9 Reasons your cards may not be appearing in the catalogue

At thortful, we’re all about curating a wide range of designs so that everyone can find their perfect card. This means we moderate every design uploaded, to ensure the best possible experience for customers and creators alike. 

With more and more cards submitted every day, it’s becoming increasingly competitive to have your designs featured on the website. But don’t worry! This guide will take you through the most common reasons cards are deemed unsuitable, so that you can maximise your card’s chance for success before uploading. 

1. Design Quality

To avoid some of the common issues we come across with card quality, ask yourself: Is it cropped properly? Is the line height and padding consistent? Is it legible – is the font clear and appropriate for the design, and does the contrast ratio of the colours work? If you’re illustrating a celebrity or a character, are they recognisable? And is the emotion you’re portraying easily recognisable? 

2. Design Printability

It’s so important to consider how your design will look when printed. Is your colour palette CMYK friendly? Has it got any special effects (like foiling or glitter) that may mislead customers when they order, and leave them disappointed? Also, have you digitalised your artwork for print? In the past, we’ve had to reject designs from very talented artists who had scanned in their drawings and paintings, which had unfortunately translated to faded artwork with dark, shadowy corners. 

3. Design or concept too similar to an existing design

Something we’re passionate about is cracking down on design copycats: but sometimes, it’s entirely possible you might not have seen our current selection (with thousands of cards currently on our website, it’s hard to see them all!) 

Before uploading your designs, we recommend checking the catalogue to see if it’s already been done. We don’t want to over-saturate a theme! This is most common with trend-focused/pop culture card designs, so make sure your design has a unique angle or caption that adds to our current selection. For example, if we’re flooded with Rishi Sunak designs, it’s much more competitive to land yourself a spot in the catalogue with a Rishi Sunak design.

4. Not enough demand for the content

It’s great to find your niche and tap into it – we want to have a card for everyone. And whilst cards based around hobbies such as gardening or cycling may not be bestsellers, they can be the perfect card for the right audience. However, it’s always worth using your judgement on this and asking yourself: how niche is too niche? Would enough people search for your design? 

Great examples of tapping into a niche by Silly Prints and Phillipa Coules

Alternatively, while your card might be super relatable, it might just be a tad too late. If your design refers to a celebrity or pop culture moment, for example, is it still relevant? Or has the trend already passed? ‘Trendy’ designs have a shorter shelf life than a timeless design, and will be removed from the catalogue once no longer topical. 

5. Unsuitable caption or sentiment

We know our customers love a cheeky card. Playful humour is more than welcomed, but nothing mean-spirited – there’s a line between banter and insults, or suggestive humour and vulgar. Does using expletives in your design add to the humour or detract from it? We know our customers look for more than just shock value, so make sure that’s not the only thing your design has to offer. Also: we have a strict no ‘C-bomb’ rule, and no graphic nudity.

6. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors

This sounds obvious, but it’s so easy to miss a spelling mistake or typo when you’ve been staring at your design for hours! Be sure to double-check for any errors with fresh eyes before uploading. ‘Valentine’s Day’ not having an apostrophe is a common mistake. 

7. Copyright Infringement Concerns

At thortful, we respect the intellectual property rights of others, and we ask that you do the same. If you’re thinking of designing cards which include celebrities, brands or characters and you’re not sure they will be accepted, feel free to contact us on [email protected] to double-check. 

8. Too many versions of the same design on your account

It’s important to have a consistent visual identity, but if all your cards look almost identical, chances are they won’t all be accepted into the catalogue. If you have a design that’s selling particularly well, we encourage you to make variations for different occasions or recipients. But if it’s too visually similar, or for the same occasion (with the exception of milestone birthday cards, of course), some will likely be approved to your profile only – we want our catalogue to showcase variety.

9. Simply not suitable for thortful

And finally, just because a design isn’t right for the thortful catalogue doesn’t mean it’s a bad design! Our moderators are trained to recognise cards that have the potential to sell well specifically with our customer base. Don’t forget, we sell greetings cards, not artwork or prints – if your card doesn’t cater to an occasion or relationship, or have the humour required to make a good ‘just because’ card, it’s sadly not suitable for thortful, no matter how well designed it is! (Sorry, Picasso. Next time!) 

Just as you’ll continue to design brilliant cards, we’ll continue to optimise our catalogue to give maximum exposure to the cards and creators we believe are best suited to our customers.

We hope this is helpful, but any questions please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Team thortful x