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Kids vs Adult Oriented Birthday Card Tips

Published on 06/02/2024

Card designs by Advocate Art illustrators Jennie Bradley, Jo Little, and Lynn Horrabin.

Kids vs Adult Oriented Birthday Card Tips
Teacher: ITSme Creative and Course Director Bhavi Patel

Greeting Card design by Advocate Art illustrator Debbie Edwards.

Within the Greeting Card market, we tend to find that artistic styles naturally tend to appeal to specific age groups based on the overall look of the design, colour palette, level of detail and content. But when you’re trying to branch out into an age group which is outside of your niche, there are a few things you can consider to help make your work appealing to different target audiences.

All of the factors mentioned above have a direct impact on where your design will sit in the market, and what audience it gravitates to. The first is the colour palette; we tend to notice that brighter, bolder tones work well for kids’ birthday cards, whereas adult cards are capable of holding a more pastel, muted or even a limited colour palette. Similarly with levels of detail, kids’ cards usually have one or two clear points of focus to draw in the recipient’s attention, which also build a narrative within the card design. Adult cards tend to steer more towards the decorative angle, focusing on particular subject matters to make the focus of the occasion more obvious. The content and colour palettes combined then determine the gender the cards are targeted to. We also notice that with fully illustrated scenes, the adult cards also focus on being more decorative whilst showcasing a number of finer details for the receiver to appreciate.

The biggest element which differentiates whether a card design is suitable for a kids’ send, or adult, is the way the card interacts with the recipient. Kids’ cards are driven by character focused designs as they give the recipient the opportunity to see themselves in the card either through physical appearance, or personality traits/ interests. They also help to build narratives, taking you on a journey, whilst also building a cast and brand along the way.

Whilst characters can be adapted into various sending situations, we find that figures in adult cards are more impressionist. The focus is on the overall design, including the secondary elements which form around the character.

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