Thursday, 16 June 2016

Creating Cards for Guys

For the past year, I've been preparing illustration and lettering tutorials, and one of the questions that I receive most often is, 'what can I do to make my lettering and illustrations appropriate for guys?'. Creating greeting cards and other media for boys can take a bit of imagination, and it's definitely outside my comfort zone, as I tend towards illustrating things like flowers and birds and leaves and all that girly stuff. But it's not impossible! Actually, this question was a good challenge for me. It got me thinking differently, and all of you creators and makers out there know what a good thing that is.
So just in time for Father's Day, I thought I'd post some of my ideas here. I've already covered these points in the video tutorial that I posted on my YouTube channel last week, so feel free to check that out too, if you haven't already! Now let's talk making cards for guys. I've got four ideas that I think will help you to make some cute stuff for all the guys in your life. 

1. A Simple Icon This card design is one that I use over and over again. It's modern and graphic, and even better, it's super easy to prepare. The thoughtful card comes together with the use of three simple components, a hand-drawn border, a no-fuss print font, and a colourful illustrated icon that means something to the receiver of the card. If your dad, or whoever you're making a card for likes photography, try illustrating a camera, if they like hiking, maybe a mountain and a pine tree, if they like woodworking you could illustrate a little hammer and saw. And in the event that you don't know what they like (and that could very well be your dad, it's so hard to know what dads like!), try illustrating something 'manly' and cute, like my viking hat. For this sort of unspecific every-man icon, you could also try a ship in a bottle, a beer mug, or something of that sort.

2. Focus on the Font Here's an idea that you can use to create not only 'boyish' cards, but cards for anyone that you don't know super well. Just make it all about the font. It gives you a chance to focus on design, layout and lettering and showcase your awesome hand lettering skills. If you want a little help with all that, you might find my video on quote design helpful.

3. Funny Food Faces I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I came up with this one, but it's super fun to illustrate. All you have to do is illustrate a food- you can do your guy's favourite food, or just stick to fun junk foods- and then put a funny face on it. Sure, it's kind of weird, but isn't that kind of perfect for a dude? When making these illustrations I found it helpful to draw the food and the face separately and then bring the two drawings together when I was happy with each of them individually.

4. Use Strong Colours and High Contrast This is more of a style tip; when creating cards for the men in your life, keep the colours muted and natural to give your piece a more masculine tone. Stay away from pastels and true colours (think the colours in a pack of crayola markers), and instead use colours that you might find in nature, like moss green, navy blue, chestnut brown, forest green, ochre, dark grey, cream, and eggplant. Working with the right palette will immediately help your projects to appear more manly. You can even find a way to work in some of the more 'girly' accents, like leaves and flowers, if you choose the right colours.

For more info and examples, check out the video!

Happy Father's Day!


  1. I just discovered your blog through your videos from youtube. Love everything about it! Beautiful pictures, brilliant ideas!

  2. Thanks for your joyful creative way of being and living! So happy I found your blog. I teach at school and this morning I used your videos to inspire my students... Thanks again..Have a making Christmas time