Greeting Card Illustration &  Gift Illustration ( like wrapping paper designs and gift bags) is something i would like to try my hand at, I’m particularly interested in designs that have been done for companies like Paperchase and the greetings cards in Marks & Spencer. Because these have a certain artistic value to them that casts a shadow over father christmas wrapping paper and bauble tags. I see alot of competitions with Hallmark, one of the largest greetings card companies in the world, i entered one last christmas with a simple polar bear design and i would like to enter again this year with something more imaginative and forward thinking.


Hallmark do competitions all the time, and offer internships and placements in creative areas and this is something i could look into if i find i really enjoy working in the style for greetings cards and gifts. I’ve seen some articles about how to get into designing for greetings cards etc:



I found on one of these a list of do’s and dont’s for greetings card illustration and they are very informative, on an area i actually had very little knowledge on:

Dos and Dont’s

The do’s and don’ts of greeting card design


  • Do your homework. A little time spent researching the market will save you a lot of time, money and frustration in the long run.
  • Do ring up the company prior to sending copies of your designs to check whether they accept freelance work and to find out to whom they should be addressed.
  • Do remember that few greeting card display racks show each card in its entirety. Remember to ensure that some of the design ‘action’ appears in the top half.
  • Do remember that most wholesale designs will need to include a caption – or space for one
  • Do present your work well.
  • Do send 10 to 15 examples of your work, preferably as jpeg or pdf files at a decent resolution.
  • Do provide links to your website and blog.
  • Do put your name and address on the back of every hard copy design.
  • Do enclose an SAE if you wish your work to be returned. Please make sure this is large enough and has enough postage on it to take your samples.
  • Do agree how you will be paid.


  • Don’t ever send original hard copies.
  • Don’t waste your time sending a long letter of introduction. It invariably will not be read.
  • Don’t send very large files as email attachments.
  • Don’t sell two publishers similar designs. A bad reputation will follow you around.
  • Don’t badger the publisher immediately after submitting work
  • Don’t take rejection personally.

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.

The article included a list of useful phone numbers :

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 www.theaoi.com


I also found an article with 10 greetings card from 10 top illustrators, i could use these for when i design my entry for the Hallmark Competition for inspiration and so i can see what works 🙂



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