The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Fix: Don't Be Hassling Me With your Dusty Blue, Man....A Rant for a Sunny Friday

So, it has come to my attention that too many "masculine" cards are prisoners.  Prisoners of drab color.  I cannot TELL you how very tiresome it is to see a card that someone has dubbed "masculine", only to see it is made with the most mundane and dreary colors of brown (tan/beige/whatever) and "dusty blue", with absolutely NO FUN INVOLVED. While, yes, these Browns and many blues can be used in really wonderful, beautiful ways, merely slapping them onto a card with an image of a lawnmower or a beer can does not make a work of art worthy of the man/men in your life.
I know I hear from many crafters that making masculine cards is a tough thing for them.  I think that too often it is because they feel limited in what colors they can choose from.  Well, for this FRIDAY FIX, I am going to try to fix some peoples way of thinking when it comes to making cards for men.

Look, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret--Men LIKE color!  LOTS of colors.  Don't you ever see those loud, crazy-intense colors their sports teams wear?  (uh, wait, let's not venture into that area.  That's another rant, entirely--trust me.)

Case in point:
I made this --

Now, you are certainly welcome to disagree with me, but I would DEFINITELY have no issue sending this to my dad or to one of my brothers, or to most men.  This is a card that any man or woman should be able to appreciate, but I actually think it's MORE suitable for a man.

Here's why--

This card has my 3 criteria for being "male suitable".
1) BOLD shapes and textures.  Strong geometrics, chunky die cuts, distinct lack of flowers and swirly things.  You can also look to patterns from fabrics like houndstooth, argyle, and plaids (oh, the varied and happy world of PLAID!)
2) STRONG, saturated COLOR. EVERY color in different shades can work. Honestly, I think you can even make pink work on a man's card, if it's something rich and bold, like a fuscia, or the exact color of his pink oxford button-down.  It's all about what it gets paired with.
3) ACTION.  If you have a son, you KNOW they like nothing more than MOVING.  Their eyes like to move as well.  Give them lots to look at, either all over the card, or in that very specific sweet spot you've chosen.

Now specific to this card-- I have to admit that that button walks a very fine line.  HOWEVER!  It is BIG, it is BRIGHT, and I think the little flag tucked in there turns it into more of an idea of a "medal."  This works with the star (think General, sir!)and the tiny flags with the braided cord, more "medals."
Then there's the argyle pattern.  A MANLY pattern, yes?  I managed to pop the vellum circle up by hiding the foam adhesive under the medals and the button. That was a tricky one!
Yes, I see you looking at that lime green polka dot flag and raising your eyebrow...Again, feel free to disagree, but I TOTALLY think that works because the dots are HUGE and graphic. Plus, I think it makes yet another medal, when paired with the center square.

Well, this Friday Fix has turned into a Friday RANT.  I  just saw a perfectly good card that was suitable for anyone get "redone" in a "masculine" way, and all those browns just sucked the life out of the whole idea. Hair-trigger, anyone?
But, you know what?  I actually make cards with browns and blues.  Not dusty blue, though.  Yuck.   ( I had a friend who used to get flowers from his parents, and they actually spray painted FLOWERS brown and dusty blue.  It was called a "Male Mix" arrangement. It was so sweet of them to send flowers, yes, but...really?  REALLY?)  My browns though, usually have gotten purples and golds, and the blues get reds and oranges and greens with them.  I use the force of COLOR to convey the force of my FEELINGS.

Clearly, not every card is for every person, and there are probably some guys who might think that brown and dusty blue are all they're worthy of, or, yes they may even just LIKE them (though, that dusty blue...does someone LIKE that color, really?).  USE those colors, if it's a seasonal choice, or if your guy REALLY loves those colors. 
But remember--It is our job as artists (and yes, you ARE an artist) to break down creative walls for both ourselves and the people we make things for.  That's why we want to know all the latest and greatest products and techniques, and why we want inspiration from all of our bloggy friends!

Thanks for being my Bloggy Friend.
And, thanks for stopping by!
All Best--


  1. My Dad is a huge color lover whose family owned a clothing store during his childhood. I agree with you that color and pattern should play a huge role in male cards! Plus my dad and brothers love the great outdoors which is another source of inspiration for their cards. As usual your "rant" made me smile as I read it! Happy Friday!

  2. Do you know how many times I started to write a post like this but shied away from it. This is perfect! Too often "masculine" means brown and navy blue. We aren't THAT drab, are we? Love the card but love your write-up even more!

  3. Very pretty card!Love it,great idea,Men do like other colors,My husband loves bright colors...Have a good weekend!

  4. I love your take on masculine cards! I disagree with the "it has to be drab to be masculine" thinking also! Your card is bright and creative and fun!

  5. Well said!
    I figure when I'm making a card for someone, I take into account their interests, hobbies, etc.
    When my son joined the Navy, and I sent the first Navy themed card, he said "I'm not that guy."
    His friends all loved them, so he gets Navy, ocean, sea themed mixed with the odd House Mouse, etc. A couple of his close friends wanted to be on the 'card receiving train", and he told them they had to keep those cards forever!
    I actually have 'FUN' making them cards, cause they love them all!

  6. Hooray for you - breaking down the dusty blue barriers! This card does read masculine to me, although perhaps a younger man. The button I didn't even notice as a button, just a circle like basketballs and dartboards and things like that. This card makes me think of those brave pioneering men who first wore pink and yellow and other color shirts - how they broke free of the white and blue and grey shirts - old sterotypes. Kudos to them and to you - you're the BEST!

  7. PREACH IT! I so hate the labeling of 'masculine' cards. I really do. From my experience... both men and women appreciate a beautifully handmade card. If it has black and grey... a girl can love it. If it has red and yellow...a guy can like it. Or...wait for it... even PINK! WHAT?! Yup. Totally. Your card is AWESOME! I love it!

  8. Usually do the card according to the person, but am guilty of not mixing brights. Adding one, yes,even did purple, gold and black,but not like this. Thanks. Needed that !!

  9. I really enjoyed hearing your perspective on masculine cards. I think you made some fabulous points. Love your bright fun card.

  10. I enjoyed this post tremendously. As a color challenge site owner, I encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and try colors together, and revel in the thought that they are truly satisfied with the results. Your post really said it well, you opened some eyes and I loved how you said it all. Great design, there is reason to your madness - and it makes complete sense. :) :)
    I would love for you to try out the color site, play along, I am very interested in seeing your creative style on the site.

  11. Couldn't agree more! I make cards for several men who aren't into hunting, fishing, monster trucks, or race cars... I think it's easier to make cards for them because I'm not searching for the 'perfect' stamp, just a great design. I think your card is a fantastic design great for anyone!


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