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Greeting Card Designers and Writers

The Job

From sincere statements of love to jocular jabs, the contemporary greeting card industry provides a note for practically every expression. Hallmark and American Greetings are the biggest names in the business, offering cards for many occasions. Other card companies have carved out their own individual niches—specializing in hand-drawn cards or cards that focus on a particular holiday or life event such as a breakup or wedding. Though some of these companies use the talents of full-time staff writers and designers, others rely on freelancers to submit ideas, images, and expressions. In addition to greeting card production, some companies buy words and images for e-mail greetings, and for lines of products like mugs, posters, pillows, and balloons.

Working from home offices, greeting card writers and designers read industry trade magazines, visit company Web sites, look over stock photos in catalogs or on the Web, and, most importantly, rely on their own creativity to come up with their ideas, then submit them to the companies for consideration. Artists and photographers submit reproductions of their work, rather than their originals, because some companies don't return unaccepted submissions or may lose the submissions in the review process. Artists submit prints, color copies, PDFs, or CDs. Writers submit their ideas on index cards. Additionally, some companies accept submissions online.

Freelance greeting card designers and writers must also have good business and marketing skills. They need to keep track of assignments and payments and constantly seek out new clients in order to stay in business.

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