Find out about making and selling your own professional printed greeting cards or you can order your own designs from me.

Greeting cards with printed art on

Greeting cards or gift cards are a great way of getting your art and designs out into the world. People can frame them and send them to people they love, which makes your audience reach wider.

Emma Plunkett art gift cards

Photographing your art

You need to start off with a good photograph – use good lighting and a hi-resolution camera. I photograph my large art outdoors in natural light. This is a great video that clearly explains how to achieve the best image.

Design

On the front

Use a high-resolution image – 300dpi (do not try to artificially make it a higher resolution – you cannot add pixels). Put your design in CMYK colour code and adjust the colours individually in your photo editing software. I like to have the original artwork to hand, so I can match the colours as close as possible (a computer screen will always make your art look more vivid). Calibrate your computer screen to match the colours of your laser printer. Use InDesign (or hire a graphic designer for this part of the production process, who uses this software). Layout the design in your chosen size – make sure there is a 3 mm bleed for ease of cropping. Fill the card with your design, it looks better on the shelves when there is no border.

On the back

On the back of the card, layout the title of the design, your name or business name, logo, contact details, the copyright symbol and the date you made the design. I also put an SKU code in the top right corner, so I can keep track of orders.

Emma Plunkett art gift cards

Size

Source the envelopes and transparent sleeves in the correct dimension. Choose a standard size that is not too big because of postal prices. When people want to post the cards they need to be of a smaller size. I use C6 (114 x 162mm). This size is economical with paper wastage, as it gives you 4 folded cards on an A3 sheet.

Emma Plunkett art gift cards

Print

Always do a test print – check that the size is accurate, notice any stretching, colours and any lines, dots or pixelation. Choose a card, which is glossy outside and matt inside, so it’s easy for the customer to write on. Fold the card and place in the transparent sleeve with the envelope – make sure it’s a nice snug fit. Always give your printer plenty of time to make your order. This a wonderful podcast with a professional printer who speaks about the specifics – types of paper and all the other variables that can be considered when working with a professional printer.

Quantities

I print a broad selection of my card designs to start with and see which ones sell. I find that different venues sell different designs. When you’re sure about your successful designs you can think about investing in a higher quantity print run, which will reduce your long term costs. With an offset print run you get 500 sheets of A3 printed in one go.

Emma Plunkett art gift cards

Selling to gift shops

Find local gift shops that sell products that are sympathetic in style to what you make, this avoids extra transport costs. Ask the owner when a good time would be to bring in some samples. Speak about display, if they have a card rack or if you need to provide one. Finding a selling price that is good for the customer and then I split the selling price 3 ways, one part goes to the shop owner, one part to me and one part covers production costs. Enjoy building up a relationship with the shop owner.

Hire me to create gift cards with your design!

Contact me if you would like me to produce a set of cards for you.

Quote

The price for designing the cards, (laying them out front and back) is £30/hour. Then on top of that price is the production cost, which is 1.50€ per greeting card. You receive the card ready to sell, in a transparent sleeve with a white envelope. This the price for a small print run, which means you can have as many different designs and quantities as you like. I sell my cards in the shops at £3 each and £2.50 direct. The price goes down if you get an offset print run, which is a minimum of 500 A3 sheets of one design. I can get a price for this if you want? All prices are plus postage from Spain.