FAQ | How to show foil and emboss on greeting card mockups

By heather at 9:57 pm on Thursday, July 8, 2010

Further to the question of how to show glitter on greeting card mockups, here is a real example of one of my greeting cards that has a pearly foil pattern in the background, on the text, and embossed flowers. When I created this card, I had four printouts from the layers in my Adobe Illustrator file…

1) The Print Only Layer shows what will be printed in ink on the card. (Click to see full-sized images)
greeting card mockup example

2) The Foil Layer shows where glitter or foil stamping will be used. Note that when you go to send the design to a printer, if there is more than one colour of foil used, you will need to make separate layers in your files for each colour.
greeting card mockup example

3) The Emboss / Cup die Layer shows the outlines of what shape needs to be created with the emboss.

greeting card mockup example

4) The Mockup shows where the foil and emboss layers are meant to line up with the printed image below.

greeting card mockup example

If you are sending a card design to a greeting card publisher and wish to show foil, glitter, or embossing, the simplest way to do it is to show it in black printouts separately from the design itself. You can find more of my greeting card tips here.

Filed under: illustrations, greeting cards, tutorials, FAQS2 Comments »

FAQS | A Few Questions About Greeting Cards

By heather at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I just sent this email off to a fellow greeting card artist who had a few questions… thought I’d share!

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Q: Is it acceptable to just work digitally or does the original have to be done in traditional paints (or what have you) and then scanned?

A: You can illustrate with whatever medium you want, digital or traditional, whatever is your style! (See FAQ: What Medium Should I Use?)
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Q: I read your bit about resolution size for cards. 8.5 x 11′ with an inch at least of bleed over… but what about for other illustrations? Will this be specified by the client? Also scans should be done at 300dpi correct?

A: Yes, sizes will often be specified by the client. The letterhead size recommendation illustrations is only for ease of scanning, don’t feel limited by it if you’d prefer to work to different sizes. And 300dpi is high resolution, perfect for scanning illustrations. Often I scan at 300dpi and 125% just so that I have a little flexibility with the final size. (See also FAQ : What Size Should I Illustrate Greeting Cards?)
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Q: I’m wondering how lucrative or not the greeting card industry is? It must also be very competitive like the rest of the business. Is it very difficult to land a gig and is that done using an agent as well?

A: Greeting card work is seasonal, so there are certainly dry periods. The industry is a bit slow at the moment. Landing gigs isn’t difficult when it’s in a busy season, simply getting your work in front of the art director’s eyes by sending samples is the best way to make contacts… no need for an agent to do this for you.

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Q: Guess it’s not necessary to watermark?

A: It’s always a safe idea to watermark any illustrations that you send via email or post online as it helps to protect from theft.

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Filed under: business of illustration, greeting cards, FAQS1 Comment »

Bonanza of greeting card tips at Whimsy

By heather at 4:44 pm on Friday, October 31, 2008

Debbie Ohi wrote a kind post about a few of my greeting card tips… her young site is dedicated to everything to do with greeting cards, and already has some great tips, worth keeping an eye on!

Filed under: business of illustration, greeting cards Leave A Comment »

Hazy Jean | New Birthday Card Releases

By heather at 1:09 am on Friday, July 4, 2008

hazy jean birthday card beer cheers toast illustration

I had the pleasure of illustrating this birthday card for Hazy Jean a few weeks back, and it’s now available in shops & through Hazy’s online catalogue. Illustration was done in acrylic on illustration board. (And Hazy did an awesome job on the type, I could just eat it!)

Filed under: illustrations, greeting cards1 Comment »

Hazy Jean | Happy Valentine’s Day!

By heather at 1:07 am on Thursday, February 14, 2008

valentine's greeting card fairytale castle whimsical

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I illustrated this card last July for Hazy Jean’s 2008 Valentine’s line. I always like illustrating whimsical fairy tale castles… could have something to do with my last name, who knows. I used mainly watercolour with a smidge of coloured pencil, then added the linework in Illustrator afterwards to tie in with the font Hazy had chosen.

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Thanks for visiting my blog!

By heather at 1:00 am on Monday, December 31, 2007

cute gray kitten kitty card flower ladybug

Another blogging year is coming to an end and I just wanted to say a big thanks for continuing to visit my blog! I really enjoy what I do, and loved the interaction I’ve had with many of you since starting the blog… all your comments, questions and suggestions have been much appreciated! Have a great New Year and keep in touch!

(Kitten greeting card illustration by Heather Castles Hazy Jean)

Filed under: illustrations, greeting cards2 Comments »

Portfolio | Santa Christmas card

By heather at 1:09 am on Friday, December 1, 2006

Illustration by Heather Castles (MacKay) Unknown

Santa Christmas greeting card illustration & design
End Client: Image Craft Inc.
End Product : Greeting Card
Media Used To Create: Colored Pencil, Pastel, Pencil, Watercolor
Copyright Owner: Unknown

Description of the process :
Originally I illustrated this graphic for a Christmas Card Fundraiser I coordinated for my college Grad Show in 2002. Happily it was the most popular design, raising 30% of the profits out of 22 other designs! Since then I sold Santa to my amiable first employer out of college, Image Craft where it continues to be sold at Christmas at shops across North America.

Note : Image Craft, Inc. (Ontario, Canada) closed June 2006 with the bankruptsy of its parent company, Paramount Greetings (USA). The rights to the artwork I created for Image Craft has been transfered to their new owners… Hallmark. So if you happen to see this design on a new Hallmark Card…give me a buzz :) Thank goodness I’ve kept all the original artwork!

Filed under: illustrations, greeting cards2 Comments »