Given the nature of my obsessive pastime, i have boxes and boxes full of greeting cards in my house. For most people this would be classed as pretty useful thing to have, especially when you experience that sudden momentary spur of panic when the realisation sets in that your memory wasn’t quite as good as you would have hoped it was, and all of a sudden its Kirsty’s last day at work, or Granddad’s birthday or Uncle Robin and Auntie Sharon’s wedding anniversary! But me – i have the dillema that even though i have hundreds of suitable cards for such occasions, i don’t want to give them just any card, i want to give them the perfect card! Unfortunately this is more often than not a case of sitting, planning and designing – not just simply plucking from a box. The result is that my boxes stay quite full, but for the moment i don’t really see that as a huge problem. The reason i wanted to mention these boxes of cards, is that in honesty only about 5% of these greeting cards are suitable for men. It is a common problem that i am sure most of us face at times – we find it difficult to make cards and layouts for the men in our lives. Today i want to share some tips with you which should help you get over this mental mindblock so that men’s cards are less daunting and are therefore easier to make. The result – more masculine cards in those storage boxes, saved for emergencies.
Firstly think colours. Try to choose colours that reflect the recipient of the card. Nowadays it is not uncommon to see men walking down the street wearing a trendy pink shirt, but don’t be fooled – this does not mean that they would necessarily appreciate a pink card. Of course there are exceptions, but on the whole i would say avoid pink. If the recipient is ‘Mister action packed adventure’ you may want to choose bold, adventurous tones, but if he is quite a quiet, subdued gentleman softer colours will work better. Browns and creams always work, and mixing brown tones together for a vintage feel works fabulously for the older generation of men in your life.
Topic? – Are you going to choose a theme for your card? Perhaps a golf bag shaped card for all those Tiger Woods enthusiasts, or a card with football embellishments if that is his style. Sometimes you know exactly what theme you want on your card, for example a card about stamp collecting or fishing – but cannot think of a way to incorporate that topic into the card. This is more of a problem if you tend to rely upon specifically themed embellishments and themed patterned paper when crafting. If you find yourself in this type of dilemma, my advice to you is to imagine the shapes, colours and textures that are evoked when you think of your chosen topic. For the stamp collector – the shape on the edge of postal stamps, the number that appears on stamps, the head depicted on them; or for the fisherman – the texture of fish scales, the cool shimmery shades of water, or the metal hooks on the end of the fishing line. Once you start thinking outside the box and you have freed your mind, you will discover a world of opportunities as regards to using your products in a variety of different ways – A simple white button or brad coupled with a permanent marker makes a great football, a cocktail stick and some cotton thread makes a fabulous fishing pole, even beer bottle caps on their own make a great embellishment!
What about the actual design or layout? In general, when we see shapes which are flowery or fluffy, with hearts or swirls, we think of femininity. This may be on a subconscious level, but i am sure you would all agree that cursive writing is best suited on a girly layout rather than on a masculine one. Circles and curves give a softer feminine edge to the design, so it may be best to focus more on structured shapes like squares and rectangles and straight lines. These will give a more rigid, sturdy and stable feeling to your layout, which are on the whole more masculine traits. It is for this reason that i like to use striped paper on mens cards.
If you are still having difficulty, don’t forget that no matter what the occasion may be, cards with names and numbers will always go down a treat. Using chipboard letters to spell out the recipients name will be sure to make an impact. Or instead of using an embellishment or topper, you could use a photo as the main focal point which will definitely add that personal touch of individuality to the card.
I hope that you have found this article useful and that you will be challenged to make more masculine cards and layouts from now on. Please leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.