28 February 2007

Man in the Room!

I'm in the middle of the month in which the birthdays of my four male colleagues fall, so cards for men are very much on my mind at the moment.

Why is it that cards for men are so difficult to make? For women, it’s easy – just stick a few pink and purple flowers or butterflies onto a card and you’re done. But there are not many men who would like that sort of card!

Stars are fairly neutral motifs to use, as are birthday images like candles or a cake. Or you could use motifs from the recipient’s hobbies and interests, like sports or DIY. Geometric or abstract designs are good too. Another idea is to use words or phrases on the card, like “Happy Birthday”, or the name or initials of the recipient, or perhaps the words of their favourite song.

Stay away from pinks and lilacs, but most other colours are fine. Try denim or leather effect patterned papers, or striped or plaid patterns. Use black and white for a monochromatic look, or try different shades of blue and green.

Metal embellishments are great for men, especially brads and eyelets. Also try using fibres, buttons, or postage stamps. Try basing a card around a photograph, either of the recipient or something they are interested in.

Overall design
Layer rectangles or strips of patterned paper or cardstock. Try inking the edges of these, or raise them up on sticky foam for more dimension. Try using tags as part of your design, or divide the card up into blocks of colour. Remember that you don’t have to fill the whole of the front of the card – sometimes a small motif can be very effective. Try using different sizes or shapes of cards if you are not feeling very inspired by the standard size of card.

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