More Card Resources

Card Artist who designs for Caspari and Marian Heath Greeting Cards Featured in News Story.

Greeting Card Award Winner talks about business. Article in San Jose Mercury News.

Greeting Card Designer Resources and Trade Magazines.


List of Top Companies who Purchase Art

License! report includes lists 125 companies that do art licensing. There is contact information, primary business, licenses held and competitive point of difference for each company. The list is presented alphabetically by category and is not a ranking by sales or perception, but a resource guide of the top licensees across major merchandise categories.

Here is a sample of a listing:
STATIONERY American Greetings Jaye Lewis, trade media relations
1 American Road, Cleveland, OH 44144 Tel.: 216 252-7300
SAMPLING OF LICENSES: Classic Holly Hobbie, Holly and Friends, Twisted Whiskers, Pretty Freekin' Scary, Maryoku Yummy, Mad Balls, Poppies and Tinpo. PRIMARY BUSINESS: Corporate AG (creation, manufacture and distribution of social expression products); AGP Brands (consumer products and entertainment).

POINT OF DIFFERENTIATION: American Greetings celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, and is one of the world's largest manufacturers of social expression products. Along with greeting cards, its product lines include gift wrap, party goods, stationery, calendars, ornaments and electronic greetings. American Greetings Properties has established a large portfolio of in-house-created licensed characters and brands. American Greetings services approximately 70,000 retail stores in the United States and 125,000 worldwide. Its Carlton Retail division is the largest owned and operated chain of card and gift shops in North America, with approximately 500 stores in the United States and Canada. American Greetings generates annual net sales of more than $2 billion. Distribution: Global.


Using a Font Generator

Using a font-generator can be fun and inexpensive. The best companies allow copyright protection, are kept private, and are not given away on their website. Having my own designer font saves me hours, days, weeks of time.

There are many font generator services on the web, but after trying many, the one that impressed me the most is called YourFonts. It has a simple, clean professional website (no blinking distractions with scary hot pink backgrounds) and very clear instructions, and there were no upload interruptions of my large file. YourFonts requests high quality 300 dpi on the scanner, whereas other companies suggested using lower quality 100 dpi or less. The fonts are vector based and scale clean at multiple sizes. Also, most free font generators keep your font because they want to give it away on their website to visitors. And if you think instead of making your own font, you could just use one of their free fonts that someone else made: Beware. Many have commercial manufacturing restrictions.

It's not like my writing style is particularly impressive, but the reason why this has a major impact on my work, is that I have one line of 180 cards that must have consistently styled text. This is hard to do from one day to the next, or one month to the next. All kinds of things can have an impact on writing consistency: material freshness, hand pressure, whether you've had caffeine, what kind of sound is in your environment that could startle you and make your arm jump, or whether there is a possibility you might be interrupted by someone. In order to write calligraphy, I've found it important to be really, really relaxed and focused. To me, writing consistently is the most time consuming and hardest parts of card design...and there is no option of a spell check.

I often have to tweak, edit, or write last minute revisions of inside-text before cards go to press. I can't use a newly inked marker on that day, or a lighter grip of my hand. For some designers, the font isn't critical, but since one of my lines is based solely on quotations, the writing style must look unique and consistent, and not look like something you'd find in a standard software package.

Here are some additional samples of fonts I've created:


Tomorrow Last Day to Enter Card Book Raffle

Tomorrow is that last day to Enter Raffle for Free Card Book.
The Book, By the Batch by Judi Kauffman, is about how to produce handmade cards in quantities. See Review here. How to Enter: Submit your favorite Card Design Tip--as many as you want. All tips will be posted on blog. (All email addresses and last names will be kept private)

San Francisco Gift Show offers New Media Classes

On August 8th, SFIGF is offering free classes on social-networking. Topics: Are You Blogging, Facebooking, Twittering and Flikring Your Way to NewCustomers. August 9 Topics are Social Networking 201: Yapping on Yelp, Blabbing on Blogs, Finding Fanson Facebook for Your Business ...Now What? --- and on Monday, August 10, there will be practical hands-one advice for Website Development 101. Info for Show Registration.


Things to avoid in Card Design Tip 3

Horizontal cards
Horizontal cards are a problem for retail stores. Although they might be more attractive and easier to design, they use up too much shelf space. Every square inch of retail space is worth money and horizontal cards take up more space than vertical ones. This doesn't mean that you can't design this type of card, but avoid designing your entire line with horizontal cards, so the store has a choice.

REMINDER: 3 Days left to Enter Raffle for Free Card Book
The Book, By the Batch by Judi Kauffman, is about how to produce handmade cards in quantities. See Review here. How to Enter: Submit your favorite Card Design Tip--as many as you want. All tips will be posted on blog. (All email addresses and last names will be kept private)