Friday, 12 February 2016

BAIL302: Creative and Professional Development: Generative Stage: Competitions: On the Cards

On the Cards - the people

On the Cards is a greetings card design competition set up by independent greetings cards publisher Paper Rose and paper merchant GF Smith.





Paper Rose has various 'collections' This card by Beverly Edge is part of their Juvenile Collection 'Marzipan Toybox' made from Polymer clay sculptures. 




From Jojo Norris' Contemporary Collection 'Magpie' made from collage of found papers and textures.





GF Smith has been crazy about paper since 1885 sourcing the finest paper from across the world and offering a voluminous range of colours and textures. 


The Brief



The competition aims to draw on fresh innovative ideas from young and upcoming designers, whilst generating interest in the industry. They wanted us to know that the UK greetings card industry is the world leader and still a very much relevant part of our culture, responsible for at least 100,000 jobs and generating £1.6 billion each year. 

There were two categories that you could enter; 

Design/Illustration 
The best use of illustration, character, typography, photography or graphics. This could be, but not limited to, a more ‘classic’ card format.i 

Format/Innovation/Technology
The best use of new innovative ideas in formats, paper engineering or new materials and/ or interaction with new technologies and media.

Each category had two prizes;

Gold- £250 cash prize, plus a minimum of one week work placement from Paper Rose/ The Art Group. £100 towards a G. F Smith Make Book (perfect for your portfolio!) (www.gfsmith.com/makebook/) Opportunity to have your design put into production and stocked in Paperchase 

Silver- £100 cash prize from Paper Rose/The Art Group Opportunity to have your design put into production and stocked in Paperchase


My Response

I was initially quite intrigued by the prospect of generating ideas for innovative designs, but when I realised the deadline was sandwiched amidst the deadlines for BAIL301 and BAIL304 I decided it would be far more sensible for me to think about producing a traditional card with a unique theme. 

Our responses began with a  group task, producing a time-line of events and proposing greetings card ideas for them. Things such as mobility scooter licences or stair lift certificates at age 70 or so. It was an interesting way of generating ideas, as multiple people came up with different concepts, but it was also good to see different interpretations of the same theme. 

Humour was a real focus for my card designs and I decided to progress with two themes:

  • 'Get well soon' cards featuring pets and based around puns 
  • 'Happy Birthday' cards themed as passive-aggressive messages from neighbours based around a drier sense of humour.  

After a discussion with Phil I decided to drop the pets deigns as the animal theme has been done to death and the passive-aggressive neighbours was a far more novel idea.

There were a few different ideas involved with this theme, all designed as comments about an upcoming birthday party;

  • Invoices for sleeping aid devices like ear plugs, sound proofing etc.
  • Suggestions to modify the party to the neighbours' benefit, such as a silent disco or a play-list which heavily hints at the suggestion of sleep.
  • A play on the term 'party animal' which includes a 'hibernation schedule'

The design process wasn't particularly involved; I hadn't done any market research, the designs were drawn up as thumbnails and roughs and then I produced them digitally. I had wanted to dedicate some time to this project to get it done properly, but circumstance left me with a limited time frame. 

I used a font that I had recently created for BAIL301 and decided on a magenta, yellow and cyan colour scheme for simplicity sake, but also because they are bold and bright colours that fit the party theme well. As a result of using the font, I decided to generate the artwork as a digital collage using the polygon select tool, to get those paper cut shapes that evoke the font. 

My Submission


Card Information



Card Design 1 Front and Back


Card Design 1 Inside


Card Design 2 Front


Card Design 2 Inside


Card Design 3 Front


Card Design 3 Inside

I'm not that disappointed with the outcome, I think the cards convey the concept well. It would have been nice to pay a bit more attention to them though, perhaps considering the envelopes and taking a product placement image within my local branch of Paperchase.

I'm glad I engaged with the project, greetings cards weren't really an interest at all before taking part - I'd tried my hand a couple of times before but didn't feel great about the outcomes. They're something I'd consider doing again in the future, a good application to experiment with illustration for children and humour-based illustrations. 




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