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Designing for Greeting Cards

Designing for the Greeting Card Industry

The UK population spends £1.4 billion a year on greeting cards - more than it spends on tea and coffee - yet finding a route into this fiercely competitive industry is not always easy.

There are two main options, either to become a greeting card publisher yourself or to supply existing greeting card publishers with your artwork and be paid a fee for doing so.

The idea of setting up your own greeting card publishing company may sound exciting, but this decision should not be taken lightly. Going down this route will involve taking on all the set up and running costs of a publishing company as well as the production, selling and administrative responsibilities. This often leaves little time for you to do what you do best - creating the artwork.

The more common route, therefore, is to supply existing greeting card publishers with artwork. (You can always set up your own company later when you know the ropes).

There are estimated to be around 800 greeting card publishers in the UK, ranging in size from 'one man bands' to multi-national corporations. Not all publishers accept freelance artwork, but a great many do. Remember, whatever the size of the company, all publishers rely on good designs.

Some Greeting Card Language:

  • Own Brand/Bespoke Publisher - These publishers design specific to a retailer's needs.
  • Spring Seasons - This is the industry term to describe greeting cards for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter and Father's Day. Publishers generally launch their Spring Seasons ranges all together in June/July.

Useful numbers

  • Artists and Writers Yearbook - 020 7242 0946
  • Artists and Illustrators Magazine - 020 7700 8500
  • Association of Photographers - 020 7739 6669
  • Chartered Society of Designers - 020 7831 9777
  • Association of Illustrators - 020 7613 4328 and