird Christmas Card
36-WR Wreath Christmas Card
36-AN Angel Christmas Card
36-SA Santa Christmas Card
36-SN Snow Scene Christmas Card

Notice that the only difference is that you have changed the prefix. Now when you or a rep takes an order, you can write it out like this:

One dozen each of the following:
36-TR, BL, AN, SN

On the invoice, these can be written out in long form later.

The main point is that you don't want to use complicated codes that are hard to record while you are making a sale.
Codes can also be organized by the time the cards were created. For example when you introduce a dozen new designs to a pre-existing line, you might prefix them all with the same number like the 100 series or the 6X series. Be creative and see what card codes you can come up with, that will help you remember what card it is by heart.


Handmade Card Business Articles by Kate Harper

Backcopy:What to print on the back of your cards

The Handmade Card Business: Card Codes

The Handmade Card Business: All About Envelopes

Starting a Handmade Card Business: Manufacturing

How to Make a Living in the Handmade Card Business

Making Cards: Questions to Ask

Simplify Card Making for a Profit

How to Set Up a Handmade Card Factory

Paying People to Make Your Cards

Copyright © 2010 Kate Harper


The Handmade Card Business: Envelopes

ENVELOPES

There are many things you need to consider when choosing envelopes for your card. In the greeting card business, here are some basic standards that are used in the industry.

Card and Envelope Sizes
The most common sizes for handmade cards are:

• 5 by 7 goes with an A7 envelope.
• 4 1/2 by 6 1/8 goes with an A6 envelope.
• 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 goes with an A2 envelope.

I've seen many hand-crafted cards that use other sizes, but be careful. Sometimes you may not be able to find envelopes for unusual sizes and you might have to special order them. One sales representative for northern California says that one of the biggest mistakes new card artists make is to create oversized cards that won't fit in a standard card rack.

Retail store managers have told me that that it's hard to sell handmade cards that are 4 1/4 by 5 1/2, because the they are so small. The only advantage of this size is that you can get two cards out of a standard 81/2 by 11 piece of paper. Compared to other cards on a card shelf though, your card is going to look quite small.



Handmade Card Business Articles by Kate Harper

Backcopy:What to print on the back of your cards

The Handmade Card Business: Card Codes

The Handmade Card Business: All About Envelopes

Starting a Handmade Card Business: Manufacturing

How to Make a Living in the Handmade Card Business

Making Cards: Questions to Ask

Simplify Card Making for a Profit

How to Set Up a Handmade Card Factory

Paying People to Make Your Cards

Mary Engelbreit Talks about Card Design Process

ME

Here's a short article of Mary talking about getting card designs together quickly for Recycled Paper Greetings:

Exerpt:
"Here’s a little something you might be interested in. I’m doing a bunch of new Easter/spring cards for Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, which will be available this coming spring. I had the idea for one of them during one of our staff meetings in which we were discussing how many cards we needed to provide QUICKLY to PRG– the operative word here being QUICKLY. Here’s the doodle I did on our agenda:"

See entire article..

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