Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Greeting Cards for Men and Boys

I feel as if I'm trying to do about three or four jobs at the moment! But I have finally succeeded in finding a way to print my cards so that they look quite professional, even though my printer won't accept the top quality 100 lb board on which high-priced greeting cards are printed.

It's a fairly long-winded process, first scanning the original paintings and resizing them in Photoshop up in my attic studio, transferring them to my laptop, down in the dining room, where I have a better selection of fonts and Coreldraw, which I find useful for setting them out so that the printing on the back of the card comes out where it is supposed to. Then, to be sure that they won't lose anything in translation when I transfer them back to my upstairs computer, where my best printer is, I make them into .pdf files; and finally I print them, fold them and trim them! 

I've been through this process nearly 200 times recently, allowing for a few mistakes, and now have around 160 greeting cards all ready to go. So I took them to my Wednesday morning Walking Group last week to see how people would react to them. I didn't want to push anyone to buy anything at this stage; the idea was to get some feedback. I had found some cheap photo albums with slip-in pockets for 5" x 7" photos in a local shop and bought all they had, so I simply left one album on each of the tables in the coffee shop where we gather after our walk.

People were generally interested and some said they would buy from me in the future, but what was interesting was that there was a general consensus that finding suitable cards for men is a real headache. 'They all have men fishing on them,' was one comment I overheard. Another was 'Not all boys are into skateboarding,' So obviously there's a gap in the market there!

Trouble is, whenever I try to think of ideas for mens'/boys' birthday cards, what do I come up with but fishing....

...and skateboards!
Why is it so difficult to find appropriate greeting cards for the males of the species? Maybe they're not really as interested in cards as women are - I've read in several places that 80% of all greeting cards are bought by women. And whereas you can get away with a floral card of some sort for almost any occasion for almost any woman, there doesn't seem to be an equivalent 'catch-all' for men. If there is, I haven't thought of it and nor have any of the friends I've discussed it with.

But all is not lost! One member of the walking group - a woman - actually ordered one of my cards and it was very satisfying to hear her say that it had 'solved her problem'. It was my 'dancing man' with the Adlai Stevenson quotation, 'It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years, that counts!' She asked me to add a '90', which was easy with the help of the computer and it's now all ready for her to pick up the next time we meet.

Here it is, without its age number -

...but she's got me thinking! It might be worth adding some 'significant birthdays' - 60, 65, 70 etc - and posting them on the PODstore websites. It's 'just' a question of finding the time.....!

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