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Guide to Printing Greeting Cards to Sell

photo of printed greeting cards of chicken

When it comes to printing greeting cards to sell, you can feel overwhelmed with the choices available. There are many options of sizes and shapes to choose from and of course cards of various quality available too.

We’ll try to simplify it for you and help you focus on what really is important. Primarily selling your greeting cards and reaching potential buyers with your art and photographs. We’ll start at the beginning, choosing a collection of images to turn into greeting cards. Then we’ll look at what is a good choice when it comes to size and how many cards do you print. Finally we’ll discuss choosing a paper and how to package your greeting cards.

Where do you begin?

Firstly it’s good to have a look through your art or photos that you have already created. Is there a common theme or style there? In other words do you have a collection of images that look cohesive. If you have more than one style of work, think of these are separate collections. If you want to build an audience who love your work, then they need to see a harmony in your chosen images. Firstly you’re trying to build your name with an identifiable style, so you don’t want to confuse fans of your work just as you’re starting out with printing greeting cards to sell.

Remember you want your greeting cards to appeal to the person purchasing the greeting card and then also to the person who will receive the greeting card. So your image has to convey an emotion, they can connect with.

Printed photo greeting cards

Photo Greeting Cards on Felt Textured card

Start Small

Don’t think of large print runs and your greeting cards in every shop, gallery in every town, to begin with. Start small and don’t forget it’s wise to test the market with small samples, rather than have an expensive mistake.

Six or eight designs to begin with is a great starting place. Next it’s good to look at your art or photos images and see if they have a common size. Are they all rectangular or square in shape? This will help in deciding what shape card to choose.

By starting small, you can assess the look and style of the cards. Also it’s an opportunity to decide on what information you want on the back of your cards. A simple title, with your name as the artist and contact information are the essentials. You may choose to put your instagram name or your website address as your contact information. Basically choose where you have the cards for sale. 

Choosing your greeting card size

There are a few standard sizes of greeting cards to choose from. At The Artists Print Room we print greeting cards offering the following sizes :

A6 148 x 105mm, 

DL 204 x 100mm 

SQUARE 145 x 145mm 

7 x 5” 178 x 128mm 

A5 204 x 142mm  

If you want to know more about our greeting cards please Get in touch we’re happy to help

You could choose a bespoke size, but the one thing you always have to remember is the envelope. Envelopes come in standard sizes. So you will either have to have envelopes specially made or choose an oversized envelope for your bespoke size cards. Also think about whether any of your images may need cropping to fit a uniformed size for all your images. Cropping can occur more when you choose square cards for all your rectangular images. 

Your images may also affect what size card you choose, because a small detailed image might be lost on an A6 size card. Realistically you want to keep a simple uniformed size for your greeting cards. The more different sizes you choose, means the more price points you’ll have to keep track of, when selling your greeting cards.


Choosing your cardstock for your greeting card

There are many different weights, colours and textures available on the market. Again it’s wise to keep it simple and make a uniformed cardstock choice. So choose cardstock that will work for all your images. Also make sure you choose cardstock that has a reasonable weight. If you choose light-weight cardstock it may crease easily and also not stand properly, when placed on a mantlepiece for example. The cardstock you choose has to work in harmony and not distract from your art or photo image. The standard is a smooth white card.

At the Artists Print Room we offer two greeting card cardstock:-

Smooth extra white card 300gsm  or

Felt textured white card 280gsm

Both cardstocks are a lovely quality and both suit art and photo images. If you have any questions about our greeting cards then please Get in touch


photo of landscape art greeting cards

Art Greeting Cards on Smooth Card

Fading Greeting Cards

If you are going to attend fairs with your greeting cards, be aware that over time your cards can fade due to exposure to the Sun. So bear in mind that the cheaper the quality of cards you sell, the likelyhood is they will not last long for you or your customer. At The Artists Print Room all our custom greeting cards are printed with archival pigment inks just like our giclée prints. This makes for very colourful cards with a longer lifespan than the average greeting card.

Selling individual or packs of Greeting Cards

When printing greeting cards to sell you might choose to sell them as individual cards. This can work well when you want a slightly higher selling price for your cards. Also you may have some photos or art that are a stand alone image or style, that might work better as individual cards. 

If you have a collection of art or photos of a similar theme or style, these might work better as a pack of cards. You could choose to have individual cards within the pack or to have two cards of the same image. So in effect you could create a pack of six cards of three image designs. It’s good to have a look to see what other artists or photographers are doing, but don’t lose sight of your own brand and style. Packs can usually work well with Christmas cards.

How to package your greeting cards

This will depend upon how and where you intend to sell your greeting cards. The presentation of your greeting cards is important, but also you need to make sure they are protected from any damage. If you are personally selling the greeting cards at a stall event or fair, then you can choose less packaging. This is because you will be there to oversee the handling of your cards. Also it might be wise to have samples at the front, so people can handle those cards. This is better than letting everyone pick up and bend all of your cards on display.

When posting out online orders, ensure they are packaged safely and that they are protected from any potential water damage. The last thing you want is a customer receiving a soggy card in the post.

Also when you are printing greeting cards to sell in galleries and shops, remember to protect the cards. They can look lovely as a pack with a ribbon bow, but this will cause a bend in the cards over time and many grubby hands may handle the cards. There is more chance of damage the longer the cards are on display. Remember damages will cost you, not the shop owner.

Usually cards are individually wrapped in cello bags, that are just slightly larger than the card and envelope. There are biodegradable cello bags available now, but bear in mind they are known to start breaking down as soon as they come into contact with any moisture. Also they have a shorter shelf life than standard cello bags. 

In Conclusion

So when it comes to packaging your greeting cards it’s wise to choose the best options to protect your cards from damage. Remember to keep it simple for every aspect of printing greeting cards to sell. The more uniformed choices you make the easier it is to keep track of what you have and your price points. This will give you more time to do the thing you love, creating art and photos for more greeting cards.

Don’t forget to check out our Blog “How printing greeting cards can be a powerful marketing tool for artists and photographers”



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