Dreamstime recently announced a relationship that will provide the users of My Space with art and photography for greeting cards. To take full advantage of this new revenue opportunity, create images that will resonate with card buyers. Here are some tips that will improve your chances for success in the greeting card business. Since the major winter holidays are coming up, there is still time to create and upload images to be used for messages at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Years.
Christmas cards are the holiday greetings most in demand. Cards with religious themes have gained greater popularity in the last decade fueled by heated debates about the appropriateness of secular versus spiritual themes. But as far as the card business goes, both religious and more secular themes that also embrace humor are in demand.
Images created for Christmas greetings with religious themes could show tthe journey to Bethlehem, the Wise Men or a nativity scene. A bright star against a blue background is a simple image that although not overly religious, carries the message of a Christian holiday. Photographers and illustrators would do well to create more holiday images with religious themes, as there are few with a Christian theme and less than a page of Hanukkah themed images. The best image to showcase the spirit of Hanukah is that of a happy child lighting the menorah. Many card buyers select the least controversial subjects and select a greeting that is a neutral winter scene, carrying the message, “Seasons Greetings” in an attempt to avoid offending neither their Christian or Jewish friends.
Generic winter images that are most appealing year in and year out are:
• Cabin in the snow with its lights shining and smoke coming from the chimney.
• Decorated Christmas tree seemingly out alone in a forest with no house or other man-made structures in the image.
• A snowy forest scene
• City skyline with snow falling
• A wreath on a door
• A lamppost in falling snow-lit at twilight
• Barns and farms in snowy fields
• Horse drawn sleigh
A cheerful approach adds to the happiness of the season and many card buyers want to add humor to their message. Images depicting Santa, snowmen and animals in a variety of situations are in style.
Vertical and horizontal formats are the most useful. The only square images that the MySpace project can accept for the printed card project are those that can be cropped to one of the two orientations. Format isn’t at issue for those who download and personalize images directly from Dreamstime. There is a great selection of holiday illustrations reminiscent of the 1950’s and 60’s on our site that I particularity like.
Graphics play a large part in the success of a holiday card. Bright colors and simple designs 'read' better online and are more apt to be selected for use. Very contemporary designs offer a counterpoint to the overwhelming number of traditional styles. Images for e-cards are often selected because of neutral space in the design where a personalized message, invitation or holiday newsletter can be placed.
Last year I was delighted to find a perfect image for my Christmas card on Dreamstime simply by searching on ‘Christmas Seattle”. I added personalized text and was thrilled with the result. Here are the two images that I’m considering this year as Irr’m in the mood for a Santa graphic. Although I am also thinking about using the retro pink Christmas tree above too.
Don’t forget New Year’s wishes-but to ensure year upon year of downloads, don’t put the year on the card. Instead leave room for the user to add.
Our selection of Hanukkah photos could use a lot more images that include family members
We have very few Kwanza images.
Images with holiday borders are terrific templates for holiday letters.
Photo credits: Dreamstime Agency, Oksana Petrova, Darko Draskovic, Diane Miller, R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterfree, Llc, Barbara Helgason, Kathleen Good, Raman Maisei, Misterm, Mona Makela, Stefan Hermans, Photosaurus, Melanie Taylor.