5 Tips for Creating Your Greeting Card Line
Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year. With annual retail sales of greeting cards estimated between $7 and $8 billion. Want to get a piece of that change? Here are 5 tips for creating the most marketable line of greeting cards.
1. Avoid Illustrating People
When you put a person on your card, you may exclude certain markets. There are currently markets for ethnicity specific cards, but you will increase the marketability of your card by avoiding illustrating people altogether. Instead of people use animals, or give the people non-skin-tone colors like blue for sillier cards.
2. Be Original
The most popular Everyday card-sending occasion by far is Birthday, followed by Sympathy, Thank You, Wedding, Thinking of You, Get Well, New Baby and Congratulations. As an artist you want to be unique and different however as a greeting card artist you want to create a card for a subject that has been done a million times but with a modern flare. Designs are cycled out once the sales start to go down, and often need to be replaced by the same subject matter, just with a unique kick. Don’t stir away from Santa just because he has been done before, just make your image of Santa unique and eye catching.
3. Top Third Rule
Think about how you have seen cards displayed in racks. They are often overlapping and the bottom 1/3 of the card missing So often all that you have to grab the attention of a shopper is the very top portion of the card. So make that top 1/3 of the card count. Cover up the bottom of your card, if the message still comes across, your good to go! If not, revisit the design. To get a better sense of greeting card design, spend time looking at cards. Visit a variety of card shops and retailers in your area and really look at the cards and how they are displayed.
4. Target Audience
Cards can be easily broken up into three groups: masculine, feminine, and general. Feminine cards are typically easier to design. Masculine cards can be more difficult, and heavy looking. General cards are those that can be given to either male / female recipients. And considering that women purchase an estimated 80% of all greeting cards you may want to consider who is buying the card. So when designing cards, keep in mind who will be picking up the cards and appealing to how they feel about the person they are sending the card to. If you can’t picture any of your female friends picking up the card, you may have missed the mark.
5. Create a Full Line of Cards
Lines can be as small as a few dozen cards or as large as a hundred cards, but for a beginner, it’s best to start with two-dozen cards and then to develop a theme around them. Eventually, you want to aim for at least 50-100 designs before you start looking for sales reps. Stores and publishers will take you more seriously if they see you have attempted to develop a full concept. Make sure your greeting cards line include major holidays as well as everyday occasions like Birthdays and Get Well so your line will have a full range.