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If you're a graphic designer who routinely designs greeting cards for clients or for sale, it pays to keep abreast of current design and printing trends in order to continually have a product high in demand. The following examines a few of the most recent greeting card design and printing trends you can take advantage of with your own artwork. Simplicity Many modern greeting cards are designed with simplicity in mind: plenty of white space; not overloaded with images or text; and a clean, easy-to-read layout. Your own greeting cards can be stellar even when simple as well. Multiple hues One way in which designers get around simplicity without being boring is to take advantage of the many hues of any given color, and then play them off one another in design. For example, if a client wants to use the color green in a greeting card, you can use a very light green for your background, a darker green for your text, and a middle-ground green to tint a photograph. Illustrations and photos Illustrations are big for greeting cards as many customers have fallen in love with the sweeping lines and subtle patterns afforded through mastery of today's graphic design software. Large photographs that take up an entire panel, perhaps with a short bit of text, are also popular. Black and white photographs with color highlights – red lips, blue eyes, wedding colors, etc. - are also very popular right now. Custom sizes One popular greeting card design and printing trend today is custom sizes. At one time most greeting card designers and sellers had to settle for standard sizes as custom size costs were prohibitive; but now you can print custom-sized greeting cards for extra-large cards that can't be missed. High-gloss, UV coating Printing greeting cards on thick 16-point gloss cover stock (coated on either one side or both, depending on whether you want to be able to pen your own personal message on the inside panels) is popular because it's robust, thick, brings out rich colors and feels great in the hands. Even better, add UV coating for extra gloss and thick stability. Eco-friendly For a more subdued, but also rich and deep color vibrancy, you can print eco-friendly greeting cards with soy-inks on 13-point recycled cover paper stock. Foil stamps Last but not least, foil stamps continue to be popular for greeting cards because they look formal and official, and because they can't be ignored. What's more, it's easy to denote where on your artwork you want your foil stamps to go, so the real work is actually up to the printing company to complete.