Play Date Card Design Essentials

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Play date cards are all the rage for youngsters and parents who want to foster social skills and build lasting relationships through school-age years. Designing play date cards is perhaps one of the most enjoyable activities a graphic designer can undertake, and the growing market for play date cards provides ample opportunity for graphic designers to cash in on contemporary trends. To help you craft the perfect play date card designs for your next project, consider the following essentials.

Design for personality

Interview the parent and child in question to find out if the child is adventurous, athletic, a reader or musician, what his or her favorite animal is, favorite hobbies, and more. The more you can learn about the child you're designing for, the easier your job will be when you sit down to design their play date cards.

Have fun with it

Don't be afraid to have fun with your play date card designs. You could design play date cards as baseball cards, trading cards, action figure themes, or with a simple icon of the child's favorite animal or hobby. You can fill your play date cards with a photo of the child engaging in his or her favorite activity, or a group shot of the child with a parent or his or her entire family. Use playful borders, shapes, colors and other accents to bring out the child's personality in your designs.

Make a list

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Basic information such as the child's name and the parent's name, phone number and e-mail address should always be included on your play date card designs. But you might also want to include a list on the back of your play date card that denotes the child's favorite activities, hobbies and interests. This is a great way to quickly match your child with others who share the same interests; or to help broaden your child's horizons by matching him or her with children who have different interests. You can also include lists for the parents' hobbies, so that the parents can match up and enjoy one another's company while the kids play.

Make appointments

Another clever play date card tool is to make it into an appointment card, where an area on the back includes a few lines on which the name of an activity, friend, time and date can be written. Thus, parents can quickly make plans and jot them down on the back of cards to exchange with friends; or a child can plan a party or other event and simply fill in the details on existing play date cards to distribute to an entire class, team or group.

Start with a template

Custom play date card designs should never start from a template, unless it's a free layout template that includes no graphic elements but has guidelines for the press. Such guidelines ensure the proper positioning for your play date card designs and additionally are pre-formatted in the proper color mode, size and resolution. They're free, they save time, and they practically guarantee your play date card designs will look as great off the press as they do on the computer screen.