Creator basics part 3 – The do’s and don’ts of card designing.

If you read last weeks blog post (Which I highly advise) you’ll have seen our advice on how to optimise slots and what helps a design be accepted into the main catalogue. But what happens when you don’t make the catalogue and you don’t know why?

As you can imagine with thousands of cards uploaded every week, unfortunately it’s not possible to give individual feedback on every design not accepted. Keep in mind as well that there is around a 20% acceptance rate for the main catalogue. There can be many reasons why they’re not accepted, so I thought I would make a blog on things to watch out for and things to consider when designing cards.

Firstly, think about language. Consider the words you use and whether the caption is easily understood by customers. If a caption needs explaining it most likely won’t work.

There are also certain words and caption ideas that we don’t accept. They are as following:

  • Captions that use the words ‘Covid/Corona/Virus’.
  • Cards that have the word ‘C*nt’ on.
  • Cards that have a political bias; thanking a particular politician or political party.
  • Cards that can be seen as derogatory towards women or a certain group of people.
  • Cards that are racially prejudice.

Other reasons we didn’t accept a design could be due to:

  • The fact it has a border on or a caption that extends too close to the edge. You can download the design template to help with this.
  • Having too many similar themes in the catalogue already.
  • The design itself is too similar to an existing design.
  • It is not clear and easy to read.
  • The design is a photo with a filter over.
  • The text is too small/doesn’t make sense/has a spelling or grammatical error.
  • The card doesn’t have a caption.
  • The theme is too niche.

Don’t fear however, there are many things we do look for and lots of things that make a great card so let’s explore some of those! Firstly, we know humour and positivity is common amongst our best sellers. Our customers like short, snappy jokes, puns and memes. The positivity is also reflected from a design point of view with happy, bright coloured cards typically doing well.

Illustrative cards and typography are also great – our customers love beautiful and stand out designs. There are certain things to look out for when designing, however. Make sure the design is easy and clear to understand. Bold text that is easy to see in the thumbnail helps. Contrasting colours with text standing out against the background makes it easier for customers to notice your design too!

If you’ve had a card that’s sold well, consider doing multiple versions for different recipients or updating it seasonally. For example, if it features people, can you do multiple skin tones? If it’s a ‘to the dog’ card can you make a cat version?

Ultimately, the majority of our customers visit thortful with an occasion and recipient in mind, so it is really important that you consider the customer when creating your design. When designing, try to put yourself in the position of someone looking to buy a card: who are you buying it for and what’s the occasion? Is the colouring and style right for this person?

Hopefully our tips and criteria here helps you when trying to figure out what’s gone wrong and what you could change. If you need anymore info please check out our creator guide or pop us a DM on instagram!