1. Do Your Homework
Shop cards at retail; check out what is currently in a particular greeting card company’s line and at which stores they sell. Review their website and look at what artists they currently work with. This will help give you an idea of their current style and placement in the marketplace.
2. Focus on the Front
Most cards have copy on the front specific to the reason for giving. Customers often make snap decisions on cards based only on what they see in the top half of the card – so this is a great place to indicate your reason for giving (i.e. Happy Birthday, Congratulations).
3. Focus on the Format
Most cards sold are vertical and 5×7. Present your card ideas in this format first. Other cards sizes can be shown – but it’s preferred to show designs in a format known to be a best-seller.
4. Include Sentiments
You don’t necessarily have to write your own copy, but It’s important to show relevant copy for each card. It may or may not be used, but it helps to show a complete vision for the card.
5. Create Your Own Focus Group
Print out your designs as a 5×7 card, go to a store, and insert your card into the pockets. How does it look? Will it stand out? Ask your friends if they would choose it from a wall of cards. (Be prepared for feedback, good and bad!)
6. Maximize the Revenue Potential of Your Designs
Most companies sign agreements exclusive by design – so while you cannot license the same design to another greeting card company, you CAN license the same design to a company that makes another products, like wall art or mugs. Always be thinking of ways to get more than one license out of an image to maximize your royalty potential.