Would you lose all your art if your computer was stolen today?



This could have been an artist's letter.

Just like a parent would be alarmed if they found out their child was not wearing a seat belt, I often have been alarmed when I find out a designer does not have an online backup system of their art.

If your digital art is irreplaceable, then you really need to get an online storage system because it is in a different location from your computer.   External hard drives that you plug into your computer are not sufficient, because they can be damaged in a fire or stolen.

I spent a whole weekend working on a piece of art and realized the next day I accidentally lost it! That is like getting a punch in the stomach.  It feels like you need to have trauma counseling.

Luckily I realized my offline backup system would allow me to go back to a specific time period and retrieve the file ("versioning" ).  I could pick the 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 and day of the art in different states of development.  I didn't realize that, I thought a backup only meant you could get the last copy.

There are many online backup systems to choose from. I tried Crashplan and Carbonite but ended up using Backblaze for $5 a month because it was the most user-friendly and had unlimited storage. And I like that it backs up automatically in the background so I never have to think about it.

I know many people never think they will lose their art, or that they have an external drive to store things on, but I also know artists whose computers have been stolen and hard drive crashed.  It's happened to me.  As one graphic designer told me "it's not if it will happen, it's when it will happen."

Artist & Writer Submission Guidelines for Card Companies




ARTIST and WRITERS GUIDELINES
  Compiled and Updated by Kate Harper



Want to submit your art or writing to a greeting card company? Check out the links below for company submission guidelines.


*Note: The following information may change. For updates, look on their main website for current guidelines. At the time of this post, all companies have guidelines on their website, but that link can often change. If you see a change, contact GreetingCard Designer Blog.





Allport Editions Artist Guidelines
https://www.allport.com/
Guidelines:
https://www.allport.com/join

Avanti Press

http://www.avantipress.com/
Guidelines: Look under contact+submission guidelines.
http://www.avantipress.com/get-in-touch/submissions/photo-submission

Amber Lotus

http://www.amberlotus.com/
Guidelines:
http://www.amberlotus.com/submission-guidelines.html

Artists To Watch 

http://www.artiststowatch.com/ 
Guidelines: 
https://www.artiststowatch.com/art.html

Abacus

http://www.abacuscards.co.uk/
Guidelines: 
http://www.abacuscards.co.uk/content.php?id_content=3

Bayview Press

http://www.bayviewpress.com/
Guidelines: 
http://www.bayviewpress.com/submitart.html

Brush Dance

www.brushdance.com
Guidelines: 
http://www.brushdance.com/artist-submissions/ 

Blue Mountain 

http://www.sps.com  
Writer Guidelines: 
http://www.sps.com/help/writers_guidelines.html

Comstock Cards

http://www.cmpmarket.com/
Artists and Writer Guidelines: 
http://www.cmpmarket.com/guidelines.php 

Crown Point Graphics

http://www.crownpointgraphics.com/
Guidelines: 
http://www.crownpointstationery.com/artists.html

Calypso Cards

www.calypsocards.com
Guidelines: 
http://www.calypsocards.com/AboutUs/Submissions

Caspari

http://www.casparionline.com
Guidelines: 
http://www.casparionline.com/Artist-Submission-Guidelines.html

C.R. Gibson

www.crgibson.com/
Guidelines: 
https://www.crgibson.com/e2wCustomerTemplate.aspx?url=documents/html/FAQ_Artist.htm

Design Design

http://designdesign.us/
Guidelines: 
https://www.designdesign.us/webforms/index/index/id/2/

Designer Greetings

http://www.designergreetings.com/
Artists and Writer Guidelines: Look under "opportunities" tab

Dayspring Cards

http://www.dayspring.com 
Writer Guidelines:
http://about.dayspring.com/corporate/contact/editorial.asp

Ephemera

http://www.ephemera-inc.com/  
Writer Guidelines
http://www.ephemera-inc.com/category-s/123.htmhttp://www.ephemera-inc.com/category-s/123.htm

Fotofolio

http://www.fotofolio.com/
Guidelines: 
http://www.fotofolio.com/contact/contact.html

FStop

http://www.fstopimages.com/
Guidelines:  http://www.fstopimages.com/pages/license-images/

Felt 

https://feltapp.com/
Artist Submissions: designers@feltapp.com

Great Arrow Graphics

http://www.greatarrow.com 
Guidelines: 
https://www.greatarrow.com/designers/guidelines.html

Gina B

http://www.ginabdesigns.com
Guidelines: 
http://www.ginabdesigns.com/images/2016artistguidelines.pdf

http://www.ginabdesigns.com/Scripts/PublicSite/?template=Contact

Gallison/Mudpuppy

http://www.galison.com
Guidelines: 
http://www.galison.com/About-GalisonMudpuppy-W7C0.aspx

Hotchpotch
http://www.hotchpotchpublishing.com 


It Takes Two

http://www.ittakestwo.com/
Guidelines: http://www.ittakestwo.com/artists.html

Just Wink 

https://www.justwink.com/app 
Guidelines:  http://corporate.americangreetings.com/contact.html

Koala Publising
http://www.koalapublishing.com.au
Guidelines: http://www.koalapublishing.com.au/Content_Common/pg-artwork-contact.seo

Leanin' Tree
http://www.leanintree.com/
Guidelines: 
http://www.leanintree.com/artsubmission.html
 
Legacy Greetings

http://www.legacygreetings.com 

Guidelines:  
http://www.legacygreetings.com/static/legacy/designs.asp

Madison Park Greetings

http://madisonparkgroup.com/ 
Guidelines: 
http://madisonparkgroup.com/contact/submit-art/

Minted (Crowdsourced Contests)
http://www.minted.com/ 

Guidelines: 
http://www.minted.com/design-challenge 

Nobleworks

http://www.nobleworkscards.com/
Artist and Writers Guidelines: 
http://www.nobleworkscards.com/nobleworks-greeting-cards-submission-guidelines.html 

Oatmeal Studios 

http://www.oatmealstudios.com/
Artists:  http://www.oatmealstudios.com/html5/pages/art_guide.html
Writers: http://www.oatmealstudios.com/html5/pages/writers_guide.html

Palm Press Photography Submission Guidelines

http://www.palmpressinc.com
Guidelines:   
http://www.palmpressinc.com/ppsite/photosubmit.php

Pictura, Inc.
http://www.picturausa.com/

Guidelines: Send to Ramona.coughlin@picturausa.com

Paper Rose
http://www.paperrose.co.uk/

Artists and Writer Guidelines: 
https://www.paperrose.co.uk/Pages/Page/3

Papyrus (Same as Recycled Paper Greetings)

http://www.prgreetings.com/
Artists and Writer Guidelines: 
https://www.papyrusonline.com/customer-services/faq#qB  

Paper House
http://www.greatbritishcards.co.uk

Artists and Writer Guidelines:
http://www.greatbritishcards.co.uk/artists-enquiries/


Pumpernickel Press
http://www.pumpernickelpress.com 

Guidelines:  Pdf at:
http://www.pumpernickelpress.com/DSN/wwwpumpernickelpresscom/Content/Artist%20Guidelines.pdf
or see FAQ page: http://www.pumpernickelpress.com/47/faq.htm


Peaceble Kingdom Press

http://www.peaceablekingdom.com/
Guidelines:  http://www.peaceablekingdom.com/contact/artist-submission

P.S. Greetings/Fantus

http://www.psg-fpp.com

Artists and Writer Guidelines:
http://www.psg-fpp.com/creative_guidelines.htm
 


Planet Zoo
http://planet-zoo.com/ 

Guidelines: 
http://planet-zoo.com/photo-submission/
 


Pomegranate
http://pomegranate.com

Artists and Writer Guidelines:
http://pomegranate.com/arsub.html


RSVP Sellers
https://www.rsvp.com

Artists and Writer Guidelines:
https://www.rsvp.com/faq/  


Smart Alex 

http://www.smartalexinc.com/ 
Artists and Writer Guidelines: 
http://www.smartalexinc.com/pages/artist_submission/124.php 

teNeues 

http://www.teneues.com 
Artists and Writer Guidelines:
http://www.teneues.com/shop-us/contact.html


Thankster
http://www.thankster.com/
Guidelines: http://www.thankster.com/contents/view/submit_yours

Tree Free

http://www.tree-free.com

Up with Paper
http://www.upwithpaper.com/

Guidelines: 
http://www.upwithpaper.com/faq/jobs-and-careers/
 

UK Greetings
http://www.ukgreetings.co.uk 

Artists and Writer Guidelines: 
https://www.ukgreetings.co.uk/creative-submissions/

Vialbella Greeting Cards

www.viabella.com
Artists and Writer Guidelines:
http://viabella.com/marianheath/links/Submission_Guidelines.pdf

Vigo Productions
http://www.vigocards.com/






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional Companies Who License for Gifts and Housewares:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Artaissance
http://www.artthatfits.com
Guidelines:

Art in Motion
http://www.artinmotion.com/
Guidelines:

Arts Uniq'
http://artsuniq.com
Guidelines:

The Art Group
http://www.artgroup.com
Guidelines:  

Ad-Lines

Andrews McMeel
http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/
Guidelines:  
Brown Trout publishers

Barrington Studios

Bentley Publishing Group
http://www.bentleyglobalarts.com
Guidelines:  

Bottman Design 

Bonartique

Canadian Art Prints
http://www.canadianartprints.com
Guidelines:  

Chronicle Books
http://www.chroniclebooks.com
Guidelines:  

Cape Shore
http://www.cape-shore.com
Guidelines:  


Daisy Company

Decal Girl

Design Ideas

Editions Limited
http://www.editionslimited.com
Guidelines:  


Elsa L
http://www2.elsal.com
Guidelines:  
Look under Contact Tab/Art Submissions

Fiddlers Elbow

Gelaskins

Galaxy of Graphics

Garven
(See contact page for "freelance art" submissions.)

Graphique de France
(Scroll to bottom of page to "Art Submissions")

Gift Wrap Company

Gallison/Mudpuppy
http://www.galison.com
Guidelines:  

Hollins Gifts
http://hollinsgifts.com
Guidelines:  

Hay House
http://www.hayhouse.com
Guidelines:  

Icon Shoes

http://www.iconshoes.com
Guidelines:  
(Scroll down to "how are images selected")

Kurtovich
http://kurtovich.com
Guidelines:  
email art samples to kevin@kkprod.co.nz for approval, and they present to buyers.

The Lang Company
http://www.lang.com
Guidelines:  
(Scroll down to "Art Submissions")

Leisure Arts
http://leisurearts.com
Guidelines:  

Masterpiece Puzzles
http://www.masterpiecesinc.com
Guidelines:  

Moda Fabric
http://www.unitednotions.com
Submit to: 

Meadwestvaco
http://www.mead.com
Guidelines:  
http://www.mead.com/mead/faq
(Scroll down to "General questions")

Nouvelles Images

http://www.nouvellesimages.com
Guidelines:  



Pine Ridge Art
https://www.pineridgeart.com
Guidelines:  
(Scroll down to "General FAQ.")

Plaid Craft
http://www.pgrahamdunn.com
Guidelines:  

Peter Pauper Press
http://www.peterpauper.com
Guidelines:  

Robert Kaufman
http://www.robertkaufman.com
Guidelines:  

SunsOut, Inc.
http://www.sunsout.com
Guidelines:  
http://www.sunsout.com/contact-us/
(See Product Submissions Section)

Trends International

Toland Home Garden

Unicorn Graphics
http://www.unicorngraphics.com
Guidelines:  

US Games
http://www.usgamesinc.com
Guidelines:  

Warner Press
http://www.warnerpress.org
Guidelines:  

York Wallcoverings
http://www.yorkwall.com 
Guidelines:  
(Fill out form and select "art submission inquiry" and you will receive a pdf.)



See an Error? Dead Link? Contact Kate





----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Greeting Card Business
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 




Get Your Greeting Cards Into Stores: How to Find and Work With Sales Reps (Updated 2017 paperback) If you like to make greeting cards, this book explains how to get your cards into stores and sell them nationwide.  Learn about changing trends in the indie card market and niche opportunities available for artists. Book includes detailed guidelines on pricing cards for a profit, getting professional feedback on your designs, finding sales representatives, pitching your card line to them, approaching stores, and the industry standards you should follow. Information is also applicable to gift items, such as magnets, journals and calendars.




Start and Run a Greeting Card Business From a British author, whose country has a long history of greeting card design, she takes you step-by-step through the process of starting and running your business with lots of useful practical advice to help you, including: - Deciding what type of cards to produce - Finding your market - Dealing with printers - Copyright and licensing - Pricing and profit. Kate's note: Some specs are different (card sizes) since it is UK standards.









~

Dealing With Rejection: Tips for Card Designers


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Dealing With Rejection (Part 1 of 5)


You've decided to start a card business and you've been working on designs for six weeks. Your friends love them. Your mom loves them. Your coworkers love them. You think they'll be hot sellers.

In your car, on the way to the printer, you decide to stop by the local card store to show them to Sally, the owner.

With a smile, you pull out your cards and wait for Sally's reaction….but slowly, like a candle melting in Death Valley, you can see it in her face... she doesn't like them.

Your heart hits the ground as she tells you what all the problems are, but you don’t hear anything because your stomach hurts, even though she continues to give you great advice for the next 10 minutes.

Rejection hurts. You slowly wrap up the cards, put them back in your bag, and decide on the spot you want to go back to school and become a radiology technician.

WAIT....STOP! REWIND this story. What happened here?
This isn't a story about rejection. This is a story about an artist who doesn’t know what to do when their designs are rejected.
Book on strategies.


Remember, rejection is not a bad thing. It's a great opportunity to learn from an expert!

Most professionals in the card industry are happy to help artists who are willing to adjust and try new things. Ask Sally what your next step should be. Just like envelopes and paper are part of the card business, so is rejection.

Your goal in card design, is to get emotionally close to your customer. Rejection by a store can help you steer your art towards knowing your customer. Just make sure you never leave a meeting without a notebook full of advice. Find out WHY you were rejected. Otherwise, rejection will only be experienced as something negative.

In the story above, imagine what would've happened if the artist just drove to the printer first, and not the card store? Not only would she experience rejection, but she also would have lost money by printing a poor design! This artist was really smart to seek out professional advice, and not just limit it to family and friends.

I experienced similar feelings when I started my business. My first two card lines were rejected, but I went on to try a third, a forth and a fifth, a sixth, most of which were successful. Store buyers were even willing to meet with me after hours and help me. The more I tried, the better things got.

If you are ready to give up and go to radiology school, first stop and ask yourself these ten questions below, so you can learn how to deal with rejection in a more rational way.




10 Questions to ask when you're Rejected
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Part 1
Introduction

Part 2
Tip 1: Are you approaching the right market?
Tip 2: Are you trying to sell handmade cards to a drugstore chain, or in a rural area?
Tip 3: Did you get feedback on "why not"?

Part 3
Tip 4: Is this just one person's opinion?
Tip 5: Are you taking rejection personally?
Tip 6: Are you willing to make adjustments?

Part 4
Tip 7: Have you thought about luck and timing?
Tip 8: Are you making weekly goals?
Tip 9: Are you in the waiting phase?

Part 5
Tip 10: Who in your life really wants you to succeed?





~

What kind of Greeting Cards do People Buy?

I  asked Meryl Hooker some questions about the retail scene and what artists should know about greeting card trends.

She has worked with many independent card designers as a greeting card sales rep, won several awards for her sales skills and has a special talent of pinpointing what people want. When I worked with her, she was often my top selling rep.

She is now the card and gift buyer at Pulp, a trendy store in Washington DC. (more bio below).



What do customers want these days?

One thing I see every day is that people still want, and actively seek out contemporary items that reflect who they are. We have a national drugstore chain one block away from the store and people could choose to get their cards there, but they come to Pulp instead. That says something to me about the quality of product and aesthetic our customer base is willing to pay for.

Going from a manufacturer's sales reps to a greeting card buyer at a store, my plot point has moved and I'm closer to the customer than I was. I am exposed to vast amounts of raw, uncensored data every day in terms of what customers want, think, and are willing to spend.




For the independent card designer, what do you think they should pay attention to? What should they stay away from?

My best advice for independent card designers is:

  • Build the strongest, most cohesive, sellable line you can. 
  • Create a strong collection of birthday, thank you, sympathy, wedding and baby cards. 
  • Blank cards still have legs provided the designs are strong. 
  • Learn how to run a business and understand it is, first and foremost, a business. 
  • Learn about the industry from both the creative and retail side. 
  • Ship on time. 
  • Be professional and easy to work with.
  • Stick with a traditional 5x7 size and stay away from square cards.


I recently interviewed six stores who sell handmade cards and they all said card sales have increased over the last 2 years What do you attribute this to?

People have an innate need to connect with other people. As sexy and convenient as social platforms are, ultimately, they lack human warmth. You can't send a text to the birthday boy at the party when you hand him the gift and even in our practically etiquetteless society, you still can't email your condolences.

At the end of the day, each of us wants to feel connected to other people and just the right card can express how we feel. No matter how tech savvy any of us is or becomes, we can't get away from that basic need.
The primary thing I've noticed is how much paper we still sell at Pulp. Cards have always been a key category and I'm really happy to say it continues to be true. I've seen so many independently owned stores move away from greeting cards as a major category in favor of gift items so I was pleasantly surprised to see that cards are still cranking at our registers.



As a buyer, what are the important things you look for, when selecting cards for the store?

I am primarily looking for a solid lines that will meet the needs of my customers in terms of purpose, price and design. Every card on my shelves must pass the "why would someone send this card?" test. The price has to be consistent with the type and quality of the card and, most importantly, the design has to fit in with the Pulp brand. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of card lines that I personally love but will not bring into the store because they aren't the right fit. Believe me, it's hard to turn so many brilliant companies away, but the business manager side of my job has the final say over the creative, artistic buying side.



MORE ABOUT MERYL

Meryl Hooker is an independent business development expert dedicated to helping locally owned businesses thrive in a big box world. She is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant and writer currently serving as the General Manager & Buyer at PULP in Washington, DC. In 2012, Meryl retired after nearly 15 years of serving as a Mid-Atlantic sales representative for greeting card and gift companies.

She was a partner at Center Aisle Group and co-authored a book for the greeting card industry  "Pushing the Envelope: the Small Greeting Card Manufacturer’s Guide to Working With Sales Reps" and"Showtime! The Greeting Card and Gift Company’s Guide to Trade Show Success".
 

A self-described sales nerd, Meryl takes great pride in the fact she’s seen the legendary rock band, KISS, 19 times – and counting—and openly credits KISS, Inc., as the model and inspiration for her business structure and success.



----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Greeting Card Business
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 




Get Your Greeting Cards Into Stores: How to Find and Work With Sales Reps (Updated 2017 paperback) If you like to make greeting cards, this book explains how to get your cards into stores and sell them nationwide.  Learn about changing trends in the indie card market and niche opportunities available for artists. Book includes detailed guidelines on pricing cards for a profit, getting professional feedback on your designs, finding sales representatives, pitching your card line to them, approaching stores, and the industry standards you should follow. Information is also applicable to gift items, such as magnets, journals and calendars.




Start and Run a Greeting Card Business From a British author, whose country has a long history of greeting card design, she takes you step-by-step through the process of starting and running your business with lots of useful practical advice to help you, including: - Deciding what type of cards to produce - Finding your market - Dealing with printers - Copyright and licensing - Pricing and profit. Kate's note: Some specs are different (card sizes) since it is UK standards.



Greeting Card Design This volume features a vast array of fun, elegant, simple and imaginative greeting cards designed by internationally-known artists, illustrators and calligraphers. With over 300 full-color photographs of creative, popular, and inspiring greeting card designs, this invaluable sourcebook showcases the very best of what is happening in the industry today. Accompanying text explores the history of the greeting card industry and examines the major contributions from the leading innovative companies.





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