How to Make a Series of Cards from one Image

I had a fun greeting card Video Meeting yesterday with a blog reader Susan Gutnik and one of the many things we discussed was one of her new card concepts.  I thought it might be interesting to readers to see how an artist can make a variety of cards from one image.

In the example below, I started with Susan's card image of a red pepper, and then used photoshop to experiment with different styles.  These simple mockups only took me about 15 minutes and they are a good example of how an artist might explore different ways to work with imagery.

The learn more about Susan's work, go to her website www.GR8-PL8S-4U.com  She also has some fun license plate cards with creative messages on them.



Are Trade Shows Dying?

It's no secret that over the last decade gift shows are declining, both in exhibitors and attendees. It's not just in the gift industry, but in almost every product industry.  So what is the future of trade shows? 

I believe if trade shows are expected to survive, they must incorporate more technology in functional ways, such as:

  • Open the show to end consumers for crowdsourcing. Allow people to vote and rate products in real time (like Threadless did to develop an estimated 30 million dollars T-shirt company) which will generate outside buzz. It also allows wholesalers to get feedback directly from the public before manufacturing a product. Instead, they can gauge popularity, which will also help buyers and reps predict what will sell.
  • Divide vendor booths into "themed" sections of the show, and create a circular seated "lounge" area in each section. Have snacks, seating and a kiosk of product powerpoint presentations in the background. This allows for relaxed social interactions among buyers and sellers.
  • Plan daily free "events" and demonstrations in the booths, instead of having a static display. Have the show organizer coordinate all the events on eventbrite. Then attendees can register for the events ahead of time. Popular events can add more sections as needed. 
  • Use Ustream to broadcast the event as if it were a TV show.
  • Do podcast interviews on the floor with key attendees, and post them on itunes.This way, anyone subscribed to the RSS feed will get it both now and in the future.
  • Invite people to the show who cannot physically be there. Include them by:
-Using Google hangouts for small group meetings.
-Using Google helpouts for one-on-one consultations.
-Using Ohours to auto-schedule a series of virtual meetings.
-Offering live educational webinars for remote attendees.
-Allowing them to register for events which are streamed live.
  • Create Youtube videos of product demonstrations in the booths. Post all videos in one location on a youtube channel.
  • Use your badge QR code to download preformated digital-friendly catalogs that can be delivered to your tablet on the spot.
  • Don't force buyers to take home paper that might end up in the hotel trash can. Instead offer to send documents to a person's kindle app where they can read it in leisure time or on the airplane. Optimize digital product images for mobile devices so buyers can download them, take them home and mull over products without having to go from website to website.

I think the future of trade shows might be like the annual tradeshow in Boston called "Inbound." It has grown from 1,000 to 10,000 attendees in 3 years.  They avoid using rows of booths.  Instead, they have lounge gathering areas.

What are thoughts on tradeshows?  Leave your comment below or on my Facebook page.


Best Greeting Card Supplies under $12

I did a search on Amazon for the best deals in greeting card supplies. Here's what I found (as of this posting). All have free shipping option with Amazon membership.


100 card cello bags for $10.95 for 5x7 cards
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.


50 cards and envelopes heavy weight 5x7  75-lb card stock $11.49
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.


Script and Cursive Alphabets:100 Complete Fonts $3.99
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.

100 Envelopes $11.95 for 5x7 Cards, Square flap.
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.


100 Sheets Japanese Rice paper  9x13 $6.75
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.


Yuzen Chiyogami Japanese Paper - $9.99 for set of 40 sheets
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.


1000 Greetings: Creative Correspondence for All Occasions,
Book $8.00
Free Shipping with Amazon Membership.


Most Artistic Christmas Cards

Here are the winners of the most artistic Christmas card contest!

From over 300 entries, these twenty cards were selected for their artistic qualities and marketability, and the final winner was determined by Kathy Krassner.  See her comments and suggestions below.

Kathy Krassner is the Director of Communications for the Greeting Card Association, Editor-at-Large of Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine, Editorial Consultant for the National Stationery Show, Senior Editor of NobleWorks Inc., and columnist for the U.K.-based Gifts and Greetings Review.  She is also the owner of Krassner Communications.


Kathy's comments:

Based on this year's contest theme, "most artistic," with the additional consideration of salability, the winning card design is Grassroots Cards. The black-and-white image featuring the bright pop of holly-red color is right on trend, and this beautiful image captured so brilliantly, with wonderful crispness and dimension, shows that nature itself is perhaps the greatest artist.

~ Additional Editor Picks  ~


Kathy's comments:
I was also impressed by the manger scene so skillfully painted by Rosemarie Adcock. The amount of detail that went into this work, along with the gentle expressions she achieved on each of the animals, would no doubt make this card design very salable.

Kathy's comments:

I enjoyed Janet Nelson's colorful, graphic reindeer paired with a hand-drawn font and snowflakes, giving this card design a personal, handmade feel.

Kathy's comment:

I liked the bold use of color and shapes on the snowy Christmas tree design from Greetings from Linda.


Kathy's comment:

I liked the contrast of colors and textures on the angel design from Janelle Nichol.


Kathy's comment:

The playful ice-skating scene painted by K. Mertikas would also make a lovely holiday card.


Kathy's comments:

Ernestine Grindal's juxtoposition of an ethereal angel with Scrabble tiles spelling the word "PEACE" is very artistic and definitely caught my eye; however, I think the use of the Scrabble tiles may limit its salability to an older audience more familiar with the board game, while a younger audience might better recognize the tile style used in the "Words With Friends" app. Rather, I would have preferred to see "Peace" rendered in paper cutouts that better complement the rest of the card.


Kathy's comments on additional cards: All of the other entries were also very well done and would certainly make great cards, although some had a look reminiscent of holiday designs I've previously seen.

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