Photoshop and Illustrator Shortcuts

Here's a handy keyboard shortcut guide for photoshop by forgetfoo.com:

And here's one for Adobe illustrator that Patsy Coogan (see an example of her Halloween Dog on this blog!) She alerted me of on izazeyza blog.


Handmade and Upscale Cards may be Profitable Niche in the Card Business

 Interesting article I ran across.  Read the entire piece here.  When I had a handmade greeting card business for 15 years, I also sold Kate's Paperie in New York.

Even As American Greetings Struggles, Small Card Companies Find A New Way To Thrive

Paper Greeting Cards

Think no one but your grandmother sends cards anymore? Turns out greeting cards are still popular -- but maybe not in the way you think.

Angelica Berrie, the owner of Kate's Paperie, an upscale card and paper store in New York City, says her greeting card sales -- which make up 30 percent of her revenue -- have increased every year for the past five years as shoppers are buying more luxurious cards.

The cards at her store cost between $6 and $8 per card. In contrast, a mass-produced card you can pick up at a local drugstore costs anywhere from $1 to $5 per card.

"With my handmade cards, [they] are becoming the gift itself," Berrie said. "The old-fashioned way of mailing can only be done as a luxury."

American Greetings -- the largest publicly traded maker of greeting cards in the country -- announced this week that it was pulling out of the stock market to return to life as a private company. The Cleveland-based card company closed many of its retail store locations over the last few years and is worth almost 65 percent less today than it was at its peak in 1998, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The latest news prompted some to declare that the old-fashioned mass-market greeting card industry was dead. But that's only part of the story. Over the past decade, small, high-end boutique card-makers, custom-design printers and online card companies have grown in the shadow of the giant paper card industry, including the massive -- but struggling -- Hallmark Card company.

Even as American Greetings recedes from public view, different companies are having a coming-out party as the new face of an old industry.

Digital card producers and social media companies like Facebook have been angling to get bigger slices of the greeting card pie in recent years. Facebook recently revamped its birthday alert tool and gifts program -- even analyzing words in status updates to prompt gift-giving -- to help the social media company make money.

Duncan Mitchell, founder of digital card website someecards.com, said his website has seen more than 3.2 million registered visitors since 2008 and has been profitable for the last three years as a private company. To make money, his cards are often part of content partnerships with established brands looking to advertise.

Traditional drugstore cards "are saccharine and overly sincere, and that's not the tone that people are that excited about now," Mitchell said. Instead of the slapstick humor that characterizes many of the cards sold in the supermarket aisle, his cards -- which can be sent for free -- strike an edgier tone, with birthday greetings like “May you live twice as long as Michael Jackson and be half as creepy.”

Meanwhile, the popularity of high-end cards, like the ones sold at Kate's Paperie, has not been lost on American Greetings either; it purchased the Papyrus chain, which sells pricey cards, in 2009. Papyrus, which had $1.6 billion in revenue last year according to the company website, also owns greeting card producers Carlton Cards, Gibson, and Recycled Paper Greetings.

continued...Read the entire piece here.


Are Greeting Card Apps the Future?

Check out this article on Techcrunch  I've been seeing a lot of companies buying and selling greeting card app software rights in the news lately.  In fact I even license cards to an app maker.  

What do you think the future is?

Mobile Greeting Cards App Red Stamp Acquired By The Occasions Group

Minneapolis-based Red Stamp, a social commerce company best known for its mobile greeting cards app which competes with the likes of Apple’s Cards app, Sincerely, and Shutterfly’s Treat, among others, has been acquired by Taylor Corporation affiliate The Occasions Group.  The Occasions Group President Mike Provenzano explains in a release that Red Stamp “brings a top-notch mobile experience that will blend well with our long-standing experience and offerings in the printed social stationery and communications arena.”


The company also referred to Red Stamp as a “top 1% Lifestyle App,” but even though it pushed up to spot #1 in June, and has sometimes been featured in the top 20, the app has usually been ranking in the top 100′s or 200′s in recent months. (Yesterday it was #229 in the U.S., e.g., per App Annie). The app offers over 1,000 greeting cards, invites, announcements, and more which you can edit and send from your phone, making it one of the most comprehensive mobile cards apps on the market. Cards are mailed for you for $0.49-$1.99, which also makes it something of a no-brainer for those of us whose penmanship has long since suffered from lack of regular handwriting in our day-to-day lives.

Red Stamp recently scored a deal with Starbucks, which let users pick from a specialized collection of cards in order to thank their Starbucks barista for doing a good job. Those cards would then be mailed the local Starbucks store.

Read the entire article here.