Greeting Card 101


At Independent Printing, we have had the honor of producing beautiful, quality items for numerous nationally-renowned greeting card and stationery publishers. Often times we receive calls and emails from individuals interested in launching a greeting card or stationery product line.

We’ve put together this outline of basic information you’ll want to consider as you plan for production.

For additional valuable information on the industry we recommend the industry links listed below.

Size Options

Whether a journal, calendar, stationery item or your product catalogs, you’ll need to think about size. The most common industry standard envelope sizes are:

  • A-7 (5 x 7 card)
  • A-6 (4.5 X 6.25 card)
  • 4 bar (4.875 X 3.375 card)
  • A-2 (4.25 x 5.5 card)

A variety of square-sized envelopes are also available.

If your product is not an industry standard size, envelopes can be custom-manufactured to meet any size requirement.

Helpful Hint: The smaller the item’s size, the greater the number of items that can print on one press sheet or form. The more items printed on a form, the lower your cost per piece.

Paper Facts

Paper, commonly referred to as stock, is available in countless colors, weights, finishes and textures.

A popular stock selection in the greeting card industry is a C1S, or coated one side. The coating used on the outside of the card enhances and sharpens the imagery, while the uncoated nature of the inside of the card allows for ease in signing.

Helpful Hint: It’s easier to write on an uncoated stock – coated papers tend to smear easily.

Whether coated or uncoated, white or colored, textured or smooth, the weight of a paper impacts the cost of the paper. Common greeting card paper weights include:

  • 80# uncoated cover
  • 100# uncoated cover
  • 10pt C1S
  • 12pt C1S

Text weight sheets are commonly used for catalogs and journals.

Independent Printing has formed long-lasting partnerships with many of the largest paper companies – and have even produced and printed several of their swatch books and promotional materials.

Design Options

Greeting cards, calendars, journals and other stationery items typically feature art, photos or graphics on one or both sides. Here are other embellishments or decorative options you may wish to consider:

  • coating
  • varnish
  • foils
  • embossing
  • debossing
  • die-cuts
  • glitter

The possibilities are endless!

Independent Printing can provide all of the above services to you – and keep production in one central location – creating both cost- and time-efficiencies.

Packaging Considerations

Once you’ve decided on size, paper and product design, a proper package will help to beautifully wrap your items. Questions to consider:

  • Will the item be sold individually or in sets?
  • If sold in sets, how many items per set?
  • Will each item or set be wrapped, bagged or boxed?
  • Will boxes or sets require labels, codes or ribbons?

With Independent Printing, there’s no need to compromise your vision. Our full service bindery and finishing center is able to accommodate your every need!

Inventory & Fulfillment Options

Once production is complete, you’re ready to start filling orders.

Independent Printing’s full-service order fulfillment center is ready to serve you as you meet and exceed your sales goals.

Valuable Industry Links

A little knowledge goes a long way! To learn more about the greeting card industry, Independent Printing recommends these highly regarded sources:


p: 800.443.6771
f: 888.336.6118
a: 1801 Lawrence Dr, PO Box 5790, De Pere, WI 54115