Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Something Big! Art Review #1

I'm so pleased to share this submission for Something Big! 

This artist describes herself as a writer and a doodler.  I find the work delightful and the style a good fit for the licensing industry.  

Commenting today is Pam Cross, Art Director for the Greeting Card division at Legacy Publishing.  Legacy Publishing is well known for their quality products and beautiful print production in their wide range of paper and gift items. 

This is fun and refreshing art and I love the style and most especially the writing!  The thoughts are uplifting and empowering and celebrate friendship and “girl power”.  Having a unique point of view (which these cards have) makes them appealing and fresh.  Here are a few thoughts when it comes to greeting cards. 

When possible, I try to have cards in a portrait/vertical orientation, rather than landscape/horizontal orientation.  It’s easier to see in the racks, and we find that vertical cards can sell better than horizontal cards (but not always!). 

These images all have great messages and I love that!  The only negative is that when you think of the caption of the card, these would all be in the encouragement or friendship caption, which isn’t necessarily the bestselling caption.  You would definitely want some of your set of cards to be Birthday and Sympathy, which are the two bestselling captions in greeting cards.  (Even people who don’t buy a lot of cards will buy birthday and sympathy cards, so that makes sense).

Since you’re a gifted writer, providing a verse for the inside of the card is an extra bonus many card companies would like.  Not only does it save them time, but the card verse inside mirrors your own writing style.  Since you’re talented in this area, I think that would be great!

Maybe you would consider having some of the cards have a background color other than white.  An image that catches your eye in a rack can sell better.  The bright colors you have on white will accomplish this, but if you had a whole section of your own cards, you might want to break up the white background a little with some pops of color overall.  Even a pale wash of pink or pale blue or pale yellow might add a little something for some of the images.  Also, remember that different companies use different paper stock. Some card paper stock will be a nice bright white, but some are also a little “gray”. Because recycled paper is increasingly popular with consumers, many card companies are going with recycled paper that tends to be more gray in the spectrum of “whites”.

Try to keep some interesting element in the top third of your card, since this is what will be peeking out of the rack. 

Make sure your digital file is high resolution, 300 dpi, CMYK, (when printing, colors are separated into cyan, magenta, yellow and black, not RGB – red green blue) and is a good color match to your original artwork.  If you pay to have someone scan your art to create your digital files, always get a high quality proof with the scan (such as an Epson proof), so you know if they matched the colors on your painting.  It’s so disappointing to an artist when they have chosen just the right colors, but the digital representation of their work doesn’t match their color choices.

That’s all I can think of for now, but best of luck!  You’ve got a lot of promise and I just love your positive and uplifting artwork!
Pam Cross
Legacy Publishing

Thank you Pam!

I find the writing very strong and perfectly suited to the licensing industry. I might suggest that this artist spend a bit of time developing the visual side of her work.  It's good as is, but I think she can push it a bit and really make a stronger statement.  With that little bit of effort, the line could become very marketable for a wide range of products and have staying power beyond just a season or two.  Developing a following in the market is a real possibility and I'd definitely suggest putting in the effort to make that happen.

Thank you for joining us for this Art Review.  Be sure and leave a note below with your thoughts, we'd love to hear from you!  


It's not too late to join in on Something Big!
Click HERE for the submission guidelines.


  1. This is so very helpful, with wonderful insight, particularly for greeting cards, thank you!!

  2. What a great critique - constructive, specific, and encouraging!

  3. I agree! Such a full and wonderful uplifting critic with items that are actionable. So positive!

  4. A great and insightful review for a charming card line. I especially appreciated the suggestions on adding color and doing some vertical formats. ~MG