Extra badges to help promote your thortful cards!

By now you’ve probably seen (if not used!) our handy sharing images, created especially so that you can pop your own card designs in and post on social media to promote them. But just in case you want to snap some images of your own to promote your cards, we’ve now created some little badges for you to add to posts, giving your followers the info they need to buy your cards.

Simply download, then use the design/editing programme of your choice to add them to your images. Happy sharing!

Right-click or Cntrl + click to save.

 

A simple badge to pop across your photo:

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A more compact badge for narrower spaces:

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A corner badge to pop over the bottom right of your image, with a white banner:

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Zoe Brennan: How to Design a Bestseller

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At Zoe Brennan we know the benefit of having a best-selling design. Here’s how you can too.

Let’s start with an analogy. Picture a football team. You have your defenders, midfielders…okay, we’ve exhausted my football knowledge but you get the point: there’s loads of different players. Now let’s focus on who’s up front- the striker. Without them there’s no goals, no glory. They’re the one that gets lifted in the air, their name chanted as the final minutes tick down. They turn a team that can hold their own into a winning team.

Enough with the football analogy: what I’m saying is it’s okay to have a decent line up of designs that can go the distance but everyone really needs a few big hitters that will catapult them to the next level.

Every design can’t be an out right winner. (I wish they could be. Believe me) There will always be those who out perform the others, it’s just the law of averages. So, how do you go about creating a bestseller?

 

Think Seasonally– big card buying occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc. are going to be your rocket fuel. Our Financial Burden card out sold our other designs by over 6000%. (Yeah, I know, mental.)

 

Be On Trend– there’s always a focus for comedy. Sometimes it’s meme-led, other times it’s purely topical (be that political, celebrity focused or lifestyle-led for example). Try following a few humorous pages on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll soon spot what the big thing is right now. How can you put your own spin on it?

The same idea goes for what’s in aesthetically- follow blogs, grab some books, and get researching what’s coming into fashion.

 

Be Relatable– when designing for specific occasions think about what really gets you, what grinds your gears or floats your boat. You’ll soon find others feel exactly the same way and when a design speaks to someone directly they’ll snap it up in a heartbeat. Design the card you want to buy.

 

Plan in Advance– Christmas doesn’t start when the tinsel comes out; ideally, you should have seasonal designs done about six months in advance. I know it feels wrong to be finishing festive designs when you’re still wearing shorts but it’s the best way to get maximum exposure. You’re more likely to stand out if you’re ahead of the game.

 

Take Chances– be different. You might think your idea is too niche to work but that’s exactly what customers are looking for. Follow your heart and think outside the box. No one likes to see the same thing again and again.

 

If you’re thinking of starting to design cards but feel overwhelmed, don’t worry about having hundreds of awesome designs. It’s perfectly feasible to have just a handful of carefully crafted designs and still reap the benefits. Get it right and that might be all you need.  

Find Zoe Brennan cards here.

Card Sharing Images

Sharing your designs can really help to let your followers know that they can send your cards with thortful! We’ve created some handy, non-occasion based sharing images to help make it easy. Simply use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs into the blank space, and share away 🙂

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Just right-click or cmd + click to save, and remember to link through to your profile or the card itself when you share!

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Happy sharing!

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Tips on writing a card to a friend or family member suffering with mental health issues

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Creating a Moment of Intervention. . .

Want to send a card? Not sure what to say? You’re not alone.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell which of our well-meaning comments will be helpful and which may actually hurt more than they help.  Below are some guidelines from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for letting someone know you’re there if they are suffering from a mental health disorder. 

Put the statements into your own words, the most important thing is that your friend or loved one knows you’re there, and that they have your support.

WHAT HELPS WHAT HURTS
I know you have a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts and feelings. It’s all in your head.
I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help. We all go through times like this.
You are important to me. Your life is important to me. You have so much to live for – why do you want to die?
Tell me what I can do now to help you. What do you want me to do?
I can’t do anything about your situation.
You might not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change. Just snap out of it.
Look on the bright side.
You are not alone in this. I’m here for you. You’ll be fine. Stop worrying.
Talk to me. I’m listening. Here’s my advice…
I am here for you. We will get through this together. What’s wrong with you?
Shouldn’t you be better by now?

 Source: http://www.campusmindworks.org

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Gary James McQueen (nephew of the late Alexander McQueen) has collaborated with thortful to design an exclusive range of cards especially for sending to friends and family suffering with mental health issues, with the aim of bringing the subject to the forefront. All proceeds from sales of these cards will be donated to Chasing the Stigma, a charity bringing people together for a better understanding of mental health.

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Chocolate Card Sharing Images

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Share your designs and let your followers know that they can now send a luxury bar of chocolate along with your cards! Simply use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs into the blank space, and share away 🙂

Here are some ideas on how to caption them:

My @thortful cards are now available to send with an amazing choccy gift! Get them here > [Link]

Need a pressie AND a card? The folks over @thortful have got you sorted with my designs available as Chocolate Cards.

A card and a gift in one: Chocolate Cards are new @thortful. 

Be top of the friend/son/daughter list and stand out from the crowd with my cheeky design, now available from @thortful as a Chocolate Card!

Just right-click or cmd + click to save, and remember to link through to your profile or the card itself when you share!

 

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Happy sharing!

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Nine signs of mental health issues in friends or loved ones

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Mental health is complex, often it’s not a single change but a combination. The following nine signs are not to help you diagnose a mental health issue in a friend or loved one, but instead to reassure you that there might be good reason to seek more information about your concerns.

1. Feeling anxious or worried

We all get worried or stressed from time to time. But anxiety could be the sign of a mental health issue if it’s constant and interferes all the time. Other symptoms of anxiety may include heart palpitationsshortness of breath, a headache, restlessness, diarrhoea or a racing mind.

2. Feeling depressed or unhappy

Have you noticed that your friend has lost interest in a hobby you used to share? If they’ve also seemed sad or irritable for the last few weeks or more, lacking in motivation and energy or are teary all the time, these could be signs of depression.

3. Emotional outbursts

Everyone has different moods, but sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger, can be a symptom of mental illness.

4. Sleep problems

Generally, we need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Persisting changes to a person’s sleep patterns could be a symptom of a mental illness. For example insomnia could be a sign of anxiety or substance abuse. Sleeping too much or too little could indicate depression.

5. Weight or appetite changes

Many of us want to lose a few kilos, but for some people fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss could be one of the warning signs of a mental illness, such as depression or an eating disorder. Other mental health issues can impact appetite and weight too.

6. Being quiet or withdrawn

We all need quiet time occasionally, but withdrawing from life, especially if this is a major change, could indicate a mental health issue. If a friend or loved one is regularly isolating themselves, they may have depression, bipolar, a psychotic disorder, or another mental health issue. Refusing to join in social activities may be a sign they need help.

7. Substance abuse

Are you worried a loved one is drinking too much? Using substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope can be a sign of, and a contributor to, mental health issues.

8. Feeling guilty or worthless

Thoughts like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘I’m worthless’ are all possible signs of a mental health issue, such as depression. Your friend or loved one may need help if they’re frequently criticising or blaming themselves. When severe, a person may express a feeling to hurt or kill themselves. This feeling could mean the person is suicidal and urgent help is needed. Call Triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately.

9. Changes in behaviour or feelings

A mental illness may start out as subtle changes to a person’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. Ongoing and significant changes could be a sign that they have or are developing a mental health issue. If something doesn’t seem ‘quite right’, it’s important to start the conversation about getting help.

Chasing the Stigma is a mental health charity which aims to normalise and humanise mental illness, offering real solutions for anyone who might be struggling. They are working with thortful and designer Gary James McQueen to create greater communication for people suffering with mental health issues. Send one of Gary’s exclusively-designed cards to a friend to let them know you’re thinking of them.

cardshit Swear Profanities Will Liven Up Your Designs

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Hearts and flowers are not for everyone, we know that here at cardshit. The noughties and the twenty-tens (as we are apparently supposed to be calling them) are all about being rude, crude and bold about your feelings. So why should the greetings cards we send be any different to the banter we have with our mates?

No one can dispute the desire in the market place for sloppy, soppy birthday cards with rhyming couplets and fluffy messages, extolling sentiments that you would never even be caught dead actually thinking, never mind saying out loud. Nowadays though, there’s a trend towards being honest with each other: people are getting a bit of confidence and shouting their feelings from the rooftops, no matter how crude and unrefined those feelings are! This means it’s high time to consider expanding your range beyond the greetings cards your granny would send, and embracing the potty-mouthed greetings cards of the future.

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We all enjoy a bit of banter every now and again, and it’s been well documented that taking the mickey out of each other in a harmless, playful way actually strengthens friendships and can be a sign of endearment if done in the right way. At cardshit, gone are the days of minding your P’s and Q’s, as we know that feeling comfortable enough with someone to trade insults with them often just means that you really feel at ease in their presence and count them as a true friend. 

In fact, using insults and being crude to one another as a way to show affection goes way back to Shakespeare’s time, and his most famous works are positively littered with enough hilariously rude nicknames and banter to rival any school classroom. (Watch this space for our next design, ‘Happy Birthday you elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog’.)

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Speaking of the classroom, a 2015 study by the Language Sciences Journal in America actually found that people who use swear words tend to have a higher level of intelligence than those who don’t. According to US-based psychologists Kristin and Timothy Jay, using swear words is not a sign of the “poverty of vocabulary” (the assumption that swear words are being used in place of more intellectually acceptable words), but rather people who have a wide vocabulary of profanities also have a wide vocabulary in general.

Aside from showing high levels of intelligence, swearing, being rude and insulting one another has also been proven to have a painkilling effect; a recent study from Keele University in England found that letting go and shouting out the worst expletive you can think of generally does have a numbing or painkilling effect, which explains why we are often heard shouting four lettered words when we stub a toe, or hammer our thumb by accident. It is believed that this pain-killing effect comes from our innate ‘fight or flight’ response being triggered by the audacity of the swear-word, which increases our heart rate and in turn, helps to numb the pain. So the next time your designer ignores your brief, relieve said pain by turning the air blue and let loose with your finest four letter tirade.

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When it comes down to it, being a bit uncouth can be a whole lot of fun, and sending your mate a rude greeting card sparks a reaction that you just don’t get with any other card. In this modern age of smartphones, the internet and instant gratification, we all crave something a bit unique, something a bit extra, and something that genuinely piques our interest.

So it seems being crude is the new being nice. Why not embrace it and consider how your new ranges might get a little ruder, or if that’s definitely not your cup of tea, try sending your mate a rude birthday card this year instead. If they don’t ex-communicate you, you’ll know that you’re BFF’s.

Article by Lee Thomas, founder of cardshit. Find cardshit cards here!

How to: Make Sales Outside of the Big Occasions!

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We all know that having designs for the big occasions is the most hard-and-fast way to ensure that you maximise your sales figures overall, but what about those times when there isn’t a big occasion on the horizon?

First of all it’s best to ensure that you’ve got at least one design for all of the non-seasonal occasion categories – people have babies and get sick all year round!

Next, make sure your Birthday cards are up to scratch. Birthdays are the one occasion which nearly everyone buys for at some point each year, even if it’s only for their nearest and dearest! Making sure your cards are on point for this occasion is key, as this will help to maintain your sales across the quieter periods.

Get sorted for the next big occasion, even if it’s still a way off. You should aim to have your cards uploaded around 2 months prior to an occasion date (earlier for Christmas!). Getting them up early means you’ll make more sales in that initial period before the collection grows, and have a better chance of allowing your designs to gain popularity.

Think about buying seasons for occasions such as Wedding and Anniversary. Whilst cards for these occasions are bought all year round, there is a marked increase in demand from May – October every year, as the summer months bring more weddings (and by default, more anniversaries!). Make sure you’re prepared well in advance by getting your designs uploaded by April at the latest, adding to your collection or refreshing some old designs by using the ‘Update’ button to change a small element on the artwork.

Another thing to try, particularly with Birthday designs, is tapping into trends in order to increase sales by targeting specific customers. By using your designs to play upon a popular theme (think Game Of Thrones, Star Wars or Gin), you’re more likely to catch a customer’s eye, and this will give your perennial designs more chance of being chosen and help to boost those sales. In addition, if you’ve had a good seller for a seasonal occasion, is there a way you could adapt this design or concept for a Birthday or Love card? This can be a great way to create cards around themes which you know customers are already interested in.

Finally, you can also use a slight lull in sales to spring clean your profile, to push out the older designs which don’t sell, and ensure you’re ready for the next occasion. This is the perfect time to make any changes, as you’ll be able to assess your profile with the experience of the previous occasion, and get it all prepped and primed in time for the next! Use this handy guide to find out our top tips for doing this.

 

 

Mother’s Day Sharing images

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We’re back with some handy sharing images for you to drop your card designs into and share away! Right-click or ctrl + click to download them, then use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs in. Make sure to link through to your profile when you share!

See below for ideas on how to caption them:

Make sure your mum knows how much you love her with one of my Mother’s Day designs from @thortful!

Give Mum a token of your appreciation with my card from @thortful 

Ralph Waldo Emerson got it right when he said that ‘men are what their mothers made them’! Show Mum some love with my card from @thortful

Mother’s Day is coming soon! Make sure Mum isn’t disappointed: get this design @thortful

They say home is where your Mum is! Remember to send her a card this Mother’s Day: get this one from my @thortful profile

 

Just right-click or cmd + click to save!

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