Salary and Career Info for a Greeting Card Designer

While formal education is not a requirement for working as a greeting card designer, most companies expect designers to have a portfolio. Learn about training programs, job duties, and salary expectations in this field.

If you enjoy working with illustrations, photography, or graphic design, then greeting card design may be the career for you.

Essential Information

Greeting card designers create seasonal and everyday cards using copy, illustrations, photography, and graphic design. Designers will create cards for occasions such as birthdays and weddings as well as holidays. They most often work on a freelance basis; however, some designers work full-time for greeting card companies. A degree may not be required, but many companies prefer someone with illustration or design training. Aspiring graphic designers will likely need a portfolio to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

Required Education No specific degree required, but training in graphic design or illustration is helpful
Projected Job Growth (fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators) 3.1% from 2014-24*
Median Salary (fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators) $46,460 (2015)*

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Salary for Greeting Card Designers

CareerOneStop noted average annual wages of $53,011 for those in the greeting card publishing industry in 2013. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists those who create pictures for greeting cards under illustrators, who in May 2015 earned an annual median wage of $46,460 (www.bls.gov). According to the Greeting Card Association in 2013, general writers can expect to receive from $25-$150 for an accepted submission, while artists can expect to receive a flat fee of $275-$500 for an accepted illustration (www.greetingcard.org.). Salary and wages for greeting card designers can vary greatly since many designers work on a freelance basis. Additionally, individual designers often operate as their own studio and business.

Career Info for Greeting Card Designers

Greeting card designers can find employment in different areas in the development of greeting cards, including creative, illustration, photography, writing, graphic design, and hand lettering. Those working as freelancers may specialize in one particular area or create the card as a whole.

From 2011 to 2013, employment of individuals in greeting card publishing fell from 8,268 to 5,966, according to CareerOneStop. This trend is most likely due to the emergence of e-cards as an alternative to traditional greeting cards. However, those greeting card designers who can transition their skills to electronic cards and are skilled in graphic design are poised for employment opportunities. It is rare for greeting card designers to design greeting cards as their sole source of income.

Education information

There are no specific training requirements to become a greeting card designer. However, designers will need a portfolio that demonstrates their work, abilities, and talent. In many cases, designers will use the portfolio to win bids on greeting card projects. Training in illustrating, copywriting, and graphic design is helpful.

Greeting card designers mostly work on a freelance basis and can specialize in a certain area. Since the emergence of e-cards, the number of jobs has been decreasing.


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