Card Design Ideas - Creative Greeting Card Examples

Card Design Ideas - Creative Greeting Card Examples

Read Time: 3 Minutes


18 Oct 2019

When you choose to design your own creative greetings card, being imaginative is essential if you want to end up with something eye-catching and memorable. Sending a card is all about showing you care, so bringing your own ideas to life can only amplify that message! From cool yet simple designs to extravagant ones with all the bells and whistles – there are endless options you can explore. 

As the UK’s expert printers, we want to help you make the best possible creative greetings card designs, so we’ve listed our top tips on how to do so. 


  1. Choose a Fun Stock

    kraft greetings card design with funny toast joke

    (Holiday Vault)

    One of the best things about fashioning your own creative greetings card designs is that you have access to some really cool stocks. The example above uses a rustic Kraft card material to give the finished piece an organic, handcrafted look.

    Usually paper is bleached to give it a crisp white finish; with Kraft, the pulp is left unbleached to give it a uniquely distinctive earthy tone. This is a highly popular material but when it comes to creating your card design ideas with this stock, be sure to keep it simple – Kraft looks the most effective with a minimal black design, like the one shown above.
  2. Go Square

    funny cat christmas card square

    (Ohh Deer Trade)

    If your card design idea consists of one central image, like the cat and the Christmas tree in this example, a square greetings card is the obvious choice. Not only can the square suit your design, but it’s also a less commonly used shape (with A5 and A6 rectangular cards coming top). This means it’ll easily stand out on the mantelpiece.
  3. Flip the Orientation

    landscape greetings card to congratulate

    (Getting Personal)

    Want to create a greetings card design that really stands out against the rest? Try flipping the orientation so the fold is at the top instead! This simple yet effective tweak means your card is less likely to blow over – as standing them up on the longer edge gives them a lower centre of gravity and keeps them sturdy. With science on your side, how can you go wrong?!

    This is also a great shape for text-based designs as you can write longer words across the centre of your card.
  4. Play Around with Fonts

    watercolour greetings card with peach design and calligraphy

    (Kara Tozer Art)

    Whether you’re looking for birthday card inspiration or Christmas card design ideas, finding the perfect font for your card is imperative. Your choice of font can instantly set the tone – for example, wedding and women’s birthday cards commonly use sweeping cursive fonts like the ones above. This type of text gives the effect that it is handwritten, creating an extra personal touch.

    Comedic cards often use handwritten fonts too, but in all capital letters for extra emphasis (see example 1). Meanwhile, children’s card design ideas typically feature a bold, easy-to-read font. 

    Here’s everything you need to know about the psychology of typography so you can choose the perfect font to get your message across.
  5. Illustrated Design

    blue greetings card for new born baby

    (Kira Kids)

    If you’re a skilled with a pencil or paintbrush, another way of personalising your creative greetings card designs is by hand drawing the illustrations – that way you’re guaranteed to have a completely unique design! If you’re working on custom card design ideas for a client, you can also add special details in, like illustrations of a bride and groom for wedding cards, or a street name for new home cards. This will mean that your greetings card design can also double as a special keepsake.
  6. Add Photography

    new born baby card with photography

    (Pin This)

    If illustration isn’t your strong suit, why not try your hand at photography? Taking personalisation to the highest level, include wedding snaps for the married couple or for birthday card inspiration why not add a handful of photos of all your favourite memories together? Whether it’s one simple picture or an entire collage, adding an image to your greetings card design is a popular way of customising it for a special occasion.

    This baby card design is a perfect example – a powerful photograph as the main feature becomes a memorable way to announce their arrival in the world. Just be sure to use a high-quality image for best results.

  7. Make it Humorous

    illustrated greetings card design

    A lot of the card design ideas we’ve featured so far use humour – and that’s because it’s a natural crowd-pleaser! Creating a card that can bring laughter to people’s lives is the best kind of all. Puns and one-liners typically take the lead as the firm favourites when it comes to comedy cards, especially if there’s a visual element, like in the example above. Remember, you’ve got limited room on your card, so use it wisely!

  8. Keep it Simple & Sweet

    simple birthday card design


    Sometimes less is more – as this stunningly simple greeting card design proves beyond a doubt. The reason this design works so well is because it’s printed on a highly textured paper, like a Tintoretto. Heavy ink coverage can appear blotchy and hide all that wonderful texture, so any card design idea similar to this will work perfectly if you want the main focus to be on the quality of the paper you use. 
  9. Add a Splash of Colour

    colourful happy birthday card

    (Paper Pastries)

    With full colour and quality printing, you’ll never need to worry about toning down your greetings card designs ever again. If you’re in need of birthday card inspiration, this is a great example. The colours used are all associated with brightness and happiness, perfectly fitting for wishing someone a happy birthday!
  10. Create Something Unexpected


    (Justine Hovey)

    If you want to come up with a card design idea that’s really striking, there’s nothing quite as bold as black and white. Sure to stand out on any shelf, a black background with white text and patterns is essentially the opposite of most greetings card designs, but there’s no doubt it oozes class and sophistication.  


Ready to start creating your own card design ideas? Check out our full range of cards here. Upload your artwork online, or if you’re feeling inventive, make them from scratch using our free design tool and card templates.


About the Author

Hi! I’m James, the Graphic Designer at instantprint. I like helping customers by creating helpful print and designs tips and guides to make sure their artwork looks the best that it can.