Day in the Life of a Greeting Card Designer

I hear from a lot of artists and designers who love the idea of being a greeting card designer, but aren’t sure if they want to do a deep dive into filling their portfolio with greeting card designs.  Is it even worth it?  Will it suit your creative style?  I share all about my experience and day-to-day creative practice in this video.

Keep scrolling past the video if you’re more of a reader than a video watcher!

Watch the Video

Somethings you might be wondering:

Q: Where are your cards printed?

A: I use Printful to print my own cards because I like the thick weight, glossy exterior, and high print quality of their cards!  My cards are also printed by art licensors who use their own printers.

Q: Where do you sell your cards?

A: I sell my cards through my Etsy shop and art licensing partners who distribute my cards around the world.

Why Greeting Cards?

I have fallen in love with creating artwork for greeting cards for print-on-demand, art licensors, and my Etsy shop!  Cards let me combine my love of hand lettering and illustration all in one quick and fun composition.  I also love that cards reach a huge market of people (literally almost everyone buys cards!).

Thumbnails and Sketches

I create rough thumbnail sketches on the first day of planning a greeting card collection because I love to have a bunch of canvases with sketches that are ready to roll!

The sketches are loose thumbnails sketches that just tell me the words and images I need to sketch.  Then I move to the refined sketch phase to finish up the “bones” of my composition before inking.

Inking and Color

Once my refined sketch is finished I ink everything in black, then I start applying color to each element and switch up the colors until I’m happy with the final product.  I like to ink in black because it helps reduce stray marks on the canvas as you ink!

Details, Details, Details!

This is my favorite part!  I spend a lot of time tweaking design elements, colors, and tiny details until the composition feels natural.  I take a lot of breaks and step away from the cards during this part because your rested brain is so much better at finding errors than your tired, grumpy brain is!

Photographing and Marketing

The last step after finalizing color and details is to order the cards to be printed so I can photograph them and list them in my Etsy shop or send them to art licensing partners.  This is the saddest part because you have to eventually put your innocent little babies out there in the world and hope you get a good response.  Not all cards are successful of course, but some of the ones I thought would fail often end up being the most popular.  So don’t count out your “crazy” ideas until you’ve given them a chance!

Keep Learning

I teach my whole process for designing greeting cards in my “Design a Greeting Card Collection Class”.  Check it out to create some cards along with me!

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